A special treat this week as we hear from guest blogger Charmaine in beautiful Ireland – Enjoy!
Hi, my name is Charmaine and in March this year I moved from sunny and humid North Queensland (Australia) to Dublin, Ireland. As part of my grand move to Ireland I decided to start a blog detailing my adventures and misadventures as I start my new life here. My crazy, active, carefree and sometimes impulsive approach to life often means that misadventures, broken limbs and red faces are always not far away. Part of keeping this blog is to interact with other expats and share my experiences, so if you can’t learn anything from my experiences as an expat hopefully at least I will put a smile on your face. I hope you enjoy my blog and as much as you have enjoyed Adventures and Naps!
Thoughts from Charmaine…
As a teenager I wanted to meet a meet a rich man and sail around the Mediterranean in his Yacht. As an adult, I realised I didn’t need a man to fulfil my dream and last week I took my first steps in fulfilling this dream to sail around the Mediterranean. I had already decided before moving to Dublin that this was the summer I would learn to sail.
I was a novice at best having several times social sailed in Australia (social sailing involves going on a 30+ foot yacht and having a few drinkies and nibbles while the more experienced crew share stories and misadventures). But I was determined to learn, and several weeks ago I signed up to a sailing taster session at the Irish National Sailing School (INSS).
This was sailing as I had never experienced it, instead of my big cushy yacht with a bathroom on board, I was on a 26 foot 1720 sailing boat. I was exposed to all the elements. Instead of 8 people lounging around enjoying beers, ciders and finger food we had 5 people tightly squeezed in jumping from side to side as we tacked and jibed through the bay. As much as I missed the relaxing, social sailing I was used to, I enjoyed the adrenalin of being so close to the water and all the action that our 1720 afforded.
The INSS is located in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Southside of Dublin and unlike many yacht clubs that I have been to or known of over the years, it does not have the snobbish attitude, pricey memberships or an average age of 65 years that many of the clubs have. No, the average range of this club is 25 – 50 years; it has a fleet of dinghy’s, sailing boats, kayaks, paddleboards and powerboats available for its members to utilise; and its annual membership fees are ridiculously affordable (less than some monthly gym memberships).
Dun Laoghaire is a beautiful harbour, and as you sail out from the public boat ramp you pass the old fish shop where trawlers bring in their daily catch and seals mingle around in the safety of the harbour to catch anything that may fall overboard. As you exit the harbour you can see Howth Heads across the bay, while to your right is the uninhabited Dalky Island in the distance.
On this taster session we went right and sailed towards Dalky Island, passing the multimillion Euro mansions, 19th century institutions and centuries old ruins which dotted the coastline. It’s one thing to look out from the coastline to the Irish Sea, but it is a completely other experience seeing Ireland from the Irish Sea.
By the end of my taster session I was already talking to the instructors of the school and considering which sailing course I would be signing up for.
Thank-you Adventures and Naps for letting me share some my adventures as I start my new life in Ireland. If you would like to read part two and three of my sailing adventure and mishaps check out my blog at Discover New