In Schull. No sailing today. Taking the day in Schull to let a gale blow by, take showers (first in 3 days), and generally relax.
Yesterday, departed from Castletownshend at 10 AM. Arrived in Baltimore at 2 PM. Departed Baltimore at 4 PM. Arrived in Schull at 7:30 PM. Conditions: mostly sunny all day, with a perfect W to SW breeze, 8-15 knots. In total we only covered about 12 miles, althouth since we were going up-wind we must of covered 20.
Woke up in Castletownshend; glorious day, here is the morning view from the boat
Had a nice healthy breakfast; I then spent 45 minutes in the inflatable scrubbing below the waterline - I noticed some green threads dangling under water... the entire hull, or at least what I could see of it was covered in a thick slime of green threads, measuring about 1 inch in length. Managed to clean all the areas I could see from the surface, and even managed to scrub the top and sides of the rudder. I probably won't notice the difference when at the helm, but psychologically, very important! (Having written that I found the helm a little more responsive yesterday, come to think of it...)
Decided to head for Baltimore; had a hard time starting the engines, as the previous night I managed to drain the batteries while charing my laptop.... finally started, and have now decided only to recharge when the engine is running. Arrived in Baltimore after a very pleasant sail; I'd heard much of the beauty of Baltimore, and to be fair, the entire bay is quite spendid.
Here is a picture of the cliffs at the entrance of Baltimore Harbour
Anchored in 2 meters of water off the pier, and paddled ashore. Both B and I immediately noticed the plethora of restaurants (expensive, but yummy looking), and the amount of french people there. The best known french sailing school, "Les Glénans", has a branch here, which might be part of the reason. Didn't find the town to be that interesting otherwise, so decided to plough ahead after lunch.
Sailed accross Long Island bay, passing Sherkin Island, Clear Island, the Calf islands, and finally Long Island, just before arriving in Schull. A little down the bay from Long Island was Coney Island... Would be fascinating to see if the link I imagine is possible...
As we passed Clear Island, caught a glimpse of one of the most famous Irish lighthouses... Fastnet Rock.Tomorrow, if weather permits, we are going to go around it, then start heading back east.
Fastnet Rock in the distance
The scenery is incredible - the coast is one of the roughest I've seen, every rock jagged - yet anything larger than a couple of soccer fields seems to have a hedge around it, and some form of grazing taking place. Leaving Baltimore it was a heard of cows, but usually found it to be sheep.
Here is a shot of some cows, resting on the cliff top, clearly thinking they are mountain goats...
Arrived at 7:30, after having heard the sea area forecast: SW to S 6 or 7, occasionally 8.... that's a gale. Didn't sleep very well last night, as the howling wind and the wavy Schull bay managed to keep us up part of the night. After hearing the forecast it might of been wise to leave for another harbour, as S winds are the only ones that are tricky at Schull, but I bet it would not get that bad, and paid for it with sleep; part of my decision was based on the fact that we managed to pick up a mooring, so I didn't have to worry about our anchor loosing it's grip.
This morning, everything was gray and wet, but this evening the sky is blue, a good wind is blowing, and the scenery is gorgeous. In a few hours we are paddling ashore to listen to some Irish music, have a yummy dinner, and continue our Guiness testing...
Here is a shot taken a few hours ago; the town in the forefront is Schull, the mountain in the back, whose peak is in the clouds, is Mount Gabriel.