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Captain Log ID: 551
Title: Rathlin Island
Boat Name(Id): Dansa ( 1133)
Sailor Name(Id): Chris Ayres ( 2672)
Geo Region: North Coast of Ireland
Date of Occurance: 2004-08-26
Latitude: N 55º   16.98'
Longitude: W 6º   12'
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Earlier log from "Dansa":  550
Newer log from "Dansa":  552
Approaching Rathlin Island
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Mon 12th Portsalon to Church Bay, Rathlin Island:

56.93 miles 12hrs 55 mins

Thought that we might have to beat out of Lough Swilly but once clear of Ballymastoker Bay we were able to lay a course close hauled which would clear Dunaff Head. Once this was rounded we could free off and set our course for Malin Head.
To round this notable headland I aimed to arrive at slack water so we could pick up the first of the flood around, before the stream had built up too much. The pilot warns of 4 knot tidal streams which can raise a dangerous sea with no warning. At least today with the wind behind we would be spared wind against tide conditions. With not having to beat earlier we arrived a little early just as the last of the west bound yachts passed through Inishtrahull sound. It was the first time in 2 weeks that we have seen any other yachts on passage, a sign that we are getting back to more popular sailing areas. Even though conditions were favourable for our passage past Malin Head and through the Inishtrahull sound, it was an impressive place and I would hate to be near here in bad weather.
Later as the winds eased we could shake out the reef we had carried thus far and we were once more able to set the spinnaker for the run down to Rathlin Island. It was a bit of a race against time. Could we get to Church Bay in time before the tide turned against us in Rathlin Sound. Another of those places where timing is everything, with tidal streams of 6 knots and races and dangerous overfalls. If we didnít get there in time we might find ourselves going backwards. All went well though and we made the small harbour of Church bay before the tide turned. Here 5 other boats were already lying alongside the harbour wall so we rafted up alongside one of them