“My fingers are crossed for sunny weather,” he adds. “The locals say that it changes every 20 minutes; it might be raining, then sunshine, and then raining again and you can have several seasons in one day. The crew and guests will have to expect that the weather is going to be very changeable so there is not really going to be any watersports apart from tender trips in and out of little villages. We are at anchor most of the time unless we stop in a city because the owner is quite private and doesn’t really like the attention that the yacht can bring. We are bang in the middle of the city here in Cork and everybody stops by and has a look and takes photos.”
"I think the difference between cruising the normal Mediterranean milk run and being up here in the cooler climate is the history and the culture and the beauty of the landscape of Ireland.”
Regardless of a few concerns over the weather, Captain Chaplin is enthusiastic about what Ireland has to offer. “We have been exploring a lot and when the sun is shining the scenery is stunning,” he describes. “We have been to Skellig Michael, which is one of the two famous Skellig Islands just off the mainland of County Kerry and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We are hoping that, if the weather is right, we can cruise out there, take the guests ashore and have a special tour by one of the guides that live on the island. If you hike up to the top of the island there is a monastery there so it is a very impressive location.”
Because of the owner’s adventurous attitude, Katrion and her crew have had their fair share of unique trips. “We have cruised Scotland twice and also Brittany as well,” says Captain Chaplin. “A few years ago we explored the Baltic and we have done another off-the-beaten-track trip to the Great Lakes, which was fairly unique. We are 38.6m so it is not a huge yacht in the Mediterranean but, because of her size, we can get in places that perhaps a 50m cannot. This means you can end up in the city centres like Cork, whereas other yachts don’t come in as far - it gives you the freedom.”
Issue 70 of The Crew Report includes a full interview with Captain Ben Chaplin and can be read online here.