What is the route?
Why sail this route?Kilmore Quay is a good Irish Sea staging point for a departure to the Isles of Scilly. The picturesque fishing village has a small marina, a good chandlery with plenty of restaurants and lively pubs to await the best time and weather to the right arrival time in Scilly. These qualities are daylight with light weather conditions, see Coastal Overview for Land's End to Isles of Scilly and with the passage being about 140 miles, berth to berth, it is well within day sail and a reliable forecast.
Likewise, as the course is almost due south, a little westerly shift off of the prevailing wind will help speed the passage and make it less of a beat. New Grimsby Sound , between Bryher and Tresco, is also the closest primary berthing location with secure moorings just over a ½ mile inside its protective heads and an anchoring location before that. Moreover, the north approach to it, and Scilly as a whole, has no outlying hazards.
What are the navigational notes?
Jackeen Rock, 52° 8.559' N, 006° 36.890' W
300 metres northwest of Jackeen Rock.
► Next waypoint: 2.87 miles, course ⇓ 224.75°T (reciprocal ⇑ 44.75°T)
Great Saltee Island, 52° 6.518' N, 006° 40.183' W
1¾ miles west of Seven Heads the southwestern extremity of Great Saltee Island.
► Next waypoint: 128.03 miles, course ⇓ 174.76°T (reciprocal ⇑ 354.76°T)
Northwest Scilly, 49° 59.080' N, 006° 22.022' W
One mile out from a line joining Kettle Bottom and Shipman Head and on the transit formed by Star Castle Hotel on the west side of Hangman Island with a bearing of 157° T.
What is the best sailing time?May to September is the traditional UK Sailing season with June-July offering the best weather. The British Isles weather is highly variable, and the amount of bad weather varies quite widely from year to year. This is because they are islands positioned between the Atlantic Ocean and the large landmass of continental Europe. As a result, the entire area lays under an area where five main air masses meet and alternate:
- • Tropical Maritime Air Mass - from the Atlantic
- • Polar Maritime Air Mass - from Greenland
- • Arctic Maritime Air Mass
- • Polar Continental Air Mass - from central Europe
- • Tropical Continental Air Mass - from North Africa
Depending on the movements of the jet stream, any and all of these air masses can come in over the isles, creating weather fronts where they meet and bringing with them all types of weather.
The prevailing winds for the British Isles as a whole are from the western quarter which generally blows for two-thirds of the year predominantly from the southwest. Gales from the westward are felt in all seasons, but from November to March, inclusive, they are most frequent and generally last three or four days. Of these, a southwest gale is considered to be the most powerful system. The winter period is largely characterised by wind and rain.
The fine summer weather of the sailing season is typically punctuated by the passage of an Atlantic depression that bringing periods of strong wind and rain, and sometimes poor visibility. These gales rarely cause surprises as they are usually forecasted well in advance. Good weather windows of 48 hours are easy to predict but any longer than that there's an increasing chance of change.
Fogs are frequent in all parts of the Channel and are formed both on the English and French coasts. In summer they only obscure the land in the morning and are readily dispersed by heat or a light breeze. But the moist haze, driven in by westerly winds from the sea, tends to linger and is only dispersed by strong winds. In the eastern part of the Channel, it is rare for the land to be completely free from mists. The only exception is when the wind is from the northeast which makes the mist free coastline highly distinctive from a great distance.