The boat to Skellig Michael
During the summer last year I finally achieved a long ambition, to visit Skellig Michael and the Skellig islands some 16 kilometres off the county Kerry coast line, Ireland.
These Islands are full of mystery and mythology from the distant past, a history that goes back to before the 8th and 9th century.
In my next post I will show lots of images taken on the island that show the walk from the landing point to the Pre-Monastic settlement at the very top, but here I just wanted to show the boat trip out to Skellig Michael itself.
There are many fishing towns around county kerry and west Cork that run boat trips out to the islands and we got our boat from the town of Portmagee on the ring of kerry.
You can see from the images below that there are about eight boats that do the daily trip out from Portmagee. There is only one trip a day, however the trip is very dependant on the weather and sea conditions , if the tide or swell of the water is to high then landing at the small quays on Skellig Michael is not possible, we were lucky on our day that both these needed conditions were perfect.
The trip out takes about an hour and we had some great company with us along the way with people from America and Canada along with us on the boat. This helped past the time very quickly and it was great to meet people who had a common interest in getting out to see the same location.
As you approach the Islands you pass the first of the two Skellig’s an Island that has only even been occupied by sea birds and almost every inch of the rocks here are covered in nesting birds. The sight and sound was just wonderful as we passed. Beyond here you have about another 20 mins before you can land on Skellig Michael itself, waiting your turn along with many other boats to land.
The trip is one of the most memorable boat journeys I have done, the views towards the Islands and back toward the Kerry coast line and the ring of Kerry are spectacular. You can see both these Islands from the coast line yet when you arrive and look back you feel very distant from the coast, the people who lived out here had a very remote existence considering the boats they used had no engines to speed up there journey.
The boat to Skellig Michael Gallery
On a very recent trip to the Skellig islands I got lots of images of the puffins that nest here in large numbers each year, Ireland has two large populations of Puffins, one here and the other the Saltee islands of the Wexford coast line.
When you visit both these locations, it is very hard to be perfectly honest to miss getting great images of these birds. They are very trusting of humans and can get very close to you, so even with a camera like the Canon G1x you can get some very good images. These are just two and I got lots more.
They are a lot smaller than you may think if you have never seen them in the flesh, it’s when you see them in flight that they are at their most impressive.