Today was our 70th day on the water; we set off at the beginning of April from Fowey and have enjoyed sailing anti-clockwise around Britain in a leisurely fashion throughout the summer. We spent the day in Waterford sightseeing today, we got going quite early in order to cover as many of the local attractions as possible before we set off on the evening tide.
I can tell you where Waterford got its name, in the 10c wooden Viking boats came up the river Suir (pronounce shore and not sewer!) and settled naming the place Vendrarfjordr which means the winter haven, translated this remains today as Waterford. Their leader was called Regnall now Reginald, and he became the first king of Waterford, ensuring the permanency of Viking settlements in Ireland.
Jacobs cream crackers started life in Waterford as ships biscuits!
You might also like to hear that during the reformation the town of Waterford didn’t replace all the post boxes with the ER and VR, they just painted them all green.
Sean and I just had to visit the Waterford Crystal factory whilst here, and I am so glad that we took the 60 minute tour. It was quite pricy at 13Euros, but fascinating. We were taken on our tour by a cheerful guide called John, who explained the history of Waterford glass. You can probably google as much as you need to know, so I’ll just tell you about the apprentices. For the first time in 18 yrs. they are taking on twelve new apprentice’s, an apprenticeship lasts five years, each year the apprentices are expected to learn 20, ten digit codes, these codes carry information about the starts and stops of a cut, the shape and how deep the cut is. At the end of the five years each apprentice will know 100 ten digit codes by heart. They will then be asked to make the apprentices bowl, this small bowl has 602 cuts, they are given three attempts and if they fail on the third attempt, they are asked to leave. No pressure there then! To become a master cutter you would then undertake to complete a further three years training, then to become a grand master you must complete an additional two years on an art course, so ten years all in all. As we were taken through on our tour, we met many people that had come to the company as boys and were now mature men.
If you are ever in a position to commission an individual piece of Waterford Glass, don’t panic if you accidentally smash it, because they always make three copies. One for the client, one for the company records and another…just in case!
Waterford Crystal also made the chandeliers in both the Catholic and Protestant churches in the town. Plus the giant ball in Times Square that is displayed on New Year’s Eve!
Marian and Simon took in the walking tour; we all went to the medieval museum at one time or another
We all agreed we had had the most interesting day in Waterford, but time presses on, so we slipped our lines and glided off back down the river at 4.30 travelling with the tide. The river is well marked and exceptionally pretty.
We decided that we would just get ourselves to the mouth of the river Suir, ready to head off over to Cork tomorrow. The journey is about 64nm, so coming part way this afternoon makes it easier for us all tomorrow.
For the last couple of days we have noticed that when we have tried to start the engine on the engine battery that it is sluggish, as though there is not enough power, today she refused to start on the engine battery at all. So this evening after out chicken and mushroom pie (cooked by me whilst the others steered us down the river), we uncovered the batteries and Sean and Simon worked out what the problem was. The distilled water needed topping up, thankfully we carry some with us, so for once an problem easily
solved. We are on a buoy off Dunsmore East, although its so calm that it doesn’t feel as though we are on a buoy. Waterford to Dunsmore East 14.5nm very easy!!!
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