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Schull Ferry
  Storm Imogen leaves its calling card on Cape Clear Island

As we sat before a roaring fire by candle light last night, with board games and transistor radios  the thought crossed my mind, as it has many on Cape Clear that the future may belong more to the 19th century than to the 20th or 21st. As storm Imogen abated on Monday 8th and as as everyone started to breath a sigh of relief after a wind swept and stormy night until morning, at 9am or thereabouts our self congratulations were cut short by an island wide loss of power. Of course since September last there are no resident lines men on the Island since the ESB cancelled the contract and we are now dependant on maintenance crews from the mainland, no more Micheal John & Patrick to keep the home lights burning. During the day as the water drained from the public water system, with no pumps to replenish the supply others fretted about the lack of  a nurse on the Island, nowadays it seems that the very time when we need a nurse most, when we are cut off from the mainland is when we are least likely to have one. By evening the ferry Skipper was concerned about how to get the storm gates open again to allow the ferry to make make a run. This morning the school with no heat planned an alternative day of activities, based on physical exercise and non routine education with a possibility of having to close on Wednesday. 
As the morning progressed word came of a proposed helicopter lift to bring ESB technicians to the Island and by 12 .00 or thereabouts  the welcome roar of the 'coptor' was heard and half an hour later the lights came on. By 1pm, the dock gates were being opened and the ferry departed for a  welcome return trip to the mainland. Many thanks to everyone who did their bit to alleviate the situation including Julian, who,  marooned on the mainland, had access to the Internet and was able to send the text messages for the ferry.
There is a back up method of opening the storm gates but this cannot be employed until the draw has largely abated. For this reason, without power to operate the storm gates it would have been necessary to wait until tomorrow at the earliest to bring the main ferry out of dock. The relief ferry Dún Aengus, also potentially available was tide bound until 4pm and that was too late to make a return sailing in daylight.
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