Thursday, August 13, 2009

Voyage of the Vikings, Day 20 – Dunmore East/Waterford, Ireland

8am, 55deg, mostly sunny at anchor in a light breeze off of Dunmore East, near Waterford, Ireland.


At Anchor off Dunmore East, Ireland

Notice Tender Being Lowered


The Town of Dunmore East, Ireland

Known traditionally for Waterford Crystal, the town and the area are quintessential Irish; quaint, picturesque, and green. Vibrant, verdant green. The green, unfortunately, is representative more of the vegetation than to a surfeit of currency. Like the rest of the world, the once burgeoning Irish high tech economy is suffering with the global recession.


Irish Green

We don't know what we are going to do today. We have no tours planned, but Kathy insists that our feet touch Irish soil, so we will probably tender ashore. Keith's back hurt like h-e-double toothpicks when he awoke, but is feeling better as the pain pills kick in, so maybe a short walk ashore is in the cards.

It's now 8:55 and Kathy is waiting eagerly in line at the future cruise desk to maybe book another cruise. Two day specials are being offered on fall and winter cruises at what appear to be really good prices. We may book an October Panama Canal cruise if everything looks right. The canal transit is on Keith's bucket list, and the offered prices look really attractive. We'll see if there are any hidden surprises - stay tuned.


Kathy Negotiating With the HAL Future Cruise Consultant

10:00am, and we are five grand the poorer. 28 days round trip Fort Lauderdale to San Diego, minimum cost outside cabin (only 200 more than inside, which is a bargain). Departs 16 October, which fits our travel plans reasonably well. It will mean departing Massachusetts with the camper after Christmas, like we did last year, instead of early October, as we had planed, but life is what happens while you are making other plans.


Kathy Examines Our Panama Canal Cruise Itinerary

After the excitement of spending so much money, Keith went up to the flybridge to cool off, and to snap some pix. Unfortunately, while we were spending, the weather slid down the sun scale from mostly sunny to mostly cloudy, so the pictures will not be so nice as they could have been. I will repeat, once more, our captain's pronouncement that this is the North Atlantic. Deal with the cloudy weather.

After Keith’s wallet cooled off, we made our way to the tender platform and tendered into port at Dunmore East.


Kathy Descending the Stairs to the Tender


Water View of the Maasdam

Fast forward to 11:45. Kathy is shopping in Dunmore East, while Keith takes pictures and sits on a bench admiring the harbor. A sign at the harbor entrance reminds the intrepid cruiser that this is a working harbor, and the tourist should proceed with caution, and at his or her own risk. Dunmore East is definitely more of a working sea village than a tourist destination. I love it!


Warning to Numbskulls


A Beautiful Working Harbor


Kathy Climbs the Hill From the Harbor


A Picturesque Dunmore East Shopping District

While Keith was waiting for Kathy to do her shopping thing, he wandered up the street to look around. Looking back were half the residents of Dunmore East, out to view the big ship in their small harbor. Keith met four delightful natives, who courteously offered to take his photograph.


A Local Lass Out to View the Maasdam With Her Dog


Three Lovely Irish Lassies and a Lucky Laddie


The Courteous Laddie Snaps Keith in Dunmore East

As we were going ashore, we noticed a large number of small sailboats in the harbor, presumably assembled for some sort of regatta.


Small Sailboats Dot the Horizon in Dunmore East Harbor

Kathy has bought, written, and mailed post cards to the grandkids. I applaud her for this effort to reach out and touch them, from all the different countries we visit.


Kathy Returns From Her Shopping Expotition

We tendered back to the boat about 12:30 for lunch. Why should we buy lunch in the village, when we have prepaid meals aboard? On our way out, the tender pilot was required to dodge many of the small sailing craft, which appeared to have become becalmed.


Where’s My Evinrude, Dude?


Sign at the Break Door Where the Tender Docks

Kathy had steamship round of beef with veggies for lunch, while Keith sampled the Irish stew and Irish pasties at the poolside grill. For dessert blueberry crumble, anyberry pie, and chocolate pie. The crumble is excellent, and the chocolate outstanding. And yes, Virginia, you can take as many desserts as you wish. Decadent!


Shipboard Vendor Selling Drinks at Lunch

Water, Coffee, and Tea are Free; All Else, Including Pop, is Extra

Speaking of food ashore, we were handed a flyer on the sidewalk, advertising the Spinnaker Bar in Dunmore. Typical entree prices 19 euros, surf & turf 28 euros. When Kathy changed money at the front desk (probably not the absolute best rates), she got about 60 euros for $100. That puts the typical Spinnakers entree at about $30US, which makes our prepaid lunch aboard seem an even better bargain.

A nap after lunch (spending money is exausting work), then up to the Crow's Nest for a drink at happy hour. Live music, but there are very few people up here, and nobody is dancing, on a port day. Also, there is an Irish music show going on down below. Kathy wanted to attend, but overslept.

It's such a beautiful day. It's bright and sunny again, although there are clouds on the horizon for sailaway. Keith is torn. He wants to be in the Crows Nest for sailaway, but the computer lab is open during that time, and he also wants to be there, to sort the last three day's photos. Well, at least the computer lab has windows.

We missed the sailaway. The draperies were shut in the computer room, and we were in there well over an hour, sorting our Rotterdam and Dunmore East photos. We didn't finish dinner until 8pm, which is very late for us. I hope we sleep well. Keith wants to be up early for arrival at Liverpool, and we have a long tour tomorrow.

See ya...

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