Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Skellig Islands, our Adventure


Our visit to Skellig Michael, September 22, 2012 Helen Tilston

For several years, The Skellig Islands known as Skellig Michael (Gaelic: Sceilig Mhichíl or Sceilig Mór ) and Little Skellig  in the Atlantic, approximately ten miles from Portmagee, Co Kerry, IRELAND  have been calling me.  I had read George Bernard Shaw's letter to his friend Jackson which was written on 18 September 1910 from the  Parknasila Hotel of his expedition to Skellig Michael.



Our boat in the quiet waters as we depart Portmagee

Two weeks ago our confirmation phone  call to Boatman, Brendan Casey,  ascertained that sailing was "a go".  Our twelve seater boat departed at 10:00 a.m. from Portmagee.  We were warned to wear warm clothing, sturdy hiking shoes and bring water and a snack.  Our  schedule was to spend two hours on Great Skellig and climb the 600 steps to the top of the rock and view the ruins of monastic life.


The harbour was calm and the day sunny and warm.


Skellig Michael A Christian monastery was founded on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century, and was continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century.The remains of this monastery, along with most of the island itself, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996.  In Geeorge Bernard Shaw's letter, he describes Skellig Michael from which I quote "AT the top amazing beehives of flat rubble stones, each overlapping the one below until the circle meets in a dome  -  cells, oratories, churches, and outside them cemeteries, wells, crosses, all clustering like shells on a prodigious rock pinnacle with precipes sheer down on every hand and lodged on the projecting stone coffins made apparently by giants and dropped there God knows how.
Most incredible of all, the lighthouse keeper will not take a tip, but sits proud melancholy and haunted in his kitchen after placing all his pantry at our disposal"


Our 12 seater boat awaiting passengers, I have a seat starboard side, within chatting distance of Our Boatman, Brendan

Two boats departed five minutes apart.   As we exited the calm channel  and enjoyed viewing rural life from our comfortable boat this was soon to change.  Suddenly the ocean began to swell and waves began forming and we clung tightly (I have bruises on my arms and legs from leaning and clinging) A wave washed overboard  on our port side and the  passengers in its path got soaked.  An unusually large wave struck out boat and  suddenly sick bags were distributed by  Captain Brendan with more than half our passengers now sea-sick. Oil skin coats were also given to us.   As we neared Skellig Michael, our Captain radioed the  other boat and it was determined  we could not land on  Skellig Michael - the waves washing over  the dock were 7 feet high.  We were disappointed but understood. 
A Gannet with a wingspan of of close to 72 inches screeched by me, as if to say "I know you are disappointed"



The ocean swelled some more

Waves lapping on our dock area, preventing a landing
 We circled Skellig Michael, home to storm petrels, puffins and manx shearwaters
Then onward to Little Skellig, a seabird sanctuary, home to gannets, fulmar, guilllemots, razorbills, kittiwake  and puffins.

Little Skellig Island, photo Helen Tilston
Little Skellig white with  gannets and their guano (photo Helen Tilston)

The roar of waves as they pummelled the rocks, the screeching sound of the gannets as our boat rocked along and recalling life for the monks who lived, self sufficient on Skellig Michael was my meditation on this Sunday morning.  I shall never forget this experience and look forward to re-visiting  Skellig Michael soon -  perhaps during the month of June when the puffins are in residence.

Puffin on Skellig Michael (photo Brendan Casey)





Captain Brendan switched on the radio and RTE Lyric FM was playing this tune, which will be  associated with The Skelligs






Have you visited Skellig Michael?

84 comments:

  1. What an adventure, Helen! Thank you for sharing details and photos with us. Honestly, I did not know much at all about these two islands, so thank you, too, for educating me :-) I know you were disappointed not to be able to go on land, but judging from the size of those swells, things might have gotten very iffy out there had you gotten closer. There is always another time... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. Hello Veronique

      As a sailor you recognize the adventure!! We had the most incredible day and although it was a disappointment we could not land, we would not trade the day for anything. It is embedded in my memory and I am am percolating about paintings. My left arm is still quite bruised from being knocked about. (we luckily were not sea sick). The most frightening part was when our Captain just left the helm and came back distributing sick bags and sou'esters.
      We are definitely going to return, I am all the more determined to go ashore.

