Holyhead

“Yes, we have a spare visitors’ mooring for you”, the lady from the sailing club says over the VHF in response to our request as we round Holy Island. “The launch will be out to show you where it is. You’ll know the launch from its colour. Pink. You can’t miss it.”

I try to imagine a pink boat, but give up. I think it is called cognitive dissonance, but in any case I have other things to think about. We are coming into Holyhead harbour, and I need to work out how to get out of the way of a massive ferry just off our port quarter. As we pass the breakwater protecting the harbour, sure enough there is the pink launch. It actually looks quite good.

The pink launch.

The pink launch draws alongside, and we are directed by the launch man to a yellow buoy next to a Moody 42. A woman on the Moody eyes us suspiciously.

Our crew manage to catch the yellow buoy with the boathook and haul up the thick rope. Usually mooring buoys have a lighter slip line to catch, but for some reason this one doesn’t seem to. They struggle to lift the heavy line, and eventually manage to slip the end loop over the forward cleat.

“You’d be better off putting it over the bow roller first”, says the pink launch man. I wonder to myself why he didn’t tell us that at the beginning. The crew unloop the thick rope again and try to thread it through the bow roller.

“You need to bring the boat a bit further forward to take the strain”, says pink launch man to me.

“You need to reverse a bit”, calls out the suspicious lady on the Moody.

“Can you go sideways a bit?”, says the First Mate.

I decide to do nothing. Eventually the rope is pushed through the bow roller and looped over the cleat. We relax. The suspicious lady on the Moody disappears down below. Pink launch man draws alongside and tells us how much we have to pay for the night. It’s reasonable, considering he will also act as a water taxi, taking us to and from the shore up until 10 pm for no extra charge.

Going ashore in the pink launch.

We eat that evening in the sailing club. Later, Peter and Joanne take their suitcases over from Ruby Tuesday on the pink launch to leave them in the club house, and they make arrangements to collect them in the morning. They are catching the train for London at 0900, but as the pink launch doesn’t start until 0900, I will have to take them across in our little dinghy in the morning. It makes it easier if their suitcases are already ashore.

The moon rises over the harbour while we sit on deck and have our last drink together. Tomorrow it is supposed to be a ‘blood moon’ with the earth eclipsing the light from the sun. We make a mental note to see it if we can.

Moon rising over Holyhead harbour.

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