May 14th – Arklow to Dun Laoghaire (40nm)

By | May 15, 2012

Having spent two days in Arklow it was time to sail north up the coast towards Dublin. At midday we left the marina, as the tide had just turned in our favour. It was a 40NM passage to Dun Laoghaire marina, just south of Dublin. The conditions were still breezy but the wind was dropping; blowing a F6 WNW off the land with some big gusts (30knots) plus rain and hail showers; the sea though was flat being sheltered by the land.

David  at the tiller

David at the tiller

As we followed a mile or so off the shore we were hit again and again by by squalls. It was exhilarating sailing as we were flying along on a beam reach. This was the first proper sailing we had done since the trip to Falmouth. Our trip across the Irish sea had been mainly motoring punctuated with the odd half hour with the sails up.

The Irish coast-line north of Arklow and around Wicklow Head is dominated bay the Wicklow Mountains. Known locally as the Dublin Mountains they have peaks as high as 925 meters (3,035 feet) and make up the largest continuous area of granite in Ireland and Britain. We zipped past this mountainous scenery wishing we could spend time exploring it and soon were passing Bray, a seaside town which lies just south of Dublin, with its conspicuous Bray Head.

Squalls as we approached Bray Head

Squalls as we approached Bray Head

We made use of the channel between the Dalkey Island and the mainland, which saves considerable time when entering Dublin bay. The channel is well buoyed but care needs to be taken with the tide as the streams run hard through the islands. Dun Laoghaire is only a few miles further along the coast beyond Dalkey Island. Once through the channel we turned north west into the teeth of the wind; which had not dropped but increased. It was then a short but slow motor-sail into Dun Laoghaire marina. Dun Laoghaire is home to a major ferry port and it's marina is vast; the spacious marina layout was welcome though as we still had 30 Knot gusts inside.

Passage Stats

Distance run: 40nm

Time: 5hrs

Sailed: 3hrs / Motored: 5hrs

Total distance since start: 340nm


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