Summer has finally arrived for Alan, who couldn’t believe it was Ireland without any rain! It’s now falling by the bucketload.. But we did have an exciting sail yesterday from Crosshaven, with southwesterly winds gusting up to 27 knots, and a top speed of 9.4 knots recorded under the genoa alone. We even got pooped twice.
We’re currently safely alongside a pontoon in the heart of Waterford waiting for the gales to abate.
Today we visited the Waterford Crystal factory. Watching the process from blowing the glass to cutting and engraving the final product was fascinating. After the tour, we even indulged in a spot of retail therapy on site – goods to be shipped home independently of us!
There have been some cries by some of our readers for more practical news like – how on earth do we consume all those provisions we buy. No, it’s not all cake and biscuits and we have to say that we eat extraordinarily well! Generally breakfasts are fruit juice, cereal and at sea bacon butties, with fruit and filter coffee. Lunches have been Cornish pasties or baps or sandwiches, and evenings on board are barbeques, stews, chilli con carne or some other exotic concoction. Mike has been awarded the Golden Trough Award for his outstanding culinary contribution. On the passage from the Isles of Scilly to Kinsale, he prepared the most delicious stew with dumplings. Today we are on passage from Crosshaven to Waterford (about 10 hours’ sailing), and despite roly-poly conditions he produced a fantastic homemade pizza even making the base from scratch!
Elaine acts as sommelier, and delves into the boat’s secretly located ‘wine cellar’ for a suitable bottle. Bob produces the on board BBQs and breakfasts, so generally cooking duties are shared evenly.
Occasionally we do eat out and most recently had a splendid meal in Crosshaven. Hoping to enjoy a seafood meal at Cronin’s, we found it was not serving food on a Sunday evening, so at the suggestion of a local resident, we settled for The New Inn instead and had superb food there. The highlight (for Elaine) was crab’s claws served in a hot garlic sauce with lava bread – yummee. Bob’s steak was perfect. The chips were freshly fried too. Mike and Alan both enjoyed their meals, especially as we washed it all down with a couple of bottles of red wine. Guinness and Murphy’s (for Bob and Alan) figure on either the pre or post dinner drinks menu!
The moorings so far have been interesting, as one of the biggest potential costs was mooring fees. Having finally left behind us the costs of South Coast marinas, and the Hamble River, we’ve only used marinas overnight at Torquay and Kinsale. Otherwise we’ve either anchored or picked up mooring buoys in quiet backwaters and generally there’s no charge for them.
What we’ve saved on this budget, we’ve spent on fuel! With the northerly air flow that’s dominated over the last two weeks, the winds have generally been very light so we’ve been either motor sailing, or motoring. We took on more fuel in Crosshaven. Diesel there is equivalent to 93p per litre which compares to 79p per litre in the Hamble – ouch! So the Hamble does have a few advantages.
From Castlehaven (see last blog instalment) we made our way west to Baltimore, which we last visited in 1996 on Overlord trips. Nearly all these harbours have changed a lot, with generally much more housing, and the occasional new pontoon. We then headed back to Kinsale, stopping for lunch at Glandore, another spectacular harbour, with a number of grand houses.
Kinsale marina was most welcoming, with excellent organisation and good facilities. Thank you Paul, Ronny and Gareth. The town however has changed dramatically. Gone are the restaurants and traditional Irish pubs we remember, to be replaced by clubs and discos. We did have a good meal out though.
We motored the following day up the River Lee to Cork city, taking in the many Georgian residences both renovated and dilapidated plus the strategically placed ruined Cromwellian fortifications en route.
But getting in to Cork itself was a bridge too far (or too low) and not really inviting enough to moor up. Instead we headed down river again to Crosshaven, under sail for some of the way. On our way back we couldn’t believe seeing two horses swimming across the river towing two Irishmen …….(an unlikely story but true – see photo!)
And so to Waterford. We’re waiting for that favourable weather window to move on to Dublin.