So it’s been an interesting 6 days.
I wanted to get to Arklow on time, so I had a bit of rough weather and seas, but nothing terrible.
For 6 months, I had planned all the work that needed to be done on Dauntless this winter and spring.
Almost none of it was done.
Why, you wonder? simply put, with the boat out of the water, with all the salon hatches open to the engine room and with the general disorder that comes with such work, I found it virtually impossible to do the projects that I had planned on doing. In hindsight, I did not anticipate the amount of turmoil the boat yard work would produce.
So, by the time I left the boat yard of New Ross, we were seaworthy, but a f…ing mess. A salon full of stuff and parts that needed to be organized and put away. A pilot house full of tools that had not been organized as I had planned.
Leaving Kilmore Quay, I was not on a northerly track for the next few weeks. Out 2016 was underway for better or for worse.
Alone, more than I liked or had planned, friends were coming from the USA for the month of June and I felt an obligation to push as best I could to get to the ports we had planned to meet.
Day 2 Kilmore Quay to Arklow to meet Brian from USA.
In leaving New Ross so quickly, it meant even the paravanes, my stabilizers, were not set up. So I ended up rolling my way to Arklow. With winds on the NE bow, we were going into a bit of a head seas, not nice and we rolled a bit, not great, but livable.
Arriving in Arklow, the town has two places to dock on opposite sides of the river. Thus poor Brian went to the north side as I went to the south side. Finally, we talked and he told me he could see me, therefore, I went to him on the north wall.
Remember the new paint job, well, it sustained its firs blemish. Even after setting all the fenders (buoys) that we could, as the tide left and returned, the bow cap rail sustained it’s first scrape.
Oh well, you can’t live forever and for millions species of things, they would be quite happy to live two days. My new paint job should feel itself lucky.
Day 3 Arklow to Dunloagharie (just south of Dublin)
A relatively easy, short day, but I had to see the customs guy from Waterford. He was scheduled to be on the Custaim boat for the next 8 days leaving from this port, Dunloagharie (just south of Dublin) so I had decided to make his job and therefore my paperwork as easy as possible. We had arranged to meet him the afternoon after we had arrived. Peter (seems like half the people in Ireland are named after my brother, so it makes it easier to remember their names), on time and meticulous as ever, I had the forms I needed checked, signed and embossed. No European bureaucracy can resist the raised imprint of the embossed seal. Does matter what it says, it’s only important that you have it. Just watch Game of Thrones and it all becomes clear. (though with a bit less killing, maiming and torture that is depicted in the GOT).
Day 4 & 5 Ireland to Northern Ireland
Last year I vowed to never go out into head seas or contrary winds.
That determination lasted until Day 4 this year. Am I proud of it? No, I was as sick as a dog. A really sick dog.
I took my medicine. I felt good enough to function. Winds were right on our nose, up and down, first you are looking at the sky, then the bottom of the sea. We even got some spray on the pilot house windows. With a strong 4 knot current running with us to the northeast, but with strong winds from the northeast at 18 gusting to 25, it produced high, 8 feet, steep waves. The steepness of the waves produced all the spray on Dauntless.
Brian volunteered to take the 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. watch and I relieved him at 2. Having a few hours’ sleep helped, but up and down every 7 seconds was miserable.
Brian was back before 6 a.m. and at that time, I had decided to head due west to a cove that may provide us some protection from the wind and seas. About 7 a.m., I left him, but added that if conditions changed, we could continue to head north to Northern Ireland.
Eating in my bed in the forward cabin. I luxuriated in not having to do anything but hold on as we bounced up and down. My toes held the wall, while my arm under my head touched the opposite wall. I felt so good with every up and down. The Krogen handled it so well. And being in bed, half sleeping, I felt fine. No longer sea sick, by body enjoyed the roller coaster ride.
That’s the tings about our 42 foot Kadey Krogen. It always feels secure. No matter how bad the conditions, while it may feel like another ride on the “wild mouse it still feels secure, like we are on rails.
Soon after I went to bed, I could tell that the seas and winds had changed somewhat. In my sleepy state, I thought about getting up and telling Brian to just keep going north as originally planned. But I also knew that I had told Brian to “act accordingly” depending on conditions. After a few hours of sleep, as the conditions stayed moderate, I thought I should just stay in bed until Brian got us to Scotland. He was doing fine, or better yet, he didn’t mind the ride in the pilot house and I was happy in my bed. What’s to complain about?
I finally did get out of bed and that afternoon we headed into Glenarm, on the northern coast of Northern Ireland.
The next day would find us under the high pressure that gave us fair skies and light winds, finally, easing our way into Scotland.
Tomorrow, Scots and Scotland