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Bantry to Kinsale

After Adrigole Jess and I made a hop to Schull harbor which was about 30 miles. Getting out of Bantry bay itself in stiff SW winds was the most challenging part of the short trip but the remainder was rather uneventful with the exception of the rough sea state that got Jess sea sick. Unfortunately Jess always gets sea sick for the first 12 hours and being these small passages are only 4-6 she is sick almost the entire time. Nothing seems to help. The longer passages are a bit easier as after 12 hours or so as she gets acclimated. The solution that keeps her sanity is ginger tea. Its calming, quenches thirst, healthy, mixed with lemon delicious, and the ginger settles your stomach.

Schull was busy little summer sailing town that had a harbor filled with dinghy sailors and many moored yachts. The town was nice but not as dramatic as our past destinations. We had yet another heavy blow so we waited it out here, and also tucked in behind another island just outside the harbor to get away from the swell and big winds. Fortunately the holding thus far is excellent. It is usually thick mud or sand and our 33kg Rocna has always dug in hard on the first go. We have had too many incidents with poor holding so we take no chances nowadays. We give it 3/4 throttle in reverse and make sure we don’t budge before we are comfortable to shut down the engine. Here is in SW Ireland there are few places to water as well as diesel. We found a hose at a pier on Long Island where at high tide we could pull up and take on water. Strange that with as many boats in this area that diesel and water are not readily available.

After Schull we made our way up into Roaring Water Bay on a lovely sail with the wind on the stern and just the headsail out. We were en route to see the Kilcoe Castle, now owned by Jeremy Irons the actor. He decided to paint it peach which makes it stand out from a huge distance away. As we approached we realized we were making our way into a huge mussel farm and the lovely scenery was not worth dodging the floating farms. We turned and made our way towards Skeam Island where would use the high tide to our advantage and cross over the shallow water near Goose Island so we could anchor up at Heir Island. We did so and took a walk on the island only to realize we weren’t enthralled with the location so we moved yet again, this time taking the north passage toward Baltimore Harbor. We anchored up just north of Spanish Island only to realize that the tidal range was huge and it put us sideways to the wind with a chop coming up the bay. Up goes the anchor again, and we made it into Baltimore Harbor just before dark and anchored up across from Sherkin Island. We are starting to get rather picky with our anchorages where before we would just suffer through until the next day and leave, now we try out several places until were satisfied. It always seems worth the hassle, getting a good nights sleep with less stress.

The next morning we had another HR43 anchored right beside us, Yarona. We met Barrie and Kathy Stott in Bermuda on our Atlantic crossing in 2015. Small world. We invited them over for drinks and shared stories of both of our past few years. The Stotts had cruised from Bermuda across to the states and all the way up to Nova Scotia and down to the Caribbean, and then back across the pond to Ireland where we have met up. Barrie is a wealth of technical information so I gleaned as much as I could from him.

Jess and I decided to tuck in around the corner into a little protected anchorage, Horseshoe Bay. We were the only boat in the anchorage and it was as still as a pond. We had heavy rain all day so we basically pottered around the boat and did some indoor projects, sticking our heads out here and there between rain deluges.

The next morning we headed out making our way to a mooring in Baltimore Harbor. The town seems to revolve around 2 or 3 bars just outside the marina, and they were packed with people literally from morning till the wee hours. Jess and I took a hike up to the entrance of Baltimore Harbor where there was a strange space ship like navigation marker at the top. From here we had a view out to sea and saw the first Fastnet Race boat making its way toward Fastnet lighthouse. The Fastnet race is a famous offshore yacht race from starting in Cowes UK and going all the way to Fastnet lighthouse before turning back around and heading to Plymouth UK. We had a front row seat from the top of the cliff.

From Baltimore we headed out to Glandore Bay, The bay was filled with dinghy sailors and fringed with large estate homes and a castle or two. There is total protection with good holding and a small town with a pier for landing the dinghy. A lovely little village with a few restaurants and pubs and a small vacation community. We took some lovely walks around the area. You can walk down country roads here and not be passed by a car for miles. The roads go through farm country and often there are walking paths that take you through forests and farmland. Peaceful bliss. We were nearing the end of our gunk holing time and needed to start making some tracks to get to Northern Ireland before Jess had to fly out back to the states. It was becoming “boat delivery time” and we were waiting and watching for favorable winds.

From Glendore we left and made a hop to Kinsale which is a favorite stop for most sailors on this coast. The entry was beautiful and well protected and we anchored the first night right across from the marina. We decided to spend a couple of days here as there was a lot to explore in the touristy town and the food was noted to be the best in Ireland. We ended up taking a marina berth just to make life easier as we were coming and going from the boat and wanted a break from the dinghy. As this is such a popular stopover, we ended up having two other yachts rafted up to us so we constant foot traffic over the boat. Should of stayed anchored, oh well. Unfortunately time is ticking away and we need to stop vacationing and start sailing.

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