1. The second day of the Irish Sea saw no wind whatsoever. Not even a breath.
So the auto-helm went on and stayed on the for the next 14 hours or so. We motored up to just south of Belfast with a favourable tide, making reasonable time. The decision then had to be taken as to when would be the best time to turn to cross the Sea.
After a fair bit of discussion we decided to cut across early. Conditions were favourable, and the forecast was for breeze from the East later in the night. Apart from that it was only a case of keeping watch.
With the seas like this, it meant we experienced probably the most memorable part of the passage. We saw many porpoises, some ambling along, others jumping and slapping their tails. But we also saw whales. I am reasonably sure they were whales and not basking sharks, as I remember hearing puffs of air as they came to the surface. Enormous things, about 20 to 30 feet long, only they prompted an immediate halt of the engine to stop and watch.
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