The inaugural Squib Cruise left Dun Laoghaire harbour mouth about 15 minutes late heading south. There was a Met Eireann small craft warning in place. The Squibs agreed before departure that no spinnakers would be flown, and that crews would keep in regular radio communication on VHF, and nobody should race ahead of the others. The distance to be sailed was 20km. south to the new marina at Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
Fourteen boats took part, Vincent Delany, Joe O’Byrne and Julianne in ‘Femme Fatale’(24), Jill Fleming and Mary Mc.Gloughlin in ‘Perfection’ (44), Noel and Zina Colclough and Richard in ‘Perequin’(48), Sheila Power and Gilly Fletcher in ‘Little Demon’ (95), Dermot O’Neill and his brother in ‘Glassilaun’ (870), Pete and Anne Evans in ‘Anemos’ (832), Fergal Gaynor and Eddie McCarron in ‘Aija’, and Conor O’Leary and his wife in ‘Summer Wine’ (14). As the left Dun Laoghaire they were quickly followed by cruisers ‘Bendemeer’, ‘Birmayne’, and ‘Terriblee’ and ‘Lucy O’ and two Dragons.
The route took the ladies crews past the Forty Foot bathing place, with an ebb tide and wind force 3 from astern. As they passed through Dalkey sound, they admired the expensive houses and made interesting observations about their owners. Although the wind went light in the Sound, the ebb tide swept them through. They crossed beautiful Killiney Bay with the wind abeam. There were occasional gusts of strong winds from the West. There was no maritime activity visible at the town of Bray. With Bray Head abeam, the wind went light, and heavy, from this direction and then that direction- but it wasn’t a race so it didn’t matter. Then it was the final straight to the new harbour at Greystones, an hour and three quarters after leaving Dun Laoghaire.
Gillian Fletcher (Class captain) led the parade of tan sailed boats into the harbour followed by Greystones residents, Pete and Anne Evans who were to assist in translation of the Wicklow accent. The boats were handled with great alacrity through the tortuous marina entrance, in such gusty conditions, and the Squibs were berthed on the innermost trot. ‘Femme Fatale’ was dressed all over in a motley array of random flags, ‘Anemos’ was decorated with her much travelled battle flag- ‘Gunther’, and ‘Birmayne’ had the largest swallow-tailed Rear Commodore’s Burgee you have ever seen. They really livened up the look of the marina.
It was time to head ashore for lunch and some pints in beer garden behind The Beach House.
The most entertaining part of lunch was the chef, who was in such a daze, that he forgot to put a soup bowl on the serving dish and nearly poured a ladle of soup on to a flat plate. Conversations covered evern subject under the sun. Following lunch, some of the group headed to the ice cream parlours, where strawberries and ice cream were their speciality.
By 15.30hrs the tide was on the change, so the Squibs headed back to their boats, for the return trip. The wind was still blowing force 3 but it had veered to the north east. The trip back took two hours and was relatively uneventful.
Next year the Squibs plan on sailing to Malahide, where they will lunch in Gibneys.