On Wednesday the 4th of July, 16 sailors from the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire made the trip from their home port around to Bailey to Ireland's Eye.
The trip was a result of careful planning and preparation by the sailors involved, all of whom were taking part in the “Adventure” module of the ISA Sailing Scheme.
The sailors spent the week before the trip improving their seamanship and sailing skills, as well as making the necessary passage plans and safety contingencies associated with this sort of away trip. All of the sailors were allocated a variety of roles within the expedition. These ranged from organising food and provisions to determining bearings and tides for rounding the bailey. This culminated in the sailors presenting their plan to their parents before departing as a means of ensuring everyone was on the same page.
Thankfully the forecasted, light to moderate south easterly breeze materialised on the morning of the fourth and the group departed, fully provisioned, for their overnight stay. A broad angle to the wind insured quick progress as far as the bailey. Though the freshening and backing Easterly made for challenging conditions as the sailors landed on the South beach of Ireland's eye. Boats were carried beyond the high water mark as far as the soft marram grass that surrounded the beach and camp was made on the outcrop overlooking the strand.
The sailors and instructors sat around until late, remarking on the adventures of the day, all the time awaiting the arrival of the relief package from Bershoffs on the mainland, which was of course well received when it did finally arrive. The arrival of food established renewed conversation, and the stories from the day quickly began to take on a life all of their own. Some twilight exploring of the island was also called for with our adventures taking us as far as the Martello Tower on the west side of the island.
The morning of departure dawned bright and clear. Camp was cleared and all trace of the campers presence was removed from the island. The moderate North Easterly breeze made for an ideal return trip to familiar waters for the by now very weary sailors.
All in all we found the adventure trip to represent an undoubted highlight of our course to date. The sailors truly rose to the challenges that we presented to them, and came up with an extremely strong and well thought out sailing and camping plan. They were a credit to themselves and to their parents , who we must also thank wholeheartedly for allowing us run the trip.
Special mention must also be made of the instructors, Maeve Hand and Fiachra Coughlan who were so instrumental in the success of the trip and for bringing with them a real sense of Adventure.