Dun Leary –Kilmore Quay
5.30am rise, check weather, triple check tides. Eventually depart just before 7am. Wind W F4-5.
One reef and both jibs set us on a great ride. Three hours of tide against to start with didn’t seem to impede our journey. 85 miles to the South East corner of Ireland. Speed hit 13kn for the second time, however once we reached Rosslare tide was pushing against again and slowed us tremendously. It was a struggle to point as high as we wanted, the area is littered with rocks and wrecks so we were anxious about going too far inshore, too close to the rocks, too close to the islands. We were told the day before that we had to be in by 8pm otherwise we wouldn’t get across the mouth of the harbour which had only 1.5m of water at low tide and we draw 1.8m! In the end we made a safe journey in over St Patrick’s Bridge, which if you look at the chart you’ll see is a very narrow channel crossing an extended line of rock which runs from the mainland to the Saltee Islands. A bit nerve wracking but we were at the dock by 6.30pm- time to spare. Our lines were taken by a delightful young man, Angus, who keeps his boat in Kilmore Quay and generally sails single handed. He was in his very early twenties but clearly a competent sailor with lots of local knowledge. We invited him and his mum aboard for a beer and chat! we picked their brains and they quizzed the Captain on what boat to buy next.
Once they had gone we devoured supper and watched a few more episodes of Game of Thrones, Willi has managed to convert the Captain into an avid watcher. Then early to bed after a long and challenging day.
With the knowledge we had gained from Angus the night before, we felt well equipped to explore the village of Kilmore Quay. The choices for lunch were the ‘chipper’ or Kehoes Pub. We chose the pub as fish & chips for lunch seemed a bit too much! This turned out to be the best decision because the pub was also a museum of wrecks. In the 1970s a local man had started to dive and recover artifacts from the area, which are now housed in the pub. It was a really interesting building with great food!
Kilmore Quay is an active fishing marina with a many boats bringing in their catch to the packing factory just behind the harbour. Apparently Euro13m worth of fish come in via this marina. The village has a quaintness with it’s many thatched roofs: 15 at least. As well as the tractor rally that drove through. Some 30 old tractors, many Massey Ferguson, all in great condition, trundled past. It was quite a bizarre sight.
It’s been blowing a strong south westerly for a few days so no-one is going anywhere. We’ve been joined by two single handers: one a Chinese fellow who was heading for France or Spain (not 100% sure which) to qualify for the mini transat. And Pierre, a Swede, who is heading for Spain and picking up crew in Cork. Yesterday, we took the bus to Wexford and had morning coffee in the Opera House: the building is very striking but seems a bit of an underused resource. Aside from the one week in October when they have the ‘renowned’ Wexford Festival the programme had only two or three events average a month. Nonetheless a stunning interior. We managed to make a 1 ½ hour walking tour of Wexford last approx. 4 ½ hours (there are three buses a day so our timing was dictated by this). The highlights of the tour were churches. It is safe to say we had reached our limit of churches by the end. It was a fun day and the same bus driver who’d delivered us took us home.
The forecast is better so we’ll be back on track tomorrow.