Apologies for the lack of photos in this blog. I’m writing in an Internet Cafe and computer doesn’t like my camera. Pity…I have some wonderful photos. All the more for next time!
It’s almost two weeks now since we returned to Carina, following our little holiday in Edenderry. In our absence Julian had moved her over to beautiful Sherkin Island, and we took the ferry across from Baltimore to join him. After the hustle and bustle of Baltimore, Sherkin was a breath of quiet air, narrow country lanes and the ever present fuchsia that grows in such profusion all over west Cork and Kerry. A delicious dinner at the hotel was followed by a bouncy and uncomfortable night on the pontoon, and the next morning we returned to Baltimore aboard Carina to drop Mammy off and load the boat with all the groceries and clean laundry that I had brought back with me from Edenderry. We spent another night in Baltimore, this time at anchor, and early the next morning we set sail once again, this time for Crookhaven.
Crookhaven took my breath away. What a beautiful place. The entrance into the harbour presents a lighthouse complex on the north shore and stark cliffs with sea arches on the south. Once into the quiet and sheltered harbour, the small village lies on the south shore, with tiny sandy beaches and houses dotted all along the shoreline, while the contrast to the north shore is dramatic, with high sheer cliffs. We picked up a mooring buoy and rowed to the village, and then walked west to the delightful and Church of St. Brendan the Navigator (anyone who hasn’t read Tim Severin’s The Brendan Voyage go out and buy it now!!). From there we looked south across the see to Fastnet Rock and its famous lighthouse, and then slowly made our way back to the village, feasting on blackberries all the way. We bought soup and sandwiches at the pub and sat in the sunshine, sharing a table with a German couple and their 7-month old son, Pete, chatting about places we’d visited, and places we longed to visit.
We would very much have liked to spend another day in Crookhaven, but the forecast promised inclement weather, so we set sail again, this time for the sheltered haven of Lawrence’s Cove on Bere Island. We rounded the spectacular cliffs of Mizen Head with its precarious looking footbridge that links the lighthouse to land across sharp clifftops. We reached Bere Island late in the afternoon and took a berth at Lawrence’s Cove Marina, where we prepared to sit out the next day or two of force 8 gales. It’s a lovely marina, in a very quiet location, and once we were settled in, we took a stroll to the east end of the island, once again feasting on blackberries and enjoying the peace and quiet of this delightful spot.
We woke the next morning to strong winds and heavy rain, and it was going to be a day of laundry and general housekeeping. Lily came with me to the laundry room to help load the washing machine, slipped on the wet tiles and badly cut her chin. In the mayhem that followed the local nurse was called out of Mass, and she confirmed our suspicisions that the cut would require stitches. With no transport, the daughter-in-law of the owner of the marina loaned us her car, which Julian drove to the other end of the island. From there we took the ferry over to Castletownbere where the local GP told us we would have to go to Cork University Hospital to have it stitched under general anaesthetic. So I phoned my uncle Jim and he and my aunt Marian drove down from Roscarbery – a two hour drive – collected me and Lily, brought us back home with them and the next morning drove us another hour up to Cork city to the hospital. There, they confirmed yet again that she would require stitches, but they couldn’t do it that day. So we returned to Roscarbery, and then back again the next morning to Cork for an 8am appointment. 8am turned to 12 noon, and finally Lily was taken to theatre, anaesthetised and given five stitches (two of which had fallen out within 24 hours!). My aunt Marian then drove us all the way back to Castletownbere, where we got the ferry back to Bere Island, where Julian and Katie were patiently awaiting our return.
We’ve been farther west since then, into Kerry, but that’s a story for another day. Right now we’re back again in Castletownbere, and in 20 minutes I have to take Lily to the nurse to have the remaining three stitches removed. I think we’ll all deserve a treat after that! Boy I wish I could attach my photos to this!