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Shannon & Aran Isle - Unauthorised log book

Shannon & Aran Isle - Unauthorised log book

​Friday: Mustered at the gate for the flight to Shannon. Steve was banging on about how we should have joined him in the BA lounge. Good of him to say so at the gate... RyanAir on time! Overnight at Faulty Towers (aka Park Inn).

​Saturday: Beautiful sight, my boat (BB) moored on a hammerhead! Crew brought my kit on board. Need to train them to fold it properly during the week. [Skipper: don't print that]. Local Commodore sauntered on by to admire my boat (BB). [Skipper: delete "my boat (BB)" please] for a look around. Invited us to take part in the 2016 Oban to Kilrush race. Rain check on that. Crew preparing my boat (BB) for sea [Skipper: don't print that, gives wrong impression]. Agreed with marina we could moor overnight in the lock on the Shannon River side for an early getaway on the ebb tide.

​Sunday: Stupid o'clock. Gently slipped out of the lock. Glided down the channel. Then... 2m waves in a river estuary? Atlantic waves and westerly wind over ebb tide. Decision time: going back to Kilrush not an option, lock closed until next high tide; flounder at anchor under a headland for a few hours; or take a look at the Atlantic, then decide whether to go back to Kilrush or head north to the Aran Islands. Two hours later rounded the headland, sun shining and BB sailing up to Aran on a broad reach. Small Atlantic swell. Liz, David, Frank and Steve all smiling after a brilliant day. Shannon roller coaster forgotten.

​Monday: Tourist day. Hired bicycles. Iron age fort, fantastic views along the sheer (granite?) cliffs. Located the swimming pool, a natural rectangle carved out of the cliff face, water refreshed every few seconds.

​Tuesday: Day sail to Innishmaan, anchored in sheltered northern bay. School kids made of stern stuff round these parts, daily supervised swim in the Ocean! Teeth chattered just watching them. Flipper, the resident dolphin, appeared as promised. Toyed with us for a while. Mackerel for dinner from the local fisherman, said his name was "Ronan, Ronan Keating that is...". Yeah, right! Ashore in the rib (oops! forgot to tell the crew about the 10 metre climb to the pub on the quay side). Fantastic sunset and a couple of pints calmed their nerves.

​Wednesday: Long passage to Smerwick Bay down in Co. Kerry. Picture the bay surrounded by mountains, shafts of sun picking out alternately green fields and showers coming over the mountain from the SW. Ephemeral...

​Thursday: Quick trip to take a gander at the Blaskets then a "U" turn and back to Fenit. Local Commodore (another one!) sauntered on by to view my boat (BB) [Skipper: delete "my boat", please]. Invited to another race, this time around Tralee Bay with Fenit YC. Rules were: BB can't win and pays for the first round. After a long passage limited ourselves to very hospitable YC bar. Last to leave.

​Friday: Saved the best sail until last. F7 back to Kilrush with the tide! Probably should have put the second reef in, but we were FLYING!

​Saturday: Late afternoon flight from Shannon. Late breakfast and lunch in Kilrush.

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