      Have a great week
      Helen xx

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  2. Dear Helen - So near and yet so far.
    I once attended a lecture on Southern Ireland and remember the mystery, remoteness, and romance surrounding Skellig Michael. Our lecturer mentioned how difficult it was to visit and also how precarious it is to land - even on a calm day. I believe you have to jump from the boat on to rocky slippery steps. I was very keen for you arrive and show us the lovely little beehive buildings built by the monks.
    Lots of inspiring photos here, especially for a painter, and your picture of the Gannet is amazing.

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    1. Hello Rosemary

      You are right the steps can become quite slippery as one lands and the journey is not for the faint hearted.
      Perhaps you will consider visiting and if you get there, please lay a rock on the 600th step in my honour.
      The cacophony of screeches from the gannets and the wind and waves all in competition was so powerful. Nobody lives on the island today, as the lighthouse is automatic. There is apparently a lone goat (a hermit) living among the rocks.
      I think you would particularly enjoy it and the fauna on Skellig Michael is of interest to.. Due to guano and massive population of birds on Skellig Beag (small) there does not appear to be vegetation.

      Helenxx

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  3. Well, that was indeed an adventure and I give you a lot of credit, dear Helen for hoping to give it another try! But it does sound magical...

    Wishing you a wonderful week ahead! How can it be Monday again already?
    Bisous,
    H.

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    1. Hello Heather

      I will go again in a heart beat and now I am even more determined to set foot on the Island. It is one of the most magical and spiritual places one can find.

      Have a great Monday. We are celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with friends.
      Helen xx

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  4. How exciting Helen and somewhat challenging too !!!! .....even though you didn't get to land on the island, you did get to see plenty of birdlife. A wonderful adventure that I'm sure you won't forget in a hurry !! XXXX

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    1. Hello Jacqueline

      It certainly was challenging. On returning to the mainland my mind asked the question "what if we had landed and then the storm came up and we were stranded on Skellig Michael"
      I could take any weather but if there was a thunderstorm, I would have hopped on the gannet's back.

      I cannot wait to return. Do you suppose we could get a blogging convention on Skellig Michael?

      Have a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  5. It all looks wonderful Helen!
    Your photos from the sea of Skellig Michael are super.
    It certainly sounds like a very interesting place to visit.
    The monks must have rowed to the Island from the mainland.. one can imagine them in those heavy seas, clambering ashore with difficulty.
    There is so much I do not know about Ireland.. maybe time for a visit.!
    I do hope that you will be able to go ashore next time.
    It all adds to the adventure.
    happy monday Helen.
    thank you
    val

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    1. Hello Valerie

      It was indeed wonderful. I was as you know born and educated in Ireland and we travelled a lot as children and I still have a long list of places I want to visit. There is so much to see and do and one cannot do it in a few weeks. It takes a lifetime to absorb all that it offers. This can also be said of many countries.

      I hope you go there one day soon

      Helen xx

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  6. I have not visited these islands...wish i had though. In June my friend and I drove, hiked, biked through the South of Ireland and spent time on the Aran island where i just fell in love with a small whitewashed cottage. I promised to myself that I would return with loads of books, and spend my days, walking, reading, working on my book. This was my first trip to Ireland and i fell in love with the country, its people, its incredibly beautiful landscapes, the food, the atmosphere...

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    1. Hello Francine

      I am delighted to hear you had such a wonderful experience in Ireland and that you plan to return. The Aran Islands certainly have their magic and what a base for a creative mind.

      Thanks for your kind comments

      Helenx

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  7. I have never heard of these islands. What an adventure for you although I am not sure I would have wanted to travel in that wild sea!

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    1. Hello Jane

      The sea was indeed wild and I have a confession to make, I cannot swim. But in the frigid waters being a swimmer would likely not save one.

      It was one of the most memorable boat trips I have taken and the memories are so vivid of the birds and the sounds.

      Helen xx

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  8. OK, 600 steps. THAT would be the adventure for me. I know how waters can change abruptly and what a torment it is for passengers and crew. Wonderful adventure, I think. And, I love your photos. Great job, Helen !

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    1. Hello Marsha

      I am sure you would climb those steps two at a time and I can imagine the wonderful inspiration you would gain for your designs.
      Our boatman Brendan was the crew and on reflection what would have happened if he, God forbid, became ill. I suppose we would still be out there with me at the help chatting to the gannets.

