Tern's Travels

Pacific Seacraft 37

Vessel Name: Tern
Vessel Make/Model: Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37
Hailing Port: Falmouth UK
Crew: Larry & Manice Stabbins
12 May 2022 | The Italian garden at Garinish Island
12 May 2022 | Live fowl for sale in Bantry market- you can buy almost anything!
10 May 2022 | Berehaven
10 May 2022 | Baltimore
10 May 2022 | Kinsale
08 February 2022 | Fishguard to Falmouth
07 February 2022 | Isle of Man
06 February 2022 | Tern at anchor between Erraid, Mull and Iona
27 December 2021 | Small Isles
28 September 2021
17 August 2021
12 August 2021
06 August 2021
06 August 2021
06 August 2021
Recent Blog Posts
12 May 2022 | The Italian garden at Garinish Island

Glengarriff Harbour and Garinish Island (Ilnacullin) 7-12 May

Glengarriff is sheltered enough to be a hurricane hole. It's a must to visit but as strong SW winds were forecast it was a perfect place to be. It was a fine evening and were greeted by the resident seals as we anchored near Garinish Island. The next day was overcast but we spent most of the day on the [...]

12 May 2022 | Live fowl for sale in Bantry market- you can buy almost anything!

Adrigole and Bantry

In settled weather we were abl;e to continue east towards Bantry, stopping in the protected Adrigole harbour which is home to a large population of harbour seals. The potentially peaceful is setting disrupted by the noise from the busy coast road with its traffic from the fishing port of Castleberehaven [...]

10 May 2022 | Berehaven

Mizen Head

From Baltimore to Crookhaven it's only 12nm but it's a great cruising ground with Cape Clear Island to the south and the whole of Roaring Water and Long Island Bays having numerous anchorages. We motored through the winding passage north out of Baltimore and anchored overnight in Croagh Bay, then covered [...]

10 May 2022 | Baltimore

Baltimore and Skibereen

There was a light easterly breeze to take under us west under foresail alone on flat seas to Baltimore the sheltered harbour guarded by Fastnet Rock. It's a fishing port and watersports centre but we were evidently early in the season and there are only a couple of boats on the plentiful moorings.The [...]

10 May 2022

Castlehaven 26-28th April

The next day, Tuesday, saw lighter easterlies and we had a delightful 26 nm downwind sail on the afternoon tide with dolphins galore. Bypassing Glandore we wanted to visit Castlhaven, described as "a perfectly protected harbour" with ruins and replica castles and an interesting history. There's [...]

10 May 2022 | Kinsale

Kinsale/Courtmacsherry Thurs 21st -Sun 24th April.

Kinsale is a delightful harbour- easy access, very sheltered, deep and with a choice of two marinas or anchoring further up river. We chose to go to the ( very friendly) Yacht Club and avail ourselves of the facilities and the luxury of walking into town for sight seeing and provisioning. Apparently [...]

