“What joy to sail the crested sea and watch the waves beat white upon the Irish shore”. Saint Columba 563 AD
In August 2020 Agnes will be heading North westward on an adventure to explore the southern coast of Ireland. We love going exploring on Agnes and regularly explore further afield. In past years we have headed north to the west coast of Scotland and South to the Atlantic coast of Spain.
Baltimore, just East of Mizen Head, is the perfect place to begin your Irish voyage. It lies within a virtually landlocked natural harbour. Across west from the bustling town lies Sherkin Island. Peaceful, mostly car-free, there is much to explore ashore, including O’Driscoll Castle and a Franciscan friary.
Heading west, is Long Island and Roaring water bay with a multitude of Islands and anchorages. If the weather is good Fastnet Rock is just South and ready to be “rounded”.
Once around Mizen Head, the Southwest coast of Ireland is dominated by four deep, drowned river valleys that are ready to be discovered; Dunmanus Bay, Bantry Bay, Kenmere River, and Dingle Bay.
Dunmnus Bay is quiet and rarely visited by yachts but has several beautiful evening anchorages. Heading North from Dunmnus, there is much to explore in the 20 miles of Bantry Bay, Bere Island, Castletownbere, Garnish Island, Whiddy Island and Bantry Harbour.
Kenmere River is dominated by towering cliffs and, again, has many stunning anchorages, especially if isolation is your thing. To name just a few – Derrynane Harbour with beautiful sandy beaches, Sneem, a picture postcard village with wooded surroundings, and Beara peninsula has a remarkable collection of archaeological sites including Stone circles and Ogham Stones.
Furthest north is Dingle Bay. The Skellig Islands dominate the Southern end. Skellig Michael, a World Hertitage site with the “most preserved ancient Chrtistian Monastic Settlement in Europe” and Little Skellig, a nature reserve with puffin, fulmar, razor bill, guillemot, and gannets, a bird watchers paradise. At the North of Dingle Bay and our cruising ground are the Blasket Islands, with their glittering beaches, towering cliffs and lots of wildlife, they are Ireland’s St Kilda. In between we could visit Ventry bay, Valentia Island with its 385 million year old tetrapod footprints, Dingle Harbour, Knight’s Town, or a passage upstream into mountainous terrain and the town of Cahersiveen.
While we can never offer a solid itinerary because the weather will always dictate what we can achieve. We can assure you the skipper on board the boat will always make the best of it and take to you as many new and different places that they can.
View the map below to give you a better idea of where your Irish adventure could get you