Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ring of Dingle by Sea

No chance to anchor in the Blaskets today. 

We rounded the Dingle peninsula or the "Ring of Dingle" from Tralee to Dingle in dense fog and mist. There was little wind and it was on the nose to begin with and the seas were much bigger and more confused than the amount of wind would suggest. We have to come back and see the Blasket Islands proper like another time. This day we could barely make them out in the fog as they kept appearing and disappearing mysteriously.

Just as we were on the approach to Dingle, the skies opened up and we were thoroughly drenched. It was so dark, it was almost like nighttime at 6 pm. A fishing boat came out as we were heading in so we were able to spot the entrance easily. We were concerned about the winding dredged channel, but it was well marked and plenty deep (~25 feet the entire way). The harbour itself had plenty of space for maneuvering, far more than most. We made reservations at the marina in Dingle, and marina manager Peter was there to handle our lines when we pulled in. Really nice guy. We were on the hammerhead end of the middle pier and the spot was perfect for us.

Entering Dingle Harbour. So much room!

Another ICC boat occupied the first hammerhead. Beautiful explorer. The owners were winners of the Faulkner Cup for their expedition to the Antarctic. They weren't aboard, only their crew. We went off in search of dinner and quickly learned that there are many restaurants and most specialize in local seafood and mussels are the regional favourite. We got in to Danno's even though the sign in the alluring alley said they were fully booked. Nice dinner of fish and chips. Curious decorations in a rather eclectic family place. It was cosy. Most places stop serving at 9 pm.

Dingle marina
In the morning, we took our laundry to the dry cleaners and launderette at the Texaco station on the roundabout leading out of town. They got it done within the day but it cost €16! That's alotta change. But there are no laundry facilities at the marina any more nor is there a chandlery. Now there is a cafe, a sailing school, and an office selling Fungie tours. Fortunately, the marina does have a garbage skip and handles recycling. It's behind a locked gate which has to be opened from the office.

The marina was seriously upgraded three years ago. It has really nice floating docks and finger piers made in Ireland and made of grippy rubbery substance with little squares. It even has ladders placed strategically. €2 per metre per day was the fee for the marina which is quite reasonable. There is power by top up card and water on the docks. Fuel is by truck.
Showers at the Dingle marina

The toilets are accessed by key fob which comes with the slip.  Showers cost extra and you need a token from the office to activate them. They are activated immediately upon  putting the token into the machine (which is not near the showers). The showers have a timed on switch. It turns off automatically so you have to keep depressing it. There was enough water on one token but it was not very satisfying. If I wasn't writing about it, I'd have taken a shower on our boat. It's better.

Fungie is the resident dolphin that's been delighting tourists for about 20 years in Dingle. There are many tour boats that go out just outside the harbour and drive in circles until he shows up. Everyone wonders what will happen when he doesn't show up any more. There is an aquarium directly across the street from the marina. Maybe they are training a replacement.

The town was jamming and there was a big funeral at the church on the hill. There are many shops and restaurants in town to keep visitors busy. There are two bakeries, a very good Supervalu supermarket in easy walking distance, a green grocer with fresh fruit and veg down the street from the Supervalu, and several places to have breakfast along the waterfront. Overall it's a very hospitable destination.

Alex with Harvey Kenny

We called the OCC Port Officer for Dingle, Harvey Kenny, and arranged to meet him for drinks. He arrived bearing a bottle of wine which he brought back from his vineyard trip through the south of France. Very drinkable. Then he took us to an authentic pub in Dingle. It has snugs and no TV!

Aleria on the hammer head
Harvey is a retired judge who happened to serve in our area (Westport, Castlebar, Ballina). He regaled us with stories of court cases from the old days, some of which Alex knew about.  He also made us squeal with laughter at some of the Mayo News stories that appeared about him and his cases. He has had a good life. What a delightful man.

We invited Harvey to join us for dinner and ended up at the hotel as this was bank holiday weekend and everything was solidly booked. We actually had a lovely meal there. Harvey's wife missed out as she is minding their daughter's house  while she is away on holiday. Harvey told us about the cottage he has in Dingle and the big house in Cork. The cottage is his love. Lucky man.

We planned to depart from Dingle and to head straight for Spain as the weather forecast indicated about 5 days of favourable winds, first from the west, then veering northwest. If we were lucky, we'd make it across the Bay of Biscay in 3 to 4 days. If we weren't lucky the wind would die out and we'd have to motor the remaining distance. Either way, we were game to set off due south in the morning.


Very nice marina

Reputedly a good restaurant OOTB

Fungie booking everywhere

Charm everywhere

Charming town with lots of amenities

Donkey cart coming into town
The Wild Atlantic Way

On watch

Main street in Dingle

Fungi  honored in town

Donkey cart found his place

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