The fleet enters tranquil Carlingford Lough

Position 54° 03.11 N 006° 11.45 W Carlingford Marina, Ireland

Carlingford Lough is a pretty stunning place. Medieval fortifications flank both sides of its entrance, while above them rises a green patchwork of fields. Small forests climb still higher, only to be obscured by low-hanging cloud. A drizzly haze added a fairytale quality to the scene, which could have been straight out of Tolkein.

The day began with a briefing aboard Calm Voyager, with Neale outlining the relatively simple day’s boating ahead. Steer north was the basic command. It took a few hours to arrive at the first buoy marking the channel into the Lough, and from then it was a slow 10 knots to the marina.

As you navigate down this waterway, you’re actually straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. A more tranquil place there could not be, and something far removed from the preconceptions formed in more troubled times about what a border between these two countries would be like.

Once in the marina we fuelled, which, again, seemed to take forever. Had there been more than five boats on this cruise, fuelling would have proven a nightmare. But we got it done, which means we shouldn’t have to fill up again until near Belfast.

The weather hasn’t changed tack. It’s rainy, it’s sunny, it’s rainy, it’s sunny. Choosing whether to keep foulies on is becoming the most difficult decision we have to face.

This evening, everyone met in the marina’s restaurant for dinner. Great food and company. Hopefully, there’ll be more of the same over the coming days.

Photos:

The morning’s briefing over a chart of Carlingford Lough
Jolica II exits Howth
The Northern Ireland side of the entrance to Carlingford Lough