Wonderful West Cork

Moonlight

Old Head of Kinsale lighthouse greeted us as we arrived in Ireland on July 25th. We spent a restful few days in Kinsale, catching up on sleep and doing a mountain of laundry. By day three we were ready to move on and the weather was favourable for a passage to Union Hall/Glandore. We set sail west for Glandore, bidding farewell to the Old Head of Kinsale, and we made our fastest passage yet, shooting along at close to and over seven knots for the entire 30 mile journey. The coastline grows more rugged and spectacular the farther west one travels along the Cork coast, and we feasted our eyes on cliffs and headlands that would make your heart sing. Passing Galley Head, we came into view of Roscarbery, home to my aunt Marian and uncle Jim, and scene of many a happy childhood, and indeed, adult, holiday and I pointed out the various features on the landscape that I remembered from a lifetime of visits – most notably the beach where I fell off a horse not once, not twice, but three times in one afternoon.

Tralong Bay, west Cork

The entrance to Glandore Harbour is both beautiful and treacherous, but we had time during careful navigation to enjoy the deep chasms cut into the cliffs and the awesome Adam Island. Passing Adam Island, the islands farther west come into view, rising jagged and green out of the sea.

We anchored in Union Hall, and picked up the punt of a friend of my uncle Jim. Padraig Kelly, this kind fellow sailor, has been generous with local knowledge and information, and though we were not to meet him in Union Hall, left his punt and his mooring buoy for our use. We didn’t use the mooring, but the punt proved invaluable, especially when my sister arrived and we could make use of a larger boat for getting to shore from our anchorage.

Julian rowing to shore at Tralong Bay in Padraig Kelly’s punt

We motored out to Tralong Bay with plans of a picnic and a walk to Drumbeg stone circle. But like all best laid plans…Katie fell asleep and the outboard refused to work. So, leaving my sister aboard to keep an eye on Katie, Julian rowed Lily and I ashore for a play on the beach in glorious sunshine. As always, from water level, Carina is a sight for sore eyes – our wonderful little floating home!

Carina at anchor in Tralong Bay

We moved around a couple of hundred metres across the bay and moored closer to Glandore. We enjoyed warm hospitality and wonderful home cooking (as always) of my aunt and uncle. My sister returned home to Edenderry, taking Lily with her for a ‘big girl’s holiday’ with Granny. Julian, Katie and I spent a few nights in Glandore, buffeted by southerly winds that blew directly into the channel and made for not very comfortable sleeping conditions. However, Glandore is exceptionally beautiful and we enjoyed sunrises, sunsets, moonrises and still and choppy waters both from shore and from the boat. A very nice place to wile away a few lazy days.

Julian and Katie enjoying the view from Glandore

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