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Sailmithril: The voyages.

To Ireland

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Newry

Followed by FOG...

We arrived on Friday August 29 after 17 days at sea. And guess what - the last 2 were completely fog bound. Quite amazing as Ireland only has about 1 day a year of fog on average. I think maybe it’s following me and for the rest of my days I will be haunted by the clang of the bell buoy – figuratively in this case as there are no bell buoys this side of the watter. (I think the bishop of Arbroath saw to the demise of the most famous one on the Inchcape rock – or was it the bishop who installed it and someone else stole it for scrap? Can’t remember now but some poetry aficionado will no doubt tell me.) Anyway, we could smell the land long before it loomed out of the fog - cut grass and cows.
Our passage started very dramatically with a force 11 12 on the third night and an 8-9 on the fifth night. We broke a blade on the wind generator and bent another, which meant it was off balance and until we could get outside to tether it we had noise like a low flying helicopter alongside. In my dreams I thought an airplane had come to check that we were ok!!! And I kept telling Peter to make them go away or they’d damage the mast and we really would need rescued! After these two gales we had fine winds from behind and were goose winged for most of the rest of the time until we were becalmed and the fog settled in then we motored.
We had our first night alongside in Kinsale marina but market forces determined that we moved out to anchor on Saturday. Kinsale is buzzing with tourists and infested with silent but deadly wasps despite the weather. There are a number of visiting yachts, mainly anchored in the river not in the marinas. No wifi at anchor so we have to take the computer ashore and sit in front of the Trident hotel, no going inside these days as we still run a dry ship. Ireland looks very green and prosperous after Newfoundland and Kinsale has a high proportion of sports cars revving around with the tops down in spite of the rather icy air.
It had been our intention to sail slowly around the Irish coast to Newry but the weather was so awful that we had to take advantage of even the smallest weather window and try and go direct. We left Kinsale with an opening of 36 hours which shrank to only 24 and we had to put into Arklow, a small fishing port on the east coast where we were storm bound for 3 days. Another quick dash saw us return to carlingford Lough which we had left 25 months and 33,000 miles earlier. We are presently tied up in Warrenpoint harbour waiting to go up the ship canal to Newry. The weather remains awful 3 gales in 4 days – great conditions for the wind generator but nothing else. We are already in a whirl of looking for a car to buy, as public transport is so expensive and wading through the sea of mobile phone tariffs and packages to see which suits us best. The days when all we had to think about was whether to reef or not already seem far away.

copyright Geraldine Foley 2008. "sailmithril ocean sailing adventures."