Sunday, August 14, 2016

Castle Haven... a look back to the Plantation era.



Lot's Wife, Baltimore entrance

Kids having fun in Baltimore Harbour
The morning after the gale was silent, flat flat calm, and sunny. Yea! Let's dry out and head over to Baltimore. We sailed in past kids having fun below Lot's Wife, the distinctive tower on the approach to Baltimore. We nosed in and realized there wasn't enough depth for us inside -- only 8 feet abd we draw 8.5. Where we'd have to anchor we'd be exposed. So we had a choice: Sherkin Island or on to Castletownsend. We chose the latter as we hadn't been there before.

We motored, then motor sailed the short distance to Castle Haven and anchored in the outer harbour. It was a bit exposed but would do us well for the forecast for the night which was benign. No sooner had we anchored that small sailboats started appearing and sailing out. More and more emerged and we learned that soon we'd be in the middle of a regatta. Oh well. They'd all have to take us into account. We got into our dinghy and headed ashore.




Sherkin Island

The inner harbour was full of moored vessels. We tied up near three gentlemen who were contemplating the installation of a new outboard on a pretty wooden rowing boat. They were still doing so when we returned, but had made good progress.

Sailing into Castle Haven
The town, named for Townsend, an officer in Cromwell's service to whom the land was granted under the plantation scheme, is one street that climbs straight up a steep hill from the harbour. At the first intersection is the original invention of a roundabout with two trees in the middle and a side street coming off to one side. That goes down to the Rowing Club and a second pier. The preserved old architecture is worth studying.

The Castle on the harbour has tea and tapas on the lawn overlooking the harbour. There is a small restaurant up the street. A shop is relatively well stocked. We didn't go to the church, but they have concerts on Thursdays in the summer and friends told us it was well worth a visit for a glimpse into the plantation days. The big house on the bend which is usually open for tours was closed for much of July and August, oh well.

There was a fire hydrant with tap like in Crookhaven on the dock and we tried to fill our water tank but it didn't work. A woman told us that we could find a hose on top of the pier. The fishermen needed water on the pier and the council wouldn't allow two taps so they had to disconnect one. We thanked her and filled up. Once again there was no place to dispose of garbage and recycling. A shame.

We took a dinghy ride way up the river per the recommendation of the ICC pilot guide. It was surprisingly full of boats moored in the deeper part, with a few looking like they'd been abandoned long ago. The lovely tower castle overlooking this area was picturesque and the outcropping was chock full of people camping.

Farther up river, the boats and moorings stopped and nature took over, suggesting that the forested land was still in private estate ownership. We came across a deep hole that would serve well as a hurricane hole if needed. We got back to the boat just as the racers were finishing up.

In the evening, we amused ourselves with the gulls vying for a few scraps of stale bread. "Mine, mine, mine." We had a lovely visit and overnight stay, but we'd be moving on in the morning to find shelter before the next gale.


Regatta in Castle Haven

The waterfront 

Castles and churches

Teahouse

The mainstreet

The restaurant

The Customs House and the tree on the left is reputed
to be in the first known roundabout in Ireland.
Lovely gate


The Church of Ireland

Lovely building

Full harbour

Boats tied to shore at the rowing club

Water tap on the quay

Fitting a new engine

The castle keep upriver

Abandoned boats

Some very sad

Pastoral landscape, lots of moorings

Campground


Upriver wooded beauty

The castle

Looking toward the main anchorage

Traditional boat race

The first gull

Mine, mine, mine.

Mares tails...

Stately homes

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