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Santa Irene Club de Vela Newsletter - 27th September 2006

Hola! Was it the Leprechauns, the Guinness, the Irish Craic, or Trisha and Siobhan. I didn’t hit the right button on the fax machine and you lost a complete page of my letter from Baltimore. To refresh your memory, I was in Ireland at the Drascombe Rally.

“ There were many invitations to go sailing, the weather was good, but I wanted to see as much as I could of this corner of Ireland – and what I saw was a Sailors Paradise! Baltimore is situated on the south side of Roaringwater Bay with 15 or more islands within the Bay.
One is Clear Island, Irelands southernmost inhabited island which lies 8 miles off the mainland. Then 4.5 miles southwest of Clear island is the Fastnet Rock and it’s lighthouse.
When we arrived it was Calves week, seven days of fun in one of the best sailing areas in Ireland. Yes you’re right Calves week, follows Cowes week. Calves week gets its name from 3 small islands within the Bay.
Calves week is now in it’s 23rd year and incorporates three regattas, Baltimore, Crookhaven and Schull. The organiser is Schull Harbour Sailing Club, if you want to know more visits One race is around the Fastnet, which is 9 miles from Schull.
Where else did I visit? Mizen Head, I guess you could call it the Lands End of Ireland, it’s the most Southwesterly point. Then a trip to Bantry Bay- Bantry, Glengarriff, Castletown and McCarthy’s Bar, the oldest bar in Ireland. Dursey Head with a cable car to Dursey Island, that’s in Kenmare Bay.
Down south again was Leap, Glendore and Union Hall where we had a marvellous Irish Stew. Believe me you could spend a full season, sailing that corner of Ireland. Just to the North is Valencia Island.
For now I’ll have to say “Thanks for the Memory”, thanks to the lovely people I met and their generous hospitality and thanks to Dermot and Michael my good companions”

The 6th September, I was homeward bound, picked up by my good friends Pat and John at 6am from Halesowen. My sister-in-law, Nell at 97 years, was up to make the tea and send me off with a couple of weetabix- bless her. Some of you may remember “the girls” there was a time when I had four of them looking after me – ah! happy days.

A nice steady run down the M5 and we were in Plymouth, with time for a stroll on the Hoe. The ferry left at about mid-day, the sea crossing to Santander was perfect, pity we didn’t have ‘Victor Sylvester’ on board, we could have danced the night away. As it was we had an early night and an early breakfast leaving the boat at about 8am.

With time to spare we turned right on leaving the port and headed for Sardinero, visited the Maritime Museum – left them a card, walked through the gardens and sat on the prom, sipping coffee, enjoying the sunshine- happy to be back in Spain.

Our destination was Benidorm, where Pat and John have a home, so we took the N623 to Burgos, you pass over the source of the River Ebro, now think about that, it continues across Northern Spain to the Ebro Delta at Tortosa on the Mediterranean coast. As the crow flies, if his navigation is OK, it must be 500kms. What a trip that would be down river- the current is with you – you would hardly have to row. Write a book, 3 men or 3 girls in a boat- could be a bestseller!

Better get back on route, 10 kms before Burgos, there is a Hostal ‘Sotopalacious’ with gardens and waterfalls, it’s worth stopping for coffee or perhaps a stop-over. From Burgos take the N234 to Soria with mile after mile of Pine trees. I recall seeing a sign 1,234 metre high, our hostal for the night was in Daroca. Next morning we took off for Teruel and Valencia, very little traffic until Valencia – still N234. We arrived in Benidorm in good time to do our shopping in the afternoon. My sincere thanks to Pat and John.

I had a few days in Benidorm with time to visit the local Sailing Clubs. First Benidorm, where I met my friend Michael Pajuelin, several times Hobie 16 National Champion. He was preparing his new Cat for this years Championships. Then the two clubs in Altea and the friendly crowd at Villajoyosa with a big slipway and dinghy park and we are still dreaming!

Things were looking good on Sunday 17th, you could say it’s the start of our season, with sailors returning to the fold. There were 5 Hobie cats on the playa plus the ‘Tideway’ a traditional sailing dinghy. I can tell you, it did well in a ‘big blow’ I was out with Paul on the Drascombe.

Are you interested in visiting The Barcelona Boat Show 4th to 12th November. The sailing association of Mar Menor are planning a visit, we could perhaps join them. Give me a call or talk to Vic on 950 529 399

Our next BBQ will be on Sunday the 1st October – bring whatever you fancy.

We hope to see you on the playa, opposite Mr UK, next Sunday.

Take care

John Talliss
Tel : 950 475 157
Movil: 658 548 790


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