Archive | January, 2013
January 29, 2013

The mother of all storms….

I do love a good storm and after 7o days of swanning, sailing and sunning around the Caribbean, I finally arrived back to Cork yesterday evening. With a bump of course. Flooding, snow and all that racket has become the norm in Ireland over the past few weeks and my tan is already fading rapidly (was it ever there in the first place… really?!?!?!)

Force 10 winds smashed Cork harbour today. Camera in hand, I headed to the beach. There’s a blow hole in Church Bay which really only summons up enough energy to perform when the tide, wind and waves are really high. In my memory the most I really remember was using it as scant example in junior cert geography exam. Times were tough. ;)

The blow hole was on form today and kids were standing underneath it screaming ‘louder, faster, higher, higher’, jumping around, getting soaked and not bothered a bit with the cold. What a laugh. I nearly joined them, but I’m a chicken, so I stood there and took some photos instead….

 

 

My actual arrival into Cork was nothing short of dramatic either and after 30 minutes of circling Cork airport looking for the wind to subside yesterday evening, the pilot attempted a landing. With metres to touch down, he diverted the landing and you could hear a gasp , as the entire plane seemed to suck in the same breath of air and we were back in the sky again. Off to Shannon!. Take two happened a couple of hours later after a refuel and we landed safe and sound. Into bed, four blankets over me and the wind howling outside, I felt right at home, even though I thought I had left all that behind me on a boat back on the other side of the world.

 

 

January 8, 2013

Tobago Cays – the best place inthe world to see the stars?

They say the Tabago Cays is one of the best places in the world to see the stars. Besides looking at the infinite constellations in the night sky I didn’t recognise anyone in the super yachts that surrounded Indulgence.

This haven of islets is a marine heritage site, and between the horseshoe reef and the uninhabited islands is the protected Baradal turtle sanctuary where green and hawksbill turtles forage freely. Snorkelling with these ancient mammals was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in a long time. They are pretty fast when they get going and I realised there was little point in chasing them too much, not to mind try and touch their decorative shells. The trick was to stay on the surface as they fed on the seagrass, just waiting and watching. They laze along the seabed and then come up for air. If you kept your distance you could swim along easily as they glided past and popped up for air before diving back down again. The turtles were as large as a human torso and when you think about it, as old as myself, if not older! What a life, for both of us.

We visited the turtle sanctuary with a local ‘boat boy’ called Carlos. Boat boy is a light term for this broad hulk of a man. He also brought us to Petit Tabac, a strip of white sand and palm trees within the Cays where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. If only Johnny Depp was here now, none of us girls would have complained about being stranded on this little strip of paradise. Ironically we nearly were, as Carlos launched the boat and his engine failed to start. His newly purchased fuel had been contaminated and all eight of us sat helpless as his boat drifted out towards the reef. Carlos tried and tried, as did all the boys on board, except, on our poor ‘white man’ attempts, the pull chord would only come half way. Hulk capabilities were the only answer, so when another local boat boy came to the rescue, we were all relieved and after twenty minutes both of them eventually managed to start the engine again. No longer was the reef a threat, and the paranoia subsided.

Due to the high season, the anchorage itself was pretty crowded. In a way it took from the picture postcard that you seek in the Caribbean, but it’s easy to understand why everyone wants this little bit of paradise. We found a quieter spot by anchoring in behind Petit Rameau and still staying close enough to the channel. Looking out at the rest of the boats which sat on mooring buoys, I thought to myself there was as many anchor lights as stars. For me, the best star gazing grounds must been mid ocean where the endless nights displayed endless shooting stars and you could see the milky way lit up like a highway. Those are the nights I will always appreciate.

January 7, 2013

From Union Island to Union Hall. The local lingo explained

I was in a bar recently and the lady behind the counter asked me if I had grown up on the islands because of my local accent?. I laughed out loud. Seriously, like, just because I’m from Cork!. And while it is true that there are lots of similarities in the way we speak, there are lots of oddities that I find very amusing. I love listening to the way people speak, the lilt in their voices, the way accents dip up and down and how we have all interpreted our own version of the Queen’s english.

From as far away as two parts of the Atlantic you can get, I’ve compiled a little dictionary of Caribbean slang translated into Cork. If you are not from the Windies or the real Irish capital, then I am afraid you will have to lie ignorant of what in God’s name we are all talking about….

Yuh dotish out – You’re some langer

Me darlin’ – You’re an ol’ dote

True dat! – Dat’s daaaycent boy!

Yuh bubblin’ a pot? – Wat’s for de dinner?

Yuh belly long out – You’re some savage

Sell out – Go’on away, you’re codding me

Let’s buzz it – Sketch!

Ya goin’ good? – How’s the craic?

I’m sure there’s much more. The dictionary is in it’s infancy. If you’ve anything to add, send it on.

January 5, 2013

Bequia, it’s so nice, you do it twice!

