SHORT DAY

We had a lovely weather day off in Ballycotton. The following day the forecast was suggesting an early window before the wind goes to F5 or F6 or F7 depending which forecast we checked. We made the plan of getting up at three in the morning, start to paddle with the first light, then finish early in the day as the wind picks up. We decided to go step by step bay by bay depending on the conditions.

It wasn’t that bad getting up so early, and soon we were paddling, later enjoying the sunrise.

We rounded first headland at Knockadoon Point, and landed for breakfast. I have to report that the best portaloos in Ireland are to be found here. Open, clean, and having not just one roll of paper in the dispenser, but one free standing one, as well as two yet unopened packs of four rolls each. It’s small things that make us happy nowadays as well being important to us.

From then we went towards Ardmore. The sea was calmer than we thought and the wind mild. I never tire of looking at the coastlines, cliffs, beaches, but thought for those, who do, I will not include any landscape pictures for once. Ardmore was great, we managed to get tea and coffee and ice cream.

Then off we went past Mine Head with a stop on the beach past Helwick Head. Here, late in the afternoon the few hours of sleep we had, the early start and the distance started to show up. Luckily, Lindsey could get a bit of quick canine therapy and was good as new to continue.

I don’t like the idea of finishing paddling landing on potentially surfy beaches in areas that are exposed in weather that is unsettled, so we agreed to aim as far as we can, preferably to a harbour just west of Annestown. And definitely I wasn’t going to finish on Bunmahon surf beach. But obviously, sometimes these things just happen, and when the wind finally picked up some 12 hours since we started paddling, and raised the sea to quite a wavy one, we had to get off.

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ARE WE FLYING?

The weather has been favourable to a point that Lindsey would check forecast and almost sight that there isn’t a rest day to be seen. And that is good as we felt we were ready to put some miles in. The weather forecast didn’t always deliver the promised low winds but we enjoyed the occasional headwinds nevertheless. Well, most of us.

Our flight started with crossing from Bolus Head in county Kerry just short distance south of Portmagee to Dursey Island. Long crossing with the possibility being broken off by landing on Scarrif Island. Sadly the swell was lively and we could not make landing on steps apparently carved in cliff by monks long time ago.

We had quick break on the water on the south side of the island and continued towards Dursey. We spent two days in Portmagee as we were waiting for conditions to improve for this crossing. If we had doubts the day before, we were happy with our decision as the calming sea changed significantly the closer to Dursey we got. We surfed into the sound and looked for place to land. We decided to land on mainland side of the sound. With the only Irish cable car over sea water overhead we made to the slipway.

Zoe approached the slipway first, but suddenly started to slide back into the water. I wanted to help her, so approached the slipway, jumped out, and only as I started to slide back into deep water I heard warning of it being very slippery. Zoe had drysuit, I had dry trousers, my cockpit filled by dumping wave, yet I managed to jump back onto the boat before the water reached my waistline. I was floating on top of my boat, Zoe was swimming to the shore, Lindsey landed on steps in almost civilised way. People fishing on the pier had no idea of the evolving drama. Fortunately eventually Zoe reached the non slippery part of slipway, my boat drifted to shore, and Lindsey came to help to recover casualties. After coffee, tea and ice cream from the cable car car park we were ready to launch again and push toward White Ball Head.

We left White Ball Head into a calm sunny morning, ahead of us was a long crossing across Bantry Bay followed by Dunmanus Bay, we decided to go straight for Mizen Head. The sea was flat and we settled into a rhythm which will be broken by sips of water, snacks and occasional closing and opening of drop seats, we had twenty kilometres to do. The views were great, Bear Island, Sheep Head, Mizen Head, lighthouses, sky, occasional yacht, then the dolphins appeared.

Several different pods, coming closer to us, some of them jumping high out of water, some going right under our kayaks. Where crossings go! It was one of the most pleasant ones. Mizen Head came and went, but with nowhere to land we had to continue further choosing Gully Cove as our late lunch stop.

In the end we didn’t make it quite there, and landed in dead seal tiny cove. As the dead body was floating closer to us on the shore, we decided to bring our lunch to early end, and paddle off. Gully Cove looked very inviting, sun, campsite, probably coffee and tea, too. Unfortunately it was a bit too much inshore for our liking, so we decided for another almost twenty kilometres paddle across to Cape Clear.

