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21st April, 2019

Cobh, Ireland

The run along the English Channel, westward, was a pleasant passage as we rounded Lands’ End at 1700 on Friday. The overnight passage across the south reaches of the Celtic Sea was equally tranquil. Heading on a Northerly heading yesterday morning, we made our approach to the Cobh pilot station.. The navigable passage up the river, about 9 nautical miles, is a very restricted affair with shallows close on either side as we drive up stream the river.

It was a fabulous morning as we embarked the Pilot at 0600. Sunrise was at 0626 affording, for the early birds, a beautiful vista as we wound are way in the Port of Cobh. It’s an interesting arrangement for berthing in Cobh – the jetty, or pier, being formed of two large floating Barges that are moored alongside the jetty. Therefore, the lightest touch was required to come alongside - sinking the barges would create an awful lot of paperwork!

All berthed for 0800, the ship was cleared on arrival - and, to boot, it was a lovely day. Not as hot as Skegness, but clear skies and calm conditions. Quite lovely here yesterday!

This morning as I appeared on the bridge, we were overnight in Cobh, I was greeted with a white-out, thick, thick fog. A bit of a concern as we had managed to arrange, last minute, a tour to Spike Island and thick fog is not helpful. The Harbour Master was most helpful and armed with his meteorological reports I was able to advise that the fog would burn off shortly after 0900, which was the case, Phew!

It was a lunch time sailing and, still with a reasonable day to hand, the sailaway party and lunch went down a hoot.

John, my 4th Officer had a bash at driving gout, not literally a bash, and it was a tricky manoeuvre ably aided by the local Pilot. Swing the ship upstream of our ‘pontoon’ berth we were proceeding downstream by 1245. It was a truly a great call. The local ‘things’ to do as well as very well received Shore excursion, in particular Spike Island.

With the Pilot away at 1330, we set course due WSW close along the southern shores of Ireland, passing Kinsale, Clonakity before clearing west of Cape Clear Island, what a great name, and headed further into the Atlantic before our midnight passage had us heading north towards the Aaran Islands.

Right then, I’m off now to do the lesson at Easter Sunday church service.

Captain Stuart Horne

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