      Thanks for your good wishes

      Helen xx

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  9. No, I haven't visited. But the music you offered makes me understand how it is there...thanks for taking us along on the boat. I'd be one of the first to be seasick and frightened to death of the waves.

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    1. Hello Becky

      On reflection I had complete trust in Brendan our Boatman who had been around boats and fishing since childhood. He spoke with the same accent as my late uncle and it was a joy chatting to him in Gaelic, which also added to the memory of this day

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  10. Wow! what an adventure!!
    How brave you all were as well Helen! I think I'd have been sitting on the bottom of the boat with one of those bags you mentioned. Oh! and the music...it's wonderful, ah! the land of my ancestors.

    Hugs Jane

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  11. Hello Jane

    I am sure you would have managed just fine. We had a boat for a period of time and got caught in two big storms and while one would never choose to leave shore if forewarned, it is quite the education to be caught in a storm and to survive. The old rule "never lose the horizon" applies.

    I hope you have an opportunity to visit the land of your ancestors soon

    Helen xx

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  12. Helen, I felt your disappointment! But I also could imagine what real fear I would have felt. Large bodies of water have always inspired a certain anxiety and I can't even begin to speculate what thoughts and emotions might seize me faced with seven foot waves!

    The photographs you have taken are just stunning. I, too, went to a sacred site this past weekend but have yet to write about it. I feel a very powerful kinship to you in this moment, reading this.

    (As an aside, puffins were my favorite animal as a child. Now, it's owls.)

    I truly hope you will write about your experiences of actually docking since you plan to return.

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    1. Hello Suze
      Thank you for your sensitivity of my feelings. My thoughts on board were to just hang on and not drop my camera. It was very difficult to get photographs and keep balance. One could sense a serenity on the island and a sacredness.
      I love puffins too and want to do a series of paintings of them, preferably on Skellig Michael. I wonder if I could bribe some Minister in Ireland to allow me to spend a week here in the land of puffins.

      I, too, am fascinated by owls. They are in "the know"

      Helen xx

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  13. Hello Helen,

    Even for someone who has lived on Crete for the past 23 years, having travelled by boat several times, I have to say kudos to you for making it a true adventure and braving that choppy water! The monastery sounds very intriguing, and as I have visited many here on the island, I am sure that when you do make it back for a visit, you will feel the same-it's hard not to.

    Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon. I am your newest follower, too!

    Have a great week.

    Poppy

    PS: Hope to visit your other lovely blog as well.

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    1. Hello Poppy

      A big warm welcome to my blog. You live in a very exciting place and some day I am going to visit Crete. My husband lived there for several months and speaks so fondly of it.
      You would of course understand the waters and the changes that occur so quickly. Our Boatman was expert and I trusted him implicitly,

      I long to return to Skellig Michael and will.

      Helen xx

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  14. I've never visited outside the US and I'm not sure if I've ever heard of these islands. But it is very interesting and I always long to travel to places I read about or see on movies. I'm sorry you didn't get to land but you got some amazing photos and had quite an experience. The puffin is very beautiful! Enjoy your trip!

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    1. Hello Dianne

      It was a wonderful experience, despite the small disappointment but I am already looking forward to the next time. I hope you manage to visit some of the islands you red of.
      Thanks for visiting and have a glorious week

      Helenxx

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  15. Dear Helen,

    I have never been to Skellig Michael myself. The islands look very desolate. I hope you didn't get sick on the boat? It would be such a shame. The puffins look very sweet. It must be a joying seeing them in their natural habitat.

    Happy new week!

    Madelief x

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    1. Hello Madelief

      The island is indeed away from civilization. I do not know if you would find gardening on the island to your satisfaction!! : )

      Fortunately neither my husband nor I were sick. We have done a lot of boating in the past and were members of the Power Squadron but one can never be too confident. My arms are still bruised but it is worth it!!

      Hope you have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  16. Dear Helen:

    I have not visited Skellig Michael but I so want to do so now. Your description of the rough seas reminded me of once when I crossed the English Channel to Ostende in extremely rough weather. I can never forget how our boat would be lifted and dropped onto the ocean surface. I love the names of those birds. I love how some places remain sacred on their own...Thank you for this lovely post.

