Friday, September 30, 2016

The incredible shrinking Inishoo

Glassy calm seas
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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Back to Bofin

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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Clifden, in the heart of Connemara

The pontoon at CBC

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.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Inishmore, again

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.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Smerwick, County Kerry

Sailboat just ahead heading for Blasket Sound

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.

Finding the cut through Blasket Sound
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.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ventry, Dingle Peninsula

Inishvickilane and Inishnabro in the Blasket Islands

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.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Portmagee visit by bicycle

Knightstown from the pontoons
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.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Knightstown, Valentia Island, in the Kingdom of Kerry

Another beautiful day of sailing - leaving the Costa del Cork!

The Bull, the Cow, the Calf,
and the Heifer off Dursey Head
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.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back to Lawrence Cove, Bere Island

Sod roofed shed 
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.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A day in seclusion

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.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back to Glandore

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.