Antipole cruises

Round Mizen Head and into Bantry Bay

We set forth from Schull on a misty Tuesday morning with scarily enough wind for steerage.  Eventually things improved and we made good progress, but it was too late to round the headlands with certainty before the tide turned against us, so we put into Crookhaven, just before Mizen Head.

Crookhaven was once an important harbour where ships arriving from afar put in to announce their arrival and to wait for orders where to take their cargo. It was said that you could practically walk across the harbour on the boats so packed in.  Today there are just ten or twenty permanent residents and the village is mostly holiday homes.  It has a good feel to it and we had an enjoyable evening in O’Sullivan’s Bar.

On Wednesday we tried again.  Progress was slow at first and we spend a couple of hours more or less becalmed before we found some wind, and gradually we made better and better progress around Mizen Head and Sheeps Head and thence into Bantry Bay.  We passed by Dunmanus Bay as we have lost time to the weather.  These bays all run some 20 miles into the mountains and are actually rias – submerged valleys. Once in Bantry Bay we had a magnificent spinnaker run fifteen miles into Glengarriff.


Glengarriff harbour is a large bay sheltered from Bantry Bay by several islands It is a delight, and reputedly the most beautiful anchorage in Ireland. We can well believe it, although there is some stiff competition.  We were surrounded on three sides by mountains, with wooded margins to the water and just a few houses and ruined castles dotted about. It has an almost alpine feel to it.  The sky was cloudless and we could imagine staying a week or more!  There is a substantial colony of seals that must think the same way as they have taken up residence on the many rocks and are very friendly. In the photo you can just see Antipole anchored off Bark Island in the centre of the picture.


The Italian Garden on Illnacullen

On Thursday we used the dinghy to visit the largest island Illnacullen, which is a renowned botanical garden, established in 1910 and built in the Italian style.  The very mild humid climate supports many sub-tropical plants, including New Zealand tree ferns.  The island was eventually bequeathed to the Irish state and today is a ‘must see’ visitor attraction.

On Friday we reluctantly set back westward along Bantry Bay.  The mountains on both sides of the water were covered in cloud and mist while we sailed in intermittent sunshine between the two sides.  The wind picked up to force 5-6 and we had a bracing sail to Adrigole.  This large harbour also claims to be the most beautiful anchorage on the coast.  We were surrounded by mountains covered in mist and cloud as the wind whistled down onto the anchorage, where, once again, we were the only boat.

On Saturday morning we made the short sail into the sound behind Bere Island and to Lawrence Cove, where there is a small marina. We are stopping for two nights here — our first alongside berth since Kinsale three weeks ago.  The skipper has scrubbed himself up and Ynskje is off enjoying a long hot shower and hair wash.  She has five loads of washing on the go!

Love to all
Tony & Ynskje x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.