Day 20 – Dun Laoghaire to Kilmore Quay (85nm 0545 AET)|
Day 21 – Kilmore Quay to Kinsale
Started the return voyage back to the Shannon Thurs 3rd August. Left Dun Laoghaire at 17:45, had a glorious evening and 85nm night passage arriving in Kilmore Quay, Wexford at 23:30. Wind with tide so very pleasant conditions F3-4 easing after dark. Photos below of wonderful western sky off Wexford coast, a real shepard’s delight after the soul searching sun set. Kilmore Quay was quite busy with cruising yachts from all over, including a wonderful heritage motor cruiser all the way from Aberdeen with a German couple aboard but flying the red duster! A classic Dutch steel ocean cruiser.
Last Evening before the voyage home looking south towards Wicklow
We left Dun Laoghaire at 1745 just as the racing fleets were also tearing out. Getting out of DL harbour on a Thursday evening race night can be challenging. These raggies take no prisoners. There seem to be local colregs in force especially if you’re in a motor boat, even though they are all motoring under sail too! It seems to work though. I had an ISA/RYA examiner on board – better get it right! Just passing the inner break water, my phone rang, my beloved had left her car keys on board so I returned dutifully and with good grace to the jetty to give them to her – just what you need at the start of a Yachtmaster exam. Smiles all round.
East Cardinal flashing after Sunset off Wexford coast. What an evening and night it would be.
Western Sky at night descends on my Yachtmaster exam. Shortly after this the examiner pulled the plug on the electronics and said “continue navigation”. I had been working the charts and log anyway. 3hrs later he switched everything back on. I popped a sheppard’s pie in the microwave and fed him to keep him busy for a while, he had 2nds and 3rds. I was hoping he’d nod off for a nap, but none of it, he grilled, and grilled on everything including lights, colregs, sound signals, what ifs, how, why, fix after fix after fix, radar, hbc, gps, ships. I think he was impressed with my pilotage in the dark over St Patricks ridge north of the Saltee Islands, and the track following the leading lights into Kilmore along the narrow channel with uncovering rocks close by on either side. The harbour and marina was packed with boats from everywhere including France, UK, Scandinavia, USA, Cork and east coast.
Day 21 – Friday 4th August – Kilmore Quay to Kinsale
Beautiful traditional cruiser from Aberdeen in Scotland with a German couple on board. Now this is what I call a real boat, with a beginning, middle and an end. This is the type of boat I would like to settle down with, when we get older and get fed up of the shiny sterile grp
tupperware we have become so fond of. A proper little ship with great cruising range.
Passing the entrance to Cork harbour. They are still recovering from Cork Week I suspect.
Charles Fort marks the entrance to Kinsale harbour once more. This famous old Napoleonic fort is right opposite James Fort on the other side of the river, so they could give the Frencies a right pounding if they tried to break in. It was actually the Spanish who sacked the place in 1601.
Locals tell a story that Charles Fort remains haunted to this day. Tragic Bride of Charles Fort, a tragic figure in white, doomed forever to glide silently through the place where she found brief love terminated by shattering tragedy. The girl's father was Commander of the Fort. She was married to a dashing young officer. One night walking the ramparts with her love she spotted a beautiful rose below the castle walls. A sentry, on duty close beside them, overheard the girl expressing a wish for the rose and immediately volunteered to climb down and get it for her, if her husband would stand in as sentry for him while he was doing so. The bridegroom agreed to this and took the man's musket. The sentry clambered over the wall and disappeared. Standing at the sentry-post, with his bride beside him, the young husband awaited the man's return, while his bride looked forward eagerly to soon having the coveted rose placed in her hands. Time passed, but the sentry did not return. Presently, assuming the man had met with some unforeseen delay in securing the rose, the bridegroom sent the bride indoors to their quarters, deciding to wait a while longer himself at the sentry-post. Leaning on the sentry's musket, the young husband, after a while, dozed off, and a short time later when the girl's father, as Commander of the Fort, came on his tour of inspection, he found him asleep. Without realising that the nodding man was not the sentry, but his own son-in-law, and in dutiful execution of the severe military code of the day, he shot the sleeping man. A moment too late the commander saw that it was not the sentry he had killed, but the young officer whom his daughter had married only that very day. Demented by his discovery, the commander threw himself off the ramparts. Some time later, the bride, who had emerged from her quarters in search of her husband, found his body on the ramparts and, a little while later, that of her father on the rocks beneath the walls. Idyllic happiness had turned to stark tragedy. The grief-stricken bride, too, jumped to her death. And on the grey ramparts of Kinsale's historic Charles Fort, her graceful wraith still walks, they say, a pathetic ghost in a grim place of tragedy.
