On Monday morning, nearly a week after arriving in Dublin I got Moon River ready to leave for our journey to Belfast. It wasn’t the usual early departure, as there were several things to do to turn Moon River back from a floating caravan into a sea going craft.
A number of the gaffers had left earlier on Monday, while a few such as Windbrekker, were staying for a race in the morning and a sing song in the evening. I said my goodbyes to the wonderfully hospitable Poolbeg yacht club members, and was asked if I could come along to the race briefing. I did so and was astonished and delighted to be presented with a carved wooden plaque for seamanship – for having sailed from Sussex to Dublin single handed.
Moon River slipped late morning and headed back down the River Liffey and out through Dublin Bay, into the Irish Sea.
We headed round Howth Head towards Lambey Island, just as Annabel J was leaving after a lunch stop.
We headed on past the Skerries, small low lying islands close to the coast, which are a haven for sea birds.
Moon River headed outside the islands but inside the lighthouse. Toucando who had left a little while after us had caught up and were sailing outside of the lighthouse.
It was early evening by the time Moon River sailed past the Mountains of Mourne, and followed Toucando into Carlingford Lough. I saw a seal by the first marker buoy on the way into the lough, and another further in. After about an hour following the marked channel Moon River headed into the small picturesque Carlingford Marina, alongside High Barbaree who had arrivied about an hour earlier.
Within a few more minutes I was ensconced on High Barbaree with the Toucando crew as well as Tim, Liz and their crew, glass of red in hand and nibbles being handed round. Some glasses later, Tim produced a delicious chilli which I was invited to share. A most enjoyable and convivial evening.