Well, I thought it would be an uncomfortable night in Carlingford Marina, and it certainly was! The first disappointment was that the restaurant was not serving food: I've joked about liquid meals, but however much I like Guinness that wasn't enough. So after one pint, back on board and cooked my own supper. Then, from about 3am - when the tide turned - the swell built up and the boat shook and shuddered. Little sleep. I won't be rushing back to Carlingford Marina.
In the morning, I was up and organising my departure earlier than I'd planned. With 20kts of wind blowing, I expected it to be tricky, but actually it was pretty much on the bows so I came out quite easily! Once out in the lough, I had the wind behind me, and a strong ebb tide, so shot out of the Lough like a cork out of a bottle under headsail alone. Most of the way down the lough I was escorted by a lone dolphin that has take up residence there. Dolphins have been few and far between this trip, so that was very welcome.
Once out of the lough, the wind was no longer funnelled by the mountains, so of course dropped somewhat. I therefore set the mainsail as well, and headed south on a broad reach sailing well. Looking back, I could see rain clouds also funnelling down the lough (see photo above). As the day progressed, the wind freshened until I was doing 8kts over the ground. That would have got me to Malahide uncomfortably early to have enough water to get in, and the boat was yawing around with the self steering beginning to struggle. I dropped the mainsail again, and was soon doing 5-6kts under just the headsail - great!
The entrance to Malahide is narrow and shallow, so I was glad not to be early for the tide. The wind was still pretty fresh, so assistance in mooring from a neighbouring boat was most welcome.
Log of this passage