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August 2015 - Ireland and England

August 30, 2015

Dear Family and Friends, Last I wrote we were at Falmouth England. We sailed to Plymouth Thursday, August 20, We were lucky to find a slip at the Mayflower Marina as the Fasnet Race boats had filled the various marinas in the area. We spent nine days at the Mayflower Marina in Plymouth.

Sunday, August 23, We celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary with a nice dinner at the marina restaurant and I celebrated my 63rd birthday. Wow my tenth birthday while out cruising! Where does the time go? I don't feel any older...

We rented a car for 4 days while in Plymouth. Wednesday, August 26 We drove through the Cornwall area and visited the Eden Project. This is 3 giant biomes (largest greenhouses in the world?) and beautiful outdoor gardens. For the daring they have Zipline above the park.

Thursday, August 27 we visited Dartmoor National Park area. We toured beautiful Buckland Abbey and equally impressive the Cotehele Estate and gardens. Cornwall and Devon are beautiful lush hilly countryside but at times we experienced roads as bad or worse than in Ireland. Our car could barely pass down the lane and it was two way traffic. In Dartmoor National Park it was open range so we had cows, sheep and ponies to watch out for.

Friday, August 28-29 We drove to Bristol and spent a couple of days with sailing friends Tony and Jenny. We met them in Kemer Turkey in 2008. They cruised as live aboards for 21 years and sailed twice to America. Great people and so interesting to talk with.

Sunday, August 30 We had a nice sail to Dartmouth where plan to jump off the English coast and head to the Channel Islands.

Monday August 31 We left early in the morning for Peters Port on Guernsey Island. These Islands have some crazy tidal races so we had to plan our arrival carefully. We had a great sailing day and arrived just as the tide was switching. High tide so we could enter the marina without a wait. Our main goal here is to visit Customs so we can restart Artemis EU customs clock. Every 18 months we have to get the boat our of the EU or pay a hefty VAT tax on her. We plan to stay a few days before heading to France.

Ireland | Glendalough | St. Kevin's Monastary hike

August 19, 2015

Dear Family and Friends, Last I wrote we were at Foley's Pub in Inch on Dingle Peninsula. We had a wonderful dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed some music and lively conversations in the pub.

Monday, August 10 we drove into Dingle, Ireland looking for Johnny the harbor master when we arrived in 2006. He's retired now but they thought he'd be down for coffee. We tried a couple of times but no luck. Dingle is much the same maybe a few more pubs and gift shops:-) We next headed "Over in Killarney" and had lunch. Beautiful cathedral nice town enjoyed couple of hours wandering. Our B&B was near Dungarvan in Co Waterford, very cute. We walked up the road to an old Pub for a pint and dinner. We were lucky enough to be seated with the fireplace. Great food and bottle of wine.

Tuesday, August 11 we drove into Dungarvan where my Great Grandfather John came from. We were told there are many Frahers still living in the area but we didn't meet any. We visited Pairc Ui Fhearchair (gaelic for Fraher Field)Irish football and Hurling Field donated by a Dan Fraher who died in 1924. That could be a distant relative. We enjoyed the town then went on to Waterford. We toured the House of Waterford Crystal for demonstrations on how the glass is blown. Only 55% of the crystal is still produced in Ireland the rest is produced elsewhere to Waterford standards. We enjoyed visiting both the Medieval Museum and the Bishops Palace museums. We drove back to Dun Laoghaire Marina and slept aboard Artemis.

Wednesday, August 12 we drove through the Wicklow Mountains. We toured Powerscourt Estate and 20 hectares gardens and enjoyed wonderful scones and coffee at the cafe. We had a picnic at Powerscourt Waterfall. After lunch we drove up to Glendalough (Valley of the two lakes) St. Kevin founded this monastery as a young monk in AD 498. Gorgeous setting and we enjoyed 3 hours walking the trails up to the two lakes and waterfall.

Sadly on Thursday, August 13 we dropped Brigid off at the airport and returned our rental car. She was a great travel partner, and so happy she could be with us aboard Artemis and traveling Ireland. Brigid introduced us to staying in B&B's another great way to experience a country. Back at the marina we settled up for our 2 week stay and sailed down to Arklow, Ireland about 35nm. Beautiful sunny sailing day to enjoy the coastline. It was rainy and cold when we sailed up this coast last June.

Friday, August 14 we visited the town of Arklow and just relaxed after our whirlwind touristing the past two weeks.

Great weather window so left early Saturday, August 15 84nm for Milford Haven, Wales. Great sailing winds so after an hour we changed course and decided to sail directly around Land's End to Newlyn England about 170nm. Long about noon the winds switched out of SW 25kts right on the nose. So changed course again and headed toward Milford Haven again. Glad we had great sailing winds as we had 3-4kts of tidal stream against us at times and we could still maintain 4-5.5 kts to the good. The last 20nm we added engine as we dropped down to 2kts to the good with just sails. We dropped anchor at 2100 and discovered our windlass was broken. We hadn't used the anchor since Skye. So 3 hours later Al had determined it was unfixable without some new brushes. We pulled the anchor up the next morning using a line with a hook attached to the anchor chain and the winch on the mast.

Sunday, August 16 was a motoring day. It started with some moderate seas but eventually the sea went smooth with no wind at all. We motored 130nm to Newlyn England dropping anchor at 0200 Monday, August 17 morning. We were up by 0900 so after breakfast we moved over to a free mooring outside of Penzance Marina. Great seaside town. We enjoyed walking about and had a great seafood lunch of mussels and seabass at the Boatshed. After lunch we took our dingy 2nm to St. Michael's Mount. This castle was once a monastery founded by the Benedictine Monks of St. Michel, France and has been the family seat for the Aubyns family for over 300 years. Lord St. Levan and family live here full time. St. Michael's Mount is an island at high tide and can be reached by a walking causeway at low tide much like Mont St. Michel in France.

