Tides here (as everywhere, but more so here) dictate everything and we slip out of the marina on the noon high tide. The late June sun was doing as it should and we had a decent breeze from the North West to see us on our way. With the tide racing out past Anglesey, we were making indecent haste and speeds over the ground of nearly 11 kts kept us well ahead of schedule into Dublin… we were planning to arrive in the early morning light to see us safely up a very busy Liffey and onto our berth at Poolbeg Yacht Club.
As the afternoon wore on, we passed several big cargo boats waiting for a tide into Liverpool and then crossed the main shipping lane round the north west tip of Anglesey. In the early evening we entered Irish territorial waters, but refrained from breaking into Danny Boy or even the rum. Instead, we celebrated with a couple of Pizzas and some coffee to keep us reasonably watchful into the early hours. With the wind continuing from the northwest, we reconciled ourselves to a landfall in darkness….and mugged up on the lights and route in across the bay and up the Liffey.
We entered the bay at midnight to the accompaniment of a light drizzle which became steadily worse and from behind us to add to the joy. The chimneys of the Poolbeg power station could be seen from miles away, even in a rain-filled midnight sky and we focused doggedly on them for what seemed like hours, willing them to come closer.
A pilot boat speeding out to an as yet unseen ship in the bay heralded a slightly anxious final hour up the river. We established radio contact with the harbour authority and were told to keep well to the south of the deep water channel. Fortunately ‘big boat’ also heard us and was aware that we were there which was some comfort when they appeared out of the gloom about half a mile behind us. We finally docked at around 2am after an exhilarating sail across the Irish sea (our third crossing so far!) and sat up for an hour just winding down with a glass or two (we deserved it…).
Footnote: The following morning showed just how busy the port is…and how close our mooring was to the big boats, they looked very big and we felt very small, especially as they were turning round…(more of that in the next post).
Final footnote: The old dock area of Dublin is changing rapidly and is unrecognisable since James and Yee Tak were last here with friends Graham and Madeline on their boat My Foolish Heart. Fond memories of happy times, but Graham is sadly no longer with us and My Foolish Heart lies somewhere in Scotland…