Early morning departures usually involve a quick cup of tea and slice of bread and honey - consumed hurriedly and blearily while thinking about weather forecasts, engine checks, and practicalities of departure. So it is a necessary indulgence to have a more relaxed cup of tea and toast after the first couple of hours of the journey. This is of course followed by an endless succession of energy top-ups through the day, notably supplied by Jane's flapjacks or Maire's fruitcake.
Our route took us across Dunmanus Bay, Bantry Bay, Dursey Island and the wide entrance to Kenmare River. To seaward we left the Bull, Cow, and Calf Rocks. Great and Little Skellig were next and looked forbidding as ever. We sailed close by Puffin Island and saw thousands of the little birds. The highlight of the sailing day was our encounter with a greater number of dolphins than we had ever seen. There were hundreds of them making their way south and busily feeding. The sea in every direction around us was broken by their graceful leaping and diving.
The other highlight of the day was the arrival of the shore-crew in Caherciveen. A welcome sight indeed. Fresh supplies of a few essentials from home and a family catch-up.