Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Donkey Island

One of the leaders of the Dublin User Group really wanted to spend time with me. He’s an Italian with a lot of energy and excitement, and I avoided going out on Sunday night after a long day. However he wanted to take the Red Gate group sailing Monday and I agreed to go.

The weather wasn’t great after rehearsal, too windy to sail. However Marco managed to get a Coast Guard friend to take us out in a rigid inflatable. It was a small boat, and as we arrived at the St George Yacht Club, the sun came out and the drizzle stopped.

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We were given bad weather overalls and coats, which was nice. Having been out in rough water, I knew we were likely to get wet. My regular shoes, but I thought the worst case would be I’d be wearing running shoes later. I looked like this (no selfie)

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I rode in front and my life jacket blocked access to the inner pocked with my phone, so no shots on the water.  My jacket was older, and the zippers stuck.

We went out of the harbor and headed South around the island. The water wasn’t too bad, and it was fun. I’d forgotten how I like being on the water, though it was windy and I wished I had my sunglasses.

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We pulled up to Donkey Island, a few acres that are just a few hundred yards offshore. It’s deserted other than animals. Lots of rabbits and holes to avoid along with some feral goats.

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There’s a 13th century church structure that’s there. It has no roof, but someone decided to settle here rather than the main island. An old lighthouse exists on one end, so maybe that’s why.

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There are also the remains of a fort from the Napoleonic era. It contained the remains of three large cannon emplacements ready to defend Ireland from the South.

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It was a real treat to get out on the water and visit the island. Not a lot to see, but it was peaceful and interesting. We headed back and each of the three of us drove the boat, with me bringing it into the dock. I was a little worried, but I managed not to bang into anything.

It was interesting to drive the the boat with a power trim and use that to get going. Hard in a rough ocean and 2ft seas.

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Afterwards we had a pint to the yacht club, which definitely isn’t my kind of place. Too formal, and we only could drink in there because it was off season and jackets weren’t required.

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Afterwards we went to a steakhouse where I had the best steak I’ve had in Europe.

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