Sunday, October 23, 2016

Delivery of Aleria from Clew Bay to Killybegs: Day 2

It was a lovely morning and we were soon underway, thinking we might stop in to Inishmurray if the forecast for a calm day proved true. At this point, it was not. Once again we were soaring up the North Mayo coast in a SE. Then we realized it was almost 70 miles to Killybegs. That's a long day. We'd have to go straight there.

We passed inside the Stags on a perfect course heading for Teelin doing more than 9 knots with the current; we couldn't make Killybegs on our current heading as the wind had backed to ESE and we were hard on the wind, trimming sails to the shifts as if in a dinghy. The chop was surprisingly uncomfortable out there. It was going to be a long trip bashing into the waves  on a beat all day.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Delivery of Aleria from Clew Bay to Killybegs - Day 1

We had a fine weather window that coincided with the astronomically high spring tide. If we left with the tide on Tuesday afternoon, we could sail to the Inishkeas or Black Sod Bay the next morning, spend the night there, then continue on to Killybegs Thursday and haul out on Friday. Unusually, there was a high centered over Scandinavia just above us that was extending all the way down to us. We were to have light southeasterlies and clear skies after strong easterly winds on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a succession of lows plunged across below to Spain and a slow moving hurricane Matthew was plaguing the US East coast.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Digital fix or digital detox

Connected below deck during a gale

On our voyage to Spain this summer, one of the things I was really looking forward to was disconnecting from the digital world for a period of time. There are two places where one can still disconnect: under the sea and in the middle of it. We'd be out of range of mobile signal, and therefore internet access, for days at a time since we sold our SAT phone. When crossing the Bay of Biscay, we could be unplugged for 4 days.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fear of Hurricanes

Hurricane Matthew is barreling toward Florida having taken more than 100 lives in Haiti and grown back to a category 4 behemoth. Florida and coastal Georgia and the Carolinas are being evacuated. The Bahamas are being pummeled and the eye was due to pass over Nassau. Don't know if it did.

Notes for the Cool Route and Failte Ireland

Visitor moorings in Clifden
By Daria and Alex Blackwell
Pontoon at Clifden Boat Club makes access easy

This summer, we spent a month sailing Ireland’s beautiful southwest coast. We encountered many foreign vessels, more than we’ve ever seen before, mostly from Britain and France.

The first questions a cruiser asks when arriving in a new destination are:

  1. Are there visitor moorings and are they secure and easy to pick up?
  2. Is the anchorage sufficiently protected from wind and seas and does it offer good holding?  What type of bottom composition does it have?
  3. Where is the access to shore? Is it a pontoon, a pier, or a beach?
  4. How can I dispose of garbage and recycling?
  5. Are there showers and toilets ashore?
  6. How far are the closest restaurants and pubs?
  7. Can I get water and fuel?
  8. Is there a shop for reprovisioning?
  9. Are there laundry facilities?
  10. What's the best thing to do here?