Kinsale, Ireland


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Kinsale was a wonderful place to make landfall into Ireland. As is often the case, the original idea to go to Kinsale was passed on by a blog reader. The town is considered the gourmet capital of Ireland, which is one of the reasons we decided to enter Ireland here rather than at Crosshaven on the outskirts of Cork. Kinsale also was a little closer than Crosshaven. And since big winds typically comes from the southwest, another appeal of Kinsale was we’d likely be in the lee of the Old Head well before we entered the harbor if we did make landfall during bad weather.

We had an excellent stay at the modern and welcoming Kinsale Yacht Club, and spent nearly three weeks enjoying the town’s many pubs and restaurants and nearby attractions, working through some post-passage chores, and preparing for our trip up the west coast of Ireland.

Trip highlights from May 24th through June 11th, 2017 in Kinsale, Ireland follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps

5/24/2017
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Main Street

Looking down narrow and colorful Main Street in Kinsale on our first foray into town. Most of Kinsale’s narrow streets support two-way traffic. Somehow cars, vans and small trucks work their way past each other and the pedestrians.
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Kitty O Se’s

After a bit of a walk around town, we decided on Kitty O Se’s for a celebratory landfall lunch. We had an excellent meal over a pint of Smithwicks. Sharing our first pint at an Irish pub is something we’d been looking forward to from almost the moment we left Newport.
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Old Head of Kinsale

This mural might be the best view we get of the light on the Old Head of Kinsale. We’ve read a private golf course operates there and aren’t sure if visitors can reach the light anymore.
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Cork Street

Looking south along Cork Street. Kinsale is a lovely town—we’re really enjoying being here.
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Compass Hill

After a week or more on board, we often take a long walk the day we land after a passage. This post-passage walk took us to Compass Hill, looking for some harbor views.
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Castlepark Marina

The view south from Compass Hill to Castlepark Marina, the other major marina in Kinsale. We chose the Kinsale Yacht Club because it’s more centrally located. That grey boat on the left on the outside of the dock is a Customs patrol boat.
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View

Jennifer enjoying the view from a perch on an old stone wall with Dirona moored behind.
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Dinner

Guest moorage at the Kinsale Yacht Club includes temporary club membership. We stopped in at the beautiful clubhouse for a light dinner overlooking the harbor. Dirona is just visible through the window.
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Race Results

Kinsale Yacht Club has an active racing membership. The clubhouse was nearly empty when we arrived, but filled in quickly when the evening’s racing was done. The man standing at the back at the podium on the left is announcing the race results.
5/25/2017
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St Patrick’s St

Today we took a 45-minute bus ride from Kinsale to Cork, Ireland’s second largest city. This is Cork’s premier shopping avenue, St. Patrick’s Street. Read more …
5/26/2017
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Immigration

In some places, a Customs officer handles immigration clearance. In others, a separate Immigration officer might arrive with Customs to clear us through all at once. And a third possibility is that we clear through Immigration separately, either from a Immigration officer visiting later, as in South Africa, or by going to the Immigration Office or Police Station, such as in St. Helena.

Ireland falls into the third category, where an Immigration officer stamped our passports a couple of days after we arrived. As with Customs, the process was fast and efficient, and we only had to present our passports with no other paperwork required.

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WiFi

The WiFi at Kinsale Yacht Club is excellent, but we’ve had trouble keeping our Bullet WiFi antenna connected when we can get a reasonably stable connection directly from any of our other devices. We tried using a spare Bullet and that worked. We couldn’t find any obvious config differences between the two Bullets, but the spare was on an earlier firmware version. So we downgraded the firmware on the failing to match the spare and it’s now working well.

This is the first place we’ve been outside of North America with unlimited WiFi, and it’s high-speed too, so we really wanted to get it working properly.

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Landfall Celebration

We had a fabulous and lengthy landfall celebration meal at one of Kinsale’s highly-rated restaurants, The Steakhouse, courtesy of our friends Adam and Eve Block, former owners of Nordhavn 47 Eden.

Adam and Eve thought we might be tired on arrival and, invariably, arriving in a new country has some overhead and administrivia. So, they decided to help us out and take us to dinner, accepting the complexity of taking someone to dinner in Kinsale Ireland when you are situated in San Francisco California. They are innovators and didn’t let a few thousand miles get in the way. They solved the problem by finding a well-regarded restaurant, contacting them, and setting it all up for us so all we needed to is show up, order, and enjoy. It was great—thanks Adam and Eve!

