Monday 25th August @ 06:00. Belfast Coastguard. Irish Sea. SE 6 – 7 inc Gale 8 at times.
That was all I needed to hear to know that we were not going to leave the Clyde in time to achieve the first of our two Liverpool – Llandudno sailings.
24 hours later and a different picture started to emerge of a ridge of high pressure trying to push in and the wind dropping off in consequence.
We left Glasgow plantation Quay with the ship fully secured for a “sea passage” and made a decent run to Liverpool Bar, picking up our Pilot and arriving at the Cruise Terminal in good time to embark our passengers for Llandudno and the North Anglesey Coast.
The wind was still fresh however and with less of a Southerly element than we had hoped for it became clear that the sea conditions at Llandudno Pier were not ideal for a safe passenger transfer. Sadly we turned away and the celebration of the landing stage re-opening would have to wait until 2015.
700 passengers still enjoyed the cruise in clear and bracing conditions, past Puffin Island and Red Wharf Bay as far as Middle Mouse before turning back for Liverpool.
Forecasts however were again not encouraging and we requested an overnight berth in Liverpool to wait until the morning to make a decision on the run to South Wales. Unfortunately the berth was not available and we instead headed for a sheltered anchorage at Colwyn Bay on the Flintshire Coast…passing the cruise ship Boudicca on her way into the Mersey to take the berth where we had hoped to remain firmed moored!
We ended up at anchor for more than 2 days and as the wind swung to the West it became necessary to hold on just to sit down…even at anchor!!!
The lull we had been waiting on finally arrived and with an early start from the anchor on Saturday 30th we made our run to the now familiar anchorage at the Avon Buoy just off Clevedon Pier.
This delay meant we had lost the first two days of our Bristol Channel programme and as such missed our calls at Porthcawl and Swansea for 2014…Penarth therefore becoming the only Welsh Pier at which Waverley would berth in 2014.
Captain Andy O’Brian,