Well, just like words in the Jimi Hendrix song ‘Manic Depression’ , we “..fell straight and missed”. Dublin, that is. Coming out of Milford Haven, navigating our way around the super-tankers coming in to unload much needed fuel for the UK economy, we took a northerly course with every intention of completing the 20 hour journey to Howth – OK, so that’s not quite Dublin city centre, but it’s close enough and a darn sight better facilities – in time for a refreshing pint of the Black Stuff on it’s home turf.
The best laid plans of mice and men do, as they say, often go awry. And ours did. However, a core skill in passage planning is to have a couple of back-up plans. We relied on Plan C and made a beeline for Arklow, some 40 miles south of Dublin. We arrived at around 8pm in rain and a gusting wind, entered the river and moored up on a pontoon just outside the, tiny, marina. (As an aside, the location for ‘Ballykissangel’ is just upstream.) That night the winds, combined with a couple of loose pontoon slabs, created quite a din, at least for the 2 aft cabins occupied by Neil and Allan.. Things that Go Bump in the Night, Part 2.
There was nothing to see in Arklow in the time that we were there and, frankly, we didn’t want to stay on as the fish factory creates quite an aroma around the town. Nevertheless, the marina shower facilities were nicely kept, in an old shed type building, were very clean, maintained and with some nice touches not seen in more salubrious marinas – boxes of coloured tissues and scented soap. Nice one, Arklow.
We plan leaving around 11am and are timing that to catch the northern bound tidal streams that will boost our passage to the Guinness parlour in Howth.
Day 17 April 22nd