My top destinations

by Julian

It is the end of the year and since we started out in 2012 we have covered 3000 miles in Carina. I have already reviewed when things go wrong, so for balance I thought I would highlight some of the best places we have been to. I have chosen one destination in each country we have visited, though there are many other fabulous places in all five countries.

Tresco – Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England

TrescoCollageWe moored on either side of Tresco. In New Grimsby Sound on passage to Ireland and in Old Grimsby Sound on the way back. I’ve heard people be a bit sniffy about Tresco because the south end of the island is so well tended. But in fact this is one of the most stunning things about it. It is an island of two extremely different halves. Of course the views everywhere are incredible. When the sun is out the beaches have the feel of a south pacific island. The moorings are a bit pricey but it is possible to anchor. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there. See the blog posts: Hungry sailors in Tresco and Falmouth to the Isles of Scilly.

Muros – Ria de Muros, Galicia, Spain

MurosCollageThe town is absolutely lovely with its old narrow streets overlooking a nice bay. The marina is pricey, but probably the best I have ever stayed in, with the office, lounge and laundry all set in an old converted cottage. It has a great family feel about it. If you love fish Muros is certainly a top destination too and we were there for the fabulous Virgin del Carmen fiesta with its waterborne parade. Despite the comments in the pilot guide about anchoring difficulties plenty of yachts anchored in the bay with no major issues. However, our best time was away from the town, when we anchored off a beach around the corner. I could walk into Muros and we could swim or row to the beach to play for the afternoon. We even collected delicious mussels at low water, whilst some locals were picking the razor clams. See the blog posts: Ria de Muros – a little bit of heaven, Fiesta de Virgin del Carmen and Beach Interlude.

Culatra – Algarve, Portugal

CultraCollagePeople just anchor here and stay for the whole summer and I can see why. What a fantastic place. Away from the traffic children can run around in relative safety, they cannot go far because it is a small island. Many people just seem to hang around barbequing fish that have been collected by the fleet of small, often single person boats. There is also the community of catamarans in the lagoon, some of which are permanent inhabitants. Ferries to Olhao and Faro mean that you can get everything you might need, but it is fun to just stay on the island and meet the people, including sailors from all over Europe. See the blog posts: Have you heard the one about the Inuit family, Old cats and Arviat on the Algarve.

L’Aber Wrac’h – Brittany, France

LaberwracCollageI just love the many faces of L’Aber Wrac’h. You can moor upriver at Paluden, away from the bustling marina of La Palue, or hang out and meet the many interesting sailors (and rowers), from all over the world, passing through on their adventures. There are beautiful walks in the woods, the hills and along the beaches, with their cockle picking opportunities. Nice towns you can walk to (or catch the bus), and of course the chance to sample the delicious food of Brittany. But probably the most spectacular thing is the entrance itself with impressive granite rocks and a giant imposing lighthouse in the backdrop (Possibly the tallest in the world). It is a great staging post for an adventure. See the blog post: Brittany.

Derrynane – County Kerry, Ireland

filename-derrynane-harbourDerrynane has a tight entrance, only to be attempted in good weather, but once in you are safe at anchor, in a beautiful cove. If the weather turns bad you’ll have to stay there and wait it out though. The sort of place where you can swim from the boat to the beach, explore all around the fantastic dunes and rocks, finding a variety of interesting places to play and chill out. It has a great pub too. What more do you want? See the blog post: Dolphins divers and Derrynane.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for now, except to say that I would feel bad without at least a mention of some other places which could have made this list.

Falmouth, Fowey, Penzance, The Yealm and Mevagissey – England.

Horseshoe Harbour – Sherkin Island, Glandore, Crookhaven and Lawrence Cove – Bere Island – Ireland.

Camaret sur Mer – France.

Porto – Portugal.

Ria de Viveiro, La Coruña, Rianxo, Bayona (all of Galicia really) – Spain.

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Lily loose with her camera

Last Christmas, Mammy gave her old camera to Lily. Having taken photos with my smart phone for some time, Lily was delighted to have a camera of her own. Apart from recharging the batteries from time to time, her dad and I have nothing to do with the camera. So when we uploaded the photos onto the laptop recently, we got some lovely surprises. Here are some of my favourites – Lily’s view of the world over the past ten months:

(P.S. Just noticed an old blog post of the pictures Lily took with the smartphone when she was 4.)

It's all about the money

It’s all about the money

Setting up scenes with her favourite model

Setting up scenes with her favourite model

Mummy making supper

Mummy making supper

I have no words to accompany this...

There are no words…

Liferaft

Life raft

Katie

Katie

Grandad

Grandad

Selfie

Selfie

A subliminal message to Mummy and Daddy?

A subliminal message to Mummy and Daddy?

Dad servicing the anchor windlass

Dad servicing the anchor windlass

Concentration

Concentration

Swans near Falmouth

Swans near Falmouth

Tugs

Tugs

Falmouth sky 1

Falmouth sky 1

Falmouth sky 2

Falmouth sky 2

Falmouth sky 3

Falmouth sky 3

Falmouth sky 4

Falmouth sky 4

Katie in La Palue

Katie crosses the Channel

Katie closeup

Katie closeup

Hidden Katie

Hidden Katie

Galicia

Galicia

Mussel rafts

Mussel rafts

Fuzzy felt - art imitating life

Fuzzy felt – art imitating life

Lily's Dad

Dad

Sheets

Sheets

Shopping unpacked

Shopping unpacked

Marina fish

Marina fish

Drying clothes

Drying clothes

Katie - another sailing kid

Katie – another sailing kid

A constant companion this summer

A constant companion this summer

Evening in Aguadulce

Evening in Aguadulce

Another Katie closeup

Another Katie closeup

Katie monkeying around

Katie monkeying around

More monkey business

More monkey business