By David Rainsbury
The Irish Sea is a huge, almost landlocked sea. Around its shores and islands there are no fewer than six countries, provinces or protectorates. Several languages are represented; English, Welsh, Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx, along with countless accents and dialects.
Its waters teem with life; dolphins and porpoises are a common sight; leatherback turtles come here from the Caribbean to feed on the jellyfish and whales are regular visitors. In the air there are gulls, puffins, guillemots and more. The range of challenges and coastlines is astonishing.
Tides above five knots are commonplace and yet there are calm, sheltered waters for relaxed wandering. This completely new pilot covers both sides of the Irish Sea from Milford Haven to Portpatrick, and Rathlin Island to Carnsore Point. From his base in North Wales David Rainsbury spent two long and rainy summers exploring the coasts he describes.
His sailing directions and descriptions cover all the places that provide shelter and they are supported by his own photography and aerial shots from Patrick Roach. At the start of each chapter there are useful coasting notes which deal with some of the more difficult passages and tidal gateways. The harbour text is then clearly organised so that essential information regarding accessibility, tides and shelter always proceed the pilotage notes which are supported by clear full colour plans.
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