Freesteel Blog » Even more kayak diving in Ireland

Even more kayak diving in Ireland

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 6:29 pm Written by:

22 May 2009 – Trip out from Canty’s Cove towards Dunmanus Harbour to dive along the coast west of the Dunmanus Harbour headland.


It was one of the clearer dives we’ve done. The water is deep and the geological layers of rock are aligned vertically like slices of toast parallel to the shore. A better place would be on the back of the headland where the plates are coming out from the land. That’s for another time, if we get the chance.

I have lots of blurry pictures on the bottom of us playing at being a chain gang (Becka carrying the anchor, and me holding a loop of chain), but here is a clearer one on the trip back up to the surface keeping a close eye on the depth gauge.


The dive was short because I had just heard a small-craft gale warning on the radio, and was spooked. The wind eased off soon after we surfaced.

Here is a natural arch in Dunmanus Harbour. It may be small, but it’s impressive for being made of mud.


We pulled up on the side and diver Becka transformed into cyclist Becka (to fetch the car) and completed her own version of the triathlon.


23 May 2009 – We returned to Castle Point quay for a long day that brought us back to Schull.

Becka raced ahead to go around Duharrig where the big waves were. Then we headed downwind past numerous spikey reefs until we were wind-tunneled through the narrow channel in Goat Island.


It’s an L-shaped island with a lovely natural harbour (for us) in the corner of the ‘L’ where we parked, and then walked the whole length of the land to have lunch.


It was one of our more remote kayak dives (going down to the east of the south tip of the island), but it was in a wind shadow and very sunny. Not great viz. We got the anchor line all tangled up as usual during the haul out.


This map is centred on Goat Island.

View Larger Map

The day continued with a long paddle along the south side of Long Island (which I thought was quite long), visiting some of the caves.


We stopped at the beacon at the east end…


… and then headed over to the east corner of Schull Harbour where I’d detected a deep water with my sonar on the first day we had gone exploring. But it was all windy and wavy and I was spooked, but Becka told me to stop being such a wimp, and it turned out to be an excellent spot.




After pulling ourselves up, we headed directly into the harbour and straight to the shore in front of the house where we were staying, at Standing Stone By The Sea.

24 May 2009 – Launch from quay at Tranabo Cove, paddled all the way to the other side of Gokane Point and dived in Toehead Bay north coast just past the first cove where the depth suddenly dropped to 20m. (A friend stopped by for a couple of days and took this picture (after having had a nice paddle with Becka all morning while I slept in the sun).)


As usual, we got into a big tangle of anchor line and chain. It was a bit silty.

Our second dive used the remainder of our tanks in the notch to the west of Drishane Point in Tragumna Bay. We discovered a wall more than 18m deep running due south out out to sea. Unfortunately I had over-compensated on the length of the anchor line and we ended up hanging off the petals of the anchor at 15m for the first half of the dive.

A blurry photo can be sharpened…


But a very blurry photo has to be totally transformed…


(Mostly I was taking videos.)

Then up Barlodge Creek, through The (what) Rapids and across Lough Hyne to where our friend had moved our car.

25 May 2009 – Walk to Three Castle point, then quick rather swelly shore dive from the intimidating Dunlough Pier, and then a walk over Mizen Peak having arrived too late to visit The Mizen Head Authentic Irish Experience.

It should actually be called “Three Tower Castle”. They’re connected by a wall from the Dun Lough to the sea cliffs. They are quite striking and mysterious.


Three Castle Head was extremely colourful in a way that couldn’t be captured on my camera.

On the other hand, I tried quite hard to capture the tasteless colours of these jewel anemones.


Best to end with a nice view from above Mizen Head looking north across Bantry Bay, explaining why I didn’t want to risk putting the kayaks out at Dunlough Pier where we may have been tempted to go for a wander up this fine coastline which is better seen than felt.


1 Comment

  • 1. Freesteel&hellip replies at 24th May 2012, 7:29 am :

    […] these torture machines where you paddle with your ever tired arms all day and never take a break to go diving or anything more fun like […]

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