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Old 07-16-2015, 06:04 PM   #41
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If I hadn't driven through there a few times I would have thought you made that up: Cut N Shoot.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:16 PM   #42
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Thanks guys, I pick up the local facts on our travels and try to give a little colour and background for people who are unable to emulate our journey.
Photo's are of dolphins playing in our bow wave.
The coastline of the Dingle peninsula.
Blasket Islands in the distance.
Dingle harbour is very pretty and tourist hotspot due to a stage struck resident dolphin who the locals have named Fungie, his speciality is escorting boats into the harbour before heading back out into the bay, he's been here for around 25 years and has spawned a dolphin watching tour boat business with the resultant knock on effect on the towns hotels, B&B's, restaurants etc. making it a 'must do' stop.
There are many welcome American tourists visiting and Ireland depends heavily on it's tourist trade, pubs with traditional music are doing a great business in Guinness and fish and chip shops serve delicious finger food, there are also quite a few expensive restaurants but they're a bit pretentious and above my pay grade.
Were pretty much in the most Western port of Ireland and as we travel further South we should escape some, not all, of the Atlantic swell allowing us to move along bit quicker.
We're especially subject to the weather being pretty exposed and at the moment we're weather bound again.
Internet coverage is no so great here and it's actually 3.30 am as I try to get a good Wi Fi signal to post this, now it's a hot cup of tea, back to my cosy warm bed to the sound of the wind howling outside, the slapping of the sailing boat halyards and rain beating on the windows.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:27 PM   #43
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Bob H, Glad you dropped in, make it a holiday next time, here's a little more local colour for you,
When/if you ever visit Dingle, it's basically made up of two parallel main streets, if you go up the hill from the seafront, past the church and catchem tourist shops you come to a 'T' junction. On the corner is what we call in Ireland, a huxter bar, it's called Foxy John's and it's brilliant.
It's an old style bar in every sense of the word, here you can get a great pint of Guinness, order a rental bike, go in the back and you can buy garden plants, tools, lawnmowers, hedge cutters etc.
The proprietor John is great 'craic', we went in at 11:30 to buy a set of feeler gauges and some wood to make a transom door for my friend Pat's boat so we could do a bit of preventive maintenance while we were held up with the weather. He'd just sold the last set of gauges so we stayed on for a couple of pints with half a dozen of the local lads and then the jokes started to fly, we were in tears of laughter, just before we left a couple of hours later one of the locals promised to cut Pat a piece of wood to size and drop it down to the boat, when he was asked 'How much' the reply was 'Forget about money, sure your good 'craic' and we wouldn't see you stuck'. Of course he'll get the price of a couple of pints but you see the way the world works here, priceless.


The Spanish armada.
In September 1588 several fugitive ships from the Spanish Armada seeking shelter from the gales gathered in Blasket sound. The Maria Santa de la Rosa, the flagship of Admiral Villafranca dragged her anchor and foundered on a rock leaving just one survivor out of a crew of 500.
San Juan Batista had her guns and 500 men transferred to San Juan de Portugal and other ships and she was then scuttled.
One of the galleons running before the North Westerly gale made the passage between Beginish and great Blasket island, it was either superb seamanship or a stroke of divine luck, considering the maps they had at that time it would seem to have been the Spanish captains divine luck.
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:44 AM   #44
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Photo missing from last post of Foxy John's pub.
Other attached photo's are Castletownbere, Bere Island, Fastnet rock.
Now for the story to go with them.
After checking these sites met eirean.ie, wind guru and met.gov.uk we got the conditions we hoped for, well nearly.
We left Dingle escorted by Fungie the dolphin and as usual the met forecasts were optimistic and had the usual lumpy cruise, getting rocked about on the flybridge doesn't help my old bones and the muscles in my back are getting a 24 carat workout in anticipatory counteracting the boats movement.
Arriving at Castletownbere there were no moorings in the fishing port so we went to Lawrence Cove marina on Bere island a couple of miles away. It's probably the worst marina we've stayed in, expensive, a bit run down and very little in facilities to encourage anyone to return, it's only up side is that it's strategic..
The shop in the tiny village dates from 1906, I don't think it was redecorated since ! The village pier was built by the British 200 years ago and still in use for heavy trucks and machinery. the locals used to gather the seaweed by donkey and cart and use it for fertilizer on the potato crop. mostly the people are employed in ship building/repair, agriculture and a few in tourism. This is the clan seat of the O'Sullivan's and Harrington's.
Here we took time waiting for the weather to track down some vibration and discovered the PO had done a redneck job on an engine mount. An engine mounting bolt had broken and the pr*ck had welded it and burnt the rubber cushion around it, then compounded his cock up by making a mounting bracket that prevented any possibility of lining up the engine as you couldn't access the adjusting nut. attached photo shows modified bracket with a piece ground out to allow spanner access and engine mounts. photo's in next post as there's too many to upload in this one.