    Love,

    Mona

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    1. Hello Mona

      Now you have evoked memories of that dreaded crossing between Dover and Ostende - I recall lots of rocking and rolling too. Our Boatman was a master and he had the bow of the boat raised quite high above the water which helped us somewhat but also added to our balancing act skills. The Skelligs are on the Gulf Stream and therefore many exotic birds rest here as they journey to South America and elsewhere. I cannot wait to return.

      Have a glorious week

      Helen xx

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  17. I am disappointed for you, but so glad you were all kept safe. I do get a little sea sick when I have to watch the waves. I read a little about the monastery while in Ireland. I would have loved exploring the island. I didn't realize puffins inhabited the area. Your visit is much more adventuresome than my recent stay.

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      It was one most memorable day and one I would not have missed. I am all the more determined to return. It looks like you explored a lot while in Ireland. I was born and educated in Ireland and have travelled to all the counties and still there are many places yet to visit. One only puts a small dent in a country when visiting for a few weeks. Then we always dream of returning.

      Have a wonderful week

      Helen xx

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  18. The bird-watching must have been incredible! I definitely would have been sea-sick with those waves....hopefully another day you will get to go again. Like Mona's comment, I do not have fond memories of crossing the English Channel in the ferry! UGH!!

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    1. The bird watching was mesmerizing and the sound and song was most unusual from the bird song I am used to. Fortunately we did not become sea-sick. How funny that you have also crossed the English channel.
      One of my worst crossings ever was between Sydney and Auckland NZ - two day of sheer hell with the worst sea-sickness.

      Hope your week is special

      Helen xx

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  19. How wonderful to (almost) visit somewhere that caught your fancy through reading. I love remote and rocky places, and wonder what it looked like when the monastery was there. Your adventure and pictures have captured my imagination.

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    1. Hello Jen

      Yes, what we discover through reading is marvelous. Like you, out of the way places are worth it. There are books written on life on Skellig Michael and I believe it was Augustinian monks who lived here. It was attacked on at least two occasions and lives were lost.

      Hope your week is special

      Helen xx

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  20. That was quite an adventure, Helen. Returning to the island is certainly something to look forward to. What a vacation you had!
    Those puffins are the cutest things. I love places with a history such as this.
    To many more adventures.

    Sanda

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    1. Hello Sanda

      It was indeed a marvelous adventure. I shall look forward to returning as everything about it is so foreign to us, despite it being an Irish island. Puffins are absolutely fascinating and I am longing to paint a series of them (I have a plan in mind)
      Ireland is seeped in history and growing up there it was too much for a child to absorb.

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  21. What an exciting and exhilarating adventure, and despite the fact you werent able to land, it sounds like just being there and experiencing the sights and sounds of the rocky islands and the birdlife made for a memorable and special day. The beautiful, haunting celtic music must have been the icing on the cake - I have just ordered the CD!
    Thanks for sharing the history and sights of Skellig Michael, and I hope you manage to land one day. I've added that to my list of places to visit when we finally get to visit Ireland.
    Gill xx

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  22. Hello Gill

    I am happy you enjoyed the recording by the Fureys. Actually the piece I posted was written by Finbar Furey. They can make their musical instruments almost talk.

    I think you would love Skellig Michael. It was an experience I shall cherish forever. I will be saving my pennies for a return visit.

    Helen xx

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  23. Hello Helen,
    What a magical, mysical island! I am so sorry you weren't able to land and explore but even to travel there and see it standing so alone amidst the wild sea must have been wonderful. I do hope you will return another day. Jane xx

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    1. Hello Jane

      Your words mystical and magical describe The Skelligs. It is like nowhere I have ever been and the isolation alone from civilization is astounding.
      I promise to return.

      Have a brilliant week

      Helen

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  24. Replies
    1. It was indeed fun and a few other emotions thrown in for good measure

      Helen xx

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  25. What a wonderful adventure this must have been, Helen, and your photographs are just beautiful.
    Thank you for taking us along with you!
    xo.

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  26. Hello Lisa

    Thank you for complimenting my photogaphy. I can only imagine how you would film this spectacular spot, with your keen professional eye and lens.

