Arklow to Rosslare Harbour, via Courtown and Wexford

Day 143, Thurs 25 May.

The final day of the final phase. Or should it be phinal fase?

But before the celebrations, the small matter of another 57 miles and three more Lifeboat Stations to visit, starting with Courtown Inshore Rescue Boat at the entrance to the small but beautiful and popular harbour. The first of two D Class Inshore rescue boats to be visited today. What a debt of gratitude we owe to the designers and operating crews of this amazing wee boat.

Thanks Sam (LOM), Finton (DLA), Peter(Helm, with family/future crew Deirdre, Clodagh & Síofra), Fergus (Helm), Andrew (crew) for hanging on to meet me, re-energising me with fine tea and Jammy Dodgers and helping me with route advice (KTSOYL&JP*) on my way to the next Lifeboat.

Wexford, at the mouth of the River Slaney, is another obviously significant Irish port, with a great industrial history. Wexford ILB Station is the last one to visit before returning to the close flanking ALB Station at Rosslare. A complimentary pair of neighbouring Lifeboats. The largest of the ocean-going ALB Fleet and the most successful of the Inshore Lifeboats. A Severn and a D-Class. Thanks David (Snr.Helm) and Jack (Boathouse Manager) at Wexford and Peter (DLA) & Art (Cox’n) at Rosslare for the final round of hand-shakes, kind words and the last couple of signatures on the now complete chart. The moment of realisation that this is suddenly all over has for once, left me lost for words.

I still can’t get over the number of important harbours around this Emerald Isle. Their importance and function has shifted over the last century, mostly away from fishing, imports & exports and towards leisure boating. But this Island Nation, as much or perhaps even more so than the UK, remains dependant upon these great gateways for so much of the country’s income and identity. For as long as this continues, then so shall the need for Lifeboat cover. And for as long as the RNLI continues, then so shall the need for a regular drip feed of voluntary contributions. And for as long as the 100% charitable status and voluntary nature of each local Lifeboat community continues, with support from us via the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, free from Irish and British Government agenda and control, then so shall lives at sea continue to be saved. We shall never completely eliminate all risks, but the RNLI certainly continues to minimise those risks around our amazing coastline and on our inland waterways.

So … go on. Help me reach my fundraising target. If you agree with any of the above, and you’ve enjoyed following my little Odyssey, please turn out your pockets. Or more usefully these days, dust off your debit cards and click here to make another small** donation to the RNLI.  

Thank you so much to all of you for your interest, support and encouragement over the many months. Time to re-acquaint myself with family, friends and all things on the home front.

*KTSOYL&JP? If you can’t figure out this acronym by now, you clearly haven’t been following this travelogue for long.

Keep the sea on your left, and just pedal…   I did just that. For most of the 7,500 miles now cycled, it worked.

** I have of course, no objections to large donations to the RNLI! There are many stations that would love the funds for a down payment on a new Shannon All-weather Lifeboat. But many modest contributions are what help keep the Lifeboats afloat. So please spread the word. Thanks. Steven.

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5 thoughts on “Arklow to Rosslare Harbour, via Courtown and Wexford

  1. neilmca May 29, 2017 / 7:42 pm

    Gulp. I’m a bit lost for words. Glad you weren’t in the end. Wonderful sentiments to cap an epic voyage (I think ‘voyage’ is appropriate in the context of 237 RNLI stations, despite Fondo’s reluctance to float). You have raised awareness of this remarkable organisation to so many of us. Well done, Steve.

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    • stevenmca May 30, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks Bro, for being such a big part of it, on the ground in Scotland, in the air over the sea to the four Channel Isles Lifeboats and St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly. Plus the Sligo Bay rendezvous. I’m a lucky chap, having a brother with wings!

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  2. KEITH GRAHAM May 30, 2017 / 7:37 am

    Hi Steven

    Well done on both this magnificent personal achievement and for raising both the profile of the invaluable work of the RNLI and their coffers!

    Most cyclists with some preparation can manage a 50 – 60 mile day ride… add some luggage on board and it gets harder… add some monster hills in for good measure…harder still…. add some occasional 20 mph head winds, rain and cold and inconsiderate motorists and leisure cyclists know at the end of that day that they’ve done a good ride,, oh and then in your case add in the meet and greet with the RNLI crews before you get your supper…oh and you don’t get a nice massage like those pro boys in the Grand Tours…

    …but to then repeat it all over again the next day and do it again for a further 142 days – that earns big cyclist respect and admiration; it’s hardly surprising that Steven had to give up shaving! (though the Graham’s have rather fallen in love with the beard!).

    You’ve entertained us all with a wonderful travel blog which should now be an RLNI book, raised public awareness of the joys of cycling and the perils of the sea but most importantly given yourself marvellous memories which will last for ever.

    I’m so pleased to have been a small part of your adventure and the journey as a cycling buddy and long may it last!

    Job done…!

    love – Keith x

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    • stevenmca May 30, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks Keith, for your kind words AND deeds, including being a great winter training buddy/coach!
      Looking forward to our own Tour de Cité de Hull de Culture de Yorkshire before this year is out.
      See you soon!
      Steven

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  3. stevenmca May 30, 2017 / 9:44 pm

    Thanks Keith, for your kind words AND kind deeds, including being a great winter training buddy/coach!
    Looking forward to our own Tour de Cité de Hull de Culture de Yorkshire before this year is out.
    See you soon!
    Steven

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