Dun Laoghaire


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Our second visit to Dun Laoghaire marina outside Dublin was as enjoyable as the first. In the same berth as last time, we watched many spectacular sunrises over the harbour walls. The weather was clear and calm most days, and we took several walks, including to the end of each harbour pier. We also explored the outlying area, this time on foot and by tender instead of taking trains and taxis. And we continued to monitor the weather and prepare for the upcoming North Atlantic crossing.

Below are highlights from April 13th through 27th, 2021. 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 mvdirona.com/maps.

4/13/2021
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Dublin Arrival
After spending two weeks at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, we departed on the last of the ebb tide and traveled 74 miles south to Dublin, Ireland. Conditions were beautifully clear and calm in the Irish Sea, with generally positive current, and we reached our berth at Dun Laoghaire in time to enjoy Happy Hour in the cockpit.

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4/14/2021
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Dawn
Beautiful dawn from our berth at Dun Laoghaire marina near Dublin.
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Dirona
Our berth at Dun Laoghaire marina in Dublin in the same place as our previous visit in 2017. The only difference is last time an RNLI lifeboat was moored beside us.
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Sail Drop
A surprising number of drop bins for sail repair at the Dun Laoghaire marina office.
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First Smell
Spitfire out on deck for his traditional “first smell” ceremony, required for all new countries.
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Dusk
Dusk on a calm evening at Dun Laoghaire marina near Dublin.
4/15/2021
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Railroad Equipment
Construction machinery equipped for running on railroads alongshore in Dun Laoghaire harbour.
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East Pier
Looking down the east pier forming Dun Laoghaire harbour, built in the early 1800s. On our previous visit we walked the west pier and both inner piers, but not the outer east pier.
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Gringo
A heavy workboat tied off to the stanchion of the sailboat Gringo.
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Anemometer
The anemometer on East Pier was built in 1852, one of the earliest in the world, and is still in working order.
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Harbour Entrance
The Dun Laoghaire harbour entrance between the east (red lighthouse) and west piers.
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Looking across Dun Laoghaire Harbour as we return back to town. The harbor is huge at 250 acres (101-hectare)—Dirona (not visible) is moored behind the wall way in the distance at the right.
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Killiney Hill
Obelisk on Killiney Hill visible from East Pier. We plan to walk up there in the next day or two.
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Nando’s
Peri peri chicken takeout from Nando’s in Dun Laoghaire.
4/16/2021
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Dalkey
Dun Laoghaire harbour was constructed in the early 1800s from stone quarried at nearby Dalkey. The old railway used to transport the rock is now a popular walking path, “The Metals”, leading to the town of Dalkey and on to the quarry in Kilkenney Park. Dalkey is an appealing town with many pubs and two medieval castles. The old quarry now is a popular rock-climbing destination with a great view back to Dun Laoghaire harbour, while the two hills in Kilkenney Park provide even better views over the surrounding area.

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4/17/2021
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River Liffey
The River Liffey runs through the center of Dublin and has long been a source of water, recreation and commerce for the city. Trade along the river was recorded as early as the Viking days and the first bridge across was built in 1428. Today at least two dozen bridges span the flow in the Dublin area, many dating from the 1800s. And while the river still carries significant commercial traffic, most is near the mouth at busy Dublin Port. And along the shores are historical centuries-old buildings side-by-side with modern masterpieces.

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4/19/2021
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Dawn
Our berth at Dun Laoghaire marina has fabulous sunrise views looking across the inner harbour entrance.
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BGAN
Our primary satellite system is a KVH V7-HTS mini-VSAT, but we also have Inmarsat BGAN and Iridium (see Communications at Sea). We favor the KVH system because the service is excellent and the data rates are very good relatvie to current marine technologies. We use Inmarsat BGAN when we are in a part of the world not covered by the KVH system or if there has been a system outage. At $6,000/GB, BGAN data transfer is 30x more expensive than KVH, so we only use BGAN when there is absolutely no other choice.

Here we are testing the BGAN system for our upcoming Atlantic crossing to the US. We should have full coverage on the KVH system for the entire run, and don’t expect to use the BGAN system. But it’s a good backup should we have an outage. We bought a small amount of BGAN data that we can use to stay connected in an emergency and to buy more data if the outage is likely to be prolonged.

4/21/2021
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DPC Tolka
The 2019 pilot boat DPC Tolka entering Dun Laoghaire harbour, possibly to pick up or drop off a pilot.
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Oil Change
Performing the 44th oil change on our John Deere 6068AFM75 main engine. This change is a little early, at 210 hours on a 250-hour change interval, but we’ve got a 200-hour run ahead of us to Horta in the Azores. If we don’t change it now, we’ll exceed the change interval underway and we generally prefer not to change the oil on passage (although we have done it: Oil Change at Sea.)
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Swiftstone
Old diesels don’t like to start. The marina filled with smoke when the 1952 heritage tug Swiftstone started up.
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Paddle Boards
To a large extent, paddle boards seem to have gone out of style in most parts of the world, but they still are exceedingly popular here in Dun Laoghaire. Dozens pass by every day.
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Sunset
Fabulous pink sunset off our stern in Dun Laoghaire marina.
4/23/2021
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Sunrise
Another spectacular sunrise over Dun Laoghaire harbour.
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Weather
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather in preparation for our upcoming passage to Horta in the Azores (at center of screen in the middle of the red/purple area). This is a difficult time of year to make the passage, as major low-pressures system seems to be crossing the Atlantic every few days, so we need to pick a weather window carefully.

