Ireland! First stop – Galway
Our first, of hopefully many, European travels was to Ireland. We weren’t sure when and if we’d make it back here so we tried to get the most out of the 6 days as we could. Heath spent the week prior in England for security training with Greenpeace so I met him in Ireland. I flew into Dublin and took a 3 hour bus ride across the country to Galway on the west coast. Heath was excited about this because the Volvo Ocean Race was stopping in Galway. This is a pretty intense, nine month sailboat race around the world. They don’t bring any fresh food on board, only one change of clothes and experience temperatures ranging from 20 to over 100 degrees. The slogan is, afterall, “Life at the Extreme”. In fact, check out this video of team Puma replacing their rudder underway. If you liked that one, check out the other videos constantly updated on their website here!
Heath arrived at about one in the morning but we woke up early so we wouldn’t miss the port races! We stayed in a college dorm that rents out rooms during the summer to keep it on the cheap. Of course that meant it was a little more of a trek to the city center, but the walk was beautiful so it made up for it!
There is an Irish boat in the ocean race, Green Dragon, so Ireland was very excited. I just heard that Galway had the largest turn out of people so far in any port they have stopped in. Considering how small of a town Galway is, that’s huge! (Green Dragon, you ask? Well since Galway is so small they needed extra money, so China is also representing). Anyways, we decided that we would root for the American team, Puma! Besides… the boat name is il mostro, which means Monster. Hello people!? Do you see what I’m getting at?
All the boats were lined up at the dock and we watched each one leave to go out to race in the open water.
So the boat is supposed to look like a shoe. I don’t see it…
See the video crew above? (Or at least the boom mic) Each of the eight boats has eleven professional crew. They each have a different job onboard and on top of these roles, there are two sailors that have had medical training, as well as a sailmaker, an engineer and a media specialist.
How would you like to be this guy?
Well… if you were curious enough you could try it out yourself!
Seeing how I’m afraid of heights… I decided not to partake. But this man was kind enough to take our photo in front of it. Too kind, even if we have no bodies!
So as we waited for the port races to start we decided to walk around and find some grub. I’m just going to put it out there now – Ireland is NOT an easy place for a vegetarian. So I admit it. I cheated. A little. And by a little I mean sharing a sausage with Heath (It was soooo good!) and getting some prawns… on top of potatoes of course.
The Red Arrows (similar to the Blue Angels) provided the entertainment while waiting for the race to start. They were so fast I couldn’t get them but they created this!
And apparently some didn’t enjoy them…
Oh and just in case you need a reminder. Don’t drive your car off a cliff into the water!
We tried to find a pub to get some lunch so we could watch the port races on TV. But every one we walked into responded to our request with, “The Ocean Race? Uh… sorry. Rugby is on”. Ha! Oh well. Good thing they had big screens set up!
Unfortunately (for them), Green Dragon came in last in all the races. But Team Puma WON!
It was a great day! Beautiful weather, good food and our team won! As we wandered back to the dorm I snapped some more photos…
And I leave you with this…