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Kilmore Quay 7th August
7th August, 2005
We've spent 3 days in Waterford and it's rained for two of them. And it was raining when we arrived. And it was forecast to rain today, although it hasn't.
The first evening we were in town, the rain finally stopped and we walked into town looking for that first pint of Guinness. Ireland is so continental. No wonder they fit well into the European Union. Apart from speaking an approximation of English, they have so little in common with the United Kingdom. It's so refreshing to find so many small, pleasant, inviting, independent bars. It's just like France!
Our first bar, almost hidden in a backstreet of Waterford, served beautiful Guinness, although a little too cold for my taste. It didn't stop us having a couple before we went exploring for somewhere to eat. We wandered through the rain-soaked town centre and as the rain increased in intensity we slipped into Doolan's.
Doolan's is advertised as the home of the best live music in Waterford and also has a reputation for good food so we decided this would be where we would spend the rest of the evening. The food was pretty good. I had a passable fish pie and Clive waxed lyrical over his steak. And then we returned to the bar to listen to the band. They were enthusiastic, and loud and played at a frenetic pace, but if they were the best Irish music in Waterford.. We went back to the boat.
One conundrum though. There are three doors to Doolan's. There were two bouncers at one of the doors and none at the other two. Am I missing something here?
The next day the sun came out and we dried out the boat and fixed things including the table which I had demolished on the way over. We had a good pizza for dinner. Not much else happened really, except I had a tooth out. The way my teeth are going I will finish this trip with no job, no money and no teeth!
And on our last full day in Waterford it rained again. I wanted to visit the Jenkins Lane market. The Waterford visitors' brochure describes it as 'a hive of activity for arts, crafts, food and fun.' I wonder if we went to the right 'Jenkins Lane'?
This morning, in spite of forecasts of more dire weather, the sun shone and we slipped the mooring and turned into the stream of the River Suir. I had tried to return the key to the town marina, to the Tower Hotel reception as directed. But apparently the Tower Hotel will only take back a key and refund the deposit if they issued the key in the first place! So, if one got one's key from the City Engineers' department and one wants to leave when the City Engineers' department is not open, one cannot return one's key. The receptionist did say he would take the key and try to get the refund and post it to me, but I'm not as green as I'm shamrock looking!
We had a great run down the river in the morning sunshine. It's amazing how quick it is when you go in the same direction as the tide! We anchnored of Dunmore East where we had spent the night after our crossing from the Scillies and I prepared lunch, a new recipe, the 'Irish Frittata', containing bacon and black pudding. It was delicious, but I should have added some potatoes.
Soon we were hoisting sail and heading out to sea and Kilmore Quay just ten or so miles to the east. It was a bit of a struggle fighting current as the ebb stream runs westwards and back eddies on the eastern side of the estuary, but finally we rounded Hook Head light and started a gentle sail towards Kilmore Quay.
As we approached the harbour entrance, we kept well south to avoid the rocks which litter the shore and up to a couple of cables off shore. Suddenly we were assailed by a call from an unidentified station, we deduced it was the harbour master, calling 'white yacht approaching Kilmore Quay from the east, you are running into danger'.
We were momentarily concerned and then remembered that we were approaching from the west, so, unless the harbour was confusing his east and west.
He called a number of times but without getting a response. We presume that the yacht eventually saw the error of its ways and chose a safer course as we didn't hear any call for help or see the lifeboat come roaring out of the harbour.
We finally picked up the leads for the harbour, two concrete obelisks on the beach, and turned northwards. One has to be careful to stay on the leads as sharp rocks line both sides of the channel. The entrance could certainly be made safer with a couple of controlled explosions and a scattering of buoys. But where's the excitement in that.
As one approaches the harbour wall, it is hard to see the entrance of the harbour and suddenly it is there, a narrow cleft, half blocked by huge trawlers tied up against the harbour wall. We missed it and had to do a 270 degree turn to squeeze in. And once inside there's not a great deal of room either.
As we approached the marina pontoons, at the north end of the harbour, I was on the bow, preparing lines. Suddenly Clive called out. He was pointing at the water. A couple of rotund seals were staring up at us.
We spotted an empty pen and slipped in. Then I went in search of the harbour master to find out where we should moor for the night. Everybody I spoke to said he was about but nobody actually knew where he was. So I asked a couple of people to let him know we were looking for him and went back to the boat.
As I approached, it was obvious that the sitting tenant of our chosen berth had returned and was demanding occupancy so we untied and backed out, shouting apologies for keeping him waiting. We then moved round to double up with a splendid Najad 36. But before long the harbour master arrived and, having taken our money, asked us to move again as a large yacht was expected and had been told to moor where we now were. So we moved again.
We had pork goulash for dinner, with potatoes and cabbage and caraway dumplings. Considering that I had only plain flour and no baking powder, the dumplings were not half bad.
We then went to one of the two pubs in the village. It had live music. I don't know if any of you remember the duet that used to end the 'Smith and Jones' show? I suppose we will find some good music on this voyage eventually.
After one pint we adjourned to the other pub where after just one more pint, they closed. There you go. Back to the boat and open a bottle I guess.