The rain clouds disappeared in the late afternoon and after sunset Cobh looked really idyllic. Crystal clear skies (caused by the strong and cold wind blowing) and a pale moon that shone on the houses along the quay. We had a fabulous view from the bridge over those houses and the bay. It remained the same all during the night and I had high hopes that it would remain dry for the day. The Irish weather forecast more or less indicated that as well. However it seemed that one shower a day does not count as rain in Ireland and although we had dry periods, we still had some liquid sunshine coming down upon us. I checked the gangway log and quite a few of our guests indeed took the chance to go ashore last night to enjoy Irish night life. The Cruise Director had obtained information about what there was to do in Cobh, including the addresses of all the pubs where live music would be played. Two or three of them were no more than a 5 minute walk away from the ship and so why would you let a great opportunity like this slip through your hands ????
One crewmember onboard who was ecstatic and in 7th heaven was my chief officer, who hails from Cobh, or better said from a small hamlet just outside it. He went to school in the area and therefore knows everybody who is working here in the maritime industry as they all are in the same age bracket. or close enough to it. The pilot had been at maritime school three years ahead of him, the harbour master is from the same year and so it went on and on. ……… And I thought that I lived in a small town at home in England. The Piece the resistance came today; when he found out that the priest that we have sailing with us this cruise (His parish is in San Francisco USA) is a brother of one of the neighbors of his parents, where the chief grew up. He even remembered Father O’Brien from home visits back in the young boy days. It came as a sort of relief to me that for a change he did not know the pilot that we had for departure. That was a Cork man, not a Cobh man…………….. Although he now lives in Cobh.
So while the day was progressing in accordance with the Irish Weather forecast, my thoughts were going to tomorrow. Then we will be in East Dunmore, the entrance port for Waterford. For those of you who follow my trials and tribulations on a regular basis, will remember that last time, the weather was very bad there. However then I had a plan B and that was to go to the Bel View terminal halfway up the river Suir. That worked as the tides were with me. I only had to leave an hour later than scheduled to catch the high tide for going down river again. This time no such luck. High tide was around noon time and thus that option was not available. The weather has to be good, as the alternative….. ………….. cancelling a 3rd port……..does not bear thinking about.
However the harbour master of East Dunmore was expecting North Westerly winds and that means a sheltered anchorage. Also those winds normally flatten out the southerly swells that might still be running. As long as the winds were not going to veer to the South or the South West, I am going to be in business. The (Irish) weather forecast is once again predicting a dry and clear day and we will have to see how much rain we will get tomorrow, or maybe even none at all.
It was still very breezy when we left but it was from the West and that was a good start. When we came outside we saw that the swell had greatly diminished compared to arrival yesterday. That was even better.
So my hopes were raised. East Dunmore is just around the corner from Cobh, about 70 miles by ship and I am going for an early arrival. Last time when we arrived and went upriver, there was a cargo ship anchored right on the best anchorage spot and I am not going to take a chance that that will happen this time. This time I need that anchor spot. So I will drop the hook around 1 am in the morning and sit tight on the best spot for the shortest tender distance. Now only the weather has to hold………… Hopefully Father O’Brien is helping a bit.