    It was a day I shall treasure in my heart always

    Helen xx

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  27. I am disappointed that you couldn't land so I cannot fathom how you all must of felt. I was excited to see and read your experiences. Even just getting that close must of been such a tremendous experience? I had not heard of puffins until I moved to the UK. What wonderful creatures they are. Thank you Helen for sharing this great day with us.

    xx Deb

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  28. Helloo Deb

    Being in the rough waters and clinging for dear life to the railings, we understood that we could not land. Then seeing the waves wash ashore where we should have landed was scary. There will be another time and it was not meant to be. It is interesting the different birds that visit the British Islands and being in the Gulf Stream - the Skelligs get many migratory birds.
    Have a wonderful week

    Helen xx

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  29. Hello Helen! I'm sorry you couldn't make a landing and explore the ruins. That, sure, would have been stellar, but what you share here is breathtaking - the towering blue waves, the birds and above all the intriguing details of the Skelligs.
    I have always adored puffins and this one looks particularly cute!

    Wishing you the very best for the remaining of your stay.

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  30. Hello Suman

    So true it would have been stellar, you you stated, to have landed on Skellig Michael. The towering blue waves certainly delivered on that Sunday morning. Puffins steal my heart away. I also felt a strong connection to the gannets on Little Skellig.
    In early history, the puffins were valued for their feathers.

    We have sadly left Ireland and cannot wait till next time.

    Helen xx

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  31. What a fantastic adventure, Helen! Wow. Those little pops of emerald rising about the gray blue waves. Watching the puffins at play. So beautiful. I've never been to Ireland, but hope to venture there someday. Your photos are inspiring me to make it happen! XO

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    1. It was indeed a fabulous adventure. The colours and light was just wonderful but that ocean was choppy and swelling.
      I am looking forward to a return visit and climbing to to the top to view the ruins of life as it was for the monks.

      I hope you visit Ireland - it really has so much to offer.

      Helen xx

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  32. What a shame you never set foot on the island. it must have been frightening with waves that high! I remember seeing the islands in the distance when we visited Kerry. I would love to have seen a puffin.
    It must have been so atmospheric with that lovely music playing, my dog was enjoying it too when I played it!
    Sarah x

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  33. Hello Sarah

    I smiled when I read about your dog enjoying the music. Our previus dog Digger would become all maudlin when Irish music played and he would put his nose to the speaker as if to question.
    It was a disappointment but was not meant to be on this day and there will definitely be another time, which till then I shall dream.

    Helen xx

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  34. I feel like I have been visiting because your text and the photos are so real and interesting and the music is very beautiful and mystic and so Irish! I do love Ireland very much, I always have and our visit last summer made me fall in love again! Thanks for this very fantastic post, Helen! Christa

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    1. Good Morning Christa
      Thank you for reading my post and listening to the music. WE had a most memorable adventure to the Skelligs.

      I am happy to hear Ireland was up to your expectations and look forward to hearing of your return and experiences.

      Helen xx

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  35. Yes, I just visited and viewed Skelling Michael thanks to your interesting text and your wonderful photos and the mystic music! It carried me away for some moments! Your post proves once again how beautiful Ireland is. I have always loved it there and our visit last summer made me fall in love again. Have a good Sunday, Helen! Christa

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  36. What a wonderful adventure Helen... I can't wait to visit Ireland... it's on my wish list.. I can't believe I have never been considering I am relatively close! (from Aus at least...)
    I hope you are enjoying your weekend.. xv

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    1. Hello Vicki

      I know you would truly love Ireland and I would love to read of your experience when you do visit. There is something for everyone and no two visits are ever alike.

      Thank you for your good wishes, it is raining here as I believe it is in France.

      Helen xx

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  37. Hi Helen, Oh what a treasure trove of information on these islands and oh what an adventure you had! I know it must have been so disappointing not to be able to land but one understands those situations while traveling. I've been to Ireland and thought it so beautiful, and green! We enjoyed the usual tourist destinations. If I ever return and would love to do so I shall look for an adventure like this. Thank you dear Helen for sharing your experience.

    ~Emily
    The French Hutch

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    1. Hello Emily

      It was disappointing but also impossible to land on the Island. It has made my appetite all the more keen to return.
      Ireland has some unique out of the way secrets which are one of a kind.
      I hope you return

      Helen xx

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  38. Oh my! What a trip to love, a journey that will last a life time. Seeing it through your lens and you narrating it is the best part, I feel as if I am along for the ride taking in all that you show us.
    Amazing that you got to experience your holiday trip in such a manner one could only dream :)
    You have painted us a magical place to visit.

    Thank you friend for sharing,
    Xoxo
    Dore

    Ps. Thank you for gracing your beauty with all of us bloggers.