Kinsale - Super Yacht Battered Bull from Florida complete with full crew in uniform to take the grandchildren ashore to see the native culture. Massive garage transom ramp for all the gizmos including 2 launches, speed boat, assorted ribs, etc, all totally hidden. The owners are serious dive enthusiasts and she is one of the few super yachts to have her own decompression chamber.
Kinsale YC Marina looking out towards the harbour. Kinsale is without doubt one of the nicest places we have ever visited by boat. The scenery, the harbour, marina and town are just wonderful. Plenty of cafes, restaurants casual and fine, art and nick knack shops, galleries, and off course live music and pubs. This little town is buzzin.
Froggie in Kinsale – 28 deg C. Went exploring in the RIB, anchored it and had a lovely swim off the sandy beech near James Fort.
On the way back to the YC marina, we noticed a 26ft yacht just returning to its finger berth, female crew at helm, male skipper (hubby presume) at the bow ready to step off with a line. Both wearing gas jackets. Skipper stepped off too soon, straight over board but managed to grab a rail as he went over, immersed up to his waist. He clung on for life and limb, but rather like a bow fender, while the boat glided still in gear towards the jetty, about to crush him. I scrambled to get off our rib to assist and shouted at him to let go and at her to put the boat out of gear. Instead she put it into reverse, he wouldn’t let go cause he didn’t seem to want to waste a gas cylinder, but there was no way he could climb back or even be pulled aboard. The yacht then slowly backed out of the finger in a semi-circle and was about to crash transom 1st into the bow of another boat a few berths down, he still stubbornly hanging on. I asked her to turn the engine off, and throw us a line, but this time she put it back in forward gear, the yacht now heading forward again about to crush the poor man against the boat opposite. Two young sailors off the classic yacht below, ran to the rescue, one jumped aboard across three boats as she started to drifted away again towards the other jetty. He grabbed hold of the skipper still hanging over the bow, while the other young man dived athletically into the water and swam towards the transom of the little yacht. But he didn’t see what I could see through the clear blue water, the turning prop. I roared at him, “Propeller, Propeller in gear” just as he gapped the transom, his legs just going under, oh no I couldn’t believe it, I was expecting the worst, red cloud in the water, but thank God he heard at the last instant and pulled his legs back. He managed to climb aboard and stop the engine. The skipper was still dangling in the water clinging on, but the two young men could not pull him on board, and finally convinced him to let go. He did, the PFD inflated and they pulled him out at the jetty. All that just to save a gas cylinder, what price compared to a mans leg!
A 1915 royal yacht visiting Kinsale. She is the most magnificent vessel I have ever seen in my life. No modern fittings, no modern winches or deck fittings, everything 100% original specification. Beauty if you can call a machine beautiful. This is the boat the young rescuers sprang from (see above para)
View from cockpit of a 411 we chartered for an afternoon's sailing off Kinsale. As you can see it was blue sky and a staggering 28 degrees that day
We had to tack out against a stiff breeze
Junior Helmsman takes us back into Kinsale
Multitasking – Charles fort in background
Battered Bull heads out to sea
Jelly Fish – Optical illusion – is that woman about to be stung!
Kinsale – A favourite Haven – farewell till next year. The coast line between here and Dingle is awe inspiring.
Kilmore to Kinsale 81nm
PS: I passed the exam