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The West coast - Dingle Peninsula to Donegal

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Fairwinds Round Ireland - The West Coast
Inishbofin to Inishturk

Thursday 29th July Inishbofin - Inishturk

We went ashore for a much-needed shower at the Inishbofin Hostel, then had lunch before leaving. With the North Westerly blowing top of a five we decided on a short and relatively sheltered hop to Inishturk today, so were on a close reach once we got round the bottom of Inishbofin and had a fantastic sail.

Inishturk was looking a bit industrial with a big crane and jack-up barge moored inshore putting in piling to extend the jetty. There are several visitors' moorings, mostly with pickups on - local boats use them in the absence of visitors. This island really is remote, with few if any concessions to tourists; it is at the other end of the spectrum from Killronan on Inishmore, with Inishbofin being somewhere in the middle. Few yachts visit because the moorings are a bit exposed, but it is worth the effort.

Went ashore for a walk around - there is a fantastic 'edge of civilization' feel to it, with ducks wandering around the health centre and a big black-faced sheep guarding abandoned cars where the road runs out. We ended up at the 'Community Centre', which is in fact a wonderful pub. Set high on the coast road running South from the village, it has the most stunning views through its windows of any pub I have been in. We got talking and drinking with Danny, a local community worker mostly politics and remote islands. We compared the Scottish and Irish initiatives for remote communities and discussed Irish versus Scottish nationalism. Danny insisted on buying us beers because he had just been paid I think he enjoyed having new people to talk to; Inishturk has a population of just 70 souls.

We had to wade through mud and drag the dinghy to the water before returning to the boat slightly the worse for wear for a late supper. I had another somewhat disturbed night when the tide turned, as the visitors' mooring we were on kept banging against the hull. I spent nearly an hour trying to sort it, then gave up and went back to bed.

Big machine, small island
Main Street, Inishturk
Inishturk Auto Recycling Centre
The Community Centre / Pub on Inishturk
Aran Islands Cashla Bay Roundstone Inishbofin Inishturk Frenchport Teelin