"Days Like This"
The winter of 2021 was long and tiresome as the Covid lockdown restrictions kept us away from our boats. The Tuesday night talks kept us together as a community of sailors and taught us new skills. Finally the restrictions were eased and we were allowed to travel beyond 5km from home. There was a collective flurry of activity as we returned to our boats and began scrubbing, unfurling and servicing our long neglected craft.
And so it was that on Saturday 24th April 2021 the CAI returned to cruising and what a shot in the arm it was! The morning was bright, sunny and the air had a clarity and a slight chill as we headed for our home ports to get going for a whole day at sea. Traffic to the ports was unusually heavy and parking was very difficult to find but the determination was strong and we got aboard our boats and fired up the engines. A moderate easterly wind was blowing and the tides were favourable for boats going south in the morning and returning north in the evening.
The CAI committee had three options prepared for the day and nothing bar a hurricane was going to stop this special cruise. It was a wonderful day of sailing around Dublin Bay and the fleet of 11 boats came from Malahide, Howth and Dun Laoghaire to create a spectacle of sail. Boats explored the bay and the area around Dalkey Island for a few hours and Stealin’ Time looked resplendent with her spinnaker flying before the wind. What a tonic it was for mind and body to smell the sea air and marvel at the beauty of our environment and its wildlife. We are indeed very fortunate to have such beautiful cruising grounds in which to sail.
At 15.00 the fleet assembled at the west pier of Dun Laoghaire where anchors were dropped in 3.5m of sheltered water. It was an opportunity to put into practice the skills learned in our TNT on anchoring. Sailors spent the next two hours dining and celebrating aboard their vessels and communicating with each other on VHF radio. The sun was strong in the shelter and sunscreen was required as we felt an early summer had arrived. The fleet at anchor was a lovely sight and some of our members who couldn’t sail observed the boats from the pier and took some drone video of the boats. We spent two hours at anchor and at 17.30 the remaining boats set sail for home. The wind had shifted to the NE and wind over tide made the sea conditions around the Bailey a bit sloppy. But no one minded as we knew it was a special day and we had made a voyage to better times in our lives.
As Vincent, our Commodore, said ‘We returned with mud on the anchors and the lyrics of Van Morrison’s song, “Days Like This” ringing in our ears’.
Thanks to Clifford Brown and Noel Lappin not only for organising but utilising the skills of Paul Fay videographer, drone pilot and photographer to record the event. The event report was compiled by Clifford Brown. Further images available for download via this link
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