Monthly Archives: August 2013

More Family Fun

Great times at the river (Rainby), exploring the ruins of a 2nd century Roman Fort s and then yesterday climbing England’s third tallest ‘Hill’ Helvelyn – remembering camping on top as idiot teenagers with Simon Mardel. We went up via Striding Edge – an arret between two glacial valleys with very steep drop offs on both sides – and with countless kids bouncing from rock to rock while us old geezers held on for dear life!

Swimming and fishing (and avoiding Midges) at Rainby waterfall…

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Hardknot Pass in the Lake District

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And climbing Helvelyn

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Family Reunion

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Magoo and LaurieMatilda

Sarah and Matilda

It’s been an interesting and boozy reunion with family in Weststonesdale! The excuse for the reunion was sister Kate’s 70th birthday – but she isn’t until October! Even cousin Gill who I haven’t seen in over 30 years was there with her daughter Ellie.

We enjoyed a great concert from the kids, I got a lesson on the Mandolin from Cassandra – who had it mastered in under 5 minutes – and we watched our 72 year old sister to a head-stand!!!

Far too much alcohol was consumed so the following day we headed off on a walk to the pub which we took over entirely! (All the people in the photo of us sat outside the pub are Balme relations!)

Now recovering at the boat and being visited on a daily basis by wannabe sailors! All very good fun!

In Dublin’s Fair City

We’re in Dun Laoghaire, just a little outside of Dublin.

We’ve been in to Dublin a couple of times – a much nicer town than either of us was expecting. The city is full of life, with pubs overflowing all over the place – helps that there was a friendly football match between Celtic and Liverpool being hosted this weekend! The fans were all very amicable.

We toured all over the place – and managed to secure the purchase of a Portuguese Mandolin – which turns out to be harder to play than I expected. However, determined to be able to play at least one Irish tune by the time we reach the UK.

The Irish do a great job in decorating buildings with beautiful flowers and there are several very pretty parks in the city that are used by all.

We thought we might enjoy tea at the Sheldon Hotel – until we saw the price – €40 seemed a bit steep! So we opted for more of the black stuff down in Temple Bar.

Abigail has been rather more adventurous – and athletic – with nighttime trips into the city and a long hike in the nearby town of Bray.

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Today we’ll wander around the smaller Dun Laoghaire and then head out this afternoon for an overnight sail to Whitehaven or Barrow-in-Furness (according to which way the wind blows) – for an afternoon arrival, when the 8M(!!!) tide will be in…



When Luck is on Your Side

Our passage from Crosshaven to Dublin was a short one – expected to be about 32 hours, so we left early on Wednesday morning – leaving the dock at 7:30 having loaded the dink onto the foredeck.

Winds were light in the marina and the seas flat. We motored out of the harbor and into the Celtic Sea, where winds had built to about 10 knots from the south, seas still flat, so with main raised and genoa back in action we turned towards the east and cut the engine. Almost immediately we were doing 8 knots!

Through the morning and early afternoon the wind slowly built – but only to about 15-18 knots . The waves built a little too – driven by the wind, but nothing unmanageable. We were having about the most perfect sailing conditions.

As dinner approached, so we approached the south east corner of Ireland – and so we would be facing a dead down wind sail – not our most favorite. However, as we jibed across to make the turn, the wind changed and started blowing out of the west. We were once again broad reaching at 8 knots. Just to add to the fun, we had a positive current of 2 knots to boot!

We were now in a situation where we had to slow the boat down – so as to avoid arriving in the dark. Fortunately that was cured when the current turned to give us a little bit of pay-back.

We arrived in Dun Laoghaire and were tied up at 9:00am – just 25.5 hours passage! Very cool!




We sailed into Crosshaven and stayed at the Royal Cork Yacht Club – oldest sailing club in the world, founded in 1720. The marina is on a crowded little river, with hundreds of boats packed tightly onto moorings and in the slips of the 3 marinas in town.

Town is a bit of an exaggeration – village is better but it does have about 6 pubs!



Crosshaven  & Royal Cork Yacht Club (Not impressive, but nice inside)

We then went up to Cork City Center and stayed at the City Marina – just a dock with no facilities – but water and electric available. The motor up to Cork went right by Cobh – described in the Lonely Planet Guide as having a ‘palpable sense of tragedy’ as it was here people left Ireland headed for the USA to escape the famine. It’s also the last stop for the Titanic and the Lusitania which was torpedoed off the coast of Kinsale.

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Cork is a very friendly city – everyone extremely helpful. Unfortunately we arrived on a bank holiday though, so it was strangely quieter that normal. (One would think it would be businer). The dock was in the port area of town (naturally!) right beside the old customs houses – all almost deserted but neat looking buildings – and there were large ships loading and unloading just along the way from us.

Finding Irish music in the pubs was fun – had to grab a beer whether or not something was playing afterall! Enjoyed some very good music – especially in Charlies, where the players outnumbered the paying customers!

Abigail joined the boat in Cork, so we’re now three happy cruisers! She seemed to have fun, meeting an old friend and staying out until the wee hours!

We’ve been decidedly cut off since arriving – internet is non-existent and my phone has gone on the blink – telling me that there’s no SIM card in it. The local iPhone fellow tells me all is well with the phone, so it’s probably a US phone company issue… Oh Well! We are now proud owners(!) of an Irish phone – email me for the number if you want to chat!!!

Strangely, I didn’t take any pictures within cork other than of the strange little castle on the river bank approaching Cork – and a huge Swordfish that was being slowly hacked to pieces in the famous ‘English Market’ downtown! Complete oversight on the photos – sorry.


Now on passage – overnight – to Dun Laoghaire, just south of Dublin. Just to help a little, Laoghaire is pronounced Leery  – but Leery doesn’t have nearly enough vowels to be Irish!