Thursday, 27 June 2013

Around Ireland ... photos and thanks

My kit is washed and dried and almost packed away ... and I think Im up to date with bookings!  

Here are some of my favourite photos from my paddle around Ireland.

The first few are taken on my Canon SLR camera.  

Day 4- We had just paddled round Carnsore Point, just beyond Rosslare.  It was a short day, but a peaceful camp, in amongst these giants.  

Day 15 - Great Blasket Island was a magic place.  This was the following morning after a F6/7, from the S/SW (beach faces N) and 300-400 seals enjoying the sunshine ...

One of the bee hive huts on Great Blasket Island ... I could have stayed longer 

 Day 22 - A sea stack at the Cliffs of Moher on the West coast.

Day 27 - A pod of 30-40 common dolphins, while crossing Killala Bay, SW of Donegal Bay.  We were with them for 10-15 minutes and it looked like they were feeding.

The following were taken on my small Pentax waterproof camera 

Day 2 Wicklow .. hail and it stung!!

Day 3 and the Raven Point Wexford.  A super sand bank area with loads of terns and sea birds, plus our first big pod and heard of seals. 

Looking out from my Bivi, towards the Fastnet lighthouse and the blur of the lighthouse caught by my camera.  The end of the South coast and moving North.

Day 15 and approaching Little Skellig. From a distance i could imagine it was Manhattan!!  If you wondered what the white was, the answer is to do with 30'000 nesting pairs of gannets ...  This was my top day, as we left Deenish island in the mist and on a bearing to the Skelligs, 30'000 was amazing soaring above our heads.  Justine landed for 30/40 mins and the tourist boats gave us a storm warning, so we headed off to the Blasket islands, where a pod of dolphins swam through us on our way. 

Day 16 and rounding Sybil Head. This was my most gripping day with 3-4 mt swell, reflected waves, curling tops and BIG clapotis.  The conditions slowly increased and we really experienced the Atlantic swell in action!!

Day19 - a couple of days after the storm and this section was pretty messy and confused.  Justine above  getting close to Brandon Point.

Day 21 and section of the coast after Loop head.  Again lots of confused water, with swell going one way, reflected waves the other.  It was sustained paddling.  After 4 hours and 14 nm I was happy to land and stay on Mutton Island, after all it was my birthday!

We had lots of this and more than expected ...

Day 26 - and even more of this ... truly stunning.  Along from Benwee Head ...


Day 31 -  despite the wind and rain this was another section of stunning coastline, North from Glencolumbkille.  A section called the 'enchanted rocks' provided a clue!!
This one above was amazing ... one tunnel led out and a waterfall greeted us and another tunnel carried on ... 

Day 33 and Ballymagaraghy. We meet soooooo many super and lovely people, thanks to you all.  This guy had just got in from work.  We were looking in a small village for some wear to eat, Jane (centre) knocked on a door to ask. The fella driving answered (sorry Ive forgot your name) and he said the nearest place to eat was 7 miles away.  We thanked him and started walking away, his wife ran after us and said they could give us a lift into town .... its when I happy to be the tallest in the group!!

Thanks to Sonja Ewen for taking the photo.

If you have never paddled along the coast of Ireland i would highly recommend it.  Its so peaceful, you have big areas to your self.  It has a far more remote feeling and a truly stunning and beautiful coastline.  

I would like to thanks P+H for the Cetus HV, which still looks pretty good and comfortably carried all my food and kit.  To Kokatat for all of my paddle wear, which in the hail, wind and rain kept me dry and warm.  To Mitchell Blades for the paddles which helped me crank out the miles and to Axel for the Axel Pack map case, which impressively kept all my charts and maps dry.  To Stena Line for there support both to and from Ireland.  It really was a smooth and efficient process.  To Sonja, for managing mission control, with updating the Blog, bookings and day to day admin with Coastal Spirit. 

As some of you may know I was also raising money for Cancer Research UK and a BIG thanks to so many of you who donated.  I raised over £1200 ... :)

Justines Blog and recap of our journey with some super photos can be seen here

Will i be back? I really hope so.  Was the Guinness good? Oh yes!!

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