23, Calbro Court, Tuam Rd, Galway

Of late there’s been a lot of talk about experience vs material goods. Those in favour of the latter argue that things last, while experiences are quickly forgotten. In some ways photography helps retain those experiences and keep them fresh. Some people also argue that often the photograph can become the memory, but I feel that the photograph can help refresh the memory.

One thing that I had the opportunity to do this year highlights experiences over things. Each year, in August, the Cruinniu na mBad festival happens in Kinvara. It stems from the tradition of the Galway Hookers (a flat bottomed sail boat) coming across Galway Bay from Lettermore in Connemara to deliver the turf for the winter fires in Kinvara.

The Baileys are one well known family from Lettermore that sail these magnificent boats. A good friend and fellow former chairman of the Galway Camera Club, Andreas Riemenschneider had organised a trip in on one of the boats. The plan was that they’d stop off at Parkmore Pier on the way into Kinvara for a little barbecue.

The weather wasn’t great, so the boats actually docked the night before in Kinvara. Still, we were blessed with the opportunity to go on one of the two boats that docked at Parkmore. So with Luke Bailey at the helm, we took the roughly 30 minute trip into Kinvara when the tide came in.

There’s a lot to getting the sails up, so it took a while before we got going. Using the wind, we swung back into the bay and around. With the edge of the boat practically lapping the water, we spun around and headed into Kinvara. With the hard part out of the way, the boat sailed quickly and calmly into towards its destination. It was a little surreal.

Once docked we all helped get the turf out of the boat. It really was a great experience. Thanks to Andreas and those at the Cruinniu for allowing it to happen too!


More photos beneath the fold. 



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