After Corinna and Philip made it to Oban where the new crew, Cathy, Dan, Ellen and Linda, came on board, the quite creative epoxy job on the diesel return line finally put an end to our engine problems. From Tobermory on we had quite nice weather and enjoyed the amazing landscapes of Western-Scotland. Highlights of this roughly 550nm long leg, include Loch Moidart (with the old castle ruin at the end of a tricky to navigate body of water), Loch Scavaig (impressive views at the southern shore of the Isle of Skye) and the Crinan Canal (where the locks are operated manually by the crew), as well as many beautiful towns, distilleries, breweries, Irish pubs etc.
All this combined with numerous overnight sails and weather changes when we needed them made this a very memorable trip.
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What a day!
We had a nice finish to our overnight sale with a beautiful sunrise, mild breeze and pushing current. A guest slip at the Royal Cork Yacht Club was easy to find (although we struggled a little with the current in the harbor – just like in Cowes last year). Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world and extremely welcoming to visiting sailors.
We had power, free Wifi, showers, restrooms, cheap washer/dryer, a fuel dock close by etc.
This time, the call to a sailmaker was answered right away. We took the genoa off, dropped it in the pick-up box and received it repaired just a few hours later.
A call to the recommended battery experts was quickly returned by Andrew O’Connell. Andrew was not only extremely friendly and knowledgeable, he also had the batteries we needed and the time to deliver and install them in the afternoon! This was a big win, as we were lead to believe that these batteries would not be sold in Ireland during our stay in Howth. Andrew even brought his wife along as we had contemplated getting a ride with him to the airport (where he lives) to get a rental car. Super service. We can highly recommend O’Connell Brothers (Cork) Limited.
We thought we hit the jackpot when the team of the RCYC offered to take our LPG tank and refill it – but that turned out to be too much luck for one day (they were not able to get this done with the local supplier). We will drive to Whitegate tomorrow and try the local Calor Gas company next.
Anyways – given our struggles in the Dublin area this was a welcome change in fortunes.
As we reached the end of the Scotland to Ireland leg, we unfortunately had to say good-bye to the girls (Corinna, Linda, Ellen and Cathy) but were able to welcome Marc (who had just finished his motorcycle trip around Ireland and also got the rental car for the trip to Calor Gas tomorrow).
The shopping list for the long sail to Spain was completed over a very nice meal at the local pub: Anchor Bar and Restaurant- a place we can highly recommend.
We set out from Howth Marina with gusty wind and a passing squall. Getting out of the slip created a challenge as Tioga does not respond well to quick, agile movements while in reverse. No worries! The captain rigged a line on the aft pier after sending over the line with a fender to Tioga. Max, our new crew mate, was quickly engaged in an expert maneuver to get us off the dock as he managed the stern line from the aft pier and pulled us safely backward while the captain managed reverse in a controlled manner. As we swung around to get underway, Max released the line and jumped back on the boat with grace and finesse — we all cheered as this maneuver was flawlessly executed and there was no embarrassing Hafenkino. Now why cant someone be looking on when we exercise such precision at the dock?
The sail past the Dublin Bay was met with much wind and choppy waves where the crew got ready for the overnight sail to beat the ebb tide at Carnsore Pt. We experienced 5-8 ft swells as we navigated separation zones reserved for large ships and tankers. As some tried to settle down below to sleep in preparation for their shift, Linda, Max and the Captain got more than a wee bit wet in the cockpit. Once past the Bay, the Irish Sea settled and we landed at our midway point by 8:15am.
After a nice brunch of eggs, bacon and breakfast sausages, we set out for Cork at 2:30pm. Our Westerly sail toward Cork was spectacular. We had good wind and then no wind, but successfully navigated the emerald Celtic Sea and landed in Crosshaven in Cork Harbour at 7am — right on schedule as we have Houdini aboard who has mastered the winds, tides, and currents. During the overnight sail, we experienced warm winds and shooting stars, including one that burst in explosion. Throughout our journey here, the Emerald Isle greeted us in all passages with the warmest of welcomes!
Today, the girls bid Ireland goodbye (with a Mimosa toast, of course) as they venture off to Germany, Duxbury, and Nahant, and Captain and Max ready Tioga for the next crew. The genoa needs a mend for the continued coastal sail to Kinsale, and then the longer voyage to Spain. Slainte!
We are moving on.
While the gale is losing its strength, we are getting ready for the sail to Cork. From Monday afternoon, NW wind is forecast. We are positioning us over night and throughout Monday to be ready to turn the corner (Tuskar Rock) when that happens.
this meant that Dan had to leave us in Howth already today (he would have otherwise missed his flight back home on Tuesday). We already miss him dearly.
On the flipside, Max already joined us today as he was in Ireland already on his way to meeting us in Cork.
Linda, Ellen and Philip took advantage of the waiting time and walked the Howth Cliff walk, a very nice (and surprisingly busy) along the shore of the peninsula. Cathy prepared another great meal.
The clouds are clearing up and we are starting to work out a plan to get Tioga backed out of her slip into the hauling winds and turn her around…
After all the failed attempts to fix something yesterday, Dan and Philip were hoping to turn things around and buy the needed pipe connectors to fix the leaking hot water line.
However, even that trip to the chandlery did not achieve its goal.
While Philip went to Dublin to get his sightseeing fix, Dan and Corinna used the available spare parts and did indeed fix the problem.
We all meet in Dublin for dinner and a decent pub crawl through the Temple Bar district.
Fantastic atmosphere with endless options to listen to live music, sample drinks, dance and even have a cocktail in what we called a speak-easy, ie a bar without any outside signs that we came across by accident.
Dublin is truly worth a visit.
After a very nice day in the sun with perfect broad reaching conditions, the wind slowly calmed down and we ended up having to motor the rest of the night to Howth.
Howth is one of the northern suburbs of Dublin and home to the Howth Yacht Club.
Howth Yacht Club is a very active club and famous for being the home of the world’s oldest one-design racing keelboat class, the Howth Seventeen Footer.
We found a berth by 7am and were welcomed by the yacht club’s receptionist. Facilities very good and internet fast.
Philip and Dan tried to refill the by now empty LPG tank (of the two we carry) but without success. Getting hold of one of the three local sailmakers to strengthen one of the genoa’s lashings or to find appropriate replacement batteries for our housebank (they are not holding the charge very long anymore) also turned out fruitless.
none of the items very critical and we moved on.
The girls took the 30 min train to Dublin (where they met our Norwegian friends yet again – showing how small of a world we live in) while Dan and Philip took care of business work.
In the evening (after watching some of the Seventeen Footer races) we met with the Vice Commodore and exchanged burgees.
A nice meal in a local restaurant rounded off the day.