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.

The marina buildings
We tacked once past Mizzen Head but couldn't make Bull Head. We estimated it would be 8 pm or later before we arrived in Sneem in the Kenmare River, so once again we opted for Plan B. In this case, plan B was to duck into Bere Island. By now it was really blowing, at least 20 knots steady and gusting much higher, and we needed to be sure we would have shelter as the wind direction clocked around. The outer anchorage in Lawrence Cove was our best bet, just.

We had planned to go in via Castletownbere, but the wind was honking too much outside, and it was too choppy to drop the sails. Aleria was doing her freight train imitation so sailing in through the cut with potential traffic coming out was not ideal. So we sailed around the outside of Bere Island, the scenic route. We sailed past a tanker and a freighter, then past the wreck, when we spotted one of the Irish Naval vessels doing maneuvers. They were practicing deployment and recovery of their RIB. As soon as they were done, they anchored directly across from Lawrence Cove. We'd be in good company this evening.

We anchored between the moorings and the marked channel, the perfect spot. The outer anchorage is a bit exposed to the north and east but today we should be fine. The channel is now buoyed but the ferries cut inside the green. There are two visitor's moorings. There were sailboats heading in and out and a car ferry going to and fro. It piqued our interest enough to go exploring on the island.

Lawrence Cove Marina is lovely. Some big boats were tied up in there very snugly. They had the nicest tiled showers and toilets with pine doors. Very clean. Best of all, the showers were coin operated with a €2 coin -- no need for tokens. Hurray!!!  It is very sheltered and the craft shop also sells wines! They have water, electricity and diesel on the pontoons and a launderette. Sweet little place. There is also a means for recycling and rubbish collection at a price.

The walk into Rerrin town was a bit longer than anticipated but still only about 10 minutes. The town has a post office, a shop, a pub, and a restaurant. Murphy's is the old style Post Office and shop with cafe attached. Very sweet. A few doors down is Sullivan's Pub and everyone comes through there at some point in time. Guinness, Murphy's and Bud on tap. NAMA type abandoned property across the street. Shame.

The car ferries come right into the village and it is clearly a holiday destination. Lots of cars with British and Dublin plates. There are bicycle paths and a looped walking trail. A festival takes place the first week of August.

A nice pint in glorious sunshine on picnic tables outside the front door had people stopping by to chat. Pretty soon, it was time to head back out. Dinner aboard and a good book while the winds howled around us. No worries, the Ultra was holding fast.

Visitor's moorings

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