We met at the boat on Saturday morning @ 10.30am. There were six of us - David, Colin, Tom, Susanne D, Una and Bryan. Our plan was to sail down to Wicklow port, overnight on the boat, and return to Dublin on Sunday. Following a briefing by Bryan and review of safety issues, we donned our sailing gear, stowed away our bags, checked out the boat and got underway @ 11.40am. Winds were 'light' wind F1-3, SW and so it was a 'beat' against the wind pretty much all the way down. We arrived at the port entrance area after 6 pm and found the fireballs (racing dinghies) on their way in to port from their 'open championship' racing.
Having de-rigged the boat we proceeded to Engine in towards our selected arrival point when a voice from a cruising vessel called to us ‘racing’, we, were, apparently, in his way!. The voice belonged to Joachem, a former club member who with his wife was sailing down from Clontarf with 10 other boats.
When we reached the East pier wall just down from the lighthouse, an obliging man on the pier took our mooring lines and secured them. He turned out to be from the Port company and collected an overnight charge of e14 from us. We chose that point to tie up on the basis that a depth of 3.5M was to be expected; it turned out at the time of arrival that it was around the 2M mark which was ok for us. We then made tea...doing so on a 'beat' would have been tricky.... and reflected on our trip down.
Having secured the boat, we explored the town and had an evening meal in the Grand Hotel. We decided that this was more like what we needed than the barbecue in the Sailing club. We did however call in to the Club on the way back from the hotel, only to discover that most of the 'fireballers' had returned to Dublin for the night. Things were rather quiet there until the results of the Cruising racing were announced - first prize went to Joachem, who was delighted with his achievement!.
So, back to the boat where we discovered another boat had tied up to us and also that our stern and bow were each some distance away from the pier wall this being because our mooring lines were necessarily long and so became slack as the tide had risen. We managed to board the boat and settled down for the night. The only disturbance being the arrival of the crew of the other boat at all hours as they crossed over ours to theirs. They left at 6.40am.
We returned to the Hotel for breakfast on Sunday am after which we decided we'd head back to Dunlaoire. Wind conditions were light and visibility was poor. We ended up by motoring all the way back to Dunlaoire as the wind did not pick up. Fortunately the Sun came out making the journey back that much more enjoyable. We spotted an underwater creature breaking the surface - either a dolphin or a porpoise or was it a shark?...who knows, either way it added to the cruising experience. All arrived back, safe and sound and enjoyed the trip.