From Fastnet Rock to Kinsale

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.

New friends, new bonds and a few too many Jameson’s and the crew determined that we may have been safer at sea!

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Where is Yahoodi?

As most people lose interest when watching hundreds photos of someone else’s trip, here is a very quick slideshow to get an idea of what this year’s trip looked like.
A teaser to our upcoming video night at the Dory Club…

Cowes

Cowes is an old English word for Castles. There used to be two castles, one in East-Cowes and one on our side West-Cowes, or Cowes  (the one in Cowes now houses the “Squadron” – the Royal Yacht Squadron). In addition to a lot of historically relevant places, this beautiful town is a sailor’s dream come true. Lot’s and lot’s of boats, marina’s, yacht clubs, chandleries, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants etc; and all very close together.

You can tell that the locals are very proud (and knowledgeable) of their history. The girls met Paul, the Counselor of Cowes, and he shared his wisdom with us over a couple of days. Paul also invited us to his club, the Island Sailing Club, after sending us to the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for their weekly Tuesday dinner the night before. Of course, we exchanged burgees with both clubs. The Island Sailinbg Club is rumored to have the largest burgee collection in the world with about 3500 burgees…. it is also the host of the Around the Island regatta which has thousands of boats on the line every year.

One of the highlights of our stay in Cowes was the visit by Peggy, Sebastian, Lawrence and Simon. They came over by ferry for an afternoon and it was really nice to catch up with them again. They’ll hopefully meet us next year at the Caledonian Canal again.
At the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club we also met Joy and her friends from Birmingham. Amazing to hear all her stories about the history and famous people of Cowes.

One of the highlights that is easily missed is the Sir Max Aitken museum. It is located in a former sail loft and exhibits very interesting artifacts, such as the gaff of Britannia, the crib of Napoleon’s baby, parts of Nelson’s boat etc – one large room; with a huge amount of history.

As with any of the previous places where we rented bikes, it was truly worth the effort as we saw a lot of the Isle of Wight (which is a lot larger and hillier than we expected) and also got a decent exercise.

Now that Bjoern arrived, the fuel is topped up and the food loaded, it is time to say good bye and make our way to Germany.

Simon Thomas Peggy Sebastian Philip Corinna Ellen Island Sailing Club - Cowes Royal Yacht Squadron

Solent

We left Lymington around noon with the expected low breeze and also against the tide. The goal was to be in the middle of the Solent after the Fastnet Race fleet left Cowes.
It was quite impressive to see about 400 boats (incl boats like Comanche or Rambler) sailing down the Solent towards us.

We motor-sailed against about 3kn of current around the fleet, enjoyed the show, sunshine and good food before we turned south into Cowes. Our marina, Cowes Yacht Haven, had a slip for us and we are now tied up here for a couple of days.

This is where Candace is leaving us and Bjoern and Alex will join us. We are also looking forward to seeing Lawrence & Peggy and Simon & Allison again.
Internet speed is fantastic (Wifi and LTE mobile) the facilities outstanding and High Street about 1 min away.

Fastnet Race   Solent