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September Cruise Report


September Cruise is always a great time.  Once all the fanfare of the regatta is over we get to look forward to the September Cruise.  Although to be honest I'm  like a little child waiting for Santa to arrive  and I'm thinking about it for a few weeks beforehand as it really is one of the highlights of our  calendar and next year I think that we need to make a conscious decision to book out the three boats and go and see how the other half live with their big boats and cruising around the magnificent scenery that is West Cork.

This year was no different than the last few in terms of the numbers that traveled and we had one or two that fell at the final hurdle but all in all, we had 14 cruisers for the weekend.   This year we also made a conscious decision not to travel too far away from Baltimore and keep our options open for where we were going to be staying the nights.

Friday night we all traveled down and a first for me in my new role i was able to take the Friday off and it was great not be rushing around looking for things at the last minute.  This is highly recommended

When we arrived at Baltimore Con Minihan was there to meet us and go through the handover of these boats.  They really are big at 42ft long but they are also in great nick for boats that are chartered out on a regular basis.


Once the handover was completed

We all headed up to the local bar in Baltimore for a bit of grub and a seven up or two.  I think rumour has it there was some who had 3 or 4 7ups.  but back to the boat for a good nights sleep.  Saturday morning was promised to be wet so we werent in any huge rush to leave baltimore as the forecast had it to clear up after 11:00  so after a late breakfast a small bit of training both boats headed  out from baltimore through the north passage with a destination of Schull set for lunch.

This is a great passage and you really have to make sure to stay on track as the course is very narrow in places and if you dont plan your course right then you may easily end up on the rocks.  From here we motored out into Roaring water bay before setting up our sails for the day ahead.  The wind was set to be force 5 gusting 7 at times and these boats are well able to take it as long as you dont put out too much sail.  With the wind coming for the Southeast we were sheltered by Sherkin Island but once we were in a direct transit of the Gascanne Sound we could really feel the full effects of the wind.

We sailed on into Schull and the wind wasn't letting up.  We picked up a mooring there and took our time having our lunch before setting out again on our way towards Cape Clear.  We had the intention of sailing for a while in Roaring water bay  but  the wind and the incessant rain put a heed to that and we headed into the north harbour which was well sheltered on Cape Clear.   It was probably about 17:00 but a lot earlier than we would normally be mooring.  While heading into the  mooring we were welcomed by Aidan Crowley who is a previous member of the club but has been living on his boat Andella  for the last few years and has been staying on Cape clear for the last few weeks before he moves his boat up to Cahirciveen for the winter. He kindly allowed us to dock outside him  while Cillian and his crew pulled in onto the pontoon.
after a lovely dinner of Chicken Currry cooked by Frank Mulqueen  we adjourned to the local hostelries to sample the island 7up and to see was it nicer than the ones we had the previous night and surprise surprise they were.  With Ireland playing Scotland the next morning we wanted to make sure that we would be able to find a spot to watch it on the island and thank to Club Cleire  they opened up to allow us in for the match.  This was great start to the day and then the Sun Came out for a glorious day.
After the Match was over   the two skippers plotted thier courses and it was decided that we would head out to Fastnet and from there go directly across to  crookhaven and stay there for a while.  Cillian O' Maras boat was first out of the trap and they started out towards fastnet.  With Mike Hayes on the helm and Kevin Ryan on the bow with the roving fender.
To Allow a bit of time between us and so that we would be on top of each other we headed out 20 m inutes later and followed the same route towards fastnet and onto Crookhaven.
Sunday afternoon was a great time to pull into Crook haven and with Cillian and Billy and their crew they were in well ahead of us and had picked up a mooring.  They dropped thier dinghy into the water and headed into for a cup of coffee and a sticky bun.  There is only so many 7ups you can have.  I think this is the picture of the weekend.  The majority of the Images are courtesy of Pat Biesty but this one from Inside O  Sullivans bar in Crookhaven is brilliant.  Look closely and let me know if you can see someone drinking a cup of tea on the left hand side.  When you look at the two boats moored outside these are the boats that we chartered.
We had trouble with the engine on our dinghy but we still managed to make it to shore so that we too could sample the coffee there and then sit out side and watch the day go by.  Crookhaven sailing club was looking very well in the sunshine and it seems that every time we go there the weather is fantastic.  The last time i was in that Pub Japan were just after beating South Africa in the world cup and now look how far they have come in this years one.

Once we headed back onto the boats the wind had changed to southerly direction and we could just goose wing the whole way out of crookhaven before setting sail back to Cape Clear for our second night on the Island.  The sailing that we had on this day has been one of the best days on these boats at any stage.
We headed back to Cape Clear and  docked about 7:30  Everyone was on a high after such a good days sailing.  We settled in for some grub and reminisced on the day out on the water.  Cillian and Billys boat were in great form as they were eating the Casserole that Damian had prepared before he got his cold and couldnt make it down.  They said it was lovely Damian and they were all thinking about you while they were eating.  The weather for saturday was wet and windy.  The weather for Sunday was sunny and plenty of wind  and we know that Monday was going to be wet.  I dont think that anyone minded as we were all very content with the sailing so far.  Monday morning was very wet and rather than heading out early and getting soaked we explored a  bit more of the island and then cooked a lovely brunch before setting out to compete in the Jolly Roger Cup.  We knew that it was going to be a bit lumpy outside  so rather than go around the end of Cape Clear and come up on the south side we plotted our course to go through the gasganne sound and then the finish line was betweeen the light house on sherkin and Lots wife.   

The rain had stopped by the time we left and true to form the sea was very lumpy.  I think  I saw Cillian's boat getting stuck in a pothole or two at one stage.

If you want to find out who won the Jolly Roger then you will have to turn up at our Laying up Supper and Lelia has reliably informed me that this will be on Saturday 23rd November.  Keep in touch for furhter details.  This event is for everyone and not just long time members  we would love to see a few new faces there this year.

Thanks to Pat Biesty for all the pictures and thanks To Emmet O Mahony, Billy O Mahoney and Cillian O Meara  for stepping in as Skippers and assistants.  We need to have enough of these every year so that we can run the cruise.  If you think that it may be tough or hard then take a look at Micky Donnelan  who just joined us late this year and booked in for the cruise.  Does he look nervous to ye. ?  and finally  most of our other photos are here  https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHvWDz6   Make sure to Like and share so we can build on this for next year use the links below
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