Ireland Ho!

Position: 53 05.9 N 009 39.9 W
At anchor Killeany Bay, Inishmore, Aran Islands
Wind: West, strong to gale force
Weather: Sunny with some cloud. Sea: rough on a high swell (until now)
Day's Run: 165 miles

The best noise in all the world is the rattle of the anchor chain when one
comes into harbour at last and lets it go over the bows. Hilaire Belloc, On
Sailing the Sea

We did it, we have arrived Galway Bay, Ireland! We are now snugly at anchor in a nice little bay in the island group which guards the entrance to the much larger Galway Bay. We have had strong winds all day but have been running before them so conditions have actually been surprisingly pleasant. There has been a big swell running outside all day, Sylph managed it all quite well, and I was well satidfied with her performance in the streong winds. Some of the swells were quite impressive, I haven't experienced any like them since our Indian Ocean crossing. Made for a slightly more dramatic arrival in Ireland than collecting one's luggage at an airport baggage carousel. It was only really when we had to harden up on the wind to come to anchor that the wind strength was really noticeable. We haven't cleared in yet, we need to go to Galway Harbour for that, which is at the head of the bay. We would not have gotten there until 10 tonight, and there is a dock you have to enter, which is only open an hour or so before high water and then is closed at high water. I have spoken with the local volunteer coast guard who have informed Customs of our arrival and intentions so hopefully we won't encounter any bureaucratic nonsense when we complete formalities tomorrow.

High water Galway Harbour tomorrow is at 1.48 pm, it is about a five hour sail from here to there so that means we need to get underway tomorrow by about 7 am. We have made it in time to join in the aryland Avenue's Irish Festival on Saturday.

Some statistics for our passage: we have sailed 3,087 miles to cover an actual distance of a bit over 2,200 (ice and headwinds!) from Halifax to Galway Bay. It has taken 24 days which makes for an average daily run of 128 miles and average speed of 5.4 knots, not too bad all things considered.

A curry is simmering on the stove top, once that is devoured, I will try to finish the Odyssey (Homer's that is, my personal odyssey will take a little longer yet), then tonight we will attempt an all night in, not very likely I suspect, and hopefully be up bright eyed and busy tailed for our short hop up the Bay.

All is well.

Bob Cat:

We have stopped moving, what is going on now? I am very suspicious. So are we there yet, wherever there might be? Makes little difference to me.
Zzzzzzz.