12/5 Day 22- Downwind seas, scenery and Skelligs

We were pleased yesterday to get a pretty reasonable crossing to Dursey in easy conditions, apart from 2 hrs of damn headwinds, 6 1/2 hrs broke no records and our bodies are beginning to grumble after 15 consecutive days.

Dursey has a great cable car across the sound,made of meccano but v effective. Sheep is clearly what they do here with velvet nibbled turf making soft camping (and a quayside notice promising that all dogs will be shot, promising to keep it so!)

To get the tide we set off at dark o’ clock (6am) and enjoyed the SE downwind run to Scarrif Island. Thanks to Rob, I performed an impressive manoeuvre onto the steep rocky landing (allowing all sorts of other movements, but we won’t go there) .

So we looked downwind to the mighty Bolus Head, impressive, and Jon’s words about clapotis ringing in our ears. Rob’s comment about it being a one way trip was equally reassuring…. A rising wind at our backs shoved us along and we kept out enough to have reasonably clear water. What a place! – a magnificent set of cliffs, a lively rolling sea shunting us forwards in lumpy fits and starts, and all the while the Skelligs standing tall to seaward,(you can easily tell which Skellig the gannets live on!) . with the erratic shapes of Puffin Island waiting to embrace us.

We skewed into the west side of Puffin sound to avoid bounce back, and then crossed to the mainland side under the lowering faces of the Kerry cliffs, with orc-like names, Dromgour, Goosnamannaun rocks. By now the forecast SE 4/5 was definitely with us and as we crossed towards the Portmagee channel we were rattled and ruffled by intermittent down draughts, just to keep us on our toes. A lumpy portal between 2 islets and we escaped into calm sunshine in the Portmagee channel.. and ground up into headwinds till pretty little Portmagee crawled into sight.

A check with the superb people at Valentia coastguard and the YR weather app and we decided it was time to stop. A local woman told us no boats had been out to the Skelligs today, they seem to provide the main employment in here. Several days of strong winds were imminent. A quick hoof around and we found the ideal air bnb for a day off the water. Out came the trolley and up went the boats (well it took more effort than that but you’ll have guessed this) to a grand detached house perfect for everything, and cheaper than a b’n’b.

We are now installed into simple comfort and rinsing and washing anything that isn’t bolted down, which immediately blows off the line while the wind meter reads F7 gusts in lovely bright sunshine. Don’t we all now smell just gorgeous – just give it a day or so…..


2 thoughts on “12/5 Day 22- Downwind seas, scenery and Skelligs

  1. Hi Folks,
    Just a quick line to say best of luck from all the staff at the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre at Valentia Coast Guard Station, Valentia Island. We were talking to you earlier prior to ye setting off from Brandon pier to Loop Head, Stay safe in the knowledge that we are looking over you three fellas and are just a shout away for anything ya migh need………………..oh and the blogs are a pleasant read when on a 12hr night shift :-), take care, Liam & colleagues

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We have greatly appreciated and enjoyed the support of your superb officers. These are remarkable coastlines, and you have given us wise counsel and have always made time to find weather updates and information. Thank you so much.


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