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The Steakhouse

Kinsale is considered the gourmet capital of Ireland, which is one of the reasons we decided to enter Ireland here rather than at Crosshaven on the outskirts of Cork. Like many Kinsale restaurants, The Steakhouse occupies what looks like a centuries-old building that has been beautifully renovated. Judging by the large hearth, this one likely was originally a house. We had what we considered the best table in the house: street-side on a balcony overlooking the lower level.
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Fog

The weather here changes a lot. Yesterday’s sunshine gave way to pouring rain all day and fog in the evening.
5/27/2017
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Fishing Vessels

The commercial pier just off our bow has been busy with fishing vessels coming and going the entire we’ve been here.
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Seal

We made our first spotting of an Ireland seal in the water next to Dirona.
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Ross Oil

Fueling in Ireland generally is done by truck. At Kinsale, we can refuel on the commercial pier or the ramp between the pier and the marina (shown).
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Low Tide

With a sunny forecast, we decided to walk out to Charles Fort that we’d passed on our arrival into Kinsale. This is looking across the head of Kinsale Harbour at low tide. Read more …
5/28/2017
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Cockpit Locker

We emptied the starboard cockpit locker this morning to look for any other possible sources of that water leak. There really are no other sources of water intrusion. The one-inch drain hole is the primary source, with the louvres and potential door weatherstrip leaks/seeps being potential secondary sources. In the short term, we’ll completely close off the drain. In the longer term, we’ll install a small-boat self-bailing transom plug.
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Stack

Our stack and domes were filthy with soot from the long run. It was much worse than normal due to torrential rainstorms tracking soot down. We spent much of the afternoon washing the boat, and waxing the stack to remove the soot. It looks much better now.
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Wharf Tavern

Dinner with a pint of Murphy’s overlooking the commercial pier at the Wharf Tavern.
5/29/2017
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Boat Launch

Something is always happening at the commercial pier off our bow. Today that crane in the center of the photo is launching the power boat just to the right.
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White House

An excellent meal at the White House pub. We’re really enjoying our stay in Kinsale.
5/30/2017
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Pigtail

The generator started about 2am this morning and we could see on our master stateroom N2KView display that we’d lost shore power, causing the generator to auto-start when the house battery level got sufficiently low. We could have just waited until morning, but were curious if we could find an easy fix. It turned out to be an unlikely issue: the wire connecting the two ends on our power adapter pigtail had a very slight current leak between conductors and ground. It was over three million ohms, so barely detectable, but enough to trigger European-spec RCDs (Residual Current Device). James put in a new length of wire and we were back up with power again.
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Raspberry Pi

James preparing to mount under the the salon settee the Raspberry Pi package he’d built during the Atlantic crossing. This Pi will implement fourteen new digital inputs and temperature sensors in the rear of the boat, the lazarette and the engine room area.
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View

Rosie and Bill Skelton, previous owners of Nordhavn 47 Nexus, invited us over for lunch at their beautiful view home on High Road. This is looking to Kinsale Yacht Club from their property, where they took the picture of Dirona arriving into Kinsale.
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Rosie and Bill Skelton

Rosie and Bill Skelton are perhaps the best hosts ever. The multi-course lunch was incredible, including our first traditional Irish stew. We had such a good time that we eventually had to drag ourselves away after seven hours, rivalling the eleven-hour meal at Peats Bite near Sydney, Australia for our longest lunch ever. This will certainly be one of the high points of our Kinsale visit.
5/31/2017
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Jim Edwards

We arrived at Jim Edwards pub for dinner just before the crowds did and had our pick of seats. We had a great meal, with a pint of Murphy’s of course. By the time we left, not one table was available.
6/2/2017
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James Fort

Today we biked out to James Fort, built in 1602 after the English victory over the Spanish and Irish in the 1601 Battle of Kinsale. Read more …
6/3/2017
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Smoke

One of the fishing vessel on the commercial pier nearly obscured in its own smoke.
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SuperValu

Jennifer rode her bike up to SuperValu to buy a few things. Their produce section is quite international—we bought product ranging from Irish strawberries to South African grapefruit.
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Sailing

Sailboats from the Kinsale Yacht Club were landing behind Dirona today.
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Kinsale Yacht Club

The striking entrance to the Kinsale Yacht Club docks.
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Fish Boats

Fishing vessels tucked in for the night along the commercial pier.
6/4/2017
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Old Head

Today was forecast to be the last sunny day for a while, so we took the opportunity to make the 8-mile bike ride to the Old Head of Kinsale. Read more …
6/6/2017
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Fishy Fishy

A delicious seafood meal at Fishy Fishy near the marina.
6/7/2017
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Sea Hunter

The ship Sea Hunter arrived into Kinsale Habour early this morning with tug assist. The ship looked much too large for the commercial pier, but they managed to get a good three-quarters on the dock, although with the bow nearly touching the Wharf Tavern behind the pier. One time a docking ship went too far forward and the bow actually went through the second-floor wall above the tavern.
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Navy

For the past couple of days, high-speed Navy tenders have been picking up and dropping off passengers in Kinsale. We’re told several Irish Navy ships are in the waters off the Old Head.
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Crane

The Sea Hunter was carrying a cargo of British malt for whiskey production. The cargo was offloaded by crane into this elevated bin, and was then dropped into a bin to supply a procession of trucks. The trucks moved back and forth below the bin to get an even load.
6/8/2017
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968mb

We’re glad not to be in the North Atlantic right now. A 968-mb low pressure-system is passing right across our path to Ireland, bringing 45-knot winds and 25ft seas. June apparently isn’t a lot better than May for a crossing.
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Fueling

