The proliferation of Notre Dame fanatics continued, somewhat surprisingly at our first stop in Ireland, Cork. We drove the few hundred kilometers to Cork the day of our arrival in Dublin, getting into Cork in the early evening hours. The reason we chose Cork as a destination was pretty simple: Costigan’s Pub was located there.
What a joy it was to spend the day in Dingle Bay with my favorite angling buddy, Ben. We were fortunate to be accompanied by a great couple from Canada, Karen and Scott. They were rendezvousing in Ireland while Scott was completing a tour in Afghanistan. It was a blustery yet fairly sunny day and the swells were running 6-8 feet so it made for a challenging balancing act while we pursued the pollock deep in the sea.
We have only fished for bass before so going after the pollock was a completely unique experience. The water was about 80-100 feet deep and you drop your line to the bottom and slowly work it up. Once you get a bite and reel them in, since they are so deep, the change in pressure takes all of the fight right out of them. Although they are large, unlike with feisty bass, there is no netting required boat side...you can just lift them in. This little guy Ben brought up had his eyeballs pop out due to the pressure change...poor little buddy.
We ended up with about 8 large pollock which we were allowed to keep. We chose to have the Captain clean two of them for the Canadians and the Bangert's and we took them to a local pub where they cooked them up for us for a mere 10 Euro a plate. Not quite a bargain but who could resist!! We hope the Captain had himself a good dinner that night and perhaps made a few extra dollars at the local market.
While Annie and Ben were doing their version of Deadliest Catch, Marley and I had a very nice lunch and then took a drive to scout out a horseback riding place we had seen cruising around the peninsula. When we got there and met the woman who led the riding expeditions, we noticed hooks on the wall with the names of the horses right above them. Two of the names that stood out to us were Marley and Annie and their hooks were right next to each other! That was definitely an omen, so we booked a session for Annie and Marley hopefully on Annie and Marley the following day.
It was a magical adventure surrounded by the greenery of her majesty, Ireland. And Bill will be glad to know we didn't see one Notre Dame fan in sight.
With the girls off riding horses, Ben and I played a quick 18 holes of golf at a pitch and putt course. I thought when we had driven by it that there were only 9 holes, but it turns out that there were twice that many and about four of those ran down to the water. We got some great views across the bay of Dingle and had a great time. I was glad to see Ben hit some really good shots, especially considering he hadn’t swung a golf club in about a year. Plus, one of my major goals heading into 2013 and our life back home was to have Ben and I play a lot of golf together. One of my dreams is to have Ben and I become golfing buddies and have us take golfing trips together. Our outing at the Dingle Pitch-n-Putt may have been a small step in that direction.
The world is a massive place, and as Americans, it's easy to fall into the line of thinking that it revolves around the United States. We discovered early on that most people in other countries don't really care about what's going on in the U.S. nearly as much as we might think they do. Every nation and their people are very unique, and very proud of their homeland. And the Irish have much of which to be proud.