‘Ireland and Scotland 2011’ Archive

A Thousand Island Cruise

From Lundy , Scilly and home Our arrival back in the Solent and our last island , the Isle of Wight , was something of a culture shock. The summer holiday season was in full swing , and if that didn’t make the Solent crowded enough , the fleets of Gurnard dinghy week and a […]

Neptune repays a debt

At the south-east end of the Irish sea is one of our favourite places – the islands of Skomer and Skokum. For the summer season they play host to countless seabirds and so a stop off there was mandatory as far as we were concerned. By now the guillemots and razorbill chicks have fledged and […]


Our last week in Scotland was blessed with wonderful anticyclonic weather and the lightest of winds. Luckily we were heading down the Sounds of Luing and Jura , an area renowned for its strong tides, so rather than reach for the starter button we spent a couple of days tiding South , dropping a hook […]

Vikings , Rocks and Hard Places

From Views of the Hebrides Its now over two weeks since we started exploring the inshore waters of NW Scotland and we would need another 6 months to do them justice. I hadn’t realised just how sheltered these waters are. For just about any wind direction there are numerous sheltered bays and little island anchorages […]

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Summer has crept up on us . You don’t notice it at first , but the evidence is in little things like not objecting to a salad at lunchtime. Previously the mere suggestion would have brought about an attack of blue knees and chattering teeth! Not that knees had been much in evidence , but […]


One thing that is has become obvious over the past few days is the continuing cultural links between Ireland and the Hebrides. The landscape ( mountains , islands and blanket bog )is common to both , and of course their shared history from prehistory to the land clearances and emigration of the last two centuries […]

The Hebrides

The last 7 days pottering along the E coast of the Outer Hebrides have been superb. Inevitably there has been the occasional day of wind and rain , but with the aid of Mr Grib we tuck ourselves in somewhere and have a lazy day , perhaps emerging for a wet blowy walk – but […]

Mid-summers day- warm and s-ticky.

Yesterday will stick in the memory for a long time. The sun shone ,the wild flowers covered the ground in a riot of colour and we climbed hills ,explored lochs ,admired the deer and photographed anything that tickled our fancy. If our muscles were unused to the exercise ,we made up for it by fanatickly […]

A Hebridean Meeting

In the 16th century Grace O’Malley may have made regular trips from the West Coast of Ireland to the Hebrides to pick up ( or occaisionally beat up! ) the local mercenaries , but she wouldn’t have been able to get out of Clew Bay on the night we left. It was blowing 25 with […]

Clew Bay – Shhhhhhhhhhhh , its a secret!

Imagine an archipelago with 365 islands to explore – one for each day of the year. To be ideal you would need several sheltered sounds with deep enough water to anchor at spring tides. Picture it surrounded by wonderfully picturesque mountains, and protected offshore by several bigger islands providing protection from the Atlantic swell, all […]

The Wild West

Two days tucked up in Dingle was no hardship at all ( at all!) –it gave us a chance to do all the little jobs that inevitably arise ,restock both our food and batteries (real and metaphorical) and best of all ,enjoy the craic. Most of the 200 or so pubs (!) advertise live music […]

An Old Friend

From Baltimore to Mizzen Head is a little paradise of islands , intricate channels and sheltered anchorages . All of it is within easy sight of the Fastnet rock , and even easier reach of any number of friendly Irish pubs where the craic goes on ‘ til the wee hours . Turn east to […]

Mr Grib bowls a googly!

Our idea this summer was to have no fixed idea of where we should go, other than a slight preference for Scotland or the West coast of Ireland. Mr Grib has of course taken up the challenge and delivered marvellous winds for South Brittany, which is of course the only area in the whole of […]

The Magical Mystery Tour

Our  magical mystery tour is beginning to take shape. Much gazing at the tea leaves ( of the internet variety ) suggests we might have NE winds from Thursday ish , which once more makes visiting our friends on the West coast of Ireland a possibility. Yesterdays SW winds might have been bad for going […]

All furled up with nowhere to go

(Except to windward!) This summers plan is to see how we like the sea gipsy life in colder climes, and the last few weeks have been spent adapting Festina for cruising . Off goes the racing headfoil and multiple headsail changes , to be replaced with a 2nd hand Furlex and cut down No 1. […]