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Day 51 Dublin to Waterford

Waterford is a long way from Dublin and to do it meant an early start to catch the tide. We set off at 3am in pitch blackness. As son as we left the harbour we started following to buoys. Unless you have ever been on a boat at night it is difficult to explain how difficult it is to judge distance of a light so initially we were very confused by a mystery light that wasn't on the chart… It was on the chart but it was actually about three miles away, but you can't be too cautious.

As we left the estuary and turned south Richard and Charlotte remained in the cockpit although there was no need for them to do so. Just as we were settling onto our course bang bang bang and the engine missed a beat or two, we had run over a crab pot. It was totally unlit and we had no chance of seeing it. Luckily we have a "Stripper" rope cutter and with luck this will deal with it… the noise from the propeller was not a good sound but the engine initially having been retarded carried on as normal so I could only assume that there was still some remains around the prop.

As the morning progressed and with the engine still sounding odd I decided to try to get a diver to go down and have a look at the stern gear in Waterford. I called the marina office who said that there usual diver was away, then they gave me the number of another man who wanted £350 to go down and take a look. I turned to the Cruising Association HLR (Honorary Local Representative) in that part of Ireland for advice. He told me it was a waste of time trying to put a diver down in Waterford because the water is like oxtail soup and suggested I go to Kilmore. Now this presented a problem because all the pilot books indicate that we are too deep for Kilmore but he seemed to think we would be alright.
I called the harbourmaster and he confirmed that there was 5m in the entrance at the moment and we should be fine. All the charts show less that 1m at chart datum so there was at least 2m more water than shown on the charts with the tide included. We went in as instructed and the water was clear enough for us to put down a GoPro on a pole and film the propeller etc and … it was completely clear. We still need to check the boat when it is lifted for any damage but we were now confident we could continue our journey so after a 40 minute interlude we were off again.

We entered into the estuary for the run up to Waterford and had a great sail but the channel was narrow even though the estuary was wide but the wild life was amazing. There were gannets diving for fish everywhere and more than one pod of harbour porpoises. Waterford is some 6 miles or more from the entrance and we had reserved a berth with the harbour master. He said he would be going home for his tea when we arrived but he has ket a big space of about 20m free for us.

Waterford is a tricky place with the tides running at up to 5knts in the town where we were to moor so it was very important to get our approach right. As we arrived we looked for this 20m space and I have to say I was extremely skeptical. Fortunately we had Richard and Charlotte as well as Linda so I was able to give very clear instructions to everyone as this was going to be a tricky manoeuvre. As we came in it was clear that the space that had been left for us was clearly smaller than the length of our boat . However we came in at an angle got the springs on and I kept the bow in with the thruster until the bow line was on… `We had parked at an angle over lapping the boat in front and behind without touching either to the surprise of the observers on shore. It was frankly unconventional but there really was no where else to go and we could not easily raft up outside of small boats. An hour later the harbour master appeared and was hopping mad, not with us but with a maverick local boat that had pinched the spot he had reserved for us and parked a 32 foot boat in a space reserved for us and had then disappeared. Apparently this boat makes a habit of doing exactly what he wants. We decided not to move the boat the next day as it was securely tied and was not going to interfere with our neighbours.

I had some work to catch up on the next day which was irritating as I wanted to do some touristing, but I am glad I didn't as Richard and Charlotte spent all their remaining holiday money on Crystal!

  • Tied up against an old lifeboat in Kilmore
  • Gopro down looking for damage/ropes



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