Home to Clew Bay
|Sailing past Clare Island and into Clew Bay|
The last leg of our journey would take us the remaining 35 NM or so to our home inlet in Clew Bay. The question was, since we may not be coming back to Bofin for a while, should we spend an extra day and walk the island. It's been a few years and it is so beautiful. (By the way, there is now mobile and 4G signal in the harbour. No need to climb the hill any more!) But in short order, we consulted with WingGuru and noted 15 knots SW on this day and 15 knots NW the next. Better to go with the flow.
Our mooring wasn't ready as our BIL wasn't able to raise the riser, but he said the mooring nearby was suitable. We knew there wasn't enough water, but Alex thought he could raise the chain with Aleria's windlass. High tide was at about 1430, and we needed at least half tide to get over the shellfish bed on approach to our inlet. But the wind proved fickle and we had no interest in motoring as the day was just too perfect. Sun, breeze, blue sky, kind seas - the works. It was the perfect day to return home to Clew Bay. It's always like that here! No rush, we could always drop anchor in the lee of the islands of the inner Bay.
Croagh Patrick was as imposing as ever, and the next day was Reek Sunday when thousands of pilgrims scale the mountain and attend Mass at the top. It's extraordinary. Many walk barefoot. Young people run up and down. It's mayhem. We stay away from Westport on that weekend. But out here in the Bay, serenity reigns.
Several sailboats were out two motor sailing into the wind presumably to get out to one of the islands. Two others were just cross-crossing the Bay on day sails. One other boat was floating gently trolling for mackerel. I looked at Alex and I said, "I never want to leave here again." Then I broke down in tears, as I am doing now just thinking about it.
Isn't it wonderful to love where you live? I hated Philadelphia when I was growing up. I tolerated New York City. I cocooned in New Jersey just biding time. But here, in Clew Bay in the west of Ireland, I am home. I really don't ever want to leave. Welcome home, they have said on Facebook! And I do feel very welcome.
|Motoring out of Bofin Harbour past Cromwell's Fort|
|The rebuilt lighthouse|
|Lighthouse and fort|
|Sailing past Inishbofin|
|The hills of Connemara|
|The Twelve Bens|
|Harbour on Inishturk|
|Clare Island with Mweelaun and Caher in front|
|The entrance to Killary Harbour|
|Caher Island with Inishturk in the distance|
|A sailboat coming out of Killary|
|Croagh Patrick in the distance|
|Sailing into Clew Bay, Nephin range in the background|
|Clare Island behind us|
|Croagh Patrick ahead|
|Very tiny sailboat in front of the Holy Mountain|
|Sailboat by Inishoo|
|Squalls over Nephin and Newport|
|Inishoo, smaller every year|
|I have photos from previous years as a record|
|New marker, a buoy instead of a stick|
|Inishoo - hardly recognizable|
|Drascombe Lugger sailing among the islands|
|Two sailboats meet|
|New mussel farm|
|The house on ITB|
|The deepwater anchorage at ITB|
|The new dock|
|The old pier|