Showing posts with the label Mayo Sailing Club

Collaboration with WindGuru

Our little sailing club in the west of Ireland has to deal with lots of weather. After all, everything that gets cooked up over in the states, crosses the Atlantic and picks up more punch along the way to dump it over here. So last year, when our anemometer was blown away in a storm, literally, we decided to partner with WindGuru to create a weather station that would deliver a community service as well. The result was a new weather station at Mayo Sailing Club with weather cam that now provides a feed to WindGuru for more accurate results on Clew Bay.

Hot summer days on Clare Island

The Met Eireann office released its climate report for May which was confirmed to be the dryest, sunniest month in years. People were flocking to the Blue Flag beaches and coastal islands in droves. Compared with last year, the year that summer never arrived, we've had our fill of summer already with little brown bodies tanned for the first time in the absence of the need for wetsuits. Long may it last.

We sailed out in beautiful weather though not much wind. In fact it was glass calm. So we motored most of the way to Clare Island, our destination for the June Bank Holiday weekend.

Mayo Sailing Club Gets Out There

To Clare Island and into the Wild Atlantic Waters

The race action around Clare Island on the Sunday of the June bank holiday weekend had all the intrigue of a world class sailing race. Wind out of the SE holding steady at 20 knots at the start but gusting over 40 knots on the North side of the island. Fog, mist, rain.  An MOB (man overboard) successfully recovered in textbook style within about 3 minutes attesting to the fine seamanship of the skipper and crew. Gear failure. Seasickness. The makings of many stories.  Two boats retired.  Six over the finish line with the faces of experience on board. Awards won by sailors sporting broad smiles knowing they had lived up to the challenges.  Characters from every walk of life, both young and old, had set their sails against one another for the prestige of winning the Kay O’Grady Memorial Trophy.

A weekend on Inishturk

The island of the wild boar
Mayo Sailing Club near Westport in County Mayo Ireland is fortunate to have access to several remarkable islands off the coast within a day's sail out of Clew Bay. There is Clare Island guarding the entrance to Clew Bay, Inishturk just to the South and the uninhabited Inishkeas just to the North. Every bank holiday in the summer, the Club organizes cruises in company to the islands or to Killary Harbour, also within easy reach. This time, for the May Bank Holiday, we were off to Inishturk. Inishturk is inhabited by a small year round population. It is not a touristy island but rather a place where real people live. That makes it truly special.

Joining a sailing club -- what's in it for me?

What a lovely time we had meeting up with now old friends from the Irish Cruising Club (ICC) in Oranmore near Galway just before Christmas.  Not only was it a nice venue for lunch, we are beginning to actually know some of the people. And one of our favourite members, Jarlath Cunnane, of Northabout fame, sat next to me at lunch and traveled home with us on the return trip.  Kay and Fergus Quinlan were at our table too so we felt right at home catching up with everyone.
It's an interesting thing when you join a social club. The first year, you are feeling things out: the people, the politics, the etiquette, and the expectations. The second year, you begin to recognize people's faces and sometimes even their names. By the third year, you're a regular, contributing to the newsletter and annual, joining in on events, getting together with members informally, and so on.  At least that's how it has gone for us.