Time for an update…

2 Jul

We’ve moved south! We’re now in Spain….

But moving back in time, here’s a quick update.

PART 1 – Arklow to Kilmore Quay

PT arrived in Arklow on Thursday 18th June, having successfully managed to to avoid the threat of being fogged on the rig and hop off a plane from Shetland and connect directly to his flight to Dublin. He was accompanied by a complement to the crew, Sue. Matthew arrived the next afternoon, and with a favourable forecast, we set off for Kilmore Quay on Saturday morning, having said our goodbyes to the very friendly and helpful folk in Arklow. In particular, thanks go to Paul (Commodore of Arklow Sailing Club –www.arklowsc.com) and his wife, Emer, who fed me, did my washing and were grand company. Also thanks to Lorcan and Niall O’Toole at the marina and to Roy, who did his best to remedy a minor electronics glitch.
(For 3 weeks berthing, we paid €534 (a generous discount was applied ) plus a large amount of diesel @ 50c a litre.)

The passage to Kilmore Quay was largely uneventful, apart from a minor panic when an East Cardinal Mark appeared where we didn’t expect it, particularly as we were about half a mile into the hazard zone at the time. Tales of how treacherous the sandbanks off the Irish east coast can be were recalled but, thankfully, we didn’t join the casualty list. Just shows how important keeping charts up-to-date is (how many of us are regular subscribers to Notices to Mariners?)

Tuskar Rock

Tuskar Rock

The 48-mile passage involved mostly motoring but a bit of sailing thrown in too for good measure when we could. We dodged the high speed ferries at Rosslare and carried on round Carnsore Point with Tuskar Rock to port to arrive at St Patrick’s Bridge to find the tide spectacularly wrong (sack the navigator!). The trip ended with a nail-biting ferry glide into Kilmore Quay and an entertaining demonstration of ‘how-not-to moor your boat’! We live and learn!

Kilmore Quay is a popular setting off point for crossing Biscay. It’s a small village with lovely thatched cottages, one pub, one shop (don’t count on getting all your provisions here, also no ATM), a large fishing fleet, a friendly council-run marina with good shelter on pontoons (free wi-fi in the harbour office) and a resident seal called Jake.

Jake the seal

Jake the seal

However, the marina is far from cheap. We paid €78 for 2 nights, plus €10 for 3 electric cards (buy 2, get 1 free, even though the price printed on the cards was €1.60 – not sure how they worked that one out?) and, the piéce de resistance…the showers….€1 per minute! And it was one of those swimming pool shower controls that you have to push in to keep the water going; let go and the water stops but the meter keeps running! It got our vote for ‘Most Expensive Shower’…. Hopefully we won’t find anything to top it on our travels!

The main street in Kilmore Quay

The main street in Kilmore Quay

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