Yesterday we went down to Cobh to see a huge ocean liner arrive into the port.
The town of Cobh* has a fascinating maritime history. For decades, before the rise of air travel, it was the departure point for millions of Irish people as they set sail for the New World. It was the last port of call of the Titanic before its fateful crossing. It received the dead bodies from the Lusitania, when it was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale. And it is a later addition to the Republic of Ireland, a “treaty port” ceded to the State by Britain just before the onset of World War II. The headquarters of the Irish Navy is just across a narrow channel from Cobh, on the island of Haulbowline.
The ship, the Navigator of the Seas, is one of the largest cruise ships in the world with a weight of 140,000 tonnes. It can carry over 3,000 passengers. In this case, the boat was on a short weekend trip from Southampton. The passengers must have been amazed when they were greeted by a large crowd of onlookers. It was a holiday weekend here, with a local festival happening in the town.
My kids were well impressed. A floating hotel of this magnitude is an impressive sight, no matter what age you are.
* Cobh is pronounced, and means, “Cove”: unusually, an “irishisation” of an English word. Most of our place names are anglicisations of Irish Words.