a travel log
From France to Scotland by sea.

Saturday, August 31, 2002

Moored at a pontoon in Lawrence's Cove on Bear (or Beara) Island, just south of Castletownbere.

Departed Scull at 10:15, arrived in Crookhaven at 1:30 PM. Departed Crookhaven at 3 PM. Arrived in Lawrence's Cove at nightfall, about 9 PM. Distance: about 25 miles. Conditions: N-NW winds, 10-20 knots. Blue sky. Moderate seas, with some big atlantic swell around Mizzen Head.

Today was a glorious day. Left Schull under a slight breeze in the company of Ascard II, a splendid old rigger full of young irish cadets. Sailed down Long Island sound in it's company, sometimes overtaking it, sometimes falling behind. Fell seriously behind when the wind dropped to nothing and it engaged it's motor...

About to overtake Ascard, with virtually no wind.

Here she is, all sails up.

This morning, and last night, we had talked a little about the fact we were about to head back; decided it felt a little premature, as we really had not rounded the SW corner of Ireland. Decided to head for Crookhaven, listen to the weather forecast, and decide then. Well the forecast is good (contrary winds but no gales), so decided to keep moving; we stopped in Crookhaven for lunch, picked up a buoy right next to the old rigger; Had a yummy tomato + feta cheese salad for lunch, then both had a little nap.

Crookhaven is literally a crook in the coast, perfectly protected, and really quite lovely

Crookhaven lighthouse, as one arrives in the bay.

The view as we ate lunch, with Ascar moored not too far

At 3 PM, with B still sleeping, I set sail to head North. After about 1/2 hour, the waves started, and B came on deck. We then had a good 3-4 hours of sailing into the wind, beating up against a good 18 knots, and slowly climbing and descending a long atlantic swell; the distance from peak to peak must of been a good 80 meters, with a few waves easily topping 4 meters. This may sound worrying, but I have to say it was quite satisfying for me - this type of wave, although quite awe inspiring, isn't threatening to our boat (unless of course they start breaking... which they weren't).

At about 6 we cleared Mizzen Head; then Three Castle Head, crossed Dunmanus Bay, passed Sheep's Head, and sailed up Bantry Bay to take the East passage around Bear Island, and finally arrive in Lawrence's Cove. As we arrived, we were caught up by the cadets and their great ship Ascard. (Saw many of them at the pub a few minutes ago!)

The sail up Bantry Bay was simply incredible - one could barely see the end of the bay, and each side is lined with mountains - 340 meters high to the South, some 680 meters to the North. Probably the most beautiful setting I've ever sailed in.

Here is a shot taken through the sails, with Hungry Hill in the back (682 meters)
11:28:57 PM    
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© Copyright 2003 Thomas Degremont.

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