Posted by: Ray | July 31, 2009

Howth, Dublin to Cork.

Passage: 200M, 4 new harbours visited, Max wind F5.

Howth Marina at sunset

Howth Marina at sunset

 

Ian and Tim join me here at Howth, Dublin, tomorrow and weather permitting we set sail for Arklow on Sunday 2 Aug. As I write this (Fri evening 31 July) a gale has been blowing for most of the day. The forecast looks better for Sunday, but further strong winds are forecast early next week that may delay our progress onwards to Cork. 

 

Howth Marina, Dublin with Martello tower in background.

Howth Marina, Dublin with Martello tower in background.

 

 

I have been four weeks here at Howth awaiting crew to join me to resume my passage down the Irish coast. Jobs have been completed on Christine Marie, passage plans completed from Howth to Falmouth and crew organized for them. 

 

 

Howth Marina and Ireland's Eye from cliffs.

Howth Marina and Ireland's Eye from cliffs.

 

 

 

I have explored the town of Howth and enjoyed walking along the cliffs overlooking the marina. 

 

 

Martello Tower, Howth.  Home of 'Ye Old ' Radio Museum.

Martello Tower, Howth. Home of 'Ye Old ' Radio Museum.

 

I paid a visit to the Martello tower that overlooks the harbour and that is now the home of a radio museum. I was made welcome by Pat (Curator)and Tony (EI5EM), who operates the amateur radio station EI0MAR from there at weekends. The history of the tower and the vast collection of antique radios is very interesting and has been collected by Pat personally over the years. A link to the museum is on the right of this page …. worth a visit, don’t miss reading about the historic Niemba Ambush and its link to Irish amateur radio.

 

River Liffey, Dublin.

River Liffey, Dublin.

 

 

Earlier this week I took the Dart train to visit Dublin where I walked along the River Liffey and visited the Guinness Factory and enjoyed my ‘free’ pint. 

 

 

Old Guinness advert seen at Guinness Factory, Dublin

Old Guinness advert seen at Guinness Factory, Dublin

 

 

Long way to walk for a Guinness! 🙂 … but the history and story behind the brew was very interesting.

  

 

 

Howth Marina from the cliffs

Howth Marina from the cliffs

 

 

 

Despite the bad weather and generally high cost of everything (due mainly to the £= Euro exchange rate and 22% VAT … Washing/dryer E8 = £8, haircut E14 = £14, 75cl bottle of Gin E23 = £23, cheapest wine E7, etc 😦 ) I have enjoyed my time here at Howth. 

 

 

Fish harbour and quay, Howth.

Fish harbour and quay, Howth.

 

Howth has a very active fishing harbour and there are some excellent fresh fish shops (reasonably priced) and restaurants along the fish quay. On Sundays there is a local market there. A popular seaside resort, with a very active sailing club at the marina. Transport to Dublin by bus and Dart is frequent and low priced.

 

 

 

Sun 2 August: Ian and Tim joined me on Christine Marie on Saturday. We set sail for Arklow early Sunday morning just stemming the last of the weak foul tide as we crossed Dublin Bay. Winds were forecast SW F4/5, but backing S/SE and increasing F5/6 by evening, we would be heading into the winds then. Gales had been blowing all day Saturday and more were expected within 24 hours … we took the opportunity to make the 41M passage whilst conditions were moderate.

Tim on the helm leaving Howth.

Tim on the helm leaving Howth.

 

 

Our passage took us inshore of the sandbanks that run North / South down this coast. We had an enjoyable sail down the Irish coast with a wind from the SW just allowing us to sail close-hauled on our course due South, before rounding Wicklow Head.

 

Coast leaving Dublin Bay, Wicklow Mountains.

Coast leaving Dublin Bay, Wicklow Mountains.

 

 

The coastline South of Dublin was very attractive, backed by hills and the Wicklow mountains. To our stern the Howth peninsular appeared as a large island, the adjoining low lying land around Dublin Bay not visible.

 

 

 

 

By 1100 the wind died for a short period and then backed SSW F4 heading us, we beat towards our destination tacking within the wide channel between the coast and sand banks. We passed to the North and seaward of India Bank and tacked back to clear it to it’s South and to round Wicklow Head. Winds were now increasing F5/6 and seas building as we made the final 15M passage from Wiclow to Arklow.

