Video – Ireland to Portugal

A video summary of our roughly 950nm tour this summer from Cork, Ireland, to Lisbon, Portugal.
We meant to spend a little more time cruising the southern Irish coast and ideally round Fastnet Rock before heading south. However, the weather convinced us to leave right away to take advantage of the northerly winds (and to avoid the upcoming strong southerlies).
While the water remained cold all the way to Lisbon, it was clear that we were moving south as day after day we were wearing less and less layers.
While La Coruna does not look that pretty from the water, we were quickly convinced we found a hidden jewel when walking down the old town alleys with endless rows of restaurants, bars and an amazing atmosphere until late. That in combination with outstanding food and endless opportunities to visit historic sites made for a good start into the Iberian part of our tour.
Santiago de Compostella did not disappoint at all; neither did Lisbon – fantastic destinations on their own.
What surprised us was the natural beauty of the Islas Cies (a must stop for any visitor in Galicia!) as well as the atmosphere of Porto. We wish we had been able to spend more time in either location.
On the downside, the water was much colder than expected and we therefore sailed in a fair bit of fog (we never saw the Portuguese coast north of Lisbon…).

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Video – Scotland to Ireland

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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A royal day in Crosshaven

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.

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