F5F8B42E-13E0-4B05-9646-F3D588DA6FBAWhen I was nine, I was feeling fine.

The day I went to sea

I climbed aboard a pirate ship

And the Captain said to me

“We’re going this way, that way,

Forwards, backwards,

Over the Irish Sea.

A bottle of Rum to fill my tum

A pirate’s life for me!


Wednesday morning looks like the perfect time to go” states the Skipper. We all agree as we sit round the table, examining the screen that John has put up of the winds over Biscay. Northerlies all the way and all going well the crossing would take 3-4 days, we’d be in Bayona by Saturday/Sunday. It makes sense, the safest and most comfortable situation, something we promised each other we would always make the decision around.

However, the downside means we would have to say goodbye to Karl, he had taken a chance and booked his flight home for Saturday morning in the slim hope we would be crossing straight over after a night in Kinsale – not to be. He is upbeat though and takes away all the positives of what he has experienced, we are all sad though as he is so nice, kind, funny, appreciative and sound.

“Girlfriend is happy I’m coming home early” he states, once he has called home with the news and that’s a good thing. A single Dad having raised his three sons, enriching their lives with day trips to historical sites and camps out in Derbyshire and the Scottish Highlands. His voice danced as he spoke of his boys and I just knew they were proud of their Dad, he’d soon be telling them of his new adventures on the Irish Sea. His sailing experience had been dinghies in Leicestershire lakes and a few forays on the Clyde coast with Paul, so this had been a huge experience for him. We hug goodbye and he heads to the pub with his large rucksack, Ukulele tied on the back.

“Just one for the road “ he smiles.

We are likely to be in Kinsale for a few more days, plenty time to get know to know one another better.

This big girl and I are getting to know each other better too. John has formed a close and loving relationship with her, he knows her capabilities, her nuances, he reads her moods and pushes her only as far as he knows she will go. He has explored every tiny part of her, knows how everything about her works and what she likes and does not cope well with.

She and I glance suspiciously sideways at each other.

“You can’t handle me “ she challenges.

“Well you don’t know me “ I retort.

I’m left alone with her as the lads go to enjoy the Hurling on the big screen in the beer garden with most of southern Ireland.

I potter about sweeping her cockpit, cleaning her galley and tidying her ropes. I’m beginning to see what she needs done, a tighten to that warp, a release there. A pull at that sheet, a freeing of that clutch. Repairing her frayed straps and reinforcing work on her fabric, she seems grateful for looking pretty and I lie back on her in the sun. She’s feeling more like my boat. I’ll look after her and she’ll look after me. I’m slowly falling in love with her too.


“Yes Madame we actually have a cancellation, I can do your colour at 2pm”

There is a God after all, Halleluiah Halleluiah!

“ so are you goin’ anywhere nice for your holiday?” asks the pretty, red haired stylist.

“Ehm, well I am on holiday sort of for a year, here and on my way to the Mediterranean hopefully. I was so busy with all the planning and preparation I forgot my own personal admin and my roots are driving me mad!”

“Oh well no problem at all, I’ll sort it all out for you and you’ll feel grand”

And feel grand I did indeed. I lay back looking at the ceiling, getting my hair washed and listening to the best craic ever between the ladies of Kinsale.

“I was down at the White Lady on Saturday night and saw Sheelagh’s two, they’re not even 18 yet and one of them had a piece of cloth on barely covering her Mary!”

I had spent the morning cleaning the inevitable mildew off our cabin walks, then went for a wee run along to the other fort before a nice shower at the club. This proved to be quite fortuitous now the affluent offspring of the real yachty brigade had departed, the International Optimis series finished and the girl’s changing room had a ‘free to good home box’ of left belongings.

I showered with Clarins body gel, moisturised with L’Occitane lotion and strode out sporting a groovy pair of designer sunglasses. Get me!

Wandering back to the boat I kind of feel I am ready to move on now. Tomorrow is all about shopping, laundry, packing, preparing, stowing away and early night. Then we’ll be ready to leave.

With nice hair.

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