07 August 2014

Port call

The chief scientist wanted to keep coring. And if that was too dangerous, then perhaps do a geophysical survey. But the captain was having none of it. So it didn’t happen. We fled into Donegal Bay. After a while we tried going back out to see if things had improved, but they hadn’t, so we went back. Time to get to the harbour! And Colm, the chief scientist, said all science would stop at 4.30 AM. And that he advised us to go and relax!

Through the calm sheltered water, under an amazingly rising sun, we approached Killybegs. Pretty much none of us had heard of this place beforehand, but now it suddenly mattered a lot to all of us. We approached the harbour, and soon saw one of our new cruise participants waiting on the dock. He was a good friend of Kasper and Riccardo, so that sight was greeted with enthusiasm. We also saw a fork lift truck scurrying around with core barrels and liners; a good sight! We’d be needing those…

 Approaching Killybegs in the early morning

A lighthouse on Rotten Island (it really seems to be called that) at the inlet leading to Killybegs

When we were docked some of us got ready to feel solid ground under our feet again. We wandered into town, surprised by how pretty it was; we all had imagined a bleak harbour town, but what we saw was a cute fishing village that seemed to have successfully incorporated tourism into its economy. We went to the shop (they sold Guardians!) and then went for a pint. It might have been 11AM, but for me that was 2.5 hours before bedtime, so comparable to, say, 8PM. A good time for a pint! It was nice!

The village seen from the harbour

 Raising a glass to the second leg, with a new participant: Kevin on the left

We had lunch on the ship, and said goodbye to James. Then most of the night shift went to bed, to catch some sleep before we would return to town, after dinner. We found a few dayshifters there. And then more people appeared. And pretty much all the crew. At around 9PM we pretty much had the entire ship on the pub terrace. That pub must have had a better night, financially, than they normally get on a Monday! 

It was nice to talk to the day shift, and to the new people that had come on board. And the Guinness tasted good. But at a certain moment I realised that the beer was kicking in. That pint had to be the last! And I was just talking to our Marine Mammal Observer, who had more or less the same thought, so I hugged Daniel Praeg goodbye; he was leaving us there too. And then we sneaked away before anyone could persuade us to have another beverage. 

Looking out of the inlet (notice the same lighthouse) at dusk

The next morning I awoke at ~5.30. I decided to get up. If I did I would be tired at noon, and back in my normal night shift routine that very day. And I hoped I could still get on land for some last view on green stuff! I thought of a walk; I had a bit of a headache. But after a coffee I felt a bit better, and considered a run instead. The security officer who signed everyone who came and went off had no problems with me going on an early morning run. I left at 6, and we wouldn’t sail until 9. And after so much Guinness and so little sleep I wasn’t very fast, but I enjoyed my one hour run, which took me past a holy well, a ruined church, some more churches, and just generally hills and trees and buildings and all that stuff you just don’t get at sea. It was nice!

Back on the ship I did a little bit of weights (I was sweaty now anyway) and then had breakfast. After that we soon sailed. It had been good to get to land for a bit! And nobody could say they were actually very refreshed; the Guinness had left its mark in the shape of some baggy, blurry eyes, but we were revitalised anyway. We were ready for the second leg!

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