This is a short blog about the marvellous boats on Achill, a small island on the edge of the west coast of Ireland.
The blog is short because I have a concert tomorrow at the National Concert Hall and have to do a bt of a practice. And also because there is so much to say about the yawls and the people who make them and sail them.
Sailing a yawl is nothing like sailing an 11 metre yacht. The former is sailing by the seat of your pants.
Here are a few scale models of Achill Island yawls.
This one is Mayo Man, owned and sailed by Dr Cowley who is also chair of the local sailing group.
Here’s another scale model: These All these models ( there are more to come when I do the next blog) are made by Thomas Joyce whose son, Tommy, sails a yawl.
And here’s a blow-in, literally. This is a Galway Hooker. Isn’t she marvellous?
The River Thames is 184 miles long but relax: you don’t have to do it all. Try the short walk from Oxford to Sandford Lock which is about 3 miles.
Start in the city at Folly Bridge and set off for Sandford. There’s a footpath that’s a bit rough in places and you have to share it with other walkers and occasionally with cyclists. None of these will spoil your pleasure though.
Be sure to bring a friend: there’s a kissing gate halfway along.
You can deviate to the right to check out the weir in which more than one person has drowned. It’s worth having a look, but with care.
When you get to the lock
don’t be put off by the notice.
The lock-keeper is friendly and doesn’t bite.
Cross over the lock to the King’s Arms for some sustenance. We had a terrific lunch there, al fresco.
The marvellous thing about the Thames is that it’s there for everyone:
But be careful where you park your boat.
And some people, of course, just want to mess about in boats.