|Vessel Make/Model:||Beneteau Oceanis 411|
|Crew:||John and Barbara Sumner|
We had a very peaceful quite night at anchor in Salcombe after 37 hours at sea. As the tide wouldn't be favourable round Start Point till mid-morning, we had a much needed leisurely start to the day, and left at 10.30am. It was warm and overcast, and virtually no wind, so another day of motoring. We were very grateful for Tonic's reliable engine! We arrived in Brixham at 2.30pm. 23.5 miles in 4 hours. What an adventure we've had! There isn't a lot that any of us can be glad about so far as Covid-19 is concerned, but I'm sure that if it weren't for the fact that we weren't able to go abroad this year, we wouldn't have ventured North, and we're very glad we did. We've seen some beautiful places and enjoyed many wonders of nature, both in terms of scenery and wildlife - dolphins, porpoises, whales, puffins, razorbills, seals, otters, deer, highland ponies ... the list goes on. Very grateful to God for keeping us safe and well and for the opportunity to enjoy so much of His creation and meet so many lovely people. The photo is of sunny Salcombe. And thank you so much for reading this blog, if you've got this far you get a gold star! And thank you to those who have left comments, it's always lovely to get feedback. We've been away for 10 weeks and have covered 1,845 miles!
We did our usual watches overnight, 3 hours on, 3 hours off, with me taking the first watch at 9pm. As we had the engine on the boat was reasonably warm, so apart from the discomfort of the noise the night passed uneventfully. There was quite a lot of shipping and fishing boats around. We watched the sun come up over Lands End and decided to plug on to Salcombe. The South coast of England is always a welcome sight and a feeling of home-coming after 10 weeks away! Salcombe was very busy when we arrived at 7.30pm and was a cheering sight in the evening sunshine. We were very glad to drop the anchor by the Salt Stone. The photo is of Longships Lighthouse. 252 miles in 37 hours.
We decided to head home today as there is some bad weather coming in on Thursday. We left Arklow at 0620 in light north westerly winds, which unfortunately was not enough for us to be able to sail, so we motor-sailed virtually the whole way with the wind behind us. There was rather more swell than we would have liked, but the sun came out later on and it was pleasant enough. We had several good sightings of dolphins which always brightens up the day. The photo is of Tonic (bows on) in Arklow marina.
We left Dun Laoghaire at 7am – it was overcast and quite cold. There was a little wind to start with but it soon died and we motored most of the way to Arklow. We got a good view of the Wicklow Mountains, particularly the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain, Wicklow’s highest point at 503m (see photo). We arrived at Arklow just after 12.30 and having phoned ahead were able to go straight into our berth. The harbourmaster came to meet us and very kindly said he would take our fuel cans and fill them up for at the filling station. After lunch we got our bikes out and explored around a bit, and went to look at the other marina on the south side of the river. It was quite busy with a lot of traffic. We stopped to get an ice cream and ended up getting soaked in an unexpected downpour! The tiny marina was very busy with lots of boats coming and going. 36 miles 5 ½ hours.
Sadly we had to return to Dublin today so we didn't have time to explore the delights of Limerick. We've certainly loved Ireland and have been bowled over by how friendly and kind the people are, and how beautiful the country is. On our return to Dun Laoghaire we decided we couldn't leave Ireland without having drunk a glass of Guinness (not my favourite drink though), so after depositing the car we went to the Royal Irish Yacht Club (rather bad timing, there was a downpour so we arrived looking like drowned rats), for a drink which morphed into a bar meal. No photos today so I've chosen the one of the remains of Ryan's Daughter's School House. We watched the film last night - it's available on Amazon, and we enjoyed it very much, particularly all the beautiful scenery! We covered 750 miles in 5 days! Tonic was pleased to see us.
We drove clockwise round the Dingle peninsula had some stunning views in spite of the poor weather. We stopped at Dunquin and walked down to the coast to see Ryan’s Daughter’s School House which is all that remains of the set of the film. There is a large visitor’s centre there but it was being refurbished. We also got some stunning views of the Blasket Islands. We stopped off to admire the Coumenole Beach (see photo) which was very busy. We then went over the Connor Pass (by mistake) and got some beautiful views from the top. We saw a beautiful windmill with white wooden sails at Blennerville. We had booked into the Travel Lodge at Limerick and had a meal at the Shakey Dog next door, which was quite surprisingly good!