"Ireland Alone" 12-17 July 08

Thu 17 Jul 2008 11:38

The end of the Royal Southern Rally and the departure of our friends, was also the end of our 'holiday' and we needed to settle into a more ‘normal’ routine. This started with another chill out day in Glengariff before heading back to Bantry harbour to victual up again and start getting to grips with our Satellite phone and SSB e-mailing system.  We are currently updating the blog from wi-fi links!

The evening we arrived in Bantry harbour a very strange occurrence happened, which made Michael jump!! As he was sitting in the cockpit he saw a wake in the water moving towards Nimue, which looked possibly like a bird, but as it was dark and with the bright lights in Bantry harbour, he couldn’t make out what it was.  The wake seemed to pass between the dinghy and Nimue’s stern, but all of a sudden there was a splash and a climbing noise up the stern ladder.  Michael turned to look and to his surprise, he saw a sea otter.  They exchanged surprised looks and otter shot back into the water!!


Nimue moored in the bay directly facing Bantry House.  I read that the gardens were worth a look, so we took the time to see them ourselves.



Nimue moored outside Bantry House.


Bantry bay is approx. 20 miles long, so we decided to sail the 10nm up to harbour Adrigole harbour, which is still one of the few natural harbours in Southwest Irealand and is engulfed by mountains, very impressive.  As we didn’t leave until the afternoon, we thought that we had probably left it too late to pick up one of the 7 visitor moorings.  Luckily this didn’t materialise and in fact we managed to pick up one of the last 6 remaining buoys….and realised we were not in the Solent!!!

Arriving in Adrigole Harbour ( with cloud cover over mountain!)


Good example of mussels being cropped in Adrigole Harbour


As always, there’s a story to tell about the Irish humour.  When we picked up the mooring buoy, we noticed there was a £5- charge… and wondered why this was not in euros.  This anomaly became clear the next day, when we asked at the local craft shop about payment and were given the usual Irish answer “Oh payment for the moorings is at the post office, which by the way shut over 5 years ago…..they’ll take your money at the pub, but no-one knows where the money goes, so I shouldn’t bother”.


Adrigole's famous Arts and Craft (and coffee) shop.


With a weather window for Spain not appearing, we decided to head north to Valentia Island.  This was a 45 nm or so sail and rounding Dursey Head we passed between The Calf, The Bull and The Cow rock formations.  As you can from the picture below, these are very accurate descriptions.  The Force 6 didn’t materialise so we shook the reefs out, although we did encounter the big Atlantic swell once round Dursey Head.  Interesting entrance into Valentia harbour and we picked up a buoy in a virtually empty harbour.


Rounding Dursey Head


Bull Rock.  The Bull (elephant) has legs, tail and trunk and a calf tagging along.


Arriving in Valentia past Fort (Cromwell) Point Lighthouse

More about our time in Valentia later