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Day of the Daddy Long Legs: Justine Curgenven Tries to Circumnavigate Ireland
What else would you expect from the producer of the popular "This is the Sea" sea kayaking video series than for the main star to get after it again, this time Ireland-style? Yep, Justine Curgenven, along with Barry Shaw and Roger Chandler, are a couple weeks into their circumnavigation of Ireland. Read on for how the trip's going (and Justine's hurlfest the first few days)......
In Her Own Words (from Blog 1):
"Wow, 5 days has gone really quickly but we've also seen and done a lot. I was pretty weak and couldn't hold my food in for a couple of days but long sleeps and a short day seemed to fix me up. Either that - or the fish and chips I devoured yesterday at Kilmore Quay did the trick. We'd been told it was one of the best chippies in Ireland so it would have been too rude not to partake! And it was yummy.
The first few days were quite blustery - mostly a side wind blowing us offshore so we could stay in close out of the worst of it at times - and our skegs all worked well to keep us on track when we crossed bays, or paddled out further to make the most of a favourable tide. It certainly blew the cobwebs away...
In Her Own Words (from Blog 2):
"My trousers are straining as I try to finish the sea food platter and Guinness at the luxury Inchydoney Lodge. It doesn't sound like expedition paddling but it is today! Paddling legend Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking arranged for us to stay here for a night which was a fantastic surprise and treat. It's a gorgeous lodge and spa right by a sandy beach which has a warm seawater swimming pool, friendly staff and gorgeous rooms.
We've paddled every day for the last nine days since we started the trip and we have covered just over 200 nautical miles. I feel surprisingly good; I've recovered from my bout of illness and seem back to full strength although my back is a bit stiff and I have started to look forward to a bad weather day when we can rest and chill. On the other hand, it would be great to get around one of the cruxes of the trip, Mizen, which is about three days paddle away. It looks like we are due stronger northwest winds and may get stuck this side of the Mizen.
We've done a mixture of coast hugging and crossing from headland to headland. Yesterday was pretty calm so we did more point to point paddling. It was also the day of the Daddy Long Leg. Hundreds of them floated on the sea surface, some alive, some upside down and past their best. Today a fresh northwest wind encouraged us to stay in close...
In Her Own Words (from Blog 3):
"Yesterday was a welcome treat. We had a message from local paddler Mick O'Meara, who has himself paddled around Ireland and across the Irish Sea. He invited us to stay for the night and cooked up a mean chicken casserole with good Irish spuds. We stayed up far past our bedtime sharing stories and laughing. He runs a sea kayaking business in Tramore on the South coast of Ireland called Seapaddling
The east coast of Ireland has been beautiful with long sandy beaches, a rocky headland or two and more long sandy beaches. Giant wind turbines are common sights - as are giant dogs. We've seen a few four legged friends that could have been mistaken for bears.
We're now on the South coast which so far is rockier with a few coves and beaches here and there. It's beautiful, too. We made a welcome detour out to the Saltee Islands yesterday to admire some of Ireland's best bird colonies. Hundreds of gannets sat on white patches on rocks or soared magnificently above us, which razor bills, puffins, guillemots, cormorants and allsorts added to the general buzz and soar of birds. Wonderful....
To keep up on Justine's adventures, click Justine's Blog.
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