'You are invited to a Gathering to sail beautiful Ireland - photo by garethmccormack.com'
2013 is designated as the year of the Gathering in The Republic of Ireland, in which the diaspora and friends are being invited from all over the world to visit during an amazing year-long celebration. One of the events being organized is The Gathering Cruise, a cruise in company from Dublin to Dingle around the eastern and southern coasts of the island.
The Gathering Cruise will see 100 boats congregate in key Gathering Ports before sailing together to the celebrations. Cruisers from Scotland, Wales, England, Brittany, Norway, and Sweden will assemble in a series of Gateway Ports along the East and West coasts of Ireland, including Malahide, Howth, Dun Laoghaire, Wicklow, Kilmore Quay, Cork, Dingle, Fenit, and Galway. Trans-Atlantic sailors will gather in the West Coast Gathering Ports.
The Gathering Flotilla will leave from the most northerly Gateway Ports and travel south. As the flotilla passes the other Gateway Ports, the assembled boats there will move out to join the growing flotilla. The Cruise in Company will be joined by Irish boats at the various Marinas, Clubs and Training Centres located along the coast. A celebration is planned for Dun Laoghaire (near Dublin and pronounced 'Dun Leary').
The Gathering Flotilla will finally assemble in Kinsale, Co. Cork for the main Gathering Cruise Welcome Reception featuring local artisanal foods and music.
Vessels will then have an opportunity to explore the remarkable coastline of West Cork and Kerry for a week of unscheduled cruising. Gathering Welcome Ambassadors will be on standby to welcome boats as they arrive. All boats will then gather again in Dingle, Co. Kerry for a Farewell Gathering.
After the Gathering Cruise, The Gathering Round Ireland, or now better know as 'The Scattering', boats will have the option to continue their cruise in a northerly direction in the company of other cruise participants. The Scattering will offer the option of completing a circumnavigation, in 21 days or more, from Dingle to Dun Laoghaire. Gathering Welcome Ambassadors will be available in Welcome Ports throughout the Irish coastline.
Celebrations start in Dun Laoghaire, Wednesday 17th July 2013. You can join the cruise at any Gateway Port and rally with the fleet for a party of artisan foods, music, and Irish craic (that’s Irish for 'fun') in beautiful Kinsale on Wednesday 24th July. Then sail off independently to explore the unspoilt Cork and Kerry coastline, choosing in which welcome ports to set anchor. All vessels are meeting up for a Farewell 'Gathering' in Dingle, Thursday 1st August 2013.
Vessels wishing to take part should review the Irish Cruising Club’s excellent publications, including two volumes of Sailing Directions and a new companion book 'Cruising Ireland' which contains comprehensive information about what to do when you get there http://www.irishcruisingclub.com/.
For more information, visit http://www.thegatheringcruise.ie/. Note that participation is officially limited to 100 boats. Although knowing Ireland, that number may be fluid.
Daria & Alex Blackwell's website is to be found at http://www.coastalboating.net
by Daria and Alex Blackwell
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2:18 AM Sat 19 Jan 2013GMT
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