We arrived in Ireland under the cover of darkness, having made a decision to settle in for a few hours in a small harbor so that we could sail around Fastnet rock during the morning light. Sailing down the Irish coast in the middle of a moonless night was quite surreal. Dolphins joined us to guide Tioga in and glowed in the sting phosphorescence. We arrived in Crookhaven harbor and grabbed a mooring at 2:30 am to got some needed sleep.
In the morning we could see how beautiful this little harbor was. Gorgeous green fields turned quickly to cliffs that dropped dramatically to the Atlantic. We circled Fastnet Rock and headed to the marina of the Kinsale Yacht Club.
Fastnet Rock is often called Irelands Teardrop. As the Irish emigrants of the famines of 1840 and 1879 departed the Auld Sod they knew they could never come home. Never again to see their parents, brothers, sisters and friends. Fastnet was the last bit of Ireland they would see on the outbound ships. One such tearful Irishman was Jeremiah McMackin in 1870s.
Between Fastnet Rock and our evening in Kinsale, this was by far the most memorable day of the trip.
We sailed under Gennaker with a slowly building breeze along the very impressive coastline, saw whales, dolphins, seals und a humongous turtle.
We truly had an amazing Irish experience, having made new friends in the pub and singing with them for several hours…alternating between Irish songs and American songs.