Rosie and Bill Skelton sent us this picture they took from their home above the harbour of Dirona fueling by truck on the commercial pier. We took on 1,398 gallons (5293 liters) of diesel by truck for €0.62/liter, which works out to $2.63/gallon in US dollars. That’s not much more than the price we paid in Newport, RI. We’re told Ireland has the lowest fuel prices in Europe.
6/7/2017
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Husks

We’d picked a bad day to fuel. With the Sea Hunter offloading so close by and upwind from us, we were literally covered in malt husks by the time we’d finished fueling. Fortunately it sprayed off easily with not much scrubbing required.
6/8/2017
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Restocking

SuperValu had a sale on a New Zealand Marlborough Sauvingon Blanc that we like, so Jennifer walked the folding cart up to restock our stores. That folding cart sure has been useful over the years.
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Brunos

Rosie and Bill Skelton came by for a tour of Dirona and then we had an excellent meal and a wonderful evening at Bruno’s Italian restaurant near the marina.
6/9/2017
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White Lady

We had a delicious meal at the White Lady pub just behind the Kinsale Yacht Club. Despite our best efforts, we’ve still not come close to visiting all the pubs in Kinsale, let alone all the restaurants. The problem seems as challenging as in Halifax, NS, despite Kinsale having a population of only 5,000 compared to Halifax’s 316,000. We’re told that at one point Kinsale had 38 pubs.
6/10/2017
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Fighting Water Ingress

In crossing the North Atlantic we saw some of the most difficult conditions we have encountered thus far in our world-rounding trip (North Atlantic Gales). The conditions were not actually bad enough to be frightening except for a couple of mechanical problems, one of which allowed considerable water to enter the boat (Alarms at 1:15am).

In spending a half day fighting the water ingress, we learned several important things about our bilge dewatering systems. The first is the primary bilge pump is not that reliable and doesn’t pump that much volume. The second lesson is the high-water bilge pump, although it produces excellent volume, is mounted way too high in the bilge to serve as a primary high-volume dewatering system. The third lesson is a confirmation that the hydraulic bilge pump moves absolutely prodigious amounts of water, but ends up being a two-person job to operate. It pumps so fast it can easily run dry and/or lose prime so someone needs to be down in the engine room to monitor it while a second person operates the off/on switch in the pilot house.

These are the changes we plan:

  1. Don’t count on the low-volume and low-reliability Jabsco 34600-0010 for anything more than bilge drying.
  2. Install a Rule 4000 pump just above the main bilge-drying pump. This will be the new high-water bilge pump (primary bilge dewatering system). We will leave the Rule 3700 in place as the backup high-water bilge pump.
  3. Install an off/on switch for the hydraulic bilge pump in the engine room at the pump to allow single-person operation. We’ll leave the pilot house switch in place as well.
  4. Install a third high-water bilge alarm. We had no faults, but this experience underlined that catching these problems early could be the difference between success and failure so we want triple redundancy.
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North Atlantic Gales

On our North Atlantic crossing, the weather was far worse than expected (North Atlantic Gales). It was not dangerous, but was a bit of a reminder that the conditions in the North Atlantic can often be worse than predicted. Andrew Dickenson just sent us this article: Canada Launches Rescue as Winds hit Trans-Atlantic Sailing Race.

It’s a month closer to the ideal time to cross the North Atlantic and yet the conditions these boaters face are dangerous and potentially life-threatening when coupled with the mechanical problems they are seeing. Conditions are reported by the Canadian military to be 10 to 15 meter seas (32 to 49 feet) with 50 to 70 knot (58 to 81 mph) winds, much worse than the weather models indicate. Rescue efforts are still 24 to 72 hours away as we write this. The North Atlantic can be punishing.

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Fuel Spill

A fishing vessel on the commercial pier overflowed it’s fuel tank today and dumped several hundred gallons of diesel into the water. You can smell diesel a long way away.
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Spitfire

In addition to investigating any open locker, Spitfire always inspects the work area whenever James wedges himself in a difficult spot. Here James is in the port aft engine room alcove to install a stitch for the hydraulic bilge pump into the box directly right of Spitfire.
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Testing

The hydraulic control box on Dirona. James has read the wiring diagram and is in the process of installing a new circuit to control the hydraulic bilge pump from in the engine room as well as the from the pilot house. The ABT hydraulic system is unusually well documented, easy to understand, and to service.
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Circuit

The new switch in place at the upper right of the photo.
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New Switch

The new switch installed on the outside of the hydraulics control panel will allow one-person operation of the hydraulic bilge pump from the engine room.
6/11/2017
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Blue Haven

An exceptional final meal in Kinsale at the Blue Haven with fish tacos, raw oysters and Kinsale crab claws. This was probably our second or third best dinner here. We’ve not had anything close to a bad meal in Kinsale—even simple pub food is fresh and delicious. The town certainly deserves its reputation as the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland”.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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