Freesteel Blog » More Irish Kayak Diving holiday snaps

More Irish Kayak Diving holiday snaps

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 12:13 am Written by:

Quite tired in the evenings, not surprisingly. Here’s a few views from the last three days as the weather here in Ireland got better. Consequently we had to paddle further “to make the most of it”.

Here’s an exciting blowhole at the bottom of a tall cliff…

blowhole

…which is centred just about here…

…in middle of absolutely nowhere.

They call this area — Mizen Head — the Land’s End of Ireland. But it is nothing of the sort. Land’s End is heaving with tourists on every cliff and footpath. There is nobody anywhere here, on the footpaths or on the water. So it’s a bit intimidating.

We didn’t dive there, even though it was sheltered. We dived back in Canty’s Cove where it shallow and friendly and pretty:

snakelock

Then on the next day we investigated Kedge Island from Trafraska and very rapidly ditched the idea of diving the Alondra once we saw the swell and the exposure. Things look so much easier on the map. Here’s us heading through Kedge Island sound towards home.

kedge

We paddled back to Trafraska for lunch, and headed around the headland into Baltimore for air fills and a new pressure gauge to replace Becka’s leaky one.

This is the beacon on the headland with lots of scaffolding and men working on it. Not sure what they could possibly be doing as these things generally are low maintenance.

baltimorebeacon

As this was obviously too slack for Becka (only 2 hours paddling), today had to be a big day, starting out of the Galley Cove on the left, ignoring the first island and diving to the NE of the second island on the right, Carrigadeavaun, along the cliffs:

There was a bit of a wind-tunnel effect in the channel, and scary waves on the seaward side from it, but we managed to find a dead space to kit up in. I put out 30m of anchor line and it was still near vertical and taut. We went down to find it had fallen through a gap in the rocks at 26m necessitating a bit of fiddling to get it out. So there was quite a surprisingly substantial drop-off that made it feel alarmingly like a proper boat dive. It’s places like these you use guidebooks to find.

Unfortunately, my camera box kept steaming up, so I didn’t take any snaps. Also, Becka lost the big torch somehow. (My fault of course — the clip wasn’t any good.) Here’s a pic of when we went through the big arch at Streek Head (facing NE).

crookheadland

It’s all a great place to kayak, but sea kayakers in Ireland don’t seem to write up their trips and post them on the web. There was a wind and a current going through it, but no waves. I paddled back to the start and dived through along the bottom, which was very pretty as there were jewel anemones in only 3 metres of water under the arch. Here’s the unedited 3 minute dive from start to finish:

Then we headed over to Spanish Point, had lunch slightly out of the wind and realized that neither of us had brought any water. Luckily Becka had packed cucumbers and sliced beetroot sandwiches as well as two juicy carrots.

Next stop was Amsterdam Reef, which didn’t take long to get to as we were going down-wind. I didn’t think much of the exposure of the site. If I have to abandon ship (or more likely the ship abandons me) I want to feel like I can swim for real land I can walk home on, not some isolated pinnacle. So we went instead to Ballyrisode Point and tucked round the east side of it, still in the wind. It was kind of silty, but there were fish and it was suitably deep, and we came up with the anchor after not very long.

amsterdamreef

(The blue and white flag is my own little diver’s A-flag, not that there’s anyone around to notice it.)

Following this, we let the wind (which was picking up) blow us past Dick’s Island to Castle Point and scrapped the planned third dive owing to being too cold and blown about.

We parked up in the quay:

arrivalcastle

Becka got on the bike that we had sensibly left there on the drive over, and headed back to the car into the wind. It took quite a while. I’d packed everything up, jumped off the pier several times, snorkeled around for at least half an hour, tried to pick up a spider crab, got my finger nipped, and then lay on my back the rest of the time.

Here’s the view from the quay looking back to Streek Head.

arrivalcastleview

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