Bantry Bay-Home of the Mussel
Today we are anchored in Bantry Bay off the southern tip of Ireland. This is a small, very picturesque village with a sheltered harbour and surrounded by the craggy Caha Mountains. The waters of Bantry Bay are considered the deepest and most protected of any harbour in Europe. From the earliest times fishermen and merchant ships have used this port as a haven.
The Bay is also covered in mussel farms. Long lines of rope attached to multiple floats are spread out in every corner of the approach to town. Mussels attach themselves to the ropes and when mature are harvested. The harvest, previously done by hand is now accomplished using a large derrick which winds the ropes into the boat dislodging the mussels. The largest distributor of the mussels from this area is the Bantry Bay company and its products come in a wide range of flavours. Oysters are another local harvest with both being the “specials” in the restaurants.
Bantry is beautiful town for “strolling about” and it is surrounded by water or soaring green hills making it a postcard like setting. Today it has become a haven for writers, musicians, visual artists and sculptors. The shoppes, restaurants and bars reflect this with live music, artisan coops, small art galleries and some of the finest seafood restaurants we have seen.
From this anchorage we start our 3500 mile Atlantic passage with our next stop, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and home. Let’s hope for calm seas and a strong internet signal as we motor for the next eight days. Pictures will not load so will have to wait for another day.