Courtmacsherry to Baltimore, via Union Hall

Day 108, Sunday 16 April 

So much to say about the great number of lovely people I’ve met today at Courtmac, Union Hall and Baltimore; the stunning scenery and killer coastal climbs; incidents en route (some scary, some very funny) … but right now, my head is as tired as my legs, so for now I’ll just let some pictures do the talking ….

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Today’s credits go to:

Brendan and Richard at Travara Lodge in Courtmacsherry for their excellent bed & breakfast and very generous support of the RNLI. Top quality breakfast. Highly recommended. I only wish I’d had time to stay for the day to sample those delicious cakes above.

Garry/Elvis, Courtmacsherry Harbour Lifeboat crew, for taking time out to meet me and sign my chart. A flat calm, tranquil setting this Easter Sunday morning, for the photos taken by Elvis (and me). Not like the typical conditions expected off the wild Irish south-west Atlantic coast when this All-weather Lifeboat is called to service.

Pamela at Union Hall Lifeboat Station, for arranging such a big welcoming committee and preparing an excellent lunch hamper! Thanks also to Peter (DLA), Michael (Helm), Anthony & Johnny (crew), Mick & Carmel (Fundraisers’ and very kind heavy bag carriers) for making my visit to your quite new ILB Station so enjoyable. An extra thank you to Mick & Carmel for lightening my load and easing the climbs on the last leg of the day to Baltimore.

Tom the Baltimore LOM, who also runs the very busy and popular Bushe’s Bar, for providing a room for the night on one of the busiest days of the year and introducing me to several crew members. This included Kieran Cotter, one of the most distinguished, decorated and respected Coxswains still serving, who gave me the most interesting, informative and thorough guided tour of his Lifeboat Station. Modest Kieran did not tell me himself, but he has been involved in several rescues in the Fastnet Rock area, including the famous Fastnet Yacht Race drama in 1991. Read the brief history of this Lifeboat Station  here!  Later, after a major carbohydrate refuelling session, I was introduced to other crew members, past and present, back at Bushe’s. This included the senior Mr Richard Bushe, former long-term Cox’n and father of Tom the LOM, Cathal (Station mechanic), Thorsten(ex-crew) and Pat Collins, son of the 1960s-’80s Cox’n, Christy Collins. I’m still not sure how much a pint of Guinness costs in this country, thanks to the aforementioned characters, who forbade me from opening my wallet. How humbling is that?

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