OCC Port Officer Welcome
Yesterday, Alex and I put on our Ocean Cruising Club Port Officer hats to welcome two OCC members visiting our home town Westport by land. Duncan and Ria Briggs, circumnavigators, have sold their boat which they lived on for 12 years and bought a cottage in England. While waiting for their planning permission to come through for modifications to the tiny cottage by the sea they snapped up, they decided to tour Ireland. We don't get many OCC visitors to our neck of the seas, only 6 to date counting the Briggs - 4 by sea.
They took the ferry to Rosslare then drove from Wexford along the southern coast and up the Wild Atlantic Way to Westport. From here they were turning right to cross the country to Dublin and back to Rosslare. They were mightily impressed by our little corner of the world. They thought it was stunningly beautiful and wondered where all the boats are. We told them there aren't that many. You can go for days cruising without seeing another boat. But you won't see a marina either, so self-sufficiency is paramount which is daunting to many. Not to circumnavigators.
And as many British friends ask, they wanted to know about the sentiment towards the British. We explained that there are many British living in Ireland and many Germans, too. In recent years, the negative sentiments have dissipated and everyone has been welcomed because that is the nature of the people.
We shared a lovely and delicious lunch in the outdoor garden at the Quay Cottage in brilliant sunshine, answered as many questions as we could, gave suggestions for places to visit, and told them about the lore of the land, including St. Patrick and the Holy Mountain and the Pirate Queen Granuaile. We soon said farewell to our new friends. I have no doubt we will see them again.