Archive For The “Destinations” Category

Into the Storm

Into the Storm

In determining our route from Ireland to Charleston this May, we had a number of choices. The naive option was to proceed directly from Ireland to Charleston, taking roughly the opposite route to our 2017 passage from Newport, RI to Kinsale, Ireland almost four years earlier to the day. But a near-steady procession of intense…

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Azores High

Azores High

The most direct route from the Azores to the US is an 1,800-mile great circle route to Bermuda (the red dashed line above), then a 600-800-mile run to the US, depending on our landing choice. The problem with that routing is that the winds predominately blow from the west, on the bow, and we would…

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Horta

Horta

Horta has long been a stopover for ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Explorers and settlers arrived in the 15th century, followed by trading ships in the 16th through 19th centuries, and most recently, ocean-crossing pleasure craft. To accommodate the increasing numbers of these smaller boats, a large 300-slip marina was constructed in 1986. It is…

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Azores Arrival

Azores Arrival

We got our first glimpse to the Azores archipelago on the morning after our eighth night after departing Dublin. We reached the port of Horta shortly after day break and proceeded to our berth in the commercial harbour, with views to the historic town on the opposite shore. The protocol for pleasure craft arriving into…

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Ireland to Azores

Ireland to Azores

In late April, we continued our journey home with a 1,330-mile, 8-day run from Ireland to the Azores. We departed Dublin in strong winds, but those settled within a day and we had reasonably calm conditions most of the way. We initially were planning to start the Atlantic crossing from south Ireland, but many ports…

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Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire

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…

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River Liffey

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. Up until the 1990s, cargo ships transported Guinness for export from…

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Dalkey

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…

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Dublin Arrival

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…

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Quoile River

Quoile River

For our third and final anchorage in Strangford Lough, we returned south from Mahee Island and anchored off the Quoile River. There we stepped ashore for the first time since leaving Stornoway two weeks earlier and took a long and enjoyable walk through the village of Killyleagh, north to the town of Shrigley and back…

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Mahee Island

Mahee Island

After three nights moored off Chapel Island, we moved to the northern end of Strangford Lough to anchor off Mahee Island. On a tender tour of the area, we passed several of the nearly dozen boating clubs inside Strangford Lough. One of them was the Down Cruising Club, who stand out from the rest for…

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Chapel Island

Chapel Island

We anchored for three nights off Chapel Island just inside Strangford Lough, NI in wonderfully calm and sunny conditions. While there, we made a tender tour of the southern end of the lough and checked out the current in the entry channel at full flood. We also took a closer look at several of the…

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Northern Ireland Arrival

Northern Ireland Arrival

The 225-mile overnight run from Scalpay to Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland started and ended in positive current and calm conditions. We sped around the west shores of the Isle of Islay at 13.5 knots as the current flushed us into North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland. There the winds picked up to only…

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Stornoway Departure

Stornoway Departure

We departed Stornoway at the end of March for Northern Ireland. With the area’s frequent weather systems and strong currents, finding a window to run the entire way was a bit of a challenge. During a brief period of forecast improved conditions between two weather systems, we made a 30-mile run south to Scalpay. After…

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Stornoway

Stornoway

Our first visit to Stornoway in 2018 was only for a week. We hit the highlights of the town and the Isle of Lewis, but didn’t have time for much else. Our second visit in 2020 was much longer at a month, but we were busy with some major projects such as a changing the…

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Perimeter Trail

Perimeter Trail

Our final walk in Stornoway was also on the Lews Castle grounds, this time along the Perimeter Trail. Much of the trail follows the River Creed, and gave a sense of what the property might have been like in the mid-1800s when Sir James and Lady Matheson created the castle and grounds. We particularly enjoyed…

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Lews Castle Grounds

Lews Castle Grounds

Sir James and Lady Matheson created the Lews Castle and its grounds over a period of seven years starting in 1847. The extensive grounds encompass 687 acres (278 hectares) of woodland and included the widest range of exotic flowers in Scotland at the time. The subsequent owner, Lord Leverhulme, gifted the property to the people…

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The Iolaire Disaster

The Iolaire Disaster

The shipwreck of the HMY Iolaire was one of the worst UK maritime disaster during peacetime. The ship sunk Jan 1, 1919 in a severe southerly gale off Holm Point just outside Stornoway harbour. At least 201 of the 238 on board drowned (the ship was badly overcrowded and records poor, so the death toll…

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