Messing about in the Caribbean having completed sailing around the World.

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 14 Apr 2011 15:57
THURSDAY   14th  APRIL  2011
Well well, here we are again, back to this blinking blog, and we will just see how it goes, ok.
Since the last blog, we have done a number of interesting things including travelling back to Ireland for the ICC ( irish Cruising Club)
annual get together and Dinner, this was held in the old " Great Southern Hotel" in Killarney and they had a packed house for the
weekend, there we met lots of our friends and got good recognition for our trip around the world.
We had a great weekend and even managed a game of golf on the famous " Kileens " golf course on the lakes of Killarney
We also paid a visit to Aileens mother ( 93) in Killarney, who was in great shape are delighted to see us,
On Sunday, the day after the ICC event, we had all the Hyde's for dinner, including Skippers mother ( 94) brothers and sisters
children and grandchildren, all in all, there were 19 for dinner which consisted of  " Roast Rib of Beef" on the bone, plus
all the trimmings like Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, creamed potatoes, carrots, sprouts, and " horseraddish " sauce
and of course skippers special brown gravey.
All this took place at our riverside town  house at 14 G.W. ( Granary Wharf)
monday, and tuesday were office days, on wednesday we travelled to dublin and met our friends Johnny and mary for dinner
in Simpsons on the Green ,
Thursday, we drove to limerick and had dinner in " the Mustard Seed" before returning to Cork and 14 GW.
Friday, we had a few hours meeting friends ,and later on in the day cooked dinner again for Sarah, Paul, Stefan & Caroline,
and ourselves,
Saturday, Ourselves , Stefan, Caroline drove to Castlemarter for the " Tritschler " wedding, Luke was getting married and you will all
remember Neill, ( Luke's brother)  who sailed with us from Darwin to Cape town, a distance of 6,000 miles.
The reception was held in the " Castle Marter Hotel " and a fantastic venue it was, we again had a great day and evening
and the following day after Mass, Skipper & Aileen played 18 holes of golf at the hotel, ..........get this, skipper won, something that
does not happen often, mostly because aileen has skipper "syked out" before they ever get near the clubs, a moment to savour
for a while.
Monday, Skipper had a crap day in the office, wading through tons of mail, mostly containing all bad news, but, but then later
skipper cooked dinner for sarah, paul, Terry and Collette,  ourselves , our good pal " Hugh Gibson" and Annette foley , our pharmisist who
feeds us our " stay alive tablets"   ahhhh, sure we consumed plenty of wine and had a good night, well, Hugh
and Aileen, they dont drink But, but , the rest of us made up for that.
Tuesday, we had lunch in the " Blue Cottage " in east Cork, we were guests of Kevin & Fie Dwyer, you will remember Kevin,
he sailed with us for 2 months at the start of the World Trip.
Kevin is a photographer and gave Skipper and Aileen a copy of his new book " Dwyers Irland "  a beautifull book with some
terrific photo's of Ireland , plus many other photo's of our previous residence and " A Lady"
Tuesday evening, we had our previous neighbours from Glounthaune where we lived for 29 years before moving to our current
location at 14 G.W.  Mary and Micheal Byrne, Niamh & Tony Fitzpatrick, Fergus & Gillian O Connell plus Leah
for a while , Aileen cooked a Chicken dish and we had a great night. Of course we had a slide show of all the places we
visited on our trip and it was great even for us looking over the whole thing again.
Wednesday, we said our goodbyes and flew to Gatwick airport in London , however before getting on the plane in Cork
we had to go through the security check and we were really harrased by this complete asshole at the conveyor belt,
Ohhhh my Gawd, where do they get these people, There must be a special attitude school that these dope's have to attend 
in order to aquire a position such as this................................. Thicko's , thats what,
All this security must cost a bleedin fortune, and for what, Its not as if Cork is a stratgic airport to launch an attack
and I am certain that any self respecting potential bomber will not use Cork airport as a starting point,
Thursday : we flew " Virgin"  we were delayed at London because the driver pushing back the plane damaged the front whell and
undercarraige, that took an hour to get sorted, so we all sat there on the plane like a bunck of Turkies, untill we eventually got off the ground
only to be delayed for another 3 hours in " Tabago " It became a long day.
