Tuesday 6 December 2016

Three men, a boat and the Candy Rock Pigeon House

Published 27/07/2014 | 02:30

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan

Last week was one of the happiest I have had in five years. Some of the joy came from the wonderful weather. Some came from cutting myself off from what the Buddhists call "samsaras", the agitations of the 24-hour news cycle. But mostly I was happy because I was able to bring a small boat down a river.

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For the first time in five years, after cancer and two hip operations, I finally had sufficient strength to do something I dreamed of doing these five lost summers - sail my battered little boat down the River Ilen to Baltimore and spend a week fishing for mackerel and watching the basking sharks and diving dolphins off Sherkin Island.

So last Sunday morning, helped by Bob O'Neill, a local man of many parts, we left Donovan's Boatyard in Oldcourt and sailed six miles slowly down the River Ilen at full tide until we reached Baltimore bay. Along the way, Bob chronicled every big house, church and cemetery.

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