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The West coast - Dingle Peninsula to Donegal

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Fairwinds Round Ireland - The West Coast
Roundstone to Inishbofin


Tuesday 27th July Roundstone - Inishbofin

Left after hearing the weather at five past ten a lovely morning, although it was starting to get hazy. We motorsailed as far as Murvey's rock then switched off the engine. The sea seemed reasonably benign so we rounded Slyne Head close in. Our optimism was rewarded for once - enough wind and a small enough swell to sail downwind. We poled out the genoa, prevented the main and had salad, cheese sandwiches and beer in the cockpit while the autohelm steered. The skipper spent he afternoon in shorts and t-shirt for the first time while on passage since the start of the trip.

We arrived off the entrance to Bofin harbour just before half past four. The entry into Inishbofin is very narrow, but straightforward if you pick up the (fairly obvious) leading marks. There is a rather splendid ruined fort from the Napoleonic Wars to starboard as you come in. We anchored shortly afterwards in about five metres. Anchoring space is not prolific, but there were only a few yachts in. The island ferries hurtle in and out to and from the pier setting up quite a wash, but luckily they stop early in the evening and peace returns.

Once anchored the skipper made a quick run ashore to buy bread and other essentials from the rather rudimentary shop, then we went over to Samphire, a big steel Van Der Stadt out of the Shannon, for drinks with Kim and Peter. (Kim posts on Scuttlebut, and recognised the Vega - she insisted we come over because 'Anyone sailing round Ireland in a boat that small deserves a drink' (Or did she say needs a drink?). A very pleasant hour or so was whiled away, and we got some excellent advice on where to visit and where not to on the way home.

We had a very disturbed night as the wind got up to 30+ knots and everything got very noisy. At three in the morning a big Malo dragged its anchor, but managed to re-anchor successfully. I think he was single handed, and I really felt for the guy running from foredeck to cockpit in torrential rain and howling wind as he tries to find a spot to reanchor among the moored and anchored boats. Stayed up for an hour or so on anchor watch the forecast was for the wind to swing from SE to NW at some point during the night, and although I know the Spade will reset OK there are always other boats to worry about. Eventually I gave up waiting and went back to bed. When I woke up again at nine o'clock everyone had swing through 180 degrees with no drama, the rain was dying away and the wind was dropping.

Slyne Head
Ruined fort, Inishbofin
Inishbofin - looking down on the harbour
Inishbofin - the Skipper returns with provisions
Samphire
Aran Islands Cashla Bay Roundstone Inishbofin Inishturk Frenchport Teelin