Skipper Brian Welsh and his very capable First Mate, Rosemary, kindly offered to take a Fodhla crew for a summer sail to the Isle of Man on their beautiful Moody 333, New Moon. Anna, Laura, Claire and Roísín joined New Moon as crew along with Aine, one of the 8u Calafort Leader Team.
We sailed from Dun Laoghaire about 5pm on Fri, initially on a broad reach with Claire at the helm. Anna took over the helm as we crossed the Irish Sea, followed by Roísín on helm as we arrived outside Peel and picked up a mooring at 5.20am. The crew slept briefly on the mooring until the lock opened allowing us into Peel harbour approx 9.30am near high water. Once berthed and checked in with the harbour master, the crew enthusiastically took shore leave and headed off to explore Peel and to enjoy a swim on Peel beach, followed by a short afternoon hike up Peel Hill, along the coastal ridge to Cronin’s Tower.
Fodhla decided to enter the Annual Sandcastle Competition in the Peel Carnival on Sunday morning despite the wet weather, and later at the invitation of the local Peel Sea Scout Troop, Fodhla represented 8u Calafort in the annual parade and were invited to get up onto the Douglas Council float to perform their super song and dance routines! Monday was spent exploring the Manannan Cultural Centre, taking the bus, horse-drawn tram and electric railway to visit Douglas and the Laxey Wheel. Tuesday the crew toured Castle Rushen and returned via steam train in time to make dinner and enjoy a final swim on Peel beach, entertaining the locals with still more song and dance routines! On Wed morning the girls found out they had won the U15 Sandcastle Competition and headed off to Davidson’s Ice Cream Parlour for double scoops of award-winning ice cream in waffle cones – yum! The scouts were fantastic representatives for 8u Calafort (and their families), and so many people from Frank the Coxwain of the Lifeboat, Ian the Peel Sea Scout Leader and Michael and Mark the Harbour and Pontoon Masters and lots of other boat crews came to say how fantastic the Irish Sea Scouts were and that they were known all about town for their songs, dances and enthusiastic waves and greetings.
We sailed literally sailed the whole way home without any engine what-so-ever, from the Peel breakwater to the Bailey when our wind finally dropped! Roísín was on the helm when a school of dolphins came to play around the boat and she was still on helm as we came in the mouth of Dun Laoghaire harbour close to 1am. We slept on the mooring and after breakfast and shipboard duties, we came alongside the DMYC to warmly thank Brian and Rosemary and hand off our tired but happy crew. Bhí mé bródúil astu ar fad – maith sibh!