Find below some photographs from the first phase of the Associations 2019 Summer Cruise. The cruise started at the end of the Liverpool River Festival (Tues 4 June 2019) when seven boats attended the event in the Royal Albert Dock, including Jean the Hearts of Oak and Anna Elldi. Some five boats, Comrades, Sara Ann, Phyllis, Spray and Anna Elldi departed the River Mersey on the first leg to Conwy, with Anna Elldi returning to the Menai Straits. At this point due to the weather and other circumstances, new departure date was arranged for Tuesday 18 June. Comrades and Sara Ann could not make the revised timescales and remained in Conwy.
Phyllis and Spray continued to the IOM, Port St Mary before departing to Peel via Calf Sound. After a couple of days a departure, to Northern Ireland ensued with landfall close to Portavogie before sailing along the coast past Donaghadee to transverse Belfast Loch to Carrickfergus Marina.
Our next departure took us along the cliffs of the Antrim coast, hosting a multitude of different nesting sea birds before our arrival in Glenarm. With the Mull of Kintyre insight, we then journeyed north to arrive in Campbeltown after passing Sanda Island to port and Alisa Craig well off to starboard. Lots of Gannets were seen en route following feeding, to their breeding ground on Alisa Craig, also famous for the granite used for making curling stones.
Campbeltown refuelled and refreshed, we enjoyed a visit to the local distillery 'Springbank'. We then crossed Killbrannan Sound towards the Isle of Arran passing Lochranza to starboard before crossing Bute Sound to enter the Firth of Clyde towards Largs Marina.
Once again refuelled, both with diesel and a good meal we set-off up the Clyde with the incoming tide passing Inverkip, Cloch Point lighthouse and Greenock. We were met by Douglas to show us the way into Sandpoint Marina (a very little know spot to locals) in his powerful RIB. Just on the cusp of the tide, Phyllis touched bottom on the soft sand before lifting again to continue down the short channel to Dumbarton the final destination on the first phase. Then treated to a fast RIB ride to get some supper in Holy Loch then catching up with some old friends before returning to Dumbarton. We left the marina the following morning to catch the train from Glasgow to home.
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