Cruising on Diomedea

Diomedea is a Van de Stadt Tasman 48. The name is the species name of the Wandering Albatross of the Southern Ocean.

30 July 2016 | North Uist island, Scotland
30 July 2016 | Isle of Rum, Scotland
30 July 2016 | Isle of Mull, Scotland
30 July 2016 | Jura Island, Scotland
30 July 2016 | Belfast, Northern Ireland
30 July 2016 | Bangor, northern ireland
21 July 2016 | 55 57.75'N:05 54.55'W
15 July 2016
15 July 2016 | Holyhead, Angelsey
15 July 2016 | Helford River, Cornwall
10 July 2016 | Falmouth, UK
07 July 2016 | Falmouth UK
04 July 2016 | Camaret, Brittany
02 July 2016 | Camaret-Sur-Mer
02 July 2016 | A Caruna, Spain
01 July 2016 | Camarets-Sur-Mer
29 June 2016 | 46 24.20'N:06 28.016'W
25 June 2016 | A Caruna, Galicia, Spain
23 June 2016 | Ria de Muros, Galicia
18 June 2016 | Ria de Arousa

Across the Minch to the Outer Hebrides

30 July 2016 | North Uist island, Scotland
David and Andrea
We had a lovely sail, close reaching, to North Uist, stopping in Loch Maddy.

Rum in front of us, Eigg on the side, and Muck behind.

30 July 2016 | Isle of Rum, Scotland
David and Andrea
These are part of the Small Isles archipelago in the inner Hebrides and all have their own attractions. Our destination was Rum the largest and most mountainous. It has a good harbour in Loch Scresort with the Victorian folly, Kinloch Castle at its head. The “castle” is steel framed with stone veneer and was supposed to be an upmarket hunting lodge for the well-to-do. The original owner of the island and castle (who had inherited it from his father) died and his widow, apparently something of a glamour-puss, sold it to Scottish Natural heritage. The furnishings from around circa 1900 remain more or less intact but have not been maintained.
We had a pleasant walk up a stream to a col below some 700 metre peaks. Sadly the weather had slagged out and thus we abandoned the summit attempts. The area reminded us strongly of the South island of NZ. A purpose-built otter hide promised us views of these shy creatures so we walked through the greenest forest you have ever seen to then sit in the hide waiting in vain for an otter to appear. We saw one seal, a heron, and lots of midges.


30 July 2016 | Isle of Mull, Scotland
David and Andrea
Mull is a stunningly beautiful island with a complex coastline and rugged mountain interior. One could easily spend weeks exploring this place. Our time was a bit more limited but we did manage a walk and tour of the northern section. The walk up Speinn Mor (447m) had a bog rating of 2 (out of 5) so we wished we had had our gaiters to keep the mud out. The views from the rounded summit were excellent. Mull has a Munro peak (more than 3000 feet), Ben Mor, but its head was shrouded in cloud most of the time. With the aid of a hire car we toured the western coast down to Ulva and visited the strangely isolated mausoleum of Major General Lachlan Macquarie. He was born on Ulva but the mausoleum is actually on Mull. All you historians will of course recognise him as one of the most significant figures in the birth of the colony of New South Wales. I think he did have a bit of an ego, naming just about everything after himself - Lake Macquarie, Port Macquarie, Macquarie Street, Macquarie harbour, and so on, but why wouldn’t you? Like Arthur Phillip, history sort of bypassed him, or at least the British system did, and he never really got the recognition he deserved. His tomb, which is owned by the National Trust of NSW, reflects this.
Tobermory is a pretty, charming Scottish village with a lovely harbour and has a distillery! We dined at the Fish Cafe which has good food but the ambience is somewhat lacking because of loud music. There is a good supermarket and many shops. Moorings available for up to 50 tonnes as well as a nice marina for up to 60 footers.

Finally Scotland

30 July 2016 | Jura Island, Scotland
David and Andrea
Diomedea reached nicely out of Bangor in lovely sunshine on the north going tide bound for Gigha island north of the Mull of Kintyre. The wind failed but we had great day on this last longish passage. Ardminish bay on the eastern side of Gigha was a gem and even better was the Boathouse restaurant just up from the new pontoon (Michelin recommended!). We had true fusion cuisine of haggis spring rolls with pesto and caramelised onion jam as an entree, followed by scallops and haddock. Yum. From Gigha we had a hair-raising ride through the Sound of Islay, a narrow 10 nm long channel which separates the isles of Islay and Jura. The tide fairly roars through here and Diomedea’s best speed over ground was 12.2 knots to windward. We were spat out the other end into dense fog, the timing being rather unfortunate as we had to negotiate a shallow rock strewn path only slightly wider than the boat. Still, we managed the entry to the truly wonderful Loch Tarbert, which penetrates Jura to her heart. The loch provides outstanding protection, is very silent, and has no phone coverage. The only sign of civilisation is a long abandoned stone house on the shore. We loved it.
Back out the next morning for a good sail around the historic island of Iona to Bunessan on the Ross of Mull. Iona was the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. St Columba came to Iona from Bangor in the 6th century and established a monastery. Bunessan harbour provides good shelter and holding but the town is utterly charmless. Onwards to the spectacular island of Staffa, home of legendary warrior Fingal’s cave. The cave is a zawn into the columnar basalt cliff line. Diomedea passaged in no wind and foul tide north past Gometra and Ulva islands before arriving at the pretty Tobermory harbour on Mull. Ulva is significant for Australia, but more on this later.