Glengarriff Harbour and Garinish Island (Ilnacullin) 7-12 May

12 May 2022 | The Italian garden at Garinish Island
Manice Stabbins
Glengarriff is sheltered enough to be a hurricane hole. It's a must to visit but as strong SW winds were forecast it was a perfect place to be. It was a fine evening and were greeted by the resident seals as we anchored near Garinish Island. The next day was overcast but we spent most of the day on the island visiting the wonderful gardens established by the Bryce family in the early 20th C. From the anchorage the island looks like an uninhabited woodland but the Bryce family, wealthy industrialists and politicians, had the vision and wherwithall to transform it into a spectacular garden. There was also supposed to be a mansion but this was never built and instead a modest but beautiful home was built to accommodate the family. The great architect and garden designer, Harold Peto, was commissioned to realise the project and fortunately the garden was laid out and gradually nurtured by the Scottish gardener, Murdo MacKenzie, who worked there from the 1920's until he retired in 1971. A tour of the house is included with the ticket and the architectural plans for the mansion are on show in the house. There is a good website with all the fascinating story and photos, I can post just one so I have chosen one of the iconic Italian garden.
The forecast gale went through the next day and it gave us the opportunity to work on this blog! The following day was furtunately pretty fine so we moved across to a visitor's bouy near Glengarriff and spent the day walking in the Woodland Nature Reserve, the first to be established in Ireland. It is a delightful 300ha of ancient woodland, mainly sessile oak but with great plant diversity, very natural, apart from the well-maintained paths which were useful as we have found Ireland to be less endowed with footpaths than we had hoped.There is no shortage of very long "pathways" but they often seem to be along roads, so we enjoyed the peace of the woods.
Glengarriff village itself is evidently a very busy tourist area during the season, with at least a dozen places to eat or drink and several fine shops for woolen goods and other arts and crafts but we were the nly visiting yacht. You could spend much time and energy exploring this Bere peninsula but we are finding getting the combination of weather, wind direction and tides right to move onwards and generally northwards is taking considerable planning. Next day we tried to sail to Dunboy Bay, near the west end of Bantry Bay. In the shelter of Glengarriff anything seems possible and for a while we had a delightful sail but it gradually became all too much and we decided to bail out at Adrigole anchorage. Here I sit, waiting for another weather window.

Adrigole and Bantry

12 May 2022 | Live fowl for sale in Bantry market- you can buy almost anything!
Manice Stabbins
In settled weather we were abl;e to continue east towards Bantry, stopping in the protected Adrigole harbour which is home to a large population of harbour seals. The potentially peaceful is setting disrupted by the noise from the busy coast road with its traffic from the fishing port of Castleberehaven and all places west. The road didn't entice us to cycle and there aren't many footpaths accessible without a car though we had a short walk . The best activity would be kayaking with the seals. We rowed the dinghy instead and the next day had a nice westerly breeze to take us to Bantry in time for the Friday market.
We loved Bantry, with its traditional market day, its mixture of traditional and contemporary shops , pubs businesses and srvices. We met a lady who lives on Whiddy Island, which affords great protection to the harbour, and she affirmed what a great place it is to live. It even has a superb library, a general hospital and large supermarket. We toured the market in the rain, the first rain since Kinsale, but later the sun came out and we could follow the heritage trail and a good walk.
We had our first pub night since arriving in Ireland, visiting the two oldest (and unmodernised) pubs in the town and chatting to locals and some other visting sailors. Fully provisioned,we sailed the 5 nm north to the famous Glengariff Harbour

Mizen Head

10 May 2022 | Berehaven
Manice Stabbins
From Baltimore to Crookhaven it's only 12nm but it's a great cruising ground with Cape Clear Island to the south and the whole of Roaring Water and Long Island Bays having numerous anchorages. We motored through the winding passage north out of Baltimore and anchored overnight in Croagh Bay, then covered the last 6 nm to Crookhaven on 1st May in the rain. There were no boats in Crookhaven and it was wet and windy so we didn't go ashore and upped anchore the next mooring as we had a reasonable forecast to get around Mizen Head. The forecast was for a lightish NEasterly increasing during the day and veering round to keep the wind behind us all the way to Lawrence Cove on Bere Island in Bantry Bay. Perfect! Unfortunately the direction was correct but not the windspeed so we motored all the 24 nm. Mizen Head was pretty spectacular though with dolphins and seabirds galore.
We stayed in the marina at Lawrence Cove so we could easily get the bikes ashore to explore Bere Island. The whole Berehaven area and Bantry Bay has been a strategically important military and trading centre since Viking times and before, and again, the Heritage Centre had an impressive display. We had a great day out on the bikes, exploring the island and visiting the heritage sites, from the Viking harbour at Lonehort in the east to the old gunning stations at the west end and over the hills to the standing stone, Martello towers and megalithic tomb. Indeed, Ireland has excellent tourist support for it's heritage and we are doing our best to make the most of it.

