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2nd August, 2013


As we left Killybegs the first effects of a deep low were being felt, increasing south easterly wind with lowering cloud and rain. By the time Bantry Bay came up on the horizon the next day the weather was not pleasant, heavy rain and a brisk southerly. Even so the pilot for Glengarriff was picked up mid-morning and we discussed the situation. He had never taken a large vessel with a stern anchor into the small bay as far as I wanted to go and watched with interest as I proceeded to carry out the operation, backing down, laying out the cables, and almost entirely using the electronic chart to monitor progress. There was an added complication other than the weather, the mussel beds that lay either side of the tight anchorage. In the end it was to no avail as, despite trying to get as much lee as possible, the sea was still too choppy to operate tenders safely from the gangway platform. The heavy metal was picked up, the pilot disembarked into a bouncing pilot boat and we set off for Cobh, the port for Cork.


By 9 p.m. Sapphire was secure for the night and the folks could have a restful sleep without the throb of engines and propellers. Next day, as I waved them off on their tours, some said they missed these normal ship noises. Training continued for our new crew and an audit took place to ensure we complied with the new Maritime Labour Convention, which will come into force shortly.

I took a stroll into town, along the faded elegance of The Crescent, past Pugin’s impressive Saint Colman’s Gothic cathedral which dominates this small coastal town, and down to the harbour. These days, of course, much is made of Cobh’s connection with the last call of Titanic and just about every second shop window has reference, often with some rather ‘cheap’ souvenir that can be bought by the tourist to remember their visit. The pubs, of which there seem to be many, are the same and have on display various bits of brass nautical memorabilia from some other vessel to emphasise their dubious connection.

It was a bright, windy day, with a few showers in the morning, but clearing up for the afternoon. We sailed just after six, having to first clear a mooring line that decided to get caught under the transom as it was being hauled on board. A minor hitch to a pleasant stay.

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.