After our encounter with so many beautiful creatures on our way to the Isle of Man we are touched by the warm welcome we receive from the harbour master. In Peel we dock in bright sunshine in the inner basin in the town centre. We immediately know that our trip to Man will be a memorable one. After a good nights sleep we set off by bus to Ramsey and are amazed to consider that the bendy road the bus follows is the road the Isle of Man TT race is held on. With motor bikes averaging 217 km and hitting top speeds in excess of 330 km, the race is known as one of the most dangerous racing events in the world. In Ramsey we get off the bus and catch a tram down the east coast to Laxey. The tram, which is a standard part of the Man public transport system, has an open carriage and none of the safety features like doors, bars, chains which one expects in the EU. Man of course is not part of the EU.
At Laxey we visit the waterwheel which in the 19th and early 20th century powered the lead and tin mine there.
Our second day in Man is one of those essential days for giving the boat some tender loving care, a job which if postponed too long can create serious problems in the future. In this specific case Roland tightens in total 8 inaccessible nuts and bolts which took up the best part of the day. Whilst doing this we could hear the Peel carnival festivities drifting accross the water from the boulevard.
With the jobs all completed we leave early the next morning at high water over the "Flap gate" and through the "Swingbridge". Our destinations is the south side of Carlingford Lough - the Republic of Ireland.
We have a good breeze on our crossing but unfortunately also our fair share of rain - which Leontine definitely does not enjoy as she doesn't like sitting sideways under the dodger due to possible sea-sickness.
After a tiring passage we arrive safely in Carlingford, a rather dilapidated marina with poor facilities. The town of Carlingford however is a buzz of activity with lots of friendly bars and restaurants - so all in all still very much worth visiting.
Our next stop is Howth just above Dublin - a very lively marina with a keen sailing club and charming town with a well stocked supermarket where we go shopping with our dear friends Geerte en Maurice who have just joined us on board.