A Day visiting Recent History in Belfast

30 July 2016 | Belfast, Northern Ireland
David and Andrea
There was a subtle but nonetheless newly palpable tension in the cab. We had just driven through the gate in the so-called “peace wall” from the Falls Road to the Shankill Road. Our driver/guide for this Troubles Tour was a Republican/Catholic. We had stopped outside the many memorials to those slain, including some time outside the offices of Sinn Fein. Our (excellent) guide had consistently referred to those on the other side of the wall as “them”. So now we were in “their” territory (Unionists/Protestants). And obvious it was. I will not bore you with a history of the terrible war in the Emerald Isle but I will say that it has not completely gone away. The wall exists physically and spiritually today. Our guide was strongly of the opinion that its temporal presence was still quite necessary to prevent bloodshed. The gate is closed at 6pm. Much was made of the slaughter and violence visited upon the Catholics by the various military and paramilitary groups, and we were moved by the stories of oppression. Depressingly, however, no mention was made of the ghastly bombing campaigns costing many lives that were waged against Britain. All those people who perished for really very little. We are informed nowadays that most sensible folk have the philosophy of live and let live.
After our tour was concluded (highly recommended by the way, and very popular) we were deposited, fittingly, at the Crumlin Road gaol in which most major politicial figures of recent times have been inmates. The gaol was decommissioned in 1996 after 150 years of use from the mid 19th century. Children of 12 were imprisoned here and some flogged. Recidivist adults were “hanged by the neck until dead” (17 in total) before being buried in unmarked graves within the prison walls. The last in the early 1960’s (like Australia). We examined the execution and corporal punishment chambers in detail. IRA and Loyalist combatants shared the same prison walls. Today these same ex-prisoners pay to do the tour that we were on apparently.
At the end of this fairly confronting morning the only conclusion for us was that there is no philosophy/creed/ideology/political stance that is worth dying for, particularly when someone else tells you it is.
We decided to wind down with a visit to the Titanic Quarter but found much of it rather too touristy for our tastes. The massive Samson and Goliath cranes of Harland and Wolf, each capable of lifting 4,000 tonnes, dominate of course. The shipyard remains active today more in maintenance and repair than building but is a far cry from the 40’s when it employed 35,000 workers.
Belfast is growing and appears vibrant but its future remains as unclear as ever. Newly reinforced calls for unification of N.I. with the Republic have followed the Brexit vote (Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, 54% vs 46%) but this seems an unlikely outcome at the moment. Loss of EU funding will hit this area quite hard we think. The only thing that is certain is change.

Hello Northern Ireland

30 July 2016 | Bangor, northern ireland
David and Andrea
We had wanted to cruise the Republic of Ireland but the westerlies had really made this impossible. In addition, our timetable was growing shorter and we had to keep our eyes on the prize (Scotland). Our trip NW across the Irish Sea and to the North Channel proved most enjoyable in generally light airs on port tack. The north and south flowing tides meet at the latitude of the southern tip of the Isle of Man and we gained some advantage from this over the 70 miles to the Northern Ireland coast. A big halo developed around the sun and the altostratus came causing concern about another front approaching. The Mull of Galloway, Scotland was seen on starboard. Our chosen anchorage north of the Strangford Lough proved to have poor holding so we were obliged to continue northwards against the now vigorous south flooding tide for the next 30 miles to Bangor, in the Belfast Lough. I played Simple Mind’s “Belfast Child” as we sailed into this famous place.
Vessel Name: Diomedea
Vessel Make/Model: Van de Stadt Tasman 48 See Pix here
Hailing Port: Sydney
Diomedea's Photos - Main
40 Photos
Created 22 November 2015
20 Photos
Created 8 October 2015
34 Photos
Created 18 September 2015
7 Photos | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 12 July 2015
11 Photos
Created 12 July 2015
1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
Created 8 June 2015
5 Photos
Created 18 May 2015
32 Photos
Created 17 May 2015
69 Photos
Created 20 March 2015
47 Photos
Created 5 December 2014
14 Photos
Created 5 November 2014
Diomedea's Cruise through the Indo archipelago
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 27 August 2014
40 Photos
Created 25 June 2014
Diomedea cruises to NZ
1 Photo | 25 Sub-Albums
Created 3 May 2013
11 Photos
Created 23 April 2012
1 Photo | 13 Sub-Albums
Created 11 January 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 October 2010
Various destinations
6 Photos
Created 19 April 2010
6 Photos
Created 6 April 2010
3 Photos
Created 6 April 2010
Compass Adjustment 2010
8 Photos
Created 21 March 2010
A visit to this yacht.
5 Photos
Created 19 February 2010
Cruising over Christmas
10 Photos
Created 11 January 2010
Some photos of Diomedea sailing
27 Photos
Created 7 October 2009
4 Photos
Created 24 September 2009
9 Photos
Created 7 September 2009
64 Photos
Created 28 August 2009
75 Photos
Created 9 August 2009
2 Photos
Created 14 July 2009
Diomedea gets the big makeover
51 Photos
Created 13 July 2009
4 Photos
Created 17 April 2009
12 Photos
Created 7 April 2009
6 Photos
Created 8 March 2009
18 Photos
Created 14 December 2008
4 Photos
Created 4 October 2008
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 27 September 2008
1 Photo | 9 Sub-Albums
Created 12 August 2008
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 15 June 2008
In Tonga
6 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 14 May 2008
Doing stuff in the Bay of Islands
2 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 27 April 2008
Fun night at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron prior to departure
13 Photos
Created 27 April 2008
The action shots whilst Diomedea is on passage to New Zealand
13 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 27 April 2008
Photos of the Ship of Steel
12 Photos
Created 28 March 2008