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    1. Hello Dore

      It was a wonderful trip and I know you would have found tremendous inspiration for your art. The journey there was so worthwhile and while not being able to land made me all the more determined to return. It falls under "heritage sites" and a few hours there are all that is permissable.

      Have a week of goodness

      Helen xx

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  39. We haven't explored Ireland yet, but definitely will. So much to see! Witnessing a puffin is definitely on my list to see those cutie-pies - they are almost mythical to me....

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    1. The best time to visit Ireland and Skellig Michael for puffin watching is June. One cannot but smile at their face.
      Hope your visit is soon

      Helenx

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  40. I would LOVE to go to Ireland! That looks like an absolutely gorgeous trip!
    Stacy

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    1. Hello Stacy

      I am sure you would find incredible inspiration from a trip to Ireland. Hurry over

      Helenx

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  41. My dear Helen,

    What a fantastic adventure you are ON! Oh how exciting this would be to sail the world in this way, and what a beautiful part of the globe I am sure this is.

    Thank you for visiting my post...I am having such a difficult time with photos! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita

      It would indeed be spectacular to sail the world on a small ship, perhaps 80 passengers and preferably bloggers and to visit small islands. Now that is exciting. Wonder how we could make that happen?

      Helen xx

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  42. These remote places are marvellous. I'm really sorry you couldn't actually get on to the island this time, but the experience sounds amazing and I hope you make it in June, when the days will be longer and the weather, hopefully, better!

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    1. Hello Jenny

      You are right the remote are always marvelous. There will be a next time and already we are looking forward to returning.
      Thanks for visiting and have a glorious week
      Helenx

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  43. What an incredible adventure - it looks utterly thrilling! I love a remote and craggy landscape, but must admit that I have rarely had the opportunity to explore like this. Wonderful images, I will have to put these Islands on my Bucket list of places to visit! Thank you for the introduction.
    Best wishes,
    Paula x
    p.s. thank you for your lovely and encouraging comments on my blog, it's always a pleasure to see you visit.

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    1. Hello Paula

      It was, as you say, an adventure. My bruises have healed but my mind is still on the green slopes and the steps leading to the peak. I think you would love the trip there and the anticipation has me yearning to return

      Wishing you a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  44. Hello Helen,
    oh...what a pleasure to read this post...i'm a deep lover of Ireland and Irish people. I spent one year there as a student and would come back year after year, because this country is so dear to my heart...it's too long i haven't been back and alas no, I've never been to Skellig Michael...
    I can nearly breathe the Irish fresh air...thank you!
    xLala

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    1. How wonderful that you spent a year in Ireland and have fond memories of your time there. There are so many places to see in Ireland, it takes a lifetime to see all.
      We always delight in knowing there is more to discover

      Helen x

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  45. Hello Helen, how very interesting. I had recently got a book from the library called Ireland's Islands, and found it to be totally fascinating. How on earth they managed to build a monastry on that rock astounds me. All the islands were so open to being ransacked and and the inhabitants killed. It must have been such a hard life. Not to mention the weather, as you sampled. I am a terrible sailor, I always get sick.
    Great post, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    With love, Linda x

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    1. Hello Linda

      It is incredible to think that the monks lived here and were self sufficient. Boats would have been different then too and no doubt it was a one way ticket for many of them going to Skellig Michael. Yes they were ransacked and invaded.
      I think the crossing is always a bit rough Linda and if you are included toward seasickness it is just not worth it.
      Glad you enjoyed this.

      Helenxx

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  46. What a wonderful adventure Helen, I love it when the sea gets choppy. I've always wanted to see puffins in their habitat so I'm making notes. A wonderful post thanks for taking us along. Paul x

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    1. Hello Paul

      It was indeed an adventure of the greatest. Like you I have a fondness for a choppy ocean. I think June would be a good time to view puffins on Skellig Michael and there are many of them there. I shall never forget the sound of the birds from Skellig beag.

      Helen xx

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  47. I've never vistied, but I want to now. This was such a pleasure to read - you're very good at creating a sense of place through your descriptions.

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  48. Hello Hila

    A warm welcome to my blog.

    I hope you visit as I would love hearing your description of these islands.

    I thank you for your kind comment and coming from a published author whom I have tremendous respect for, means very much to me.

    Helen xx

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  49. Hello Lilla
    Thank you for visiting and your compliment

    Helen xx

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