The fleet rests in the picture postcard town of Carlingford

 

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

It has not rained once today. Before anything else, this has been the best thing about the day. The low-lying clouds of yesterday have cleared to reveal an emerald landscape, filled with tiny hamlets and rolling peaks too big for hills but too small for mountains. Hillmounts?

The sun has been such that some crews have taken to the flybridges of their boats to soak it all in and gaze at the calm waters of Carlingforg Lough, which features the occasional fishing trawler and dinghy racer. Time ticks by slowly, and everyone is making the most of this rest day by doing absolutely nothing.

The town for which this Lough in named is an easy 10-minute walk from the marina and must have featured in its share of postcards. It has been called “a gold mine to the antiquarian”, according to the local tourist information. On the edge of town sits a castle called built in 1190, but named later King John’s Castle, after a visit to Carlingford by the king in 1210.

More awaits in the centre of the town. There’s a 16th century fortified townhouse, a mint dating to 1467, and the remnants of a town wall that was started in 1326 when Edward II granted the town the right to levy taxes for the building of a defensive wall.

It’s not all about history though. To enjoy Carlingford you can just sit back in a pub garden and admire the beautiful harbour, the narrow alleys, and stunning hillmounts.

There’s nothing planned this evening. The briefing that was supposed to take place has been postponed until tomorrow morning to make use of the latest weather information. If no big winds kick up in the Irish Sea, the plan is to leave at 10am.

Aboard Calm Voyager, a few fillets of Mackerel bought yesterday have started to send out worrying tendrils of obnoxious fish smell from the rear fridge, and the concern is they’ve contaminated the 10 langoustines bought from the same shop with eau de Mackerel. The advice from Heulwen aboard Jolica II is to ditch the fish but eat the langoustines.

Photos:

Gordon and Heulwen from Jolica II
Carlingford Marina
A fortified townhouse in Carlingford