From Horta we plan to to follow the Azores High, the large high pressure system at bottom left, back to the US. This is longer than the more direct route via Bermuda, but will hopefully keep us out of the path of the steady sequence of low pressure systems that move east across the Atlantic. We’ll be making the passage at about the same time of year as our crossing from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland and have first-hand experience on what those systems are like. And on that crossing we were running with the wind and waves. This time we’d be running against them, so we have even more reason to avoid them.

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Tesco
Making a final provisioning shop at the local Tesco in preparation for our crossing. We stocked up the deep stores in Stornoway, so mostly need produce, lots of it, to last about 5-6 weeks. We’ll not provision again until we reach the US in late May/early June.
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Full Cart
Returning to Dirona with a full cart of groceries.
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Old EPIRB
We replaced the boat’s EPIRB recently and today disassembled the old one to disconnect the battery so we could safely discard it without risk of it subsequently being triggered.
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Spitfire
Spitfire relaxing in the sun on a pillow. He’s really been enjoying being outside a lot more recently. Sunshine and a pillow are like a magnet for Spitfire.
4/24/2021
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Full Fridge
Our fridge is completely packed in preparation for the Atlantic crossing.
4/25/2021
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Harbour Head
View across the inner protected head of Dun Laoghaire harbour, filled with small recreational craft. More and more small boats are being launched as summer approaches.
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Dublin Bay
View north across Dublin Bay at low tide from Dun Laoghaire west pier. At least one ship, and often several, are arriving or departing busy Dublin Port whenever we get a view to Dublin Bay.
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Dun Laoghaire Marina
View across Dun Laoghaire Marina with Dirona visible roughly at center. The marina is huge at 820 berths.
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West Pier
Looking down the outside of west pier towards the Dun Laoghaire harbour entrance. The two outer piers, all built by hand two centuries ago, are an impressive feat of engineering to still be weathering the fierce Irish Sea storms. And besides providing shelter, the piers are very popular for recreation. At any time, no matter the weather, from our berth we can always see dozens of people out walking, jogging or cycling on the piers.
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Heron
Heron surveying Dun Laoghaire harbour from west pier.
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Drone
This distinctive-looking large drone was surprisingly stable in the gusty winds at the end of west pier.
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East Pier
The light on Dun Laoghaire east pier, viewed from west pier.
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Mavic Air 2
We’ve generally not seen a lot of drones on our travels, partly because we often are in parks where their use is restricted. But this DJI Mavic Air 2 is the second drone in use on west pier.
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Dalkey Quarry
Dalkey Quarry, the source of stone for Dun Laoghaire Harbour is prominent in the distance from west pier. The old signal tower is visible atop the hill at left. We really enjoyed our walk out there last week.
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Seal
Seal relaxing in Dun Laoghaire inner harbour.
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Teddy’s Ice Cream
Teddy’s Ice Cream is amazingly popular and always is lined up whenever we pass.
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Sail GP
The first round of the 2021 Sail GP series took place in Bermuda this week and are viewable on online. The competition runs one-design high performance F50 foiling catamarans and the field is full of top sailors, including Tom Slingsby, Jimmy Spithill, Ben Ainslie, Nathan Outteridge, and Peter Burling. The races were tight and incredibly exciting This is by far the best sailboat racing we’ve ever seen. Sadly, our man Tom Slingsby lost to Ben Ainslie in the winner-take-all final match race after Tom had won all but one race leading up to the final.
4/26/2021
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Vesey Park
A late afternoon walk through Vesey park in Dun Laoghaire.
4/27/2021
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Clearing Cockpit
Moving the scuba tanks out of the cockpit to stow below in the lazaratte to make space for our deck fuel bladders. The weather is looking reasonable to depart for Horta tomorrow and we will fuel on our way out. We won’t need the extra fuel for the short 1,300-mile run to Horta, but will for the 2,900-mile second leg to the US. Since fuel is roughly twice as expensive in Horta, we’ll fill everything up here and only take on in Horta what we consumed to get there. This is similar to our trip from Cape Town to Barbados via St. Helena, where we filled the bladders with inexpensive Cape Town fuel and only topped off the load at St. Helena.
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Storm Windows
We turned the boat around briefly to install the storm windows on the port side. It takes less than a day to prepare the boat for an ocean crossing. Here’s what we usually do: Preparing for the North Atlantic Crossing.
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Towing
A gaggle of small sailboats being towed out to a recently-installed raft in the outer Dun Laoghaire Harbour. They reminded us pictures of fishing skiffs being towed out to the fishing grounds from the salmon canneries on the British Columbia coast in the early 1900s.
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Kayaker
We stepped outside this evening to find a kayaker in distress, trying to get out of the water at our stern. We lowered the ladder so she could climb aboard and onto the dock. We later saw this RIB carrying her and her kayak back to shore, so perhaps she’d had another spill.
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 mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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4 comments on “Dun Laoghaire
  1. Lars Thomsen says:

    Hi, i have a question regarding your live fuel economy data. Does the “fuel remaining” also account for what you have stored in the bladders on deck?

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