Sailing down from Donegal
|A few of the fishing vessels in Killybegs|
We got underway right from the Killybegs Sailing Club mooring, having raised our mainsail and mizzen in the harbour. The wind direction made for a perfect line right out of the harbour close hauled. As we unfurled the yankee and Alex raised the staysail, she soared out the channel.
|Passing Inishmurray, Cashel in view.|
But there was no one there to see us. It was Sunday and there was no one at work. A lone paddle boarder watched us from the pier as we tore past.
It was supposed to have been a relatively calm day and we were planning to stop at Inishmurray, but it was blowing just a bit too much to chance leaving Aleria in the exposed rocky "harbour". The anchorage is essentially within a natural rock breakwater on two sides. The cashel with early Christian ruins and beehive huts is clearly visible from the sea. The restored school house on the end of the island reputedly holds many of the carved stone slabs and crosses that once stood all around the island. It's one of the most important early Christian sites in Ireland and even in the world. But we wouldn't get to see it today.
|Anchored in Brown Bay with view of Benbulben in Sligo|
The wind calmed, the sun came out, and so did the books. It's interesting how much reading we get done while sailing. There are no TV and other distractions. I finished two books in three days. We enjoyed the beautiful hot sun all evening and a lovely sunset.
We had an on again off again sail and then the wind died and the motor came on. When the wind picked up by Inishglora we turned off the engine and let out the sails again. Alex was lamenting that we hadn't seen any wildlife on this trip -- no whales, no dolphins, no basking sharks, no seals, and few birds.
Just inside the Inishkeas, bottlenose dolphins came streaking toward us from inside the Inishkea North harbour. A pod of about 30 cavorting around us, bow riding for a good 20 minutes. And then they were gone. What great fun. They were huge -- about 10 feet in length with a few juveniles tagging along.
|Dophins inside the Inishkeas|
|The Belmullet peninsula|
After a quiet night we awoke to an eerily hazy morning. No wind again. Who would have thought? So we motored out and stuck our noses into Blacksod Bay to check it out. Very nice little fishing harbour with a solid breakwater near the lighthouse. Plenty of room to anchor outside. We'd be back.
|Stunning sunset over the Mullet|
This time we were too early for the tide so we dropped anchor just inside Inishoo, tidied up and read some more. When the tide reached the halfway mark, we mosied our way through the inner islands to our mooring. Aleria was home. And so were we.
|But no green flash|
|Dolphins in Clew Bay!|
|Nothing to do but read.|
|Amazing bottlenose dolphins again!|
|Inishoo and Croagh Patrick|
|Fishing boat going home.|