Showing posts with the label moorings

Notes for the Cool Route and Failte Ireland

By Daria and Alex Blackwell
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:

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

The last sail of the season

Inishbofin to Galway - the best sail of the year! When dawn broke, it was even colder. But the sunrise was glorious, even though 'red sky at morning, sailors warning' usually means bad stuff coming. We pulled anchor at first light and headed out just ahead of Brian. As we set sails, the wind was a steady 15 knots -just out of the NE instead of the forecast NW. It stayed on the beam most of the way. It was a slightly fluky day with the wind dropping down to less than 10 knots then charging up to 20+, but that made it interesting and exhilarating.

Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 29 July 2013, Teelin, on Donegal Bay

Harbour of refuge and the parking lot at the edge of the world
We left Gola early through the South Sound. The wind was to go westerly but it was southerly. And of course we wanted to go south all the way to Mayo.  We sailed southeast past Arranmore where we had stopped on the way up, then had to start motoring.  We were not looking forward to 10 hours of motoring while bashing into the wind.

Our goal was to cross Donegal Bay, a wide expanse of water where one shore is not visible from the other. But first we had to sail down the coast of Donegal.The Atlantic can be mighty unforgiving here. It bounces into tall cliffs and bounces back out to cross itself. And it was just awful out there. Bash bash bash. Bash Bash bash. Hour after hour. After a while it got really tedious.

Aleria's Jaunt to Scotland: 20-21 July 2013, The Treshnish Isles and Tobermory

Nature and human nature  We’ve had this amazing weather – like the Caribbean – hot and hazy and occasionally humid. Light winds. Smooth seas.  Pretty bloody unbelievable.  For two weeks and more to come.  Everyday, the forecast read something close to this:

Meteorological situation: a high of 1030 mb has settled over Europe. 
Forecast for 24 hours. Winds variable E-NE Force 2-3, seas smooth, conditions fair, visibility moderate to good, poor in fog patches, risk of thundery showers, temperature reaching a high of 22-24 degrees C.