The weather is turning, the temperature is getting colder, leaves are sailing through the sky until the wind lets them fall to the ground. We see the countryside awash with colour of golden hues. Strolling through the woodlands, we watch the children kick the dried-out leaves into oblivion.
Schools are re-opening and there is a sense of relief as a normality unravels in these times of uncertainty.
Shhhh! Don’t mention the dreaded “C” word.
There is also a feeling of melancholy as the days get shorter. Autumn days, golden sunsets, golden moments all leave behind a haunting beauty in our minds.
Galway Hookers and Currachs in Roundstone, Co. Galway – Yay!
Having spent a fabulous week in Co. Mayo, I headed on up to Clifden in Galway ( the capital of Connemara!)
Aw! the west coast of Ireland, such raw beauty – I feel so happy and energised every time I head for the west and the Wild Atlantic Way.
You can drive the scenic route around the Sky Loop Road which offers spectacular views of the coastline (unfortunately, this time round, the mist came down like a thick blanket ghosting over the landscape and denied me that beauty I’d witnessed just weeks before).
Roundstone is a charming little harbour village. I see signs along the way announcing the regatta from Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd July – Yay!
This festival is over 200 years old.
I have always, always, wanted to see a regatta with those beautiful red sails of the Galway Hookers up close.
The Galway hooker is a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland. The hooker was developed for the strong seas that exist along the coast. It is identified by its sharp, clean entry, bluff bow, marked tumblehome and raked transom. Wikipedia
I just couldn’t believe my luck to happen upon such a wondrous event!
I have painted the Hookers so many times. My children had attended Irish college in the Gaeltacht areas (Irish tradition), they too sent me photos, knowing my love of the boats and that my paint brushes would always be at the ready.
A currach (Irish: curach, Irish pronunciation: [ˈkʊɾˠax]) is a type of Irish boat with a wooden frame. They are smaller rowing boats and do not need to be anchored. They have a peculiar shape with a deep hull.
Let the Regatta begin:
I found me a “little spot” where I could watch the whole event with a full view of the bay.
I was the child in the candy shop.
Perched on a grassy bank and nibbling some snacks, I noticed through the corner of my eye, a little four legged creature passing by. It began with R and ended in T). Normally, I would get over-excited by such events, I might even scream. But this time, I picked myself up and headed for a large rock where I could see all around me and my little four legged creature went off about his business – perfect!
The day went on and more and more people assembled with cameras and binoculars. There was great excitement and delight. We could just about hear the muffled announcements over the loudspeakers coming from the harbour.
The currachs took off in races one after the other around the buoys. The Hookers cruised around in the background and then it was their turn to sail. I watched them dissapear off into the horizon!
So …………… all I want to do now, is to get painting. I want to remember this day through paint and try to recreate and capture that magic.