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Transatlantic 45-footer Saoirse Closing in on Return to Malahide

30th May 2020
The Hanse 455 Saoirse, with the Bee-Fenix family on board, is expected back in Malahide on Sunday evening

The Hanse 455 Saoirse, with which Wolfgang Bee-Fenix and his Irish-German family have been making a Transatlantic circuit cruise, is expected back in Malahide later on Sunday, after a warm welcome home to Irish waters from both the Customs and the Naval Service off the coast of West Cork this (Saturday) morning.

The messages from on board say it all, with the posting from 10 o’clock today setting the mood of the day:

“Just had the Guys from Customs and Immigration come alongside to ask us how the trip has been. They have been following our blog!! Very cool. All smiles, friendly and helpful. Gave us a few forms to fill out and wished us safe passage back to Malahide. Oh how happy we are to be home.”

 Irish Customs welcomed Saoirse back to Irish watersIt’s difficult to give a friendly smile when you’re wearing a facemask, but somehow the Irish Customs managed it this morning as their RIB welcomed Saoirse back to Irish waters.

The Customs Service RIB returns to the mothership FaireThe Customs Service RIB returns to the mothership Faire after providing Saoirse with clearance in the open Atlantic.

Then an hour later there was a broader capturing of the scene:

“After 9 days on passage from the Azores, we saw the South West Coast of Ireland come into view this morning. What a glorious sight, and decked in sunshine and blue skies to boot!! We have already had the guys from Customs and Immigration come alongside, giving us a good Irish welcome. They have been following our blog and knew all about us. They gave us some forms to fill out and wished us safe onward passage to Malahide. We hope to make the evening tidal window tomorrow for Malahide Marina. Can’t wait to get our feet on Terra Firma now after over a month at sea, between our passage to the Azores, the time there on board and now this final leg home”.

Naval Service RIB sets out to return to her ship after a further check on SaoirseWelcome Number 2 – the Naval Service RIB sets out to return to her ship after a further check on Saoirse

And then most recently early this afternoon, with Saoirse two miles off the Old Head of Kinsale and making 6 knots on a close reach with 12 knots of SSE wind:

“What an exciting morning. After a month all on our lonesome we have had two visits in one day. This time from the Irish Navy. Again all smiles, general questions and we were sent on our way wishing us safe passage home.”

Bee-Fenix family on Saoirse

Looking forward to returning to dry land – the Bee-Fenix family on Saoirse.

Published in Cruising
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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