Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

9 th to 11 th of August 2016 - Knight's Town, Valentia

Crew : Andy and Helen
Destinations : Knight's Town.
Distance : 15 miles

We decided the forecast was good enough for us to head out of Dingle Bay and round to Port Magee. Leaving Dingle Harbour around 9am, Fungie wasn't yet awake, so we missed him. Initially the wind was quite light, so we got all three sails up. We were followed by another smaller French yacht who got their spinnaker up. We waved goodbye as they tore past us. A while later the winds picked up and, as we headed close to Valentia Island the sea also picked up. We decided, as the entry to Port Magee is usually quite rough and we still had to get around the headland, that we would go in to Valentia Harbour and anchor off Knight's Town. We hove to in the heavy sea so that Andy could get the mainsail down without too much hassle. We then ran (or bounced) into the harbour under genoa and mizen. Once we had entered the narrow entrance between the lighthouse and Beginish Island everything calmed down. We headed around the spit and new pontoons to the east side of town. The winds were coming from the northwest/west so this would be more sheltered. The new pontoons off the harbour provided us with plenty of protection, despite some strong wind over night. We remained alone in the anchorage, though a few boats moored alongside the pontoons.


The weather forecast was again for strong winds overnight and on Thursday so we stayed put in Valentia for a couple of days. We decided to experiment and take the bikes ashore by tender on Wednesday. This was much easier than expected, the new tender is very roomy and stable. We cycled/walked around the Island, crossing the bridge to Port Magee. In fact, the anchorage at Knight's Town was much nicer than at Port Magee, where we would have been anchored next to a busy road bridge with lots of coaches crossing to visit "The Skellig Experience". There were some references to Mark Hamill in the pub and a few posters with Star Wars quotes., since Skellig Michael was where Luke Skywalker was eventually found to be hanging out. The best bit was buying pickles and salad for lunch from the weekly village market. We ate our lunch on a bench overlooking the harbour, as the pubs and cafes were very full.


On the way back we took the bikes up the highest point of the Island, Mount Geokaun, which gave amazing views over the whole of the island and down to Knight's Town with Speedwell in the distance.

The cycle ride home was down hill all the way back to Knight's Town. I left Andy to pick the tender up from the beach whilst I got the bikes ready on the pontoon. Unfortunately the tide had gone out and Andy got two wellies full of water trying to get the tender launched. The wind wasn't as bad as forecast. It seems that this low pressure system went a bit further north than expected.

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