The weather improved for what was to be the best day weather wise of the whole trip, calm seas, seals, dolphins and stunning scenery, a truly beautiful day's cruise passing Fastnet rock we rounded the most South Easterly part of Ireland in blazing sunshine, this is sheer magic.
Fastnet Rock is generally the first glimpse of Ireland for vessels arriving from South America, Bahamas', America, Canada etc and arrive at Baltimore port as we did, a very pretty port bustling with fishing boats, sailing schools, diving, wildlife cruises etc. brilliant, we love to see the young enjoying the sea in safety as they will be the next generation of adventurers.
Arriving in Baltimore we needed diesel and it's ordered via the local shop, the man who drives the little mini tanker is also the volunteer lifeboat coxswain, it was nearly 8 pm and we saw his wee tanker parking up and went and asked him if we could refill us first thing in the morning, he must have been tired after a long day but he said' No bother as you'll probably want to leave early' and came and spent the next 40 minutes filling us and chatting. Sure where would you get it ? Ireland of course.
Enjoy the photo's.
As always if you have any questions please ask and I'll do my best to answer them for you.
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:54 AM   #45
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Apologies for Foxy John's photo being sideways.
Photo's of burnt engine mountings and the bracket, we used an angle grinder to trim excess off the right hand lower edge of the bracket to allow us to get a spanner in to adjust the nut and align the engine to the prop shaft correctly. We've a new one ordered and we'll just go gently until we can collect it for fitting in a couple of days time.
Sunset in Baltimore Harbour.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:42 AM   #46
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We made a 'Faux pas' procrastinating about the weather and got a two hour pasting as a result. Procrastination is only for politicians and people who like the sound of their own voice, it's now banned on board.
We cruised to Kinsale and despite the fort at the entrance the welcome was warm, Charles fort was the scene of the decisive battle in the Irish/English war and led to 300 years of English rule. Now it's a museum and tourist attraction.
Cork city our next port, is called Corcaigh in Gaelic, which means marshy ground and shares the distinction with New York and Paris of being built on an island.
On one side of the estuary is Pfizer's pharmaceutical factory which created and manufacture Viagra.
Gentlemen, the white pole is not a phallic symbol it's a wind turbine tower !
Also within the estuary is Cobh, pronounced Cove, NOT Cob H as some of our American cousins have been known to call it.
Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic, and destination of the Lusitania on their ill fated voyages. Now it's the destination of cruise ships from all over the world.
Cork is also a working port and this is a 'Straddle Carrier' that can lift, transport and stack containers. Bulk cargoes of fertilizer, grain, timber etc are handled here and scrap metal, wood chips and aggregates are exported amongst other things.
Ford cars, vans and trucks were assembled here in the port for many years and Henry Fords family originated from Leap in the county of Cork.
the Irish navy has their base in the estuary called Haulbowline island, as some wag pointed out the Irish navy can go home at night on a bicycle !
We're now waiting in Cork city marina for the courier to deliver our new engine mounting, after it's fitted and checked we'll plan our next leg of the journey.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:05 AM   #47
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:29 PM   #48
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Thank you siestakey, I try to make it as interesting as possible for other people to enjoy without being repetitive.
If anyone has any questions I will answer them honestly.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:19 PM   #49
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Engine mount arrived in Cork and the postman couldn't find us so an hours taxi ride united us and we got to work, photo shows mounting and when fitted.
Once fitted we moved to the mouth of the estuary ( a 2 hr cruise) ready for an early start, given the weather green light we set of for New Ross and after a superb 10 hour cruise made port, photo of warship resting.
Entering the Waterford estuary (incidentally Waterford is the oldest Irish city, founded by the Vikings) and passing families at the beach (photo).
Around and about New Ross, showing the emigrant sailing ship Dunbrody.
We moored here for a week due to the strong Southerly winds.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:30 PM   #50
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As you can see from the previous post New Ross is also a busy small port with coasters arriving daily.
Leaving New Ross we cruised the river Barrow to the junction with the river Suir and from there back out to sea.
We passed Hook Head lighthouse, the present structure is 800 yrs. old and there's been a lighthouse marking this estuary for 2,000 yrs. Hook head is the oldest working lighthouse in the world.
Our next, and last port of call in Ireland is Kilmore quay and here we refuel, have our last pints of Irish Guinness on home turf and ready for an early start to cross the Irish sea.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:20 PM   #51
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It was awfully nice of the Pope to lift that curse. What a guy!
