|Vessel Make/Model:||Beneteau Oceanis 411|
|Crew:||John and Barbara Sumner|
The weather is deteriorating later this week so we have decided to leave the boat tomorrow and hire a car for a few days. Therefore we need to get some washing done, however I discovered that the marina laundry is closed temporarily, so I had to do it by hand! At least we have a plentiful supply of hot water and it is hot and sunny so everything will dry well. We also had a problem with our wind instrument which dropped out on the way over yesterday, fortunately on re-booting this morning it worked, which was a great relief. Whilst we were doing our chores the customs officials arrived unannounced to check our passports and ship's documents, again all very amicable and they didn't want to come on board and search the boat. After lunch we caught the train into Dublin. The station is just outside the marina and it's a 25 minute run, €6.25 return each. Dublin is a vibrant place, lots of young people and modern buildings, and the docklands along the banks of the River Liffey have all been redeveloped into modern office blocks. We found a bookshop and bought a map and guide book to help plan our travels over the next few days.
Fortunately the swell calmed down a bit overnight so we had a reasonable night. We set off just after 7am in bright sunshine and light wind, however it soon became overcast . We managed to sail with the cruising chute up for a couple of hours in the middle of the day. Not much to report really, the wind was quite cold. We had a brief visit from dolphins. We arrived at Dun Laoghaire marina at 7pm and found there was plenty of space. The finger pontoons are huge and the marina is very spacious. We would have preferred to go into Howth, just north of Dublin, but were told that due to Covid regs we couldn't go in as it is a private marina. We had to complete a Passenger Locator Form online prior to arrival which we had to show to the harbour authorities on arrival, along with our Covid Vaccination Certificate. We received a warm and friendly welcome, and checking in was very straightforward. The photo is Peel from the sea. The marina office is manned 24/7. 77 miles in 12 hours.
Another hot, sunny day. We went to the Co-op and then to the harbour office to pay as we have decided to leave tomorrow, and will be going out through the lock this evening to tie up on a buoy. The harbourmaster was very generous and only charged us for one night even though we will have been here 2 nights! We also arranged to get diesel, it's a very complicated process as you have to prepay, and get a card with a PIN number, then you have to go out through the lock to the fisherman's quay, fill up with your pre-paid amount, then return to the marina and return the card. We had fish & chips for supper with Peter, and then went out of the marina when the lock opened at 9.20pm and tied up on a buoy. A beautiful evening but there was quite a swell rolling into the bay which rocked the boat and was most uncomfortable! Early night as we set off for Dublin tomorrow. The photo is of Tonic in Peel harbour.
A very hot day! We went to the harbour office to check in and then called in at a couple of hairdressers to see if I could have an appointment to have my hair cut. Neither of them had any availability till next Friday! Then we got the bikes out and went for a ride along the old steam railway line from Peel to Douglas and back. It was very hot but a very good bike track, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The railway line was constructed in 1873 and operated until 1972. It runs through beautiful countryside, and is 11 miles long. The photo is of the former Union Mills station where you can still see the platform and a section of track. We were invited to Peter & Sue's motorhome for dinner. It was a lovely warm evening.
It felt quite luxurious to be in a proper bed, and for me particularly to be able to have a bath! We had a leisurely start to the day, which, however, was overshadowed by the news that our hosts' daughter tested positive for Covid-19 (using one of the test kits we had brought as they are in short supply on the island with numbers rising). However, both Peter and Sue tested negative which was a great relief! We're rather shocked to discover that there is no social distancing being observed on the island, nor are people wearing face-coverings in shops and cafes etc. We felt rather out of place putting our masks on to go into the Co-op, but I'm glad we did! Peter came round to Peel in the boat with us, a 27 mile journey (4 ½ hours), compared to 10 miles (20 minutes) in the car! There was absolutely no wind and the sun was hot. We picked up a buoy in the bay to wait till the bridge opened, and ate our supper. There is an automatic flap gate here which opens for 2 hours either side of high water. We got into the marina at about 8pm and had a choice of berths.
A slightly longer trip today, we're heading for the Isle of Man. Annoyingly, we have to check in through Douglas on the east side of the island, because of Covid-19 regulations, although we actually want to go into Peel marina, which added about 27 miles on to our journey! We had to complete a Vaccination Exemption form online last week and then an online landing card within 48 hours of arrival, which produces a QR code. We had a super sail across the Irish Sea, with the cruising chute, in a gentle (but cold) northerly wind, around 9-12 knots, only having to put the engine on once we had rounded the Calf of Man. We went through some fog in the morning with visibility down to half a mile, and had to keep a close eye on the many fishing boats in the area. We saw (and heard) lots of seals on the south coast. The checking in process was quite painless, on arrival in Douglas we were directed to a pontoon within a secure area, and didn't have to wait long for the officials (who turned out to be 2 very friendly ladies) to come and scan our QR codes and check our passports. We then had to wait while the huge Steam Packet came into dock, then we were advised we could tie up to a dive boat for the night. John's friend Peter who lives on the island came to meet us and took us to his house for a meal and we were invited to stay the night. It is very hot! The photo is of the heather on the island. 47 miles, 8 hours.