Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Wonderful Irish sailing

The wind may be on the cool side but we've had sunny, settled weather for the past few days to enjoy this absolutely beautiful part of Ireland.

Three nights in Dingle gave us time to recover from the night sail, visit the very good Dingle whiskey and gin distillery and have a brilliant night in the quirky Dick Mack's pub. Dingle is definitely a key stop in the Ring of Kerry tourist trail so there are lots of American and German accents to be heard around town and every pub offers some kind of 'traditional' music for the tourists - often it's not too great. We were very lucky when a group of 6 musicians, 3 Irish and 3 Czech asked if we'd mind if they came into our little back room in the pub to play. They were fantastic and we stayed till after midnight.

Time to move on, so we sailed out of Dingle on Friday and were treated to a farewell wave of the fin by Fungie, the resident dolphin who has made the outer harbour his home since 1983 and has brought a lot of tourist income to the trip boats who take visitors out to see him every day.

We've started to head south but have taken the time to go deep into the Kenmare and Bantry bays to find some sheltered and very picturesque anchorages - first to Sneem and then through Dursey Sound, the narrow gap between the mainland and the island at the bottom left of the map, to head towards Glengarriff.

Flying our Irish Flag spinnaker (a set of stitched photos so the sea gets an interesting texture!)

Going up river in the dinghy to the little town of Sneem

The local wildlife

Our anchorage at the mouth of the Sneem River

Heading towards Dursey Sound

Safely though the narrows

Our track shows we had to keep very close to the island to avoid the shallows in the centre of the sound. The "4KN" on the chart means that the current runs at up to 4 knots (about 5mph) so it's vital to arrive at slack water to avoid being pushed towards shallows or rocks.
We had a great sail on to Adrigole Harbour yesterday, a beautiful but empty bay on the north side of Bantry Bay for a quiet night on a mooring. As forecast, the wind is now increasing from the SE again so we'll move on to Glengarriff, right at the head of Bantry Bay, this morning - it looks really pretty and will offer complete shelter from the wind. 

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