Karina made a special trip to Castletown to celebrate her 60th birthday on 17 June 2006.
She left Douglas punctually at 14.15, in excellent weather conditions, decorated with bunting and 60th birthday balloons. Her 98 passengers were not only treated to Captain Carter's excellent commentary as we passed places of interest, but to celebrate the birthday, glasses of wine and nibbles were offered free of charge.
After an interesting journey down the coast, landfall at Castletown outer breakwater was achieved at 15.30.
The timings were carefully calculated so that her passengers had a reasonable chance of seeing some of the thrills (and spills!) of the 35th World Tin Bath Championships at Castletown, although tidal constraints only allowed a 45 minute call.
Castletown Harbour was very busy, and the "Castletown Ale Drinkers Society" made quite a lot of money on entrance fees, all of which was earmarked for local charities. An estimated 4,000 people attended, on a gloriously warm day.
We left Castletown at 16.21, a little later than the advertised 16.15 - some participants had clearly got caught up in events ashore! A few had opted for the single journey only, so we returned with 83 passengers.
Pushing the tide all the way, we reached Villiers steps at 17.45, after another interesting sail, with more of Captain Carter's anecdotes, and only therefore had a distant view of SSC2 leaving Douglas a few minutes early, as Ben made her approach.
A few photos are attached, showing Karina in Douglas and Castletown. It will be noted that a large number of swans were waiting outside Castletown harbour for their chance to return to their normally quiet home! Back in Douglas, the shot of Karina passing Conister Rock shows a heap of sandbags at the foot of the Tower of Refuge. This is preparatory to some remedial work that is about to be done to the stonework.