We were in luck, wind and tide were helping us on the way, Isiah coast passed by changing on the left, the Fastnet lighthouse staying constant on the right. Cape Clear harbour was basking in afternoon sun enjoying late Saturday evening.

The following day we started into headwind and tide, yet eventually it settled behind us and we paddled one of our longest day all the way to Long Strand at Gully Head.

There isn’t much that is worth to report on from this leg, maybe the state of our lunches. We started with one little dry bag. But suddenly Lindsey was pulling dry bags, number of tupperwares and random bits claiming this all was lunch. Lindsey does carry our food. It’s good really!she paddles slower that Zoe and I but if we want to eat, lunch or dinner, it is in our best interest she gets where we get to, and too far behind us.

We landed on a beach, not great, a bit surfy, but closest to our next target the next day. The sign said no camping clearly, fortunately coming from the sea we couldn’t really see it. We went to hide in by the river, yet there happened to be quite a community of random sleepers, some in vans, some of us in tents. We ended up with a bottle of rose.

Surfy beach is a surfy beach and in the morning we put our helmets on hoping it would be only this one time on this trip. We had another long day ahead as far as we could go. Yes, at the moment distance is our main focus. Progress was slowed down by headwind again, and we ended up rounding the magnificent headland of Seven Head and arrived to a beach. As often we didn’t know the name but that it was camping kayakers friendly. Someone was watching us landing, we were worried it was someone on whose land we would need to pitch. To our surprise, later a man called Pat turned up welcoming us on Blind Strand bringing us beers. I think we like it here.

Blind Strand was also an important place as we could meet Chris, who used to paddle with us in London, currently based in a Cork, but suddenly turned into support crew. We happened to be reduced to one tiny gas stove, both petrol MSR and gas one giving up on us. Chris brought us new stove, more gas, and a surprise Swiss Roll. Amazing.

The Old Head of Kinsale was our next target. In our hastiness we only realised it was time to say good bye to Atlantic about five kilometres before it. We read in the guide book that apart of several different tideraces running alternatively on the west and east going tides, it also had some tunnels through. And since we were paddling against tide since early morning we decided we were going through them.

What an experience! Not really sure of the actual distance, but we were surfed through a very narrow darkish space for at least 100 metres, and emerged in Celtic Sea. Wow!

What followed was one long day, the longest by hours spent paddling, almost 13. We seen a lot of coast passing by, stopped in Man of War cove, then crossed Cork Harbour.

The last stretch to Ballycotton was a trying and tiring one. We were pushed by tide and wind, yet, it just felt very very long. Eventually we arrived.

It was hald past nine in the evening, we were hungry, tired, all we wanted was to have food and go to bed. Yet, when expeditioning it’s never straight forward, the boats need to get above the high water line, the tent needs to be pitched, the food needs to be cooked. Important is to keep the spirits high.

Pitching in busy harbours in biggish places is challenging, we were lucky to find a patch of ground to squeeze ourselves on. We already knew we would be here for two nights.

Ballycotton is a former fishing village. Very often our trip is not really about places we see, but people we meet. Towards the end of our weather day Lindsey met Clare, local artist and volunteer at RNLI station. Lindsey bought a lovely picture, and we all ended up having a shower in the art gallery slash hallway slash artist’s home.

One more information to add. Ballycotton has a view of a lighthouse on Ballycotton Island. We saw plenty of lighthouses, but this one is a black one. There are only two black painted lighthouses in Ireland, we passed the other one weeks earlier when rounding the Slyne Head.

Do we go or do we stay?

We arrived to Portmagee and already we knew we would spent at least a day here. Camping was ok, short carry, two flat patches of ground between high water mark and a fence, most importantly just outside the town.

Already on arrival to Knights Town on Valentia Island we found out that due to cut cable internet was down in the majority of the county, fortunately we scraped enough cash to have dinner, leaving shopping for the next day. Days off could be as busy as paddling days. Pleasure first, that was a nice breakfast, then duties. We had to hitchhike to Carsiveen to withdraw money and do shopping. However they had a leisure centre, so long soak in the pool, jacuzzi, and shower was great, followed by more coffee and ice cream later. Even if we had to hitch back again, it all went ok.

Portmagee used to be a small fishing village, now it’s a gateway to Skellig Michael. The place from Starwars as known to most people. The island where monks lived in beehive huts for others. We settled for local sights.

