Portnoo to Magherarty Pier- 51kms
As we set off on the 8km crossing to Crohy head, it was impossible not to think of other, much younger, men, 75 years ago embarking on boats for the landings that were so crucial to creating the society that has framed my adult life. They just got on with it, no blogs for them.
We crossed into Aran sound, and the sun broke out and we headed north out the other end into steepening swell, feeling the ebb. A steady trundle across to Cruit (home of Daniel O Donnell, Ireland’s answer to Des O Connor) and a good lunch stop for once. An exciting little shunt through the NE end of Owey sound with tide, swell, bounce back and boomers. Then across to Gola as the sky behind darkened, and all the local lobster boats quietly made themselves scarce. We stopped before Inish sirrer to have a look and let the filthy black clouds pass. As we returned to the water, the sky exploded with crackling close blasts and we turned tail and got ashore. I watched lightning hit the island a few hundred metres away, and then, sitting on a wooden bench ( the Jessie’s that we are…) enjoyed a battering downpour. After 30 mins it cleared and we set off again. I’d been here before in similar weather, so we talked to a lobster man who said the sea ‘had a bit of a roll in it and was a bit dirrty’.
We decided to push on cautiously and see how it was. And it was fine, a swell, a few breakers close in but a steady tailwind and a biddable sea saw us round the Bloody Foreland and down to Magherarty pier where we skirted the surf break and rather tactlessly camped beside the no camping sign. A swift supper in the pier cafe, nicely done by a shy Glaswegian lady, 35 yrs in Donegal but still the great accent.
THEN we were visited by Catriona Woods and Desi bringing food and great company. So kind, enthusiastic and wise. Impossible to refuse food drink.. or even pay for ANYTHING (thrawn bisom that you are Catriona). We looked at plans and hoped for another big day tomorrow.