Some of the best village ramparts in France
We had some excitement on our way to Douglas after leaving Eary. This was not due to a fallen tree but an accident closing the main road between Peel and Douglas just east of Glen Vine. The police had closed the road and all traffic was waived off the main (A1) road and on to a residential street. We pulled over as soon as we safely could allowing other vehicles to pass us and consulted the Sat Nav. This reckoned that we could make our way to Douglas along Mount Rule Road and we could get on to Mount Rule Road on the other side of the housing estate. Hmmm! What the SatNav failed to remind us was that the road leading on to Mount Rule Road was a) very narrow and b) busy with other vehicles all trying to avoid the blocked road! We all ground to a halt as vans tried to pass trucks on a single track road with steep sides. After a long wait it was time for us to move and all seemed well until a small lorry coming the other way failed to wait for us to pass a narrow bit and came on regardless. Traffic behind him meant he could not back up and traffic behind us meant we could not back up either. We did eventually squeezed past but we had completely remove the mirrors on both sides of Bertie to do so. The 8 mile journey from leaving the supermarket in Peel to Nobles Park in Douglas took almost an hour!
On Sunday we took our laundry to The Dolly Tub Laundrette and had a walk down to the sea front and back whilst waiting for the wash. At 3pm my nephew, Chris, and his wife Shardean arrived for tea and chats. By the time they were ready to go home it was well raining and so we drove them home in Bertie. We were hopeful of getting the ferry on Monday morning but we were aware that Hurricane Ophelia was getting close and that this might affect ferry sailings.
We were up and about really early on Monday as we had to be on the dock at 06:30 for the ferry to Heysham. However half way down the hill to the ferry my phone pinged and it was a text from the ferry company to say all sailings are cancelled due to forecast high winds. Back to Nobles Park and back to bed!! After much discussion and a talk with the ferry company we decided to defer our sailing to Wednesday by which time the hurricane should have been through and sailing should be getting back to normal. Apparently these delays are not unusual in bad weather!
I spent a while looking at the weather forecasts and we decided that we would be safer in Peel on the other side of the Island. We relocated to the far end of Marine Drive in Peel snug under the cliff.
We had a nice day here and also walked in to explore the old town of Peel. In the afternoon the wind started to get up and forecasts were now forecasting that the height of the storm would come from the South West and not the South East as previously expected. This meant that our current location would not protect us from the wind or indeed the sea. We decided to relocate out on to St Patricks Island where we had parked on the first day. Here we would shelter between the lifeboat station and the big breakwater with the whole of St Patricks Island and the castle between us and the wind!
We thought this was pretty snug location – our one concern was that we might get woken up if the lifeboat was called out during the storm! St Patricks Island is connected to the mainland by a short causeway so is not really an island at all these days.
In fact we slept quite well and Bertie was indeed snug and fairly sheltered and the lifeboat stayed quietly in its shed! The wind was still blowing hard the next morning and the seas was pretty wild. I went out for a walk after breakfast to see the waves and was really pleased to find that the castle was open. I had the place to myself and walked all around the walls and got a great view down across the causeway and the waves pounded it!
We left Peel mid morning and with care managed to cross the causeway between big waves without getting too wet! Back at Nobles Park for lunch, a quiet afternoon and an early night – we had to be up very early the next day!