3/5 Day 13 – Carnsore to Hook
Its Friday, the13th day, and a spell of settled weather and strong tides (‘the sluice’) have got us round the corner where the Irish sea squeezes out between Pembroke and Carnsore
Having effortlessly knocked a hole in my hull in completely calm water last night, expertly patched up with Ritchie and Rob’s help, we gingerly shepherded the boats down the burn from the water meadow we had camped in.
Gentle winds and neapish tides meant an easy turn and a decision… to bash round the the miles of sickle curving beaches, watched by ranks of wind turbines…. or get onto the open sea and cross to the Saltee islands?
We went for the crossing and 2 hours or so we’re approaching the fascinating combination of tides and submarine ledges that are the Saltee islands.
As we clipped along from little to great Saltee we watched the tides scamper over Sebberts Bridge… all benign but not a place to be in wind over tide!A quick look around this bizarre kingdom (complete with declaration of kingship and signs directing one ‘to the throne’, along with the pones prohibiting camping, anywhere, for ever, ye ken … ) I’m not sure his highness Michael the first would cope with the Scottish Outdoor Access code!
In bright sunshine we reckoned we were pretty far away from everything and opted to head west in an increasing W/NW breeze, seeing if conditions would stay good for us to make Hook head, whose lighthouse beckoned temptingly. After 90 mins we took stock, pretty much on route, steady rather than fast, and keeping upwind enough to keep windward of the head. So we bashed on for another couple of hours. We had just decided to keep trudging across the bight when the Rosslare Coastguard updated the small craft weather warning, so I reckoned we ought to believe it & head inshore in case the N6 appeared as advised. We had crossed most of the bight but took a dogleg and a 30 minute shove saw us into Sandeel Bay. And of course the wind stayed pretty much as before.
That’ll do we reckoned and give us a reasonable kicking off point in the morning for Tramore, where Mick O’Meara lies in wait, “none shall pass”, (clearly the Sir Ian McKellen of Tramore) . We look forward to putting a face to the name behind a remarkable string of paddling achievements and endless encouragement of others… including us.