We would have enjoyed more time in Fishguard but an ideal weather and tidal current window appeared for us to take a big jump north. We aimed for Conwy in North Wales and made it there many hours earlier than expected, after an overnight sail. We used the spinnaker pole to hold the solent out against wind at around 170 degrees and this worked beautifully. Taking it down later in the dark was no real problem; we put our mast and spreader downlights on so I had plenty of light. Carolyn eased and tightened the solent sheet and pole downhaul from the cockpit as per my requests and I pulled on the lines supporting the pole as needed. It clicked onto its support bar at the bottom and was safely stowed. Good system. Then, we had to turn into the wind to put two reefs in the mainsail. This meant going directly upwind after downwind sailing all day and was a much more lively event. The reefing lines were soon tightened, all from the cockpit and we turned back onto our route, raising the staysail to balance the reefed mainsail.
Regards from Rick and Carolyn.