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bill h's "Adventures in Europe"

Heading South, Kayaking Ardmore Bay & the Atlantic

IRELAND | Thursday, 1 September 2016 | Views [329]

The place I was in turned-out to be not quite so bad -- got the internet to work in the evenings and found some more channels on the television.  Spent six+ hours Tuesday at a nearby gas station that had free wifi, catching-up on journal entries and downloading photos.  

Found out the host was a recognized artist in Ireland and had had a number of exhibits in some impressive galleries/places -- why he's doing this airbnb thing is beyond me -- maybe it's the old "my work isn't expensive until I'm dead" thing!  The property is a square "compound" with three sides dating to the 1600's and the house on the fourth side dating to the 1700's.  Took a photo -- most of the older sections are just used for storage, although my "apartment" was in a 1600's part that had been updated somewhat.

Left central Ireland behind yesterday -- drove south to an area known as the Copper Coast -- basically the coast between Waterford and Cork.  Had been planning on going kayaking again Thursday or Friday but learned that the weather was turning bad and if I wanted to go out it had to be yesterday afternoon so moved it up a couple of days.  

The kayaking this time was different -- it was an evening tour -- 4:30-7:30pm.  I and five others (women -- who had little or no sea kayaking experience -- teachers -- from Cork) headed out to sea.  

Each time I've gone kayaking, it's been different -- the first time we pretty much hugged the coast of the bay -- staying about fifty yards from shore, reached the ocean, went another couple hundreds yards and it was over -- quite rough and choppy -- more of a "don't screw-up and drown" type of experience.  

The next time it was just myself and a guide and we headed straight out to the middle of the bay and circled/explored some islands -- more open-waterish -- out-into-nature feeling -- different water conditions and very much a learning experience on my part .

This time we followed the bay coastline out to the ocean, maybe a hundred yards off shore in the bay, but frequently venturing in closer to "play" in the surf breaking on the rocks beneath the cliffs, explore some caves that had been carved-out by wave action and viewing up close some old mine entrances -- plus darting thru chutes between the ciffs and large rocks that been cut-off from the cliffs.  We also transited a "driving range" -- there's a hotel on the top of the cliffs where they hit golf balls into the sea aiming at a target far below -- think they hit more kayakers passing thru than they do the target!  

Going out, a seal swam by us about thirty yards away -- coming back in, it popped its head up and watched us from about the same distance -- the guide said they also get sharks and small whales feeding in the bay but they didn't put in an appearance.  

Rounded the head of the bay and went out a hundred and fifty yards or so around some pretty nasty rocks and surf and followed the ocean coastline for another mile or two -- darting in near shore under cliffs where people would go cliff-diving (or more likely jumping) -- probably a hundred foot drop -- and visiting some wrecks that had piled-up on the shoreline below the cliffs.  

The ocean part was way different from my other kayaking experiences -- bobbing up and down on swells ten to twelve feet high was a real "kick" -- felt like a cork!  "Catching a wave" and surfing in towards the shore was cool too!  

Then we turned around and got back to the launch site just as the sun was setting -- picturesque.  The guide described night-time kayaking tours they do where they attach a small light on each kayak and paddle out into the ocean -- he described it as a "unique" experience-- can just picture it!  Maybe, if I get a chance....

Spent this morning relaxing, writing this journal entry and posting photos -- finally caught-up.  Saturday I have company arriving so probably won't be posting much for a bit as my attentions will be elsewhere!

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