“Aye-ree, Welcome to Bequia. It’s so nice you do it twice.” This was our first greeting to the Caribbean island from a local fruit seller.  “Dis is paradise man, and I am de president.” Funny, because I vaguely remembered a picture of me and that same guy from a few years back when I first visited this amazing place. Clearly he had progressed from the local Mayor to the President in those eight short years.

“I got papaya, mangoes, and dis fine good sugar sap” and he held out a strange  white fruit with dark seeds. It was pretty good, with taste was like a sweet, sugary ice-cream. The rest of the crew, when I produced two of them after dinner, didn’t quite agree, but I guess thats the power of impulse buying.

Bequia is beautiful. It’s relaxed, green, has lots of sandy white beaches, and a main street that leaves as much room for pedestrians as cars, or goats, or chickens, or whatever you might see along the way.

By day two, I decided I needed a haircut badly. If I leave my hair grow long enough, it has got cocker spaniel qualities. That is flat on top with long curly bits down the end. Not flattering and I knew I needed to do something fast. I made an appointment for 2pm, and by 3.30pm I was sitting in the hairdressers seat. Bequia, like every other Caribbean island, has it’s own time pace. That hour and a half though were one of the most entertaining as I got an special insight in braiding, hair extensions, back combing, super product styling and so much more. I felt jealous that I wasn’t fitting in, and seriously considered turning into a redhead rasta, just for the hell of it.

That was Bequia. We left, contended, filled with Pina Coladas and a few days at a busy but wonderful anchorage and headed to explore the rest of the Grenadines, including Tobago Cays marine heritage park and Union Island.

 

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For the fun of it, I filmed The President with his co sellers Olly and Hadou at the market introducing our upcoming film “Marley” at Crosshaven Film Club. They totally got into the swing of it.

 

 

 

 

Me and the President of Bequia in 2004, although I’m sure he was only the Mayor back then.

January 4, 2013

Meet the Indulgence Crew : ROBERT

Over the past three weeks, it was great fun having Rob, Jill and Kate onboard with us. They are all leaving today to head back home to work. What a great time we all had over the past few weeks. In keeping with the grander scheme of things, we had to include Rob in the crew quiz before he could step back on the plane. Here goes….

 

 

 

WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME?
Robert Henry Thomas Heffernan. Henry after my dad’s dad and Thomas after my mum’s dad.

WHERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Yeah. Oh actually, I don’t know if they did this on purpose but our first dog was called Robbie and my parents had them before me. So I always suspected that they liked the name Robbie and I was named after the dog!

WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Cork.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Ammm probably saying goodbye to Jill last Christmas. Oh sorry, our dog Sophie died during the year. She was a West Highland terrier, she was about 13 years old. Lovely dog.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I like handwriting, but I don’t think I have very good handwriting. My dad has the worst handwriting of all of us. I work with my dad, and with any new person that starts in the office, his handwriting has to be translated. It’s that bad!.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No

DO YOU USE SARCASM ALOT?
No not really. I don’t think so. Maybe I do. Oh, I don’t know. Best to clarify this with someone else.

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
I do.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
The opportunity has come up before and I haven’t it. I always feel like if I hadn’t done it then, I probably will never do it.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No. I wear slip on shoes at work, and at home I wear trainers. But no, I always just rip them off. Inside in our hallway, myself and Kate have a corner that is full of manky shoes.

WOULD YOU PUT THE MILK INTO THE TEA FIRST, OR LAST?
I don’t drink that much tea. But to answer your question, last. I would take out the teabag, squeeze it first and then add milk. But with coffee, I go coffee, sugar, milk, then mix up the syrup first and then put the hot water on top. It is actually is a science and I’ve noticed a load of people do the same in work now. I think it was my dad who started this trend. It’s got latte qualities.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Probably either eyes or teeth. I suppose eyes first, then teeth, because you make contact with them first. If someone has unusual eyes, you notice that. I always look for something unusual.

RED OR PINK?
Red

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I like to be in control of situations. Like even driving the dinghy. I’m like “you’re go too fast” or “you’re going too slow”. I wouldn’t say Im a control freak, but things when it comes to things like driving, then I like to be in control. In a car, I am not a good passenger at all. In a plane, I like to sit at the window to make sure the pilot is doing alright.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My sister because there is only four of us.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My mum.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
I like neither actually. But happy endings piss me off. I’d love to see a movie where New York is blown up in the end, not these ones where the nuclear bomb is turned off with two minutes to go.

ROLLING STONES OR THE BEATLES?
Beatles.

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Not really. I can flip a cigarette. I can put a lighting cigarette into my mouth and flick it back out and it will still be lighting. I learnt then when I was younger. That’s not really a special relent. My mum will not be happy to hear it.

My other great talent is that I can eat a lot. I think I’ve got good taste, with food anyway.