The weather for the next couple of days was afull, rain, rain, and more rain, The grass is almost greener than Ireland,
and thats saying something.  On Sunday, Richie from " Grand Filou" joined us to do the " Oyster Regatta "
Alston, a local who promised us crew including himself, never delivered, so there was just the 3 of us, First Mate " Aileen"
Richie and skipper, but then we got Jake for the 1st day. so now we had four .
Meanwhile, the rib was giving trouble, ( it never rains , but, but it just flippen pours, ) and of course it was pouring rain as well
The engine would not start, the thing was leaking and we could not get a bung, as " Avon" have their own special bungs,
and then " Martin " who we got to polish the baot, polished the blinkin decks, and controls for the hydrolics and the canopy
with white cleaners,  Ohhhh, bad days always seem to get worse.
Monday, this was registration day for the retgatta, there were 25 Oysters here for the event, They ranged in size from 45 feet to 82 feet
we are only 56 feet, so midway in the range, however there are nine Oyster 56's taking part and we are one of the oldest boats in the
whole fleet ( built in 2002 )  we also have the most clapped out suite of sails, having done 33,000 miles, and we were in the top
handicap devision, ourselves and just a couple of other 56's had the highest ratings in class 2,
We are in class 2, with 14 other boats,
The first race was Tuesday, with a parade of sail at 09.00hrs in the flogging rain out to the start line, The start was down wind and
we had already opted  to sail white sails only, so we goose winged our way down the course which was shortened because of the
lack of wind, we were slow at the start and only had 4 boats behind us half way down the run, but, but with a bit of luck
and good manouvering we took out 5 boats at the lewerd mark, so now we had 9 behind us,  the wind improved for the beat.
and we managed to pass a couple of 65 footers on the way, but our rating killed us, so we finished up 9th overall.
Every evening , there was a cocktail party usually followed by dinner, all very civilised and enjoyable,  Aileen was recovering
from the Viral infection she got at home,  so was a bit out of sorts, the drink was usually free, having been sponsored by
some company or other , so the mornings usually had a lot of sore heads walking around trying to look intellegent.
Wednesday, again raining, but cleared up by the time we started the race at 11.00hrs. today the race was a 20 mile race, starting with a
3 mile beat up the west coast of the Island, followed by a 6 mile run down to the SW corner and then another 6 mile beat along the south coast to
a weather mark and then a run to the finish line at " le Phare Bleu "
The wind was much more consistant with a range of 18  to  26 knots, we ( Just the 3 of us today ) had the boat going well and down wind
we managed to keep pace with all the boats flying their spinnikers and we seemed to have pace on most of them up wind, even with
a reef in the mainsail and no staysail flying. It was great sailing and the boat really behaved herself well,
After the racing, we went into " Le Phare Bleu" marina, tied up and settled ourselves in. A beautifull looking place and the rain is still holding off.
Skipper went for a swim in the marina pool. but tomorrow will definatly go into the sea.
We finished 4th in our class and that was good enough to get us into 5th place overall after the 2 days, ohh we were the happy "Bunnies"
again, knowing that if we were really tuned in, we could have done even better.
We went to a drinks party in the evening , followed by prize giving and dinner, Diana came with us, We also made contact with
Fr. Dermot Nolan , he is " elizabeth Cooneys " uncle and is with the Kilteegan Fathers out here in Granada, so we will meet him tomorrow
evening, there is no racing tomorrow, a layday. so skipper will catch up with emails and the BLOG.
Thursday, we woke to the boat rocking and rollong and straining at the lines onto the marina, the wind increased overnight , so the whole fleet
were having a tough time on the marina, but its a layday, so there is no rush, however , the first mate is in good shape today and decided to go
on the Island tour  organised by " Oyster"  But still she is not up to Flying, feeling that most of her sickness was due to the flight from London.
So skipper had to abandon and cancel the trip next saturday night to St Lucia for the final night of the " World ARC"........  a goodbye night.
Such a pity, but we wish all the friends we made on that trip a " Bon Voyage "  and good luck to Rally control. ( Paul & Suzanna) on all their
future trips and adventures.
Thats all for now,
Signed  :-   Stephen  Hyde   ( Skipper )