The following day we had to make decision to paddle or not. The wind looked all over the place, the swell being blown up by day of high winds. We had cliffs to paddle past, then long crossing towards Dursey Island. Go or not to go. What will we gain by going, maybe ten kilometres past the cliffs. We probably won’t be crossing. But would we be able to paddle the following day, when the forecast is still showing as being unsettled. Some of us wanted to go, some not, the decision process can sometimes take time.

In the end we decided not to go, and spent the day exploring the Kerry Cliffs, from the land. Splendid, we could see as far as Great Blasket island, Puffing Island, and Skellig Michael with Little Skellig in the background. And of course we could see the whole area of Portmagee sound with Valentia Island. And no, is does not derive its name from Spanish town of Valencia, it comes from Irish and means “island in the mouth of the sound”, and that’s exactly what it is.

WE WENT ON HOLIDAYS AT LAST

We spent a night in Brandon, a small village on the other side of Kilbaha across the Shannon Estuary.

We have done many crossings, not super long ten to fifteen kilometres long. The low visibility of the past few days saw us following coast on a bearing, covering 35 kilometres before a quick landing, before continuing further.

So when Great Blasket came into view after rounding Sybil Head, we decided it to be our home for the night.

Upon arrival we saw that we arrived to a great holiday island. People were lounging on golden sandy beach, the island itself was green with white washed houses on a hillside. The old village basking in afternoon sun, it’s clochans standing magnificiently.

What’s more, there was a big sign saying Caife – and tea and coffee we had in mind, when we decided upon this destination. The evening was so warm that we went for a swim, and true to holiday place swam with seals. For once the jackets stayed in their dry bags as we could actually dry off by the tents in our swimming costumes. It even had a donkey dressed as Chewbacca from Start Wars. It just could not be nicer.

Even the departure from the island had a holiday theme, only this time one of the more unfortunate nature. The following morning we had Dingle Bay to cross, about 20 kilometres across, the longest crossing Lindsey done so far. We knew we had some current against us to start with, but the headwind joined in as well. The crossing was long. I enjoyed it, but then I always liked long repetitive tasks. However for most of the team it felt like the return from great holidays when you plane just isn’t there, and you have to spent 20 hours at the airport.

However, we can say we saw a whale. A whale!

LONG WAY

If you were to drive from Inishturk to Kilbaha, it would take according to Google about four hours and distance of at least 267 kilometres. It would also require taking a ferry from Inishturk to Ronagh Quay, and to go on few motorways. If one was to walk this route it would be about 206 kilometres, with one ferry to Ronagh Quay, and then one from Rosaweer to Inishveer and from Inisheer to Doolin. We did go from Inishturk to Kilbaha, however obviously not by land but by sea. I don’t know how many kilometres that really was, yet it seemed to be a long way over few days.

We left Inishturk after nice evening in local community centre. We liked Inishturk, it has been inhabited since early times. We stopped in the harbour of Port an Dun, a natural harbour used by first settlers and many after. During our stay here we met here a group of people from Inishbofin, who liked it here as well and came for a day trip. They told us that if we were to pass Inishturk on our way south, we should stop for tea in their house by the flagpole.

We paddled over to a Inishbofin and indeed happen to land next to a flag pole, which actually ended up being the flag pole. We visited Rachel and Malcolm, who live here, and their friends. What a great stop this was, Lindsey got tea, and ai got coffee. They also came to help us with the boats as tide was running out of the bay quickly. We were quite worried about having to carry them long way after our stop, so declined any offers of longer stay, so

Rachel prepared cheese sandwiches for us, all wrapped up for our long journey. We launched, waved, turned around the first set of rocks, and once out of view ate them all at once.

The sandwiches were so loaded and delicious that they gave us enough power to cross straight to Slyne Head, one of the many headlands on our way south. The day turned hot to the point that at lunchtime I couldn’t resist a swim, the sandy bay just looked too inviting. We continued further, we were on a mission. Rachel told us about the most amazing banana cake to be had on Inishmaan, and we wanted that. We flew past Connemara, made a brief overnight stop, and next day crossed to Aran Isles. Our plan was to lunch on the first one, have cake on the middle one, and perhaps quick stop on the smallest one. However, we ended up staying on Inishmaan, the middle one. Two days Lindsey and I were entertaining ourselves with the idea of banana cake on Inishmaan, it helped us to paddle late into the evening, to cross, to continue to the east of Inishmaan.