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Fiji. There is a twelve hour time difference between there and home, so I reckon its the furthest you can get. That’s also where the dateline goes through. I was there in 2005, with two good buddies Brian Barry and Micheal Stout. We all had a year spare after school and we were all working, but we said we’d go on a round the world trip together. We went to Thailand, Fifji, Austailia and Haiwaii.

IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE WHAT WOULD YOU SAVE?
Hmmmm, I’d wake Kate up like, Id tell her to get out, like. Hahaa!. Well, probably the most expensive thing I have bought is my TV and I am very proud of that, so I would have to save that, but wake Kate up first, obviously. If it wasn’t at night, I’d just have to grab Kate.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE CREW
Aidan is my dad. Jill is my sister. Kate is my girlfriend.

Hanly I’ve know the longest, bar my family. I have probably known him for 15 years, from the older boat Argos. He was racing with us for years and we did trips to France, Spain and the Scillys.

Denis, I know from Crosshaven and racing on Indulgence. Later he came cruising with us t France and all that.

And you, Joleen, I’ve probably known you for years from around Crosshaven and you came racing with us last year.

January 4, 2013

Meet the Indulgence crew : KATE

WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME?
Kate Elizabeth Forde

WHERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Not that I am aware of. I was born around around Christmas so they wanted to call me Holly originally, but Im glad they went with Kate, it’s not a bad name.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
In Cork, actually not sure what hospital. Gonna say the Bons, but I was in and out of the hospital when I was younger. I had loads of little silly things wrong with me like pneumonia, adenoids and tonsils removed. You know when you have memories when you were younger, a lot of them was when I was in hopsital, but they were never too bad, just good memories and my mom was there singing to me.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Gosh, Im a bit of a baby and super sensitive. Probably welled up when I was saying goodbye to my nephew on Christmas night and he was going to bed at 7 o clock and I knew I wouldn’t see him for three weeks. So I welled up a bit then. That’s why I will always have to have a job in Cork and I could never move to Australia, I’d be too far from home.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yeah, it can be a bit rushed but that is like a lot of things that I do.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No

DO YOU USE SARCASM ALOT?
Yes

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
No, nor do I have my adenoids.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No, I’d have the fear that the chord would break. You see too many of them youtube videos of them snapping or hitting the water.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
No, again everything I do, if there is a shorter, faster, more efficient way of doing it, I will find it.

WOULD YOU PUT THE MILK INTO THE TEA FIRST, OR LAST?
Ammm, for tea, last. For coffee, before hand. But it wouldn’t turn my stomach if it was either. The Fordes are creatures of habit, we have routines drill into us and tea making is one of them. Having tea with your breakfast, tea after supper. We make tea so much. We have a teapot at home, a red one, and we all make the tea just like my dad does. hand on one hip and pouring the tea out. Its the biggest thing we have all learned from him. Timekeeping. I am never late rom anything. But we don’t sing the teapot song when we make the tea. But as you know I do like to sing.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their teeth. After years of braces. I think its a braces people thing, because you went through the torture of them. After braces it changes your whole face, so you appreciate other peoples smiles, especially people who are lucky enough to have naturally great teeth.

RED OR PINK?
Pink. Its my signature colour.

WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am so impatient. Well it was my news years resolution to be more patient. But I find it very hard to get around people who just people keeping waiting or procrastinate, but then that’s down to my routine and habits from my dad. I think it’s because Im just high strung. That’s my news years resolution to appreciate people who are not as high strung as I am.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
Well Im only away for three weeks but it must be my niece and nephews, Emma, Jack, Harry and Cian. Kids changes do much in a short time, and I miss them loads already.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My mum. She is my best bud.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings

ROLLING STONES OR THE BEATLES?
The Beatles. Get that from my dad, he was playing us Beatles since we were born. As you can tell, we are a close family.

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Haha, I don’t really. I wish I could sing. I wish I could play an instrument. I don’t think there is any singing coach in the world who could help me. Not even Ciaran, as much as loves my “wrap me up in my oil skins and blankets”

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
This is it, I’d imagine. I’ve just been to the States otherwise on J1s. They were great, great fun. Visiting Rob in California was the furthest away I think.

IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE WHAT WOULD YOU SAVE?
Well it depends which house. If its was mine and Robs house in Mount Oval, it would be Rob. Now I know he would say his TV before me. but if it was my parents house it would be my family, but that’s a given I suppose.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE CREW
Well I suppose it all boils down to me and Rob. I am going out with Rob for ten years now. I probably met Jill first, and then Aidan. But it wasn’t the Aidan we know now, it was a really, really, really, really SCARY AIDAN. My first time meeting him I was petrified. But Rob assured me, that only way you will know my dad is if you go out ailing. So after two years, I finally went sailing, and I was like, who is this Aidan????

As soon as I started going on on Indulgence, Denis and John were there. We’ve been on so many trips together now in Spain and France. I know them really well.

Joleen, I know you through the last few years in Crosshaven. This is the first time we are properly hanging out, and perfecting those Caribb accents together. May I add, it’s a pleasure.