Dunmore East to Crosshaven 56.9 nm Sailing around Britain 2014

Date posted: 23 August 2014

Last night the waters were flat calm at Dunmore East, and I remember commenting in my last post that it didn’t feel as though we were attached to a buoy; what we actually had was the calm before the storm. During the night we began to roll, so none of us slept that soundly and were unsurprisingly all up before our alarms and on route for Crosshaven before the agreed 7am start.

Dunmore East at 6.45am, calm in the sheltered bay hidden from the westerly winds

Dunmore East at 6.45am, calm in the sheltered bay hidden from the westerly winds

We were sheltered in behind the headland at Dunmore East, as we motored off the buoy and out towards Swine Head, by Falskirt Rock, we all began to realise that today’s passage was not going to be comfortable. The sea state was rough and the wind was westerly, so we crashed through the waves for twelve hours on engine! Up and down, down and up all day, the waves were crashing up over the bow and hitting the cabin windows right in front of the captain’s chair.

 

 

 

 

Waves crashing over the bow of Kantara on route to Crosshaven from Dunmore East

Waves crashing over the bow of Kantara on route to Crosshaven from Dunmore East

We all started with our hour outside on watch, initially on my first watch I had to be aware of lobster pots, as you can see by the picture they are really hard to spot especially in a rough sea, and then it was buoys we were keeping our eye out for. But as the day wore on and the sea state worsened we all took up watch from the interior steering position, about every fifth wave hit us right over the bow and the water rushed right up the boat.

Spot the lobster pots... really difficult to see at times

Spot the lobster pots… really difficult to see at times

 

Sean made a suggestion that we all took sea sickness tablets today; it was a good shout, because although we all well and truly have our sea legs, todays sea state was exceptional (I must add that Simon has never had to use sea sickness tablets even in the worst of days on this journey, lucky chap that he is).

Just past Swines Head we took a course of 241’ and that’s the tack we continued on for 41nm, up down, down up….

I haven’t mentioned the wild life for a month or so, that is because the birdlife through the Scottish islands and down through the east coast of Ireland produced no new species, and I didn’t think you would want the same list of suspects appearing every day. But today for the first time since the east coast of England we saw Manx Shearwaters and in addition Fulmars, Gannets, Arctic Turns, and Herring Gulls and Black Backed Gulls. As we left Dunmore East, I was given a fabulous display by the Turns, shallow diving for fish all about us, that’s the first time this has happened on the trip, they were coming up with very small fish in their beaks.

This area of the coast is called the Copper Coast given its name  after the copper mining industry that once thrived here. Away in the distance right around the bay as we sailed on our long tack, I could see the old mine towers, a reminder of what once was a way of  life.

Ballycotton Island, and a black lighthouse!

Ballycotton Island, and a black lighthouse!

As we got to Ballycotton Island, we saw a massive light house structure, it is the first light house we have seen painted black. First lit in 1851 and a hundred and forty one years later the last light house keeper left and the light is now automated.

From here we took a course of 254’ for 6.5nm to Hawk Rock and then changed to 285’ for 3.5nm, and it was only at this point that the sea began to settle, because we were protected by Morris Head on the opposite side of the channel into Cork harbour.

At this point we all began to emerge from our secure points inside the boat, Thursday night is race night from Crosshaven;  we passed at least a dozen boats coming out, all gathering in the centre of Cork for the start of their race.

Race night in Cork Harbour

Race night in Cork Harbour

I have been in touch with Billy O’Riordan who watches Static Boat Holidays facebook page, and he gave us the top tip of Salve Marina,

a lovely quiet marina but with all the facilities and free wifi!

Marian cooked us dinner this evening, which was a chilli con carnie, I was very pleased it wasn’t my turn in the galley today! After dinner we all went over to the Royal Cork Yacht club, which is a five gold anchor marina, the oldest yacht club in the world, founded in 1720. The facilities are as you would expect with a five star gold anchor award excellent and only a two minute walk from where we are.

Billy has been in touch and informed us that he would catch up with us sometime over the weekend, as he would be attending the Irish Redhead Convention based in Crosshaven this weekend, starting tomorrow. Now there sounds like some fun to be had in that comment! Funnily enough we have decided to stay here until Monday before moving up to Cork City.

It can be said that we survived the trip from Dunsmore East to Crosshaven, but it was not one of my favourite sails, I was happy to get to the pub!

Calm waters at last! The drink may not have been moving but the floor certainly was !

Calm waters at last! The drink may not have been moving but the floor certainly was !

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