Baltimore and Skibereen

10 May 2022 | Baltimore
Manice Stabbins
There was a light easterly breeze to take under us west under foresail alone on flat seas to Baltimore the sheltered harbour guarded by Fastnet Rock. It's a fishing port and watersports centre but we were evidently early in the season and there are only a couple of boats on the plentiful moorings.The only traffic is the ferries to the outlyng islands. There are only a few businesses in the village and it seems to be mainly residential and holiday accomodation,while the commercial centre is Skibbereen a few miles inland up the Ilen River. We were keen to visit Skibbereen as Larry' geat grandparents came from there emigrating after the Great Famine in the 1850s. The bus journey along the Ilen valley was fascinating, very rural and sparsely populated but passing Oldcourt 4m upriver we saw the two boatyards full of boats on the hards - they obviously launch much later here.
Skibbereen is a traditional market town with over a hundred independent businesses bustling in the spring sunshine and it was lovely to be somewhere with it's own character and no international chains such as Starbucks or McDonalds in sight. The Heritage centre has a harrowing exhibition on the Great Famine enabling us to understand this important chapter in Irish history and Larry's ancestry. There is also a film and exhibition on Loch Hyne, Ireland's first marine nature reserve(1981) which we had thought of visiting. Having seen what an unique ecosystem it is I think all access to such places should be strictly controlled and I was quite happy to have just seen the exhibition.

Castlehaven 26-28th April

10 May 2022
Manoice Stabbins
The next day, Tuesday, saw lighter easterlies and we had a delightful 26 nm downwind sail on the afternoon tide with dolphins galore. Bypassing Glandore we wanted to visit Castlhaven, described as "a perfectly protected harbour" with ruins and replica castles and an interesting history. There's a winding entrance to a good anchorage opposite the quay . While we were there there were no boats on the plentiful moorings or other boats anchored though we could see masts further up the river. It was very pretty and very quiet while we were there though I suspect it gets very busy durng the hoiday period.
Much has been written about it's history from prehistoric to modern times. There was a skirmish connected with the 1601Battle of Kinsale when the Spanish assisted the Irish in an attempt to oust the Englsh and a major assault by Cromwell in 1649, resulting in the canonballs still lodged in the ruins of Raheen Castle on the eastern shore. From then on it became very much an English town because of it's strategic military importance.

Kinsale/Courtmacsherry Thurs 21st -Sun 24th April.

10 May 2022 | Kinsale
Manice Stabbins
Kinsale is a delightful harbour- easy access, very sheltered, deep and with a choice of two marinas or anchoring further up river. We chose to go to the ( very friendly) Yacht Club and avail ourselves of the facilities and the luxury of walking into town for sight seeing and provisioning. Apparently we were only the second foreign yacht this year. We stayed three nights while some strong easterly wind went through but ther is plenty to see and do there.Kinsale is extremely colourful with brighly painted buildings and houses and claims to be the gourmet capital of Ireland with dozens of eating options. We had local oysters and hake from the fish shop, which were superb.
Our heads were reeling with dates and historical facts by the time we had toured the 17th century star fort "Charles Fort" which guards the entrance to the harbour and folowed the Kinsale Historic Town Map Tour. Sadly the Town Museum was losed but it looked iconic. The Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off Old Head by a German U-Boat in 1915 and there is a museum dedicated to this at the Old Head Heritage Centre, which also marks the start of "The Wild Atlantic Way" which we will be travelling as we work our way up the coast on this trip.
From Kinsale we sailed on the afternoon tide to Courtmacsherry, a small harbour 15nm west, rounding Old Head of Kinsale in a light SE breeze which strengthened considerably ( it often seems to!) as we approached the harbour and the shallow and very narrow entrance channel with a very tight turn at low water to get onto the visitors pontoon. As it was very windy the next day we stayed two nights and had a lovely circular walk towards Seven Heads "The Fuschia Walk" through bluebell and ransom woods and rolling countryside.

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