Sunday, September 7, 2008

Baltimore, Skibbereen and Heir Island

We got to Baltimore relatively early so ended up having lunch ashore. Having found a new gas cylinder and topped up some of our water, there didn’t seem to be much reason to stay, so we headed on up the river to find a quiet spot to anchor for the night.
Having stopped and settled, we worked out that to take the dinghy up to Skibbereen on the tides without running out of water to float on meant that we would have to leave around 7:30am and probably wouldn’t be able to get back until about 4:30pm. Since we needed fuel, it seemed prudent to venture up on the evening tide with the fuel cans in the dinghy to get diesel and petrol and then to work out whether it was worth spending the entire day in Skibbereen tomorrow. As it happened, it wasn’t! We got the fuel, grabbed a somewhat grim takeaway and then headed back downriver to Talia. On the way back, we stopped off to visit the famine graves at Abbeystrowry.

The following morning, we went back downriver on the early tide and anchored off Heir Island, wrongly named on the Admiralty Charts as Hare Island. Whilst walking there with Pippin on her lead, we were accosted by a tiny old lady jabbering at us in very fast gaelic. When she realised we couldn’t understand her, she switched to equally fast and almost indecipherable English, the gist of which was that Pippin should be kept on a string to stop her from bothering the animals. Once she realised Pippin was actually on a lead, she calmed down. Later Mark declared that he could see where legends of leprechauns had come from as he thought we’d just met one!

We also dinghied across Roaring Water Bay in an attempt to find the ruins of the castle that we could see from Talia, but every time we thought we were nearly there, the ruins seemed to disappear. We never did get to see them close up, though we had some spectacular views across the bays to compensate.

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