The rawhide seams that bound the leather plates together to keep the sea water out proved successful after almost 2 weeks of been moored, beached and rowed at An Inse (Laytown), where the little River Nanny flows to the sea, the same river where 32 years earlier as kids, we successfully launched rafts 7 miles up river towards Duleek. Guarded by a sand bar that hampers modern crafts from taking advantage of its secretive lagoon, the sea-trout annually return to spawn here but salmon refuse to enter because of the curse on a currach man in the 4th century who refused to ferry a man called Maewyn Succat across the estuary in his boat. known today as St. Patrick he must have lived up to his name sake Meaning War Like in English as no one dared to ferry him to the other side. Today Laytown is a busseling village but still the spirit of the native tribes exist. You only have to sit at the lagoon to see mud pasted teenagers, from head to toe, appear out of the mudflats beneath the old railway bridge and leap from the heights into the whirling waters below. Full tide, low tide, springs or neaps, girls and boys filled the estuary with screams of laughter after the inauguration of yet another weak legged teenager, strong willed enough to leap. The pride of penguins then shuffling across the sand dunes and beneath the shady bridge, again to run at the mudflats until their chests began to slide, feet and arms out stretched only to communally enter the river once more to groom them selves again. The weather boiled as I lived for two weeks beside them, they all knew of my presence but never gave me any mind. Too much living to get on with and fun to be had in Laytown, it was like being the spot on the wall paper. At dawn, the surge of dog walkers began. Dog's paradise one called it as people with so many rescued and abandoned dogs of the city came here to be reborn into a place where alfa was no longer important. Seems swimming and running occupied them too much to bother with one another. Humans attentively collected the little parcels left behind and continued on their ways. I never knew Laytown was so busy as pitch and put sticks returned over the bridge to be met with hurling sticks going the other way to play a game. Small quads, big trials, pygmy bikes doing wheelies, cyclists, horses, para surfers, horse shoe throwers, painters, priests, playground politics... it all happened at Laytown. Locals talked about a field in front of the thatch cottage in by gone years that has disappeared and the burning of the coast guard station in 1922. But the story that will always remind me of Laytown is that the river was originally named as the place to go and find river pearls, one of which, I was told still, exists in the national museum, but the River Pearl is really Laytown itself. Thanks to Nan's Cafe for such tasty food and the little Chinese take way and chip van to, I lost a stone weight over the two weeks in an attempt to catch my own tail, but it wasn't for the shortage of relaxing places to sit and slumber.
Go raibh míle as ucht an cabhair agus an craic
Is mise, Claidhbh.