Cork to Kinsail

Summer 2022
John Andrews
Fri 8 Jun 2012 10:21

Cork to Kinsail

Chris and Fernande joined us at midday, and after a quick lunch we set sail for Kinsail. The rain had stopped but there was virtually no wind, so we had another motor in store. Somewhat to our surprise, the wind picked up once we were outside the harbour and ended up as a force 4 on the nose. The sea was horribly confused and we were glad to get into Kinsail, tying up on a pontoon in the marina just after 6.00 p.m.

The marina was very full, we had taken the last vacant slot. We were all down below, when we were alarmed to see through the saloon windows a bow sprit at least three metres long pointing straight at us. It turned out to belong to the Cornish Pilot Cutter called Freya that we had seen moored up in Pendinnis Marina and she was coming alongside. She is newly built, to a traditional design, gaff rigged with topsail, and is beautiful, but looks like a handful to sail. The owners are a Swedish couple called Anders and Marion and this was Freya’s maiden voyage. Anders was slightly offended when John, looking at the tiller, asked if there was a self-steering module hidden down below. Absolutely not; the boat had to be hand steered at the back of the boat, away from what shelter was afforded by the shallow cockpit. Very admirable, but I'm glad we have more modern arrangements.

Kinsail is a very pretty little town. John and I remembered it from our tour through the area last year as being packed full of tourists, but nevertheless retaining its charm. This evening it was strangely quiet, and we struggled to recognise it as being the same place. After supper on board, we went out in search of more music. The guide book listed several pubs that played ‘traditional music nightly’. We went into one, a great barn of a place, almost devoid of punters, what few there were in sitting silently in pairs listening to two grey haired rockers going through their rather stale repertoire of 60’s folk songs. We decided to give it a miss and wandered off to find something more inspiring. Our wanderings eventually brought us to Dalton’s Pub which had promising sounding sounds emanating from within. We found the bar packed full of – Americans – busy snapping and videoing a small group of musicians who judging by their appearance were genuine locals, playing away in a corner of the bar. They had been joined by two Americans who hijacked the proceedings to give a rendition of ‘Summertime’. Good, but not exactly authentic. Once they had been eased out, we were treated to music of a more local variety, including a couple of ballads sung by a quavery voiced soprano. The highlight however, was when a local ‘big man’ was persuaded to sing a song about Ireland’s current economic woes. Very witty and sung with aplomb.

The next day Fernande and I went on a provisioning expedition and found the Kinsale that I remembered. We found lots of shops with local produce and crafts and the town was buzzing with life. The farmers market which the guide book said was held on Tuesdays, turned out to be open on Wednesdays so we had a happy half hour choosing local delicacies for our onward journey.