Thursday 16 August 2012

Galway Hookers

There's no point in being in this lovely part of the world if you can't go out and do 'tourist' once in a while, and (says Dad) there's no point in being the official blogger on a website devoted to working sail boats of you can't occasionally indulge your passions for the West Coast traditional sailing work boat, the Galway Hooker. In these days of puppy and kitten overload, I am occasionally indulged with a car trip rather than be left alone to kill the kindergarten and so it was today that I was loaded into the car for a bit of touristing.

The plan was to look up the Hookers in the centre of restoration excellence, Kinvarra, but there are several Kinvarras on the map. We headed first for the one in Connemara - we knew that the hookers were mainly used to ferry turf, supplies and livestock between the islands and headlands of Connemara, so this seemed logical and anyway, gave us all a superb scenic run out through Ballyhaunis, down to Ballinrobe and then threading out between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask and on through the Maamturk mountains and down to the first Kinvarra. This proved to not be a sea harbour (all be it very scenic) so we headed on south and the east along the North shore of Galway Bay, stopping for a picnic on the beach, where I got a nice run a round.

From there we headed on through Galway and south again to the Kinvarra near to the Cliffs of Moher and The Burren. Not only did the town signs have Galway Hooker logos, but as soon as we set eyes on the harbour we spotted the lovely black hull of a big hooker (Cliona na Toinne). We parked up and went for a walk, spotting another couple of hookers including the small type they call púcán. Dad took a million photos (it takes all sorts). Mum spotted a poster advertising a Traditional Boats Festival running tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday

Hands up who thinks we'll be going back?


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