Friday, August 29, 2008


Mon 25 Aug
We had nearly run out of water after deliberately running the tanks down to make the crossing to Ireland easier (which definitely made a difference to the motion of the boat) so when we dropped by the marina for diesel, it took about half an hour to fill both tanks and all the drinking water bottles. It meant that Talia was very heavy for the next stage and she dug her bows into every wave, meaning we lurched about far more than on previous trips.
Another bash to windward brought us about 20 miles further west to a tiny village with the activity being described in the guidebook as “What happens in Court Mac? The tide comes in; and the tide goes out again” !!
It’s a lovely place, completely unspoilt, though there are plans for a big marina. Talking with John the barman at Pier House pub, it seems that it may take a while for planning permission to be granted and plans to be finalised so if anyone’s thinking of heading out this way, do it now!
I tried Murphys which is very smooth and creamy – after having a pint of Guiness and tasting my Murphys, Mark also switched.

Tue 26 Aug
We finally got the folding bikes off the boat and onto the road! It wasn’t as difficult as we thought it might be, once we’d managed to get the bikes into the dinghy, as we had a pontoon at the pier for getting them set up. It would have been much more difficult on any of the beaches we’ve been accustomed to landing on!
We cycled 4km to Timoleague with Pippin scampering alongside on her lead for part of the way. When we started off, she decided it was a race and was towing me along via her collar and lead before I’d even managed to get my feet on the pedals. I was worried she would choke herself though she didn’t seem the slightest bit bothered, so we stopped and I put her harness on and clipped her lead to that. Off she went again, with me scarcely getting a chance to pedal, so after a bit, I picked her up and put her into a bag to carry her so she could get her breath back.

We explored the ruined abbey, which surprisingly has recent graves in the grounds, then went into the little town. We had a picnic back down by the water in front of the abbey, then headed back. This time Pippin was a bit more sensible and trotted along happily beside my bike. My only problem then was her sudden dives sideways into the bushes after some enticing scent which threatened to fling me over the handlebars on several occasions.
Eventually she got tired so I carried her again until we got to the outskirts of CourtMacSherry. I let her down for a run in the little park but was horrified to see her suddenly being chased by two ponies. Luckily they veered off as she swerved round a bush to get to me but the last thing we expected to see on such a tiny patch of grass was horses being exercised! The park can’t be more than 30m wide and is only about 150m long – the field where the ponies are kept must be much bigger.

Wed 27 Aug
We went out the other way towards the point to do part of the coastal walk and Pippin had a great time charging around the woods and pouncing on us from behind bushes. When we got out to the headland, we couldn’t actually see very much as fog had descended and visibility was down to about half a mile. We had an early dinner on board and went back ashore to walk Pippin and to visit the Pier Head pub for another Murphys or two. We’d met Danny and Joan on Monday and they came in shortly afterwards, so we spent an hour or two chatting with them before heading back to pack up ready for an early departure the following morning.

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