Another beautiful day yesterday Tues. August 18 so we decided to leave early for tidal races at Lizard Point and enjoy a slow quiet sail. We dropped our mooring only to discover our propeller would not engage! Al discovered the set screw had worn and allowed the prop shaft to come out of the coupling. An hour later were up and running again. We turned off the engine and had a peaceful slow (against tide) sail over to Lizard Point (18nm) and then wind and tide switched and we had a great sail up to Falmouth, England.

Today, Wed. August 19 as forecasted it's rainy and windy so we're doing boat projects. We changed oil and transmission fluid. Did some more work on the prop shaft (need to buy another set screw) and the windlass (looking for replacement parts or someone to weld copper wires). We plan to be in this part of England for a week or so. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Ireland | County Clare | Cliffs of Moher

August 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends today is the third day of our Ireland road trip with Brigid and we are in Dingle where we landed in Artemis July 13, 2006 after crossing the Atlantic Ocean from St. John's Newfoundland.

Friday, August 7 we left Dun Laoghaire Marina near Dublin and traveled west toward Galway. We took a scenic route around Lake Corrib to Cong where we visited Ashfort Castle and it's beautiful gardens, Cong Abbey and had a picnic along the river. This is where the movie The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was made. We stopped at different sites depicted in the movie. Our roads were quite interesting. Thank God Alan doesn't mind driving on "cowpaths" on left side of road rather than the right. Some even had grass growing in the middle. Our B & B Portarra Lodge near Moycullen was lovely. It was very quiet, rural, on a fishing lake, gardens, nice rooms and great breakfast made to order each day. We had dinner in Moycullen at The Forge Pub.

Saturday, August 8 we visited Gallway City Farmer's market, and the sites in town then drove to Doolin and The Burren area. We stopped for a short visit at Donghaire Castle along the way. Doolin is at the north end of the Cliffs of Moher. Lots of beautiful vistas and tiny, tiny winding roads again. We visited the Burren museum in Kilfenora. We stopped for a pint at James Hurney Pub before heading back to our B & B. (sprinkles off and on and lots of wind today) Michael had a nice fire going in the gathering room which Brigid enjoyed as she checked emails.

Sunday, August 9 after another lovely breakfast and a stroll down to the lake we left Moycullen heading for Dingle and our B & B at Foley's Pub in Inch, Ireland. We went to mass at the Cathedral of St. Francis in Ennis Co. Clare. We drove through Lisconnor visiting St. Briget's Well on our way to the south entrance to the Cliffs of Moher. We had a beautiful walk along the cliffs and visited the Tourist Center. Gorgeous driving especially through the town of Adare. Lots of tourists but it looked like an interesting town to visit with 4 Abbeys thatched roof houses and big Heritage Center...not listed in Lonely Planet or Rick Steves. Our B & B is at Foley's Bar and Restaurant near Dingle. Eating dinner here tonight and heading into Dingle tomorrow. Love and God Bless Brigid, Sally and Al

Ireland | Dublin | Temple Bar

August 6, 2015

Dear family and friends,

We had a nice sail down to Dun Laoghaire near Dublin. We actually had a beautiful day on Saturday, August 1 to hike to Dalkey. We hiked the Metal trail to the quarry where all the Limestone came for building the harbor and many buildings in Dun Laoghaire. Dalkey castle had a nice tour with costumed guides through out. Then hiked the Harbor rd along the bay back to Dun Laoghaire. We visited the James Joyce Martello tower museum and enjoyed the kids flying the kites they had created in a beach workshop that day. We picked up some great sirloin and had a BQ. Rainy day on Sunday but went to mass which was all in gaelige.

We got the boat all organized for Brigid's arrival Mon. Aug. 3. Her flight was a few hours late but we were still able to hop a train into Dublin and get a full afternoon of sightseeing in. We mainly wandered and took pictures. We stopped at the Temple Bar for a pint of Guinness and some music. Of course we couldn't have JUST ONE so we stopped at another pub down the street. Went looking for a pizza but found another pub where we visited with a couple of nice ladies and their dog:-) We grilled sirloin again to celebrate Brigid's arrival.

Tuesday, August 4 (another sunny day)we took the train into Dublin again. This time to visit some museums and parks. We started with the Natural History museum, National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology, Stephens Green and Dublin Castle. We ended the day with the excellent tour at Guinness Storehouse & Brewery followed by a free pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar overlooking the city.

Wednesday, August 5 was a cold, windy wet day but we snuck out between the raindrops and enjoyed a walk around Dun Laoghaire. We stopped at Teddy's Ice Cream Parlor for a cone and then to the cafe in Moran Park for coffee. We had a pizza in town at Bits and Pizza's for dinner.

Early Thursday, August 6 we caught the Air Coach bus to the airport to pick up our rental car. We drove north of Dublin and visited the Bru na Boine area. We visited Trim Castle (largest Anglo-Norman 1173 fortification), Hill of Tara 5000 yr old Stone Age burial grounds, Newgrange was the highlight of the day with a tour of a Stone Age Passage Tomb dating 3200BC. The guide simulated the magical event that occurs at 0900 for 17 min on Dec. 21 Winter Solstice. Way cool!! Google It... Arrived back in Dun Laoghaire 2030 so decided to eat at The Forty Foot Weatherspoons. Friday we begin our road trip around Ireland. Love and God Bless Brigid, Sally and Al


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