Last night saw us ashore as a watch in Dun Loaghaire (just south of Dublin)visiting a local bar and restaurant – the one that Alma didn’t book – she was going to but she was visiting her brother, a local GP who got called out and was then late getting his sister back into town. But we managed to find somewhere that was pleased to see us, not to mention the other two watches who somehow ended up in the same establishment. Must have doubled their takings for the week if not the fortnight which probably accounts for the number of people wearing their sunglasses to breakfast this morning – some of them kept them on all day.
Our watch had no such problems. We had the power of Berroca* to pick us up. Alma made sure we all had a glass before starting in on our breakfasts – they really do work.
Just as well because after breakfast we were all out on deck to help with assisted climbs when all those who wanted, including those in wheel chairs had the opportunity to go up the mast to the first platform. Jamie from our watch has still not stopped grinning while Geoff, later in the afternoon, capped off his ascent of the mainmast in his wheelchair with steering the ship with the joystick while everyone else was setting sails which took a good forty five minutes.
Although the wind direction had changed in the middle of the night and was now blowing us on to the dock – good old Dr Sodde – getting off the dock proved to be easier than anticipated. A call to the locals saw us having our bow pushed out by not only our own doti boat but also the inshore lifeboat complete with crew and the safety boat from the local yacht club – they were really great without their help it would have been much more tricky.
Underway with Jo from forward port watch out of her wheelchair and firmly ensconced at the helm. She must be good, Captain Neil just told her to steer the ship out between the two pier heads – no other helm orders – and she did it to perfection.
After setting royals, t’gallants and topsails not to mention the fore and aft sails we spent a delightful two or three hours with light winds pushing us along at 4 to five knots at times before they became increasingly fickle and died away completely leaving us virtually becalmed in beautiful golden late afternoon sunshine. It was so calm that you could fill your beer glass to the top, stand it on a table and not lose a drop!
The meal tonight was a culinary triumph. Cookie had excelled himself with roast beef cooked to perfection, the largest and lightest Yorkshire puddings we have ever seen accompanied by a whole medley of vegetables followed by a wonderful bread and butter pudding accompanied by a crème fraiche and brandy sauce.
We are now motoring northwards along the Irish coast before crossing the North Channel but as we are on watch at midnight we are off now to get some much needed sleep – well it will be needed by 0200 tomorrow morning.
*Berroca is a sparkling multivitamin drink that does exactly what it says on the tin – but is a fantastic cure for a hangover.
Forward starboard – Chris, Alma, Rod, Geoff, Jamie, Ciara, James and Stu.