Only when we landed we found out that the cake shop up is shut on Thursdays. Never mind, at least we were in good position to cross the following day towards the cliffs of Moher and beyond.

Cliffs of Moher, up to 214 metres high, but we didn’t see any of that starting our crossing on a bearing only due to fog. The day was long, we passed the cliffs, crossed several bays, passed Morton Island. That one had a impressive napoleonic lookout tower on. Our landing wasn’t the most exciting one, but in the end the steep single wall provided straightforward haul of the boats up beyond high water mark, and launch, and in the end the shingles once we removed the big boulders were quite comfortable to sleep on.

Our next and final leg of this mission was today. We wanted to get around Loop Head ready for Shannon the following day. According to Oileáin, the Irish Sea kayaking guidebook, this stretch is the most committing one on the West coast. Yes, it looked like tens of kilometres of cliffs with a headland at the end. And for us, the weather had something special, it decided we have to do it on a bearing mainly hiding the cliffs behind low clouds. At the start especially, then they were appearing and disappearing until the head itself.

On the other side it was different story, swelly turbulent sea was replaced by smooth waters, clouds by sunshine. We pushed all the way to Kilbaha mainly for its name, but the promise of a pub, too. It is time for tea and coffee after all.

THREE T TUESDAY

Our journey around Ireland has suddenly reached the point when it could be called hard core expedition. Two reasons, one very personal, I’ve had porridge for breakfast four times now. The second one is a team one, we did get up at 4.30am today to paddle. And that is definitely hardcore.

We need to catch the tide to take us through Bull’s Mouth on the north side of Achill Island. And as we chose not to paddle against it in the most narrow place, the early wake up had to be sustained. However this resulted in a welcome surprise for Lindsey.

We reached Achill Sound, and by 8.30am after two hours of paddling, and she got a proper cup of tea. We don’t carry milk with us, and neither do use powder milk, so proper cup of tea is only for weather-bound days and special occasions.

We continued south and passed Kildavnet Castle, a tower house built in 16th century by the O’Malley’s clan, and connected to pirate princess.

From here we crossed over to Clare Island. Lindsey could not believe her luck, it was only noon, and with our lunch she had another cup of proper tea.

Clare island also has a tower house, this one wider, known as Granouaile’s Castle, and the pirate princess is said to have her head buried here.

Since we started so early, we had plenty of time to go where we pleased, and so we decided to continue to Inishturk, some two hours of paddling from Clare.

Here we didn’t find any tower house, but had another opportunity to indulge Lindsey in yet another cup of proper tea. Now, I can’t complain as it meant I squeezed three cups of coffee from todays’ paddling as well.

And since Inishturk offered great views of Clew Bay we decided to stay here tonight.

INTO THE WIND

The weather started to catch up with us just as we wanted to make progress and turn a corner out of the huge Donegal Bay. However it seemed to be possible only in small steps. Why not, in the end, the good thing about small steps is, we get to see a bit more landscape inland.

We left Portulin hoping that the cliffs will provide us with enough shelter from the south easterly wind to round the corner into the Broad Haven Bay. No such luck, and after a short paddle and strong gusts of wind, we landed in Portacloy.

The plan was to wait for few hours, when according to the forecast the wind should drop down a bit. The wait was great, sun was warm, the beach beautiful. Only the wind seemed to want to stay and blow. When it was time to go on the water, we took one look out on the sea, and it just didn’t feel good, to me at least. So we all decided to stay, but move from the beach to the pier for easier haul of the boats above high water mark.

The pier itself was constructed in such a way to attract fairly strong dumping side wave on the slipway, the kind that likes to play with heavy loaded kayaks. Our solution was to tie one kayak to the side of the pier, then have two of us available to get each kayak up the slip. Great plan. I clipped my kayak on the tow line, helped Zoe, then Lindsey to land. Every time I looked, the kayak was there bobbing happily by the side. It was there when I caught Lindsey’s boat landing. It wasn’t there when I looked having pulled Lindsey’s boat two metres up the slip. Where was my boat?

Well, to cut a long story short, my boat was on its way to Broad Haven. Oh dear, so we launched Zoe’s boat with Zoe in it, and after short while she brought the unruly craft back again. Sadly no photos as the camera was just bobbing on my deck. A fairly uneventful afternoon followed, but we found a shop in the neighbouring village, where Lindsey was allowed to keep Thurrock’s waffles with expiry date in 2012 for free. We also found a rather eccentric pub, but we couldn’t stay too long, as for the following day we planned early departure hoping to squeeze the journey to Belmullet before the headwind picks up to beyond our ability to paddle against it.

