Ireland 25 June -10 July 08

Fri 11 Jul 2008 14:26

We haven't had a chance to update our blog since we arrived in Kinsale over 2 weeks ago, but we are now sitting quietly on a buoy on our

own in Glengarriff harbour (Bantry Bay), re-coupé rating and reminiscing on what has been an indulgence of activity with our friends on Sea Rose and Dizzy Di.  


There are many highlights and memories of the last few weeks and the ones that spring to mind are:

The wind/gales, rain, more rain, lots of laughing, good sailing, the friendly locals, more rain, our very good friends……

Incidentally, I was chatting with a lady in the launderette this afternoon and she said that she had not seen such bad weather for 40 years,

but I have to say it's not spoilt our time in Ireland as we did expect it to be wet!!

And now some of the highlights of each place we visited:- 



 Eating fresh cod at the Fishy Fishy Restaurant (to avoid the pouring rain)




The wet and windy walk to Charles Fort (one of the best surviving examples of a 17th century star-shaped fort,

built during the reign of King Charles II to protect Kinsale town and harbour) with Nigel and Sally and the beer at the end of it.


A whistle stop day trip to Cork where we visited 'the sites' and we were at last able to pick up an Irish courtesy flag at one of the

far a few between chandlers on this part of the coast.


We headed 28 miles west to Glendore (which turned out to be an 8 hour 46 mile beat!!) where we all managed to pick up a buoy for a couple of days,

while yet another gale went through. 


Dizzy Di picking up the mooring under sail as they seem to do so expertly in most places we visited.


Glendore/Union Hall

For those sailing to these parts of Ireland it is quite difficult to get rid of the boat rubbish, but we managed to find a few empty bins prior to our walk in Union Hall and a lunch stop at Casey's Bar. 


Outside Casey’s Bar – Union Hall – preparing for a walk


Rest stop…………..

Walking by the Lilly lake’ – Union Hall


Round the corner to Castletownshend  just before another gale


Castetownshend had a very steep High street with a restaurant and and the single sparce grocery shop.  Mary Ann’s restaurant was well worth a visit..


Eating out at Mary Ann's Restaurant and the friendly owner who knew everyone, even George Clinton (ex US President)!


We moved on the next day as Dizzy Di had swung round in the early hours and hit her keel on a rock during the blustery night, so we made for Baltimore

in a very big lumpy sea.  As we headed out an Irish coastguard plane inspected all 3 yachts 2 or 3 times, obviously checking that we had been through customs?

Anyway, we all went inside The Stag Rocks (if anyone remembers the Kowloon Bridge, this went down the other side of the rocks in the1980's).  A bumpy entrance into Baltimore.


 Coming up the The Stag Rocks



The taxi drivers response when Michael phoned up to order a taxi for us all to go shopping in Skibbereen " Oh b Jaysus, I've no room in my car for 8 of you" 

Needless to say we suggested 2 trips each way would be fine.


We all visited the Great Famine exhibition in Skibbereen which shows the story of the area, one of the worst affected areas in Ireland,

as seen in the mass graves where 10,000 are buried.


 Baltimore harbour

Putting on our waterproofs after our excellent meal in The Mews


The next day we all had a fabulous sail through the rocks to Schull, where we picked up a buoy for lunch and then we all managed to ' water up' ,

this being a priority for Dizzy Di who had totally run out.  Two records to mention:- 1) all 3 boats watered up at the Schull jetty in less than 20 mins and 2)

It didn't rain and it was sunny all day!!


Watering up in Schull


Schull to Crookhaven via The Fastnet Rock

Following our lunch stop in Schull we all decided that as the Fastnet Rock was less than 10 miles away, it would be a good idea to race around it?


I must say it was fascinating to sail round this famous landmark and glad that it was a fairly benign day.  We were only able to have a night stopover

in Crookhaven, as yet another gale was approaching and Crookhaven is no place to be in a strong easterly!


Rounding the Fastnet Rock

Nimue arriving in Crookhaven


The 11 o'clock start the next day turned out to be a rather hastily 9 o'clock retreat, as the winds were already building. 

We all went out with 2 reefs and furled genoas and headed towards our next destination, Lawrence Cove on Bear Island

Once past Mizzen Head we headed North to Bear Island on a reach, with the wind building all the time to a Force 7. 

However, Nimue just got stuck in and even managed to catch up Keith on Dizzy Di at the entrance to Bear Island

The gale set in just as we entered Lawrence Cove marina and after some intricate manoeuvring and locating suitable berths,

we all got ourselves safely tucked up to weather it out.


Lawrence Cove, Bear Island


Calm after the storm – Nimue in Lawrence Cove Marina


Quiet and breathtaking scenery

The local pub had concrete floors and opened when the owner felt like it (apparently lunchtime was not a good time!)


The only restaurant and which opened between 6.00 and 8.00pm, so we had to be quick!

Saying fond farewells to Bill and Sue, who caught the local ferry to a place called 'Pontoon' before catching a bus to Cork


and to Nigel and Sally the next day as they sailed back to the UK in a fairly lively north westerly. 


Dizzy Di were able to spend a few more days with us, so we sailed down into Bantry Bay town to stock up, before heading across to Glengariff harbour,

where we have spent the last 3 days.  This is a most impressive place, which has a lovely natural harbour and is a haven for the numerous seals we've seen. 

The bay is full of mussel farms, which we subsequently found out that the majority of these crops are shipped to the Paris markets!

There are also some fabulous subtropical gardens on Illnacullen (Garnish Island), which we managed to land our dinghies on.

Again the locals were extremely friendly and I was amazed that one lady even shut her shop to take Keith in her husband's taxi to Bantry to find an ATM.


Nimue and Dizzy Di in Bantry Bay harbour

Dodging the mussel farms as we arrived in Glengariff.


Landing on Garnish Island

The Italian Garden on Garnish Island

Farewell to Dizzy Di as they head back to Lawrence Cove to be lifted out


Despite the rain, Ireland is breathtaking and we are both really enjoying relaxing here. 

Not too sure when we're heading off to Spain as we're looking at moving further round the this space.