Crosshaven Sojourn

Upriver from Crosshaven

Upriver from Crosshaven

Kevin the taxi had a beguiling Irish accent you could slice with a knife, like a soft cheese.  The fact that I missed perhaps 30% of his stories mattered not a jot, as I bounced in the back of his taxi, even though he drove slower than anyone else.  I suspect suspension might have been an expensive extra easily dispensed with.

Kevin the taxi had to press back in his seat just a tad, in order to turn the wheel and cooking was one of our topics.  He had steamed a bass for supper, a success so great, the tale was worth 3 repeats.  He told of the old railway that ran alongside the river until the late 1920s, when reliable road transport made it redundant and he conjoured a vivid image of Sir Francis Drake’s flight upriver to escape his pursuers all in one seamless story.

Guinness & Oysters.Crosshaven

Guinness & Oysters


Royal Cork Yacht Club

Angie and I were ferried into Cork wrapped in Kevin the taxi’s warm dialect, and ambled round the English Market fortified by strong coffee and sumptuous cake at Café Central, returning another day for a leisurely lunch at the Farmgate Restaurant whose larder is the market.

We explored Camden Fort, renovated and run by volunteers, at a leisurely pace in pleasant sunshine.  Enthusiastic volunteers lived out their dreams in busy re-enactments as we pottered, minds gently in neutral.

Angie left on a Thursday, leaving the skipper 48 hours to get himself and Pippin in gear.  It began with a knuckle skinning few hours with hose pipe, butyl and spanners tracking and endeavouring to fix a few leaks.  The Yanmar needed a minor infusion of fluids, but otherwise looked ready for the off.  Despite the fast flowing river, weed grows rapidly and boats beached for careening were lathered in weed tendrils, muscles and barnacles.  Pippin needed a waterline scrub.

A pontoon visitor.Crosshaven

Heron Fishing

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is very much worth a minute or two, so I will plunder the Club’s history.

In 1660 after his restoration to the English crown and return from exile, Charles II was presented with a yacht called Mary by the Dutch, which he sailed enthusiastically on the Thames.  Soon several of his courtiers followed his example and it seems pretty certain that one of them was Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin (Murrough of the Burnings).  He attended the court of King Charles from 1660 to 1662, and was created the 1st Earl of Inchiquin by Charles in 1664.

Private sailing started to become popular in Cork Harbour and by 1720, interest in the sport had progressed so much that his great-grandson, the 26 year old William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, and five of his friends got together to formalise their activities and in so doing established “The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork”.  This club is known today as the Royal Cork Yacht Club and it is the oldest yacht club in the world.

Butterflies returning to RCYC

It is the centre of youth sailing and every day during school holidays, swarms of tiny tots head out in their Optimists, like noisy butterflies shepherded by older children instructors in whizzy RIBs.  Cries like “Oh know! Why does my brother have to be in the same boat!” and “I want the toilet!” just as the motor boat, loaded with 10 kids is set to leave.

It is these older children – young adults really –  who seem to keep the club running in a friendly efficient way.  When I asked about refuelling, the admin lady who had terrified the dental receptionist on my behalf, announced where I should take the boat and said a lad would be summoned and so it transpired.  It is relaxed here, nothing is too much trouble and I could stay forever.

I didn’t know if I was punched, bored or counter sunk for it was 3 a.m. and I was deep down amongst the weeds but something soft was lying on my feet.  This was odd for I was alone.  It felt heavier than a cushion so I kicked out irritably, which resulted in a soft thump and an indignant meow as the cat hit the floor.  It was pitch black, and I wondered if it was a dream as I opened the cabin door to let it out, only to be met by the cat sitting outside looking curiously up at me.  He had escaped the way he came in, through the forward hatch.  We had a short purry cuddle and then he left; whence he had come or where he was going I knew not.

Talking of going, it is time for Pippin and I to move on.  We’ll leave early tomorrow, to head West for Glandore, then Baltimore and the Fastnet Rock.



By ajay290

One comment on “Crosshaven Sojourn

  1. Dear John Thank you for the Irish news and views. All sound wonderful, and happy sailing. St Nicholas Hospital trundles along nicely and the people are a treasure – if somewhat in need either of plumbers and para-medics – we always hope in that order. Bit of pole-axing news for me at the moment – diagnosed with a prostrate cancer, and awaiting a radical prostratectomy due for next Thursday 20 July! It will be the hospital’s third try to get me in with two postponements because they couldn’t find an anaesthetist to cover the sessions previously booked. Otherwise all well here.



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