Despite the shaking tent at five in the morning telling us that the wind was ready and waiting, the sea looked very calm, so we decided to give it a go. The first few kilometres were very pleasant. We paddled past several headlands with stacks, caves, and tunnels. The view of the Broad Haven stacks was amazing. We managed to hop between shelter and headwind and hide close to cliffs.

Until we came to Doonanierin Point, where our first crossing into the headwind was to start, an unpleasant hour of hard work towards Brandy Point, then another shorter one to the lighthouse at Gubacashel. The wind was increasing, we took it step by step, as we really really wanted to get to Belmullet. Zoe wanted to get through the canal from Broad Haven Bay to Black Sod Bay, Lindsey wanted to get to supermarket, I just wanted to get somewhere and stop.

Belmullet, according to sources the origin of the name is unknown, but might mean ‘mouth of the ismuth’, and that’s great, as I like ismuthes or isthmi. The town history is quite short, but in 16th century an admiral was chasing pirates in around that area. He made it into Broadhaven Bay, made his boat to be portaged across the isthmus and caught up with them near the islands on the south west side of the peninsula. The canal we were aiming for was conveniently built for us during the 18th century by Sir Arthur Shaen, who decided to develop the town, and to gain better access to the area had the canal excavated. It’s not used anymore, but was perfect for us. We found a place at the northern side of the Black Sod Bay to stay to wait out the few following non-paddling days. Belmullet has not been an old historic town, and long had its heyday, but for us it had all what we needed: cafe, pubs, supermarket, swimming pool, and tidal pool for Lindsey.

TEA BY THE SEA

We left campsite and the soulless beach bar of Aughris Head behind. Ahead of us was a long stretch of coast exposed to the swells. Yeah, if there wasn’t swell on the north west side of the Donegal Bay, it definitely found us here. And is we were following cliffs coastline there wasn’t respite until we came into a sheltered bay close to Easky. The forecast looked ok, so we decided to continue, maybe cross the Killala Bay before the winds pick up. We left and once we rounded a corner and paddled a fair distance from the last possible get out, the winds picked up, and so did the sea.

There’s not much to say but that it was a committing paddle in swell from the side then breaking on the shallows along the cliffs. We continued until the Lenadoon Point, and that became our destination for today. Deciding we need to be off the water ASAP, we landed on a tidal pavement of flat lying limestone, and made a decision to worry about low water launching when it will be happening.

The camping spot was a bit of Wuthering Heights, but apart from that, we were safe, and had a whole afternoon off.

The stoney platform was amazing, lots of fossils. And Zoe informed us it wasn’t just an ordinary windy hill, it was a drumlin. Now drumlin is apparently an elongated hill I. A shape of half-buried egg, it’s created by the glacier. Now she was excited as she never camped on a drumlin before, I still prefer ismuths more. Nevertheless the numerous fossils found in the limestone around us did make it quite exciting and entertaining place.

The forecast calmed for the following day, and we went through a time consuming routine of carrying several bags down to the low water mark, than wheeling the boats there, packing them, then leaving. Still at least we could use the wheels navigating then around limpets and across seaweed.

Our target today was crossing of he Killala Bay but as we went, the conditions didn’t worsen, and so we decided to continue. It led past impressive cliffs, however, we had to look more towards the sea rather than land as the waves were still impressive.

We rounded Downpatrick Head and surfed downwind past the stack. Now, the stack, Dun Briste, which means Broken Fort, was quite interesting, and apparently in the 14th century people lived on the stack, when it collapsed. We were hoping to get shelter and landing behind it all.

Then it happened. On the road on the land a spotted a white van pulling IT. I now recognise IT quite well. And it is my proof that there’s indeed coffee and tea available when one lands for a break from kayaking in Ireland.

This one was called TEA BY THE SEA. The owner was very friendly man and not only I managed to get my order through while he was still setting everything up, we were given the drinks for free. I didn’t have much time to hang around as our boats were slowly pushed up stoney ledges on the incoming tide. But the drinks were very appreciated by the rest of the team.

We discussed whether to look for landing for the day or continue, the conditions we seemed to be constant, not increasing, so we chose the next possible landing, and set off. The paddle was great, past many interesting cliffs, only downside was that we missed our landing place. However, I wasn’t disappointed much hoping that since the conditions are so great, a bit of swell, but wind pushing us along, we could make a bit of progress.