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:00 AM   #52
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Without Wi Fi for a few days so I'll bring you all up to date. We consulted all the weather services and got the green light to cross the Irish sea to Milford Haven in Wales on the mainland of Great Britain. I attach a map of the British Isles and you can use 'search' Google Earth for place names I mention along our route, otherwise this blog would just bore you all with 50 pages of co-ordinates.
I attach also photo's of Irish ferries ' Isle of Inishmore' Pembroke to Rosslare ferry we met on the way over. St Anne's head lighthouse our arrival point in Wales. Commercial ships waiting in 'The Roads' for discharge. Milford's Lng gas storage and refinery and Dale Bay where we tied up for the night to a pontoon..
Milford Haven is Great Britain's largest LNG gas import/storage/distribution centre and a very busy working port. Admiral Nelson called it the finest natural harbour in the South of England and it's unique in Great Britain as the town is built on a grid system, there are marina's both in the port, and through the port, up into the Cleddau river tributary's just like Cork in Ireland.
Wales is famous for it's superb Rugby team, it's fondness for male voice choirs, mountains, valleys and in the past, coal mines. Singers Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones both came from Wales.
The Welsh people, like the Irish are very friendly and the other boat crews we met were curious about our journey and well, one thing led to another, we invited them for a drink or two and introduced them to Irish poteen, mountain dew, moonshine call it what you will, flavoured with fruit or butterscotch it slips down very nicely as a shot, it does however screw up the internal GPS for navigating home. I like to think we left a good impression in International relations and when we cast of next morning at 6 am to cross the Bristol channel to Padstow in Cornwall.
We left them all sleeping like babies !
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:40 AM   #53
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Leaving the hustle and bustle of busy Milford Haven we set out at 6 am for one of the most gloriously calm days of our trip so far, we were treated to magnificent Dolphin displays and wall to wall sunshine right up to landfall, the last hour became lumpy and we crossed the doom bar to see the wonderful sandy beaches that line the river Camel.
The following photo's also show the great tidal differences around this part of the world with exposed sandy shoals to catch the unwary.
This is our favourite friendly port and is famous for it's Cornish Pasties and fish and chips.
The Cornish Pasty originated with the ancient tin mines that were the main employers of the time, most families only could afford meat once a week and the lady of the house would dice up the left overs from the Sunday lunch, wrap them in pastry and bake it the oven, the miners could put the pasty in their pocket and have a cheap tasty meal at their meal break.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:55 AM   #54
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We spent a glorious week in Padstow's holiday atmosphere but always with an eye on the weather to allow us pass around the inverted V of Lands end. The idea is to get one full tide to push us down the coast from Padstow then pass Lands end during slack water and pick up the incoming tide to help us up to Falmouth. Well that was the plan anyway but as you all know wind over tide makes a rough ride so unless we could get the late JC to make the wind change for us we'd get a lumpy ride for one half of the journey.
The following photo's show the most Southwesterly point of the mainland of Great Britain with the hotel perched on the top of the cliff and the actual sea mark denoting Lands end, which is called Longships Lighthouse, these lighthouses used to be all manned but are now all automatic and serviced by helicopter borne service crews.
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:13 AM   #55
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Our journey around Lands end kept us on our toes with lumpy seas and we were glad to reach calmer waters approaching Falmouth. Falmouth is a famous sea port and it was from here that the fast sailing boats (called Falmouth packets) which carried the mail and passengers to various parts of the British empire.
Nowadays it is home to a very large shipyard and some boats are anchored off awaiting repair, Royal Naval ships also are repaired here and it's home to the National maritime museum which was hosting a Viking exhibition.
The people don't appear to be as friendly as Padstow so we weren't all that impressed. The following photo's show Falmouth, a Viking longboat and the sail training ship Lord Nelson under full sail passing the Royal Navy ship 'Mounts Bay'.
The sail training ship is used for training sea cadets in preparation for joining the Royal Navy.
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:12 AM   #56
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Our next port of call is Plymouth, home of the famous Plymouth gin.
Since time immemorial Plymouth has been a part of British and American history.
From here Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish armada with his fire ships.
My hero, Captain Cook, discovered, and most importantly, mapped new territories for Britain and her sailors who would follow in his footsteps, so accurate was his mapping of the Great Barrier reef in Australia that despite modern digital mapping technology few changes have been found necessary..
The Pilgrim fathers left England in 1620 in their vessel 'Mayflower' to colonise America as the photo's in the plaques depict, in the background of the photo of the Mayflower steps you can see Drakes island, Sir Francis anchored here after circumnavigating the world in his ship 'The Golden Hind'. He sent his emissaries ashore to sniff the political wind, just like politics today, yesterdays friend could well turn out to be todays enemy.
