Baltimore, Ireland


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The 55-foot Baltimore Beacon, known locally as "Lot's Wife", marks the entrance to Baltimore Harbour atop a 300-ft cliff. James knew from the moment we arrived that Jennifer, who suffers from the extreme inability to resist a good view, would find a way to reach the Beacon. So he wasn’t at all surprised when she announced one morning that the Beacon was only a 20-minute walk from the village of Baltimore, much closer than either of us would have guessed. So we had a plan for the day.

Trip highlights from June 15th, 2017 in Baltimore, 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

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Flopper Stopper

The winds came up from the south yesterday, bringing waves and swell in through the entrance channel. With our bow to the waves, we were perfectly comfortable in our heavy boat. But overnight the winds switched to the southwest, putting is beam-to the swell with rolls over 13 degrees.

We decided to put out the flopper-stopper this morning to get a better sleep tonight, but found that several of the attachments had siezed up from sea water and lack of use. We’ve always stored them in one of the cockpit lockers and never had any trouble all through the Southern Hemisphere, so perhaps this was another casualty of the North Atlantic crossing.

With liberal application of penetrating oil and patience, we got everything working again and then had the flopper-stopper deployed in minutes. We’ll keep the rigging in the dry flybridge brow going forward.

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Suction Control Valve

James removed the suction control valve from our spare fuel pump to see if a new one would fix our 1347.7 code the main engine started signaling on our way to Sherkin Island. The engine is (thankfully) no longer constantly producing 1347.7 codes so we have it back in use. It’s a relief to have more time to figure this issue out but, the bad news is the problem is still there and it going to be challenging to figure out the cause.

It now only produces a 1347.7 code rarely when lifting or dropping anchor and will never code under any condition underway at any engine load. Between coding all the time and the improved situation now, we have changed the SCV, corrected a fuel cooling sea water flow, and fixed a control system problem that had the engine room running hotter. We would love to have the problem of figuring out which of these three changes is the cause of the problem. It’s easy to put the old SCV back, shut off the fuel cooler, or raise the ER temperature. We will try all three but strongly suspect that it’s just fluke and it’s actually none of the three conditions we changed.

When chasing intermittent issues that rarely happen, it’s frustrating not having access to the engine manufacturer diagnostic software. The condition is highly unlikely to occur if we pay to have a technician on the boat and, when we see it, we don’t have access to the detailed information available from the diagnostic software. Hopefully some marine engine manufacturer will realize that it could be a competitive advantage and certainly would improve customer satisfaction to have this information available to operators using the engines in secluded places where service personal are often not readily available.

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Dinghy Dock

Moored on the dinghy dock in Baltimore Harbour.
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Baltimore Harbour Building

Baltimore Harbour charges a fee of €2 for the dinghy. Unfortunately, they didn’t tell us that the gate code to return to the dock is different from the one used to exit. So when we returned to the dinghy, we couldn’t get back through the gate. James climbed over to let Jennifer in.
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Dun na Sead Castle

Some form of castle or fortified house has stood on this hill above Baltimore since the early 1200s. The latest, Dun na Sead Castle, fell into disuses in the 1700s and also was owned by the O’Driscolls clan who owned Dun na Long Castle on Sherkin Island.
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Bushe

We were expecting Baltimore to have more of a commercial fishing town feel, but it was an attractive town with several water-view restaurants and pubs. We had an excellent lunch on the deck at Bushe pub.
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St. Matthew’s

St. Matthew’s Church of Ireland is relatively new for the area, being built in 1810.
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Trails

Several well-marked trails run in the Baltimore area. We are on the Beacon Walk to Beacon Point.
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Pony

A beautiful white pony stood near the roadside, seemingly posing for pictures.
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Goal

There’s our goal. We expected it would be further, but the Beacon is only a 20-minute walk from town.
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Beacon

The fabulous coastal view southwest from just behind the beacon.
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Harbour Entry

Jennifer enjoying the view across the harbor entry toward the lighthouse we visited yesterday.
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Cliffs

The cliffs east of Beacon Point. We’re sure loving the scenery in Ireland—and these aren’t even close to the most impressive cliffs.
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Second Trail

We followed a trail parallel to Beacon Road and up into the hills hoping to reach the cliffs east of the point. This is looking southwest back to the beacon from that trail.
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Signal Tower

We couldn’t find a way to reach the cliffs through the private property surrounding it, but did get a good view to the Kedge Point Signal Tower we’d passed en route to Baltimore Harbour.
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Stairs to Nowhere

This house along the road had a staircase leading to a non-opening window. Perhaps it was a door at one point.
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Rolf’s

The buildings and grounds of Rolf’s Country House were simply beautiful. We would have loved to have stopped for a pint on their patio, but the restaurant wasn’t yet open for the day.
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Commercial Dock

We returned into town along the commercial waterfront, where several capable-looking vessels were moored. This looks like one of the ferries that runs to Sherkin Island.
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Baltimore

Looking up to the town of Baltimore across a waterfront park.
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Jacob’s Bar

We stopped off at Jacob’s Bar for a glass of wine and with a waterfront view before returning back to Dirona.
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Storm

This picture at Jacob’s Bar shows the entrance to Baltimore Harbour during a major storm, with spray hitting the beacon high up on the cliff. We’d not want to be anywhere near those conditions in Dirona.

That was one of the many appeals of Kinsale as a landfall on our Atlantic crossing: the big winds typically comes from the southwest so if we did make landfall during bad weather, we’d likely be in the lee of the Old Head well before we entered the harbor.

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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4 comments on “Baltimore, Ireland
  1. Colin Whittaker says:

    I had been wondering if it would be possible to work with a vendor such as cascade engines to get access to the diagnostic software.
    Could they license an additional copy of the software and provide it to you their remote “technician”?

    • I have talked to Cascade and they are always happy to help and willing to spend time — I’m really impressed with their service. But, on this issue, they defer to Deere.

  2. Wyatt says:

    It looks like the right to repair bills have been failing (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/11/nebraska-farmers-right-to-repair-bill-stalls-apple). John Deere is at the center of this, it sounds like the problems experienced by farmers are very similar to yours (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/nebraska-farmers-right-to-repair-john-deere-apple) – except in your case, not having access to the right diagnostic tools at sea could be life-threatening.

    • Super interesting. Thanks for posting that Wyatt. I would love to see manufactures start offering access to diagnostic software. Chasing intermittent issues is close to far more challenging without access to that software and, if a tech is brought out to the boat, the problem may not be able to be reproduced. I’ll keep an eye on the Right to Repair Legislation.

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