RoRC Report from Western Europe

RoRC Report from Western Europe

Bill and Laurie Balme, s/v TOODLE-OO!, on Portugal and Ireland

By Bill Balme - 23/10/2018

It would be helpful if you don’t remember what Toodle-oo!’s stated plans were for this quarter as they actuality bore no resemblance whatsoever! Fairly typical life aboard Toodle-oo!

We spent a month in Ponta Delgada firmly attached to a dock while Laurie studied Portuguese in order to gain Portuguese citizenship. Turns out, the citizenship application is best done from her hometown in Massachusetts and can’t be completed nearly as quickly as she was led to believe, which turned our cruising plans upside down, since her time in Europe is limited. We therefore took off for non-Schengen territory – Ireland – and have been having a rare old time of it – though we haven’t seen another cruising sailboat since we arrived!

We arrived in Dingle where OCC Port Officer Harvey Kenny hosted us brilliantly and have since been making our way slowly around the south west tip of Ireland. We made a pilgrimage up the Kenmare River to Killmackillogue, a harbour I had previously visited 51 years ago with my parents on a camping holiday. It hadn’t changed a bit and we spent a super week there. We sheltered from a series of nasty storms that came through one week while we were in Bantry and then made our way around Mizzen Head to Crookhaven and on to Kinsale, where Harvey Kenny greeted us again while Kinsale port officer Flor Long was in the UK, busy christening his latest grandson.

We are now poised at the south east corner of Ireland and will make our jump to Wales later today, where we look forward to seeing a host of OCC members while we’re in Caernarfon. It’s then on to over-winter in Whitehaven, Cumbria where I’ll no doubt spend a chilly winter while Laurie gets to fly home to hopefully complete all the formalities for her citizenship.

Photo: At the top of ‘Knockatee’ overlooking Killmackillogue Harbour and the Kenmare River.

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