A Grand Welcome to Ireland

Ireland did I hear you say ? I thought you were going up the North Sea to Shetland?

Ah , so did we until the forecast changed . What had looked like a week of westerly winds suddenly metamorphosed into Northerlies in the North seas and Easterlies in the Channel. That sounds like the perfect excuse to go to Ireland.

But what about Shetland ?

Well that depends !

On what ?

The weather of course. For now our course is to the west and first stop the Scillies.


Reader we ran all the way , first with the spinnaker , and as befits our elderly status , this was handed when the wind reached 20 knots. We went just as fast with 2 reefs and a poled out genny but with the not so subtle difference that Festina sailed herself whilst we took turns in snoozing below.The forecast was for 30 knots to the West of the Lizard , so , as befits our elderly etc we anchored for a tide in the entrance to Falmouth . After this the wind was far more gentle , and in fact died away just after we moored in St Marys harbour.

You don’t need an excuse to potter about the Scillies, but 2 calm sunny days provided one anyway. Out came the canoe and we headed off to the Western rocks to look for seals and puffins . Puffins were strangely absent but the seals were everywhere, wailing and arguing with each other and amiably following us around in large numbers.


On the way back we explored the little island of Samson at its dazzling low water best and it was 2 very tired and sore canoeists who clambered back aboard that night ( we are both carrying shoulder injuries) , but nonetheless we were elated by our day communing with nature at its very best.


The forecast was changing once more and we needed to get across the Irish sea before the winds turned into the NW . Luckily a weak NE airflow gave us a beam reach at hull speed in the flattest seas I can remember , and as we reached the Irish coast we were welcomed by the largest school of Common Dolphin I have ever seen in these waters . At any one time we would have 15 playing around the boat and yet wherever we looked there would be more jumping and splashing , so that I estimate the total number to be in the region of 50 animals.


Eventually they left us , to be immediately replaced by 2 minke whales sedately rolling along , and soon after that the floppy fins of 1, 2, 3, no, 4 Basking sharks, the biggest of which was at least 15 feet long. Finally as the sun sank in the west, a small group of dolphins returned to escort us into Baltimore harbour.


Now I call that a grand welcome to Ireland!

One Comments

  1. Looks good!
    CU soon in Stavanger?

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