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Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?

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Clive

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Dun Laoghaire 10th August

Yacht Quintet
Visitors' Berth
Dun Laoghaire Harbour Marina
Dun Laoghaire
County Dublin

10th August, 2005

<-Arklow 9th August Dun Laoghaire 11th August->

We have had some crap weather in the last eight weeks and this morning, like many before it, dawned grey and overcast. But today was always full of promise, perhaps not for a sailing wind, but warmth and sunshine were guaranteed as soon as the cloud burned off. We just had to be patient.

There are massive tidal currants on this coast, nearing four knots in the springs, so it was important that we set off at the right time. We therefore had planned for an 08.00o'clock start and it was barely 9.55 when we actually left. Well, breakfast takes longer than you think and I had to have a shower and then make a second journey to the facilities to get rid of the garbage. You know how it is.

When we finally got away and motored out of the harbour, the sea was like glass. Not a breath of it. So we motored north, forever searching for the telltale ruffles on the water which presage a sailing breeze, but nothing. Progress was very good though. We were soon eating up the miles at a prodigious rate.

Click for a larger imageIt suddenly occurred to me that we must be very near the latitude that we started our voyage at Fosdyke all those weeks and miles ago and, sure enough, at about 10.00o'clock we had rounded Mizen Head in County Wicklow and were north of our start point. But we were still not north of our most northern position so far. That was a point out in the Wash on our first day, en route to Wells next the Sea. We crossed that point at 11.31. And, of course we had to celebrate, with a very nice bottle of Cremant d'Alsace. I wish we had bought more of it in Boulogne. It was very, very nice. It went straight to my head!

Click for a larger imageJust look at the concentration on Clive's face. I wish he'd concentrate like that when he's steering. Oh, he is steering.

By noon the sun had finally done its work and we were motoring under blue skies and feeling pleasantly warm, or was that the Cremant d'Alsace?



Click for a larger imageWe decided to defer lunch until we arrived in Dun Laoghaire. We were expecting to be there around 2.00 in the afternoon and sure enough we passed inside Dalkey Island and entered Dublin Bay just around 1.30 pm.

We had the usual trouble, trying to call the marina, 'Nothing heard!' so we motored in and tied up at the first vacant hammer head pontoon. This turned out to be a major mistake as it was bloody miles to the office, gate, showers, laundry and bars.

We tidied up and had lunch: soda bread and pickled and smoked herrings and a French beer. Scrumptious. We then did all the usual things, paying money to the marina, showering, laundry, afternoon nap, etc. and then we went out to find a beer and dinner.

Click for a larger imageWe had decided to leave Dublin for tomorrow, planning shopping during the day and some food and music in the evening so tonight we thought that we would visit one or two of the yacht clubs which face Dun Laoghaire harbour and I dressed especially nautical for the occasion. There are four yacht clubs on Dun Laoghaire harbour: National Yacht Club, Royal Saint George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club.

We began at the Royal Saint George Yacht Club, but I have a feeling they saw us coming because they wouldn't open the door. Too posh for us I suppose.

Next we tried the National. One ring of the bell and the front door was opened by a nice lady who asked who we were. We said that we were visiting yachtsmen come for a beer to which she asked 'Have you someone to sign you in?'

Click for a larger imageWe replied that visiting yachtsmen were always welcome and she allowed us in telling us that she didn't know these rules as she only started today. This was lucky as the brochure suggests that one needs to be a member of another yacht club and bring one's membership card. Clive was going to say he'd left his at home but no need. The bar is very splendid and they served the best Guinness we've had in Ireland, just the 'right' temperature.

There were not many people at the club but we talked to a couple of the members and learned that Thursday, tomorrow, is the busy night with upwards of 350 boats racing on the bay. I made a decision to come back at 6.00 pm tomorrow and get a race.

Then we went off to find dinner. We looked at a posh 'Chinese' but decided that neither our attire nor our wallets were up to it. We nosed in at a couple of nondescript places but were not impressed.

Eventually we stopped outside an Italian restaurant. Had we not been in excess of two 'sheets to the wind', I might be able to remember its name. Anyway it's a fair way up the street going northwards from the road down to the ferry and it serves excellent crostini, with garlic and parmesan, delicious, and a super house white wine. But the lasagne is so so and the chicken, pollo di parma, was like shoe leather, although probably not as tasty. Shame really because the restaurant had a really nice atmosphere.

We wended our way home and called in at Dunphy's bar for a nightcap, a pint of Beamish and a small Powers' Irish whiskey. Very pleasant too.

Click for a larger imageI met a man there named Christie. I think Christie must be a very good person!

Les Sutcliffe



<-Arklow 9th August Dun Laoghaire 11th August->