Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall Cruise from Mayo to Donegal. Part 2: Inishkeas to Teelin

Crossing Donegal Bay in shades of grey again.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
We left the anchorage in the Inishkeas rather late, thinking we would stop in Broadhaven or Killala for the night. But then we came up with the brilliant idea of pushing to get to Teelin and having a another day off to visit Slieve League while we were there. The seas had calmed but there wasn't enough wind to propel Aleria, so we motor sailed up the Mayo coast. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fall cruise from Mayo to Donegal. Part 1: Clew Bay to the Inishkeas


Departing Clew Bay on the morning tide.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Confused seas off Achill Head.
On a beautiful Thursday morning in mid-October, we departed from Clew Bay on the outgoing tide. High tide was at 8 am and we needed to get out early to make the 50-mile trip to the Inishkeas. The sky turned an amazing purple, with the morning sunrise breaking through heavily overcast skies. The weather in Ireland had been miserable all summer, but October proved spectacular. Very little rain, not too windy, and not too cold. This morning, the forecast was for clearing skies and light winds in the morning, with wind dying out in the afternoon.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I lost my sole in the Inishkeas

Flopping along made it hard to sneak up on wildlife.
 
You might have read the title and thought, “How could she allow such a major typographical error, and in the title no less?” Indeed, it is probable that I lost my soul among those enchanted deserted islands as well. But, no, this time it was indeed my sole and before it was all over, both soles were given over to the islands, though only figuratively as I did not leave them behind.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Aleria spends winter with the big boys in Killybegs



Overwintering in Galway.
Aleria, at 57 feet long, is often one of the larger yachts in a marina. For the last few years, she spent the winters in the water in Galway Harbour. Not a bad place to be as the marina is smack in the middle of the old city. It’s great to have an apartment right in the heart of town. Unfortunately Galway does not yet have the facilities to haul vessels of Aleria’s size, but when the new marina comes in, hopefully it will. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Apps for sailing


Navigating the old fashioned way.
 
 
Navionics app on Samsung mobile.
What on earth did we do with ourselves in the days before apps came into our lives?  Can I even remember?  Let's see. We read books. We navigated by dead reckoning. We waited until landfall to call people. Now it's all immediate. I once joked with a reported who was interviewing me that I learned to scuba dive so I could go on holiday where clients couldn't reach me -- underwater.  Yet, it's a bit too true that today we are forever accessible. This cannot be good. However, even I find myself caught up in the app collection craze. When one considers that more than half of responders to a survey of blue water sailors say they have 4 or more devices with GPS on board, you can reckon that dead reckoning is indeed dead.

I don’t have an iPad.  I have a Samsung android smartphone. They all have GPS now.  Even our camera has GPS. Take a picture and you'll know your exact location. My new android is big enough to see a great deal of detail. I was considering getting a tablet but decided that this is more than enough for now.  I find myself using apps more and more on board. I also find it takes more and more time to keep up with what's available and how to use it. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

The social side of sailing


There is a camaraderie in sailing that I have not found in many other pursuits. For example, it is rare to strike up a conversation with other skiers who are unknown to you on the mountain, even during lunch at large communal tables. Yet put two sailors in a room together and before you know they have become the best of friends.