51:29.17N 09:22.59W Baltimore Harbour - Sun and a Gale

Rob Packham
Fri 4 Jul 2008 13:08
We are in Baltimore Harbour on a buoy and well sheltered from the easterly gale now starting to blow through. Navtex is saying severe gale Force 9 expected soon so we are glad we made the passage from Valentia yesterday - 65nm along the most spectacular coast we have ever sailed. Passage inside Great Skellig, the Bull, the Cow and Calf and around Mizen Head! We had sunshine all day and had a few Guiness last evening looking out over the harbour and setting sun - a real summer evening and one of those magical sailing moments after a good passage.
Ruffian had decided to sail on to Kinsale today before crossing the Celtic Sea to Lands End only to get back to the boat last night and find the gale warning - they are still here.
Apart from the scenery yesterday the other excitement was being "pulled" by two Customs boats well out at sea - a Customs cutter and its RIB. They came in from both sides at speed and the RIB came alongside to ask if we had been checked by Customs since arriving in Irish waters. We had already been checked in Finit Marina so the left somewhat disappointed. Never been checked by Customs before so twice in a week is impressive.
Baltimore is a great place - we spent 2 weeks here in 1996 sailing our Drascombe Lugger around the 100 islands. Some exploring to do later - we plan to stay here for a few days - but now the heating is on, its blowing 30kts and our books are good.
Rob and Jen