The Best Port in the World

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 19 Jun 2009 14:09
Position: 53 16.2 N 009 03.1 W

Alongside Galway Harbour, Ireland
Wind: Calm
Weather: Overcast Sea: very smo0th, no swell
Day's Run: 25 miles

Galway Harbour, ""the best port in the world", or so Customs Officer Keith told me, mainly because the town centre is two streets back from the dock.

After a good nights sleep, the ship's company was roused at 6.30 for breakfast then set to the windlass to weigh anchor. Thirty meters had to be brought in with a fresh breeze still blowing, it takes 80 push pulls to bring in 10 meters, so we had a very good work out by 7.30 when we were aweigh which many people would have paid a gymnasium good money for. We sailed the short 28 miles from Kelleany Bay to Galway Harbour under jib alone and arrived at the dock entrance at 12.20. The dock is closed to keep the water in except for an hour either side of high water, we were fifteen minutes early so had a short wait before we could get in. The small port is crowded with boats - yachts, fishing and charter boats and apparently a tanker squeezes in here somehow, must be the world's smallest tanker.

I was cleaning up when I heard a shout came from the wharf, it was Keith the Customs Officer. What a pleasant change, one smiling man dressed in jeans and a polo shirt instead of overweight glowering trio bristling with side arms, radios and Kevlar bullet proof vests, my first encounter with Canada's officialdom. And Keith had the courtesy of showing me his badge and picture ID, I think that actually is a first for me. I am impressed so far, the coast guard service has been excellent and the customs officer courteous and efficient, and I haven't even been off the boat yet. Let us hope this is a good indication of things to come.

And oh how nice to be in a part of the world once more where the red buoys are on the left and the green buoys are on the right, you don't need a silly mnemonic like "red right return" because it's simply obvious.

Now my first mission is to find out whether the rumours about Irish Guinness are true.

Bob Cat:

I have to say this is a rather interesting place I find myself living in these days. This strange apparition appears, looks a bit like skipper Bob, but obviously is not skipper Bob, one of the species I guess, I haven't seen any other creature apart from skipper Bob for, let's see, it must be , umm, I actually don't know. I went out into the cockpit after this other Bob like thing had left and there is no water gurgling and hissing at me, noises and smells, they recall memories from long, long ago, I can't quite place them . what a racket, I think I will go back below and have a rest, too much excitement. Zzzzz.

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