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The last stop in Northern Ireland – Derry/Londonderry

Derry civil rights artwork

We were very happy that we waited for the right weather to sail to Derry as the swells combined with the strong tidal currents here in Northern Ireland are just horrible. Let’s just say that if you have a tendency to seasickness, this is not the place for you to be – it often feels like being in a washing machine.

Sailing causeway coast

Despite this we had a great day sailing along the Causeway coast and the high cliffs are stunning. It was perfect sailing weather and just as predicted until we arrived outside the narrow entrance to loch Foyle and the channel to Derry. At this point the wind suddenly got stronger and we had to get the sail down in 30 Knot gusts and turbulent water and we think we met Manannan the Great Northern Sea God.

But down they came and once past the entrance we had a further 3 hour motoring the 16miles to Derry in a narrow shipping channel surrounded by very shallow water.

We got in there and found a spot at what turned out to be a very badly designed visitor pontoon. It was almost as bad as our night in Barentsburg (but let’s hope nothing will beat that). What makes the pontoon so bad is the massive rubber bumper on the side, which is great when docking the boat, but either forces the fenders out of the top or captures the fenders underneath putting huge strain on the rail and stations. (in our case bending one of our stanchions).

If the waters were still this would be less of a problem, but the strong tide creates very turbulent water, especially when the wind is against the tide and this gave us a few bad nights sleep.

It is also the dirtiest dock we have been on so far, but that is hard for the marina to control. For some reasons the local seagulls really like to poop and preen here, so everything is covered in gull guano and feathers.

That being said Derry/Londonderry was another very interesting historic town, which must have undergone quite a transformation since the times of the troubles and tragic Bloody Sunday (more on that later).

The city is also known for its city wall, which is complete and possible to walk all the way around. The historic city centre has lots of majestic old buildings and beautiful churches.

Derry is is also supposed to have an active creative scene with several galleries and museums, but all of those we went to see were closed. Sarah now believes that the Irish art scene is making a statement against her as this has been happening a lot!

Luckily the city is covered with street art and it really lightens up the town. And this takes us back to Bloody Sunday. The tragic event where many Irish people were killed by the British military. The area Bogside, where the terrible scene took place, has 12 wall paintings, several memorials and lots of informative posters about the fight against the British paratroopers. It was touching and relevant to spent time visiting it.

Derry also has some great bridges, one modern pedestrian, one old double decker bridge for cars and pedestrians and the third one that used to be over a railway line that is now an art installation, chopped into 2 pieces, but that you can still walk onto. It is hard to describe, but you have to do it if here.

Sarah on Derrys third bridge

If you haven’t see it, Derry Girls on the UK’s Channel 4 is definitely worth watching. We had to see a few episodes while staying in Derry.

The painted picture of Derry girls

Provisioning the boat

There is no fuel dock in Derry so we utilised a fellow boaters trolley we found on the dock to do a few trips to a nearby filling station. This worked so well that when we did our provisioning at the nearby well stocked Sainsbury’s supermarket we transported it all the way back to the boat in a shopping trolley (looking a bit like a homeless trolly lady). Steve insisted we take the trolly back to recover the £1 coin in the trolley!!

And now to all the food

Pyke n Pommes

This is “THE” place to eat if you are in Derry. They have some of the best fries we have had in a long time. The IPA from Rough Brothers is really good. We had to go twice and the burger Steve had took him down memory lane to his former favourite and the tacos were delicious. Just really good food.


Sarah had been very excited about this Asian fusion restaurant as this is normally a hit with her and the reviews were amazing. The food was quite good here, but somehow something were missing. The only dish that we were fighting over was the vegan mushroom dumplings, which we wish were the only thing we had ordered as they were extremely good.

The hidden Cafe

We just came by this by an accident and we were positively surprised. Really great service and they had vegan salads, that were very good. Also there are a lot of different people here, so also interesting to people watch while eating.

The Walled City Slice

We were just in the mood for a little snack and luckily walked past The Walled City Slice, where we got 2 slices of garlic and cheese on a sourdough base. They were precisely as they should be and a delicious treat while walking this old city. You cannot sit inside and eat it, so you should go there on a sunny day.

Hang Ten

This little coffee shop across from the Strand road police station is so good and the prices and service amazing. We had some perfect cortados, avocado on sourdough and banana cake in a bowl with fruit and yogurt (we don’t know how they got this weird idea, but it worked).

breakfast at hang ten


Fancy Mexican dining where people come very dressed up and fancy without being a very expensive place. Also a place to people watch as you might get lucky and see the couple in in their 40’s that were so much in love that the kissing became a little too extreme, when the guy started biting the woman on the breast. Both too extreme for the woman and Sarah as they got eye contact when it happened.

We signed out of the UK online and headed for Ireland 🇮🇪

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