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Archive for June, 2015

Only 12 miles today as we were paddling into F5 which strengthened to F7. We decided it was best to head for shelter. So here we are in Bunmahon on the Copper Coast. Tomorrow is likely to be off the water as well – partly due to winds but also as we need to sort some kit repairs out.  

Having coffee and cake in the Copper Coast Geoparks cafe.

  

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One thing about these trips that amazes me, is just how many experiences seem to be squeezed into just one day.

We got up around 6am having slept reasonably well in our bivy bags. By the time I arrived back from a trip to the public toilets, Geoff had already been given a cuppa by our lovely neighbours, and very soon I had one too. 

We were packed up, said our goodbyes and launched by 8.15. Leaving the Saltee Islands behind us we set off on the 15 mile crossing to Hook’s Head. Using our compasses we headed almost due west (with a pinch of South in it). Within a couple of hours we were properly alone on the water with the sun on our backs and making good progress.

A good day for wildlife, we saw our first Guillemots,Razor Bills, a solitary Puffin and a sleeping bull seal – vertical in the water.  Starting to feel like the expedition has started.

After a stop for lunch in Slade, we pushed on a few miles to Tramore and pulled into small fishing harbour which we discovered was also home to the RNLI.

To cut a long story short – what then followed was our second experience of incredible Irish hospitality. Pretty soon the local RNLI had arranged for us to store the boats and give us a place to sleep. Geoff and I headed off into town in search of food and our first Guinness.

On getting back, a car and a chap on a bike pulled up -Mick O’Meara and Dermot Blount. Both of them had paddled round Ireland in 1990 and set the record which stood for over 20 years. We enjoyed hearing some of their stories over a glass of wine and picking up some tips for our trip. Great to meet them both. Thanks both for your hospitality!

And also a big thank you to Dave O’Hanlon and the RNLI boys for looking after us so well……and for the life boat escort out of the bay the next morning. (So exciting!)
   
       

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First day faffing sorting out equipment and where to leave the car meant we didn’t get on the water till 10.45. 

The wind was against us all day but we’re really pleased how the new boats made progress. 18 miles down we were tempted to push on but that would mean committing to another 15 mile open crossing and a late finish. Perhap just a bit too much for the first day.

So here we are in our bivvys hoping to get some sleep and hoping for a big day tomorrow. 

We’ve already experienced the incredible hospitality of the Irish. Within 10 mins of landing this afternoon we were provided with a cuppa and a cake. An hour or so later the Irish equivalent of the WI were offering us more cake and sandwiches. Don’t think we’ll be going hungry this trip!

Our camp tonight….    

Night night Geoff! 

      

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A few days later than planned because of strong winds, but here we are in Rosslare ready for the off in the morning. Found a great little campsite and just gorged ourselves on chicken tikka.  

Winds forecast to be still fairly stiff against us tomorrow  so not anticipating big miles but will be great to get underway. 

If you fancy coming along with us for the ride, we’ll be posting the odd update here over the next few weeks.
Proud dad with his beautiful daughters in Bristol this morning:

  
The very last  car on the ferry….cut it a bit  fine:


 

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