On Wednesday 6th we boarded the ferry 'Julia' in Swansea to travel to Cork. We have always travelled to Ireland from Fishguard to Rosslare before now but usually we had to take into account an extra night half way to our destination or a very long journey. This trip was, for a start, nearer to us on this side and overnight so we could start our journey with a new day.
Wednesday was very stormy. That evening we sat in the dining room and listened to the Captain as he informed us that the sailing would be delayed whilst we waited for the gale force 9 winds to back down to gale force 8 and below so he could turn the ship around. !
Two and a half hours later the wind did decrease enough for us to leave. If there was one small thing to be thankful for it was that we were sailing directly into the oncoming waves, with a minor course adjustment, so we only went up and down from bow to stern and there was no additional wallowing from side to side.
The supposedly lessening wind did pick up part way through the night and I remember sitting up in bed and yelling, ‘Come on Julia, you can do this!’ after a particularly violent set of waves threw us around. I also knew where our clothes were and the nearest life boat!
I was happy looking out of the windows and seeing the sky brightening and Thursday morning being a reality. As we approached Cork harbour the Captain informed us that we would be taking part in a training exercise with the Coastguard. It really was an all go trip! I’m sure they were taking advantage of the still rough but un-urgent conditions.
We were staying in Waterville on the Ring of Kerry where we have fished before and our bedroom view was not from a hill but still rather nice.
We did a fair amount of pottering around. John, Elsa and Mike managed some fishing and Mike even caught his first ever salmon. It was only a 5 inch parr but still a salmon all the same. This sign was quite funny. That was it quite literally, a very dead freezer and some shrimp pots.
The views are always lovely in Ireland and I would not like to think how many miles there are of the stone walls and how long it took to build them all.
It was a fabulous few days away with lots of atmosphere to soak up, Guinness to imbibe and good food to talk over. We all went riding, beach combing and a minor bit of shopping. I read two books and didn't do a thing creative (OK one of the shops was a quilting shop!).
Thankfully the trip home yesterday was the absolute opposite of the one out and the Celtic Sea was like a mill pond.