|Posted by happylyns on July 13, 2013 at 6:05 PM|
Drawing to the end of a wonderful day on the water, and decided to capitalise on my ridiculously high spirits and optimism for the journey ahead. It struck me that upon a day's sailing such as today, I should reflect on what the best parts of living this life are, so that in lower times I am reminded of how great it can be.
(A pic of us taken from our friends Lotta and Staffan on Chelonsia on our team cruise to the Aran Islands from Galway. The most glassy seas we've ever witnessed on the west coast!)
In former times I may have held a fear for the unknown and a dislike to change. This trip however has taught me that the greatest days are the ones where you have no idea what you will see next, or what will potentially amaze or scare you. Today our plan was to travel from Inishmoor, one of the Aran Islands, down to an anchorage by Mutton Island in Clare. Upon arriving there around 4pm after a very short 22 mile hop down, we discovered it was entirely unsuitable, offering barely any shelter, and a seabed that was not sand as promised, but heavy kelp. Only other option was to travel the extra 40 miles down to the Shannon estuary to seek out the guaranteed shelter of Carrigaholt Bay. The following journey has been fantastic, another pod of dolphins playfully following us through the waves never fails to conjure a childlike joy between the two of us.
Something that will always stay with me is the sheer majesty and beauty of the cliffs and features of the west coast of Ireland. Viewing this from the sea feels extra special in these calm conditions in brilliant sunshine, as we have had to endure far rougher weather in depressing conditions to reach this point. It's times like these that we look at each other and share an inane grin and sing a silly song to Elly as we realise how lucky we are to be out here. Once we believe we must have seen the most amazing scenery to be seen on this coast, the next corner presents an even more impressive formation of cliffs or sea stacks
Back at home a great source of frustration was Aleks' abysmal memory over where he last put down his keys/shoes/phone/etc. I'm always safe in the knowledge here that it is impossible to lose anything on Tiko, and we never have to experience that sad moment where you pack up your belongings to travel to your next destination, as our home is constantly with us. My first thoughts when we started out on this trip were that the niggles of sailing life would eat away at us until we got home sick for things like a hot bath, running water, huge living space and all the conveniences that come with city living. A couple of months into this trip mean that a shower feels like a luxury rather than a necessity and never have clean clothes held such joy. A glass of wine after a long passage actually tastes 100 times better than one drunk after a day at the office - it just does! Not once do we think we might be missing something on tv and we find our entertainment in my well thumbed favourite books, Aleks' fishing rod, Tiko's outdoor speakers and the endless supply of locals with a story to tell over a pint. The only thing that could make this experience better would be to ship over some of our family and friends to share it with! Hopefully that will change in a short while when my brother Chris and his girlfriend Katy come to join us for a bit of sailing along the south coast.
Just in case any of you were thinking my torrent of positivity must have reached its peak here's a run down of our top 10 favourite parts about sailing:-
1. We are masters of our destiny, if we don't like a place, we leave quickly (weather dependent that is)
2. Being rocked gently to sleep by the waves in a sheltered anchorage with no one to be seen for miles, so physically tired that you fall asleep immediately
3. Dolphins, and other amazing creatures of the sea
4. It makes you grateful and appreciative of every little thing from the small things like a scavenged piece of wood used to make a fender board to the bigger things, like a break in the weather that allows a few days calm sailing to get round the more exposed parts of the coast
5. The attitude between fellow sailors to exchange knowledge, tools, fishing tips, food, a glass of wine, tales of woe and most importantly to help each other in any way possible
6. Making it onto a sheltered mooring just before a storm kicks up
7. Numerous mind blowing scenery, sunrises and sunsets
8. The simple joys of a Paraffin lamp
9. Sharing our every sailing joy and woe with our favourite crusty salty seadog Elly
10. Constantly surprising ourselves
I'm sure there will be days when I could come up with my top ten worst aspects of sailing, but today is too good a day to dwell on those things. Today is the day to praise our lovely Tiko for making all of this possible.
(The sun setting on our journey into Carrigaholt after a fantastic day's sailing from the Aran Islands)