Tuesday 3rd August Aran Roads - Tory Island
We got our anchor at quarter to ten, then it was sails up and a fair wind for Tory most of the way - but with a little bit of beating at the end of course . . .
Tory is a fascinating place for various reasons - it's the most remote of Ieland's inhabited offshore islands, and it is the only one still to have a king, albeit a democratically elected one. Various people had warned us that the inhabitants were all quite mad, and although we didn;t see any direct evidence there was a feeling that this is very much its own place.
En route to this mad mini-kingdom we enjoyed some modest sunshine and a sea that was almost blue, although it was chilly in the North Westerly breeze. Approaching Tory I went to take the main down and discovered that the boom had parted company with the mast at the gooseneck, so left the boom hanging on the topping lift and flaked the sail. We were tied up in Tory's excellent harbour exactly five hours after getting our anchor in Aran Roads. The harbour is dredged to 3m although care is needed in the approach if you arrive at exact LWS as we did. The secret is to stay close to the breakwater and hope nothing is coming out. Once inside the wall is smooth and there's a ladder, but keep clear of the steps as this is where the ferry berths. Only three or four fishing boats use the harbour, so there is always room and it's perfectly sheltered.
We were both shattered after the late night; things were getting cumulative and we were looking forward to a rest, but we were on the home stretch now. I mended the gooseneck - just a new bolt required - then we went for a short walk round the West end of the island and onto the N. coast. We came back to the boat, ate then immediately fell asleep.