While it is not getting warmer yet, it will be soon.
We had left Crosshaven at 8:00 in the morning under blue skies and a westerly breeze. Motoring against the current down the channel, the sails were quickly set and the new crew settled into its routine.
An Irish customs vessel paid us a last visit and validated our information before the beautiful cliffs of Southern Ireland disappeared behind the horizon.
Sailing conditions were perfect, a 15-20kn westerly breeze, blue skies and 6-8foot seas made for an enjoyable ride.
The crew caught up on lots of sleep, enjoyed a visit by dolphins and a very nice seafood meal, cooked by Marc. The boys are slowly getting used to the motion of the boat.
So far, the weather forecast and routing have turned out to be very accurate (we continue to use iPolar, Weather4D Pro and iNavX in combination with Iridium GO). We are hoping for another 15 hrs of westerly wind before we transition into a new system with northeasterly wind (after motoring for half a day)
It is nice to be out on the blue ocean again and follow a different rhythm (and not having to worry about rocks, markers, etc)
We had struggled to refill our gas tanks last year and continued to do so in Ireland. Howth had nothing to offer and we were hoping that Cork would work out better. As the first attempt by the Yacht club staff failed, we came up with a more elaborate plan, rented a car and had Marc and Max drive for about 1 hour to the Calor Gas filling station. At the end of the day they were not able or allowed to fill the tanks either.
We ended up buying the Irish tank and after a while were able to connect it to the boat’s system ( thank god for all the redundancies we built into the system). So we have light (or a working stove) again and are ready to move on.
Numerous other items were fixed, tanks filled and food purchased. An inspection of the mast was successfully completed and burgees were exchanged. Our fourth crew member, Alex, arrived in the afternoon .
The weather window was reconfirmed and another nice meal was ordered at the Anchor (again). We are ready to go and are planning to leave for A Coruna tomorrow morning.
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.