Posts

Showing posts from September, 2016

The incredible shrinking Inishoo

Image
It was dead calm in the morning. Any hint of breeze was from the NE and, of course, we were heading NE from Bofin to Clew Bay. We motored the 26 miles  over glassy seas past the Twelve Bens of Connemara and Middle Ground, past Inishturk, Caher and Clare Islands and into Clew Bay.

Back to Bofin

Image
It's a while since we stopped in Inishbofin.  We'd like to have stayed a while but we decided we'd push to get home before the forecast gale on Saturday. It was now more of a delivery than a cruise. So despite the northerly wind, we made for Inishbofin only 1which would make the last day quite reasonable. The wind was supposed to be 10-15 knots, no more, but instead it was 15-20kts and we bashed our way to Bofin under power. It was lovely to enter a nice quiet settled harbour.

Clifden, in the heart of Connemara

Image
We left early in beautiful sunshine again, raised our sails In Killeaney Bay, and jibed along the Galway Bay coast in about 15-18 knots SE, gusting higher. When we jibed again to head northward to clear Slyne Head, the wind settled down and moderated to a nice steady 15 knots. We flew up the coast, Aleria in her element on a beam reach. We were doing better than 8 knots. Glorious. Sunny. Hot. And it wasn't even the Costa del Cork any more.

Inishmore, again

Image
We sailed out of beautiful Smerwick, I should say we shot out like a cork out of a bottle, then the wind fizzled so we started the engine. And that would be the pattern for the entire day. On again, off again, this time with the engine. It was glorious weather otherwise but the consistent 15, gusting 30, that was promised was not to be.

Smerwick, County Kerry

Image
We had a leisurely start and left Ventry motoring in light air. Soon the wind picked up a bit out of the SE and we hoisted sails. We sailed out through Blasket Sound following another sailboat out.

The sail inside Great Blasket Island was beautiful. The anchorage there looked a bit more secure than the one we had just visited but exposed nevertheless. There was a sailboat and a power boat anchored there, presumably overnight. There were people roaming around the deserted village, presumably brought there by the tour boat in the anchorage. There is now a visitor's centre and cafe on the island during tourist season. It appears a few of the cottages have been restored.

Ventry, Dingle Peninsula

Image
We were heading for our friends' favourite anchorage in Ireland in the Blasket Islands. Wedged between Inishvickilane and Inishnabro, the anchorage is tenable only in settled weather. The wind had abated but there was still a considerable swell. We poked our nose in and decided we'd have to be tucked right under the high cliffs to be comfortable at all and if the wind blew up, that's a place we'd not like to be at night.

Portmagee visit by bicycle

Image
So what do you do when a gale is forecast? You assemble your bicycles for a land trip. The morning was relatively nice and there was no gale in evidence, although the forecast was clearly not great. So we got underway soon after breakfast along the coast road to check out Portmagee.

Knightstown, Valentia Island, in the Kingdom of Kerry

Image
Yet another gale was forecast to pass through the following day so we left the Costa del Cork behind and made way to Valentia in the Kingdom of Kerry. We left Bere Island at 09:30 in fairly strong winds. We raised our sails at Castletownbere and sailed out of Bantry Bay. There was a schooner anchored just inside the Bay in the first cove we passed by the night that our self-steering failed.

Back to Lawrence Cove, Bere Island

Image
We left at 9 am with a nice light breeze out of the NW. It was to clock W then SW as the day progressed, F5 for us but higher to the north. Then, midday, a new small craft warning was issued, now with a F6 on all waters.

A day in seclusion

Image
We took our time and had French toast before pulling up anchor. It was glass calm at first, but soon we had about 10 knots out of the NW. The barometer climbed to 1028 as a high settled over us and below an anticyclone tracking to the north. In Mayo, the weather was abysmal but not here on the Costa del Cork.

Back to Glandore

Image
The last time we were in Glandore, a fishing vessel slammed into Aleria amidships. It was not a good visit. Fast forward six years, and we thought we should go back to dispel our fears. We didn't want to tempt fate, but we did think that Glandore was a pretty nice place to visit otherwise.