The Irish CG started to broadcast strong wind and gale warnings on VHF. We reefed down and had a bumpy passage to our destination, not easy making the cheese and tomato sandwiches we had for lunch! :-). The tacking was extending our passage time and we had a foul tide for the last couple of hours.

Arklow

Arklow

 

By 1915 we were safely moored at Arklow, where we are sitting out the gales forecast for Monday into Tuesday. Our passage here had taken us nearly 12 hours, and we sailed 52M.

We moored on the long pontoon just passed the small entrance to the marina.  The almanac and pilot book warn that the marina can be difficult due to restricted space to manoevre, but having walked round it I would be happy to enter and moor there.

Arklow is a pretty town with nice views along the river, well worth the visit.

River at Arklow.
River at Arklow.

 

 Tim, Ian and myself left Arklow on 4 August and made the passage down the Irish coast, passing inside of the Tuskar Rock to round Carnsore Point. We met some large seas as we rounded the head and made our way towards St Patrick’s Bridge, passing inshore of the Saltee Islands.

 

 

 

Ian, relaxing whilst sailiing to Kilmore Quay.

Ian, relaxing whilst sailiing to Kilmore Quay.

 

 

St Patrick’s Bridge is not a bridge, but a 1.9m depth, narrow channel through the shallows to the approach to Kilmore Quay. The conditions through the channel were good as we picked up the leading transits to guide us past the rocks into the harbour.

 

 

Kilmore Quay

Kilmore Quay

 

Kilmore Quay is not an easy harbour to enter for the first time. Approached past rocks close to the leading line (well marked by transit markers) and through a narrow dredged channel of 1.9m depth, there is little room for error. We had little problem on entering close to high water, but on leaving the following morning I had 0.5m under my keel for a while as we left the entrance. 

Kilmore Quay is a small fishing harbour, popular with local sailors.  In the evening we spent some time having a drink on board the yacht of a friendly Irish couple who were visiting from Arklow and later visited the village for a drink in the local pub. 

The following morning we made the short passage to Dunmore East, just 15M down the coast.  As we made exit from the harbour back out to sea the conditions were very different to the day before. The sea was very rough with fast moving, steep seas making it very difficult on the helm until we cleared the shallows into deeper water. As we gained the deeper water the reason became apparent, a large swell, with waves of 3 to 4m was running, but much easier to handle than the seas we had met earlier leaving Kilmore Quay as these waves met the shallows. Watching these big waves approach above us was quite an experience, but Christine Marie just rose and fell gently as each peak and trough swept by.  A  fun sail in the swell to our destination.

Dunmore East

Dunmore East

 

At Dunmore East we picked up a mooring just off the harbour, a delightful scenic setting surrounded by cliffs full of seabirds. We spent the night on the mooring, making an early start the following morning to our destination at Cork.

Dunmore East is an easier and safer harbour to enter than the popular Kilmore Quay.  For me it was well worth the visit.  A lovely town, stunning coastline and an active sailing club.  We all enjoyed our brief stay, relaxing on board moored off the rocky cliffs.

Moorings Dunmore East.

Moorings Dunmore East.

 

On Thursday 6 Aug we made the 63M passage down the coast to Crosshaven, Cork, our current location. We logged 76M on the 12 hour passage. Tim left the yacht early Friday to return home as he was competing in a marathon on the Saturday in the UK.

Audrey joined Ian and myself yesterday (Fri 7 Aug) and Noel (My Moonfleet Sailing RYA instructor) arrives to join us this evening. We set sail on the 140M, 30 hour passage across the Celtc Sea to the Isles of Scilly early tomorrow morning. The Fastnet race is on at the same time ….. it could be that I will be in the lead for a while!! 🙂 Weather looks good, so it should be a reasonable sail.

Crosshaven, Cork, Dublin.

Crosshaven, Cork, Dublin.

 

 

Noel joined Ian, Audrey and myself on Christine Marie Saturday evening. Following a crew safety briefing and an outline of our passage across the Celtic Sea to the Isles of Scilly we enjoyed a meal on board before retiring early for our 7 am departure the following morning.

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