We have, and eventually landed in a small fishing village of Portulin. The camping was a little squashed on a tiny patch of grass right above the slipway, but it came with our own terrace. The evening was sunny, so the wasn’t much more that was missing from happiness.

There’s no swell on the west coast

Before we left to come to Ireland I kept saying there wasn’t swell on the west coast. And the past two days it seemed to be truth. We left the Gweedore coast and it’s many island and the journey took us past some amazing cliffs.

And because there wasn’t swell on the west coast we got to go close to shore, into caves, and through tunnels.

Our plan was to go to Glen Head but then decided to finish in small harbour of An Port. No photos but the landing was on a impressive steep slip and we had to pull the kayak up on a little wooden rail track.

From here we paddled past many more caves, tunnels, and lots and lots of elephants. I did think about this as the land of elephants, as many of the rocks looked as big, small or baby elephants, elephants with trunks up and trunks down, and drinking. Why they were drinking sea water ai don’t know, but that’s what I saw.

We decided against crossing from Malin Beg straight across the Donegal Bay and decided to go further in into Teelin at the north west corner of Donegal Bay. What a wonderful place this was.

According to information on local sign Teelin was one of the first settlements to appear on maps of Ireland, as it was an important port. And we could see why. It is a beautiful estuary, with river flowing through a very green valley. We followed it all the way to the village of Cerrick on our way to go shopping. We were very lucky we didn’t need to walk the road to Cerrick we actually acquired a vehicle for an hour or so. And if you ask Lindsey what was her favourite time in Ireland so far, she would say that driving the van.

We didn’t come to Teelin just to admire the peacefulness of the estuary. We chose it as our starting point on our way across the bay. It started this morning, half way through we decided for a stop at Inishmurry Island. One inhabited so much that a school has bee;set up there. Apparently the island was infamous for its poitin production and since landing has never been easy, it thrived as government inspectors could never just turn up on a surprise visit.

270°

Two hundreds and seventy degrees. Two hundred, according to definition is ten more than one hundred ninety while seventy is a number equivalent to the product of seven and ten, or ten less than eighty. For us it was simply the direction that my compass was showing over the past few paddling days.

It was 270 when I was towing Lindsey across the Lough Swilly into headwind and swell, so her boat keeps only twenty metres behind mine. The wind was pushing us more and more into the bay while we were trying to reach the Fanad Headland.

It was 270 when we were paddling again few days later towards Horn Head, and impressive headland with cliffs as high as 180 metres above the sea. The direction was pointing straight at the small incline in the cliff, which I chosen as my wee stop. It didn’t disappoint, it was there, and even sheltered enough from swell. Here Head was spectacular, birds, cliffs, waves, but fortunately now tideraces running. True is, we enjoyed two hours lunch while waiting for tide and swell to die down a little bit. On top of the cliff we can see a look out tower, and ai must say these towers are piece of art, built in napoleonic era.

It was 270 when we continued to island of Inishbofin (Innis Bo Finne) a small island once inhabited. It was very hot as we were approaching the island. Hot to the point that we had to take off the tops of our dry suit (don’t try this at home) in order to reach it and not to explode in the heath. That was fine for me, but a real first for Zoe.

People left here by the 1970’s and now only few come back for the summer. However here we got a nice flat grass for our tents, the church was open and had toilets!. We met the islands only artist, some fishermen and one former resident. He invited us into the village hall to show us pictures of himself as a very young man, then some of his neighbours.

Next our journey was towards a distant headland stretching far and long in the distance. It’s name was Bloody Foreland. It was 270 degrees to go to Bloody Foreland. When I looked at amp of Ireland and saw how far this point is, I thought, yeah, what a name. As we started to paddle to it, it seemed endless, so the name bloody seemed appropriate even more. Of course the name was here before us, and apparently the name but after that our direction slightly changed. Bloody Foreland gained it’s name from its rock colour which in evening sun is illuminated in red shades. That’s not what we saw.

For us this headland was significant in other way, too, as after rounding it our compass started to show other directions than west only. Bloody Foreland was our gateway to the west coast.

We paddled past the Gweedore coast and it’s many islands, Inishmeane, Gola, Owey until we ended on Cruit in close distance to golf club bar, open to non-golfers.