Last day of July and we weighed anchor at 0720 am to get as far as we could on the way to Northern Ireland, or even as far as Bangor Marina in Belfast Lough. The waters between Ireland and Scotland, known as the North Channel, have strong tides that sweep up and down the coast, so it is important that you time your crossing correctly.
The forecast said that the wind shold move round to be ideal for us to get to Ailsa Craig in time to catch the southerly tide to aid us on our way. Sadly the wind didn't change soon enough, so we had to modify our plans and head for Loch Ryan.
After several hours viewing Ailsa Craig from all angles, it is a remarkable rock, about 340m high and 2 miles in circumference. |It is a volcanic core and is visible from many miles away across the sea - hence it's knickname of Paddy's Milestone. The granite has been used to maked the best curling stones, and the island is now home to a huge collection of seabirds.
Loch Ryan is the base for ferries across to Belfast, so we had to time our entry to the small bay where we anchored around their schedule.
55 00.104' N 05 04.895' W