The 100 years war with France saw sailing boats from here blockade the French ports and captured any French captain foolish to risk putting to sea.
Smugglers though always seemed to make 'arrangements' and there was no shortage of French wine or Brandy for those with deep enough pockets.
From Plymouth Allied troops sailed from here on the biggest amphibious assault ever known in history to free Europe from the yoke of Hitler's Nazi Germany.
Plymouth was virtually razed to the ground by German bombers and whole families wiped out, undaunted it fought on and was rebuilt.
In nearby Devonport Naval base warships and submarines are often seen moored, Saltash on the opposite bank of the river saw wooden landing craft built out in the open and 6 a day were launched in the build up to operation 'Overlord' to free Europe.
Today Plymouth's visitors are peaceful tourists, a ward of warning though, waterborne tourists pay a high price for the privilege of visiting with the highest marina charges we've found on our voyage so far.
Apologies for the technical hitch, some of photo's turned and I'll fix it asap.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:32 AM   #57
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We found the culprit of the flipped pictures at last. Anyone who has Windows 7 and upgrades to Windows 10 will find that the damn thing wants to completely dominate your laptop. Previously if you took a picture vertically to get the best shot you could flip it in the pictures file or on the SD card and post it, now you must click 'Open with' Windows paint, or Photo, flip it, close the window and click save. If you download documents Windows office wants to open them instead of Adobe reader and makes a mess of the document.
OK were a bit grumpy today so while were at it, when we reach a port were usually pretty tired and hungry and find a fast food place, fish and chips are great but for a change we tried KFC. Has anyone noticed that the late Colonel sanders recipe has lost it's great flavour, maybe they're diluting the herb mixture for greater profit ! In France you can't buy KFC on the bone, in Ireland and England you're served by someone delivering the 'You want to go large, corn or beans' like an automaton and the places are tacky with dirty toilets. If you work for KFC get a grip or you won't have a business left.
Apologies for being grumpy but if you don't speak out nothing gets done.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:01 AM   #58
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Apologies for the grumpy previous post, I'm normally happy go lucky but some things really irritate me and I have to speak out more forcefully than normal.
On a much happier note come with us now as we toddle off to Torquay..
We left Plymouth in the company of around 25 sailing boats (all under power bar 2) who were returning to their home ports all along the South coast after taking part in Fastnet race. Some of whom had referred to our boat derogatorily as ('Oh you have a river boat, how quaint) well actually Ma'am it's proven itself and we've just done what you've done plus a whole lot more AND we're going to traverse the canals of Europe.....silence.
This part of the coastline is known as the Jurassic coast due to the rock composition and is the study of many a geologist. photo.
Arriving in Torquay we passed Brixham, I'd been there previously and will post pictures for you but I knew from experience that it's a major fishing port and along with the fishing boats come the flying rats, seagulls, boy are they some job, they are the most aggressive, whew ! talk about incontinent ! they couldn't even hold water, although a protected species there is talk of a cull after they attacked and killed a pet dog.
In Brixham is moored a replica of the 'Golden Hind' Sir Francis Drakes boat, photo. Actors now give guide tours and show among other things the 'cat o nine tails' this was used to discipline errant sailors, they were lashed to a frame and given a determined number of lashes, 'the cat' was kept in a red velvet bag so as not to show the blood on it.
We felt immediately at home in Torquay and saw our first palm trees on our journey, this region is known as 'The English Riviera' and very nice to visit. Again we were royally treated to a firework display on our first night and the crème de la crème of the Royal Air Force, The Red Arrows, gave a magnificent display, I have a still photo and if I can beat Windows 10 into submission I'll put up a short video clip in the next post.
In an earlier post I gave you a little bit about operation 'Overlord' from Omaha beach, there was Omaha, Utah, Juno and Sword beaches and in Torquay the engineers built special loading ramps for the landing craft and during 'D' day they ran a shuttle service from here to Utah beach, some 80 miles away across the channel. photo of ramp and plaques in and around Torquay.
All in all a super place to visit, reasonable prices, friendly staff, very enjoyable for everyone and along with Padstow a family favourite.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:10 AM   #59
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I couldn't get all the pics in one go for you so here's some more.
Did you notice the hundreds of lobster pots on the quay ? when cruising the coastline you have to keep on your toes to miss those rascals.
The wooden sailing boats are in fact old time trawlers which were built in Brixham and fished as far away as Iceland. Nowadays they are used in films and heritage visits, trawler races etc.
The yard that built them is has long gone and the place is now occupied by blocks of holiday flats.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:31 AM   #60
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Can someone help please ? how do you upload a simple video ? I clicked on video upload as directed but wouldn't upload.
Thanks
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