Sunday, September 8, 2013

Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 1 August 2013: Clew Bay, Ireland

Moytura doing launch duty between Aleria and home

There and back again – there's no place like home!

Low clouds in front of Croagh Patrick
Once again, we marvelled at the beauty of Clew Bay as we prepared to bring Aleria back to her mooring. Every time we have left, we have REALLY felt good about coming home. This time was even more poignant. The west coast of Ireland has no match.

The house was immaculate. It hadn't been that clean since it was built. Our friend Siobhan who was house and kitty sitting for us did an amazing thing. We were afraid to touch anything as our fingerprints would be telltale!

I started what would end up as 10 loads of laundry over two days. Then it was time to reprovision the house, as we were rather short on fresh produce. I drove into Westport and did Lidl and Tesco, while scores of tourists mobbed the town, falling off sidewalks while gawking at the sweet place we call home. It felt odd once again to be driving 100 km/hour instead of 5 knots/hour.  

Aleria back home
Meanwhile, Alex prepared his first loaf of no-knead bread - the recipe which Paul from Nokomis had shared. He even initiated a sour dough starter for future experimentation. His first loaf turned out perfect. This is going to be fun, but not really great for weight control.

It rained on and off all day, really heavily at times, feeling quite tropical. We brought Aleria from Inishturkbeg to her mooring on the rising tide around 1430 and offloaded everything by 1600.  Of course, it poured all the way in.  Oh well, she got a much needed fresh water rinse, as did we. At one point, it stopped pouring and we could make out Croagh Patrick, the Holy Mountain that flanks the south shore of the Bay. Fortunately, all the stuff we were bringing ashore wouldn't get completely drenched. 

We had been asked for dinner at Quay Cottage Restaurant on the Quay in Westport at 6 pm and were due at Westport House to see an outdoor performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 pm. All in a day’s living in the west of Ireland.

View of Clew Bay and the anchorage at ITB from our land

Offloading more stuff from Aleria on her mooring
Alex's post-Scotland breadmaking
John Dory special at Quay Cottage

Hake with wild mushroom risotto at Quay Cottage. 
The anchorage at Ross

PS  The dinner was really good –John Dory special. What a treat! The outdoor performance was moved indoors due to a threat of severe weather and we couldn't see or hear anything so we went home. Pity! The evening proved sunny and lovely despite the threats. Oh well, it can’t all be perfect. But it is home.

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