Saturday, 19 September 2015

Erris Head. Downpatrick Head. Ballycastle. County Mayo. Ireland.

                                              ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
A mix of photos here from the coastline around Mayo. Looking down huge blowhole on the Mullet peninsula. Needs a big sea and Atlantic rollers to jump up this height during winter storms.
This was a calm day in late summer with hardly any breeze but there was still enough wave action for dramatic views.
Atlantic Gannet looking for fish.
Erris Head Lighthouse. It's actually on a separate island off the Mullet peninsula coast but you can't tell from this angle. Eagle Island I think.
An area where you could scramble down close to the waves.
Very impressive coastline.
We then travelled round to Ballycastle, gateway to the Downpatrick Head sea cliffs.
Very different rock strata here leading to letter box shaped blowholes and sea caves. As you can see this massive blowhole has foam in it and is an impressive distance from the coast, about half a km inland. Although a calm day, head sized foam footballs still floated out this chasm occasionally high into the air so big seas here would be very impressive. This was taken from the viewing platform so this lethal drop is safely fenced off to protect people falling in. I was surprised that what looks like daylight can be seen in the back of it as it is a long way from the other seaward end to here.
Presumably, the other open end of the chasm. This cliff face has many deep sea caves forming along its length however. Tempting holes for sea kayakers to explore but you would have to be very experienced and confident in your own ability around here due to the constant swell.
Downpatrick Head and the famous sea stack.
Different angle,
Distant sea stacks.
Seabirds dancing effortlessly on the updrafts. Fulmars, judging by the distinctive notch on the beak. A sea cliff climber's curse given their ability to fire a torrent of foul smelling mix towards the faces of any intruders appearing near their ledge. Ful-mar means foul gull in Viking although they are not gulls but members of the petrel family of seabirds.
Fun to sit and watch them though. Daylight could also be seen in the photo below. Given enough time this should form an archway and eventually another sea stack when the weak point collapses.
The restless ocean. Downpatrick Head in County Mayo. The cliffs here are not fenced off so parents with children or unwary adults have to be very careful here as they are severely undercut in places or drop vertically straight into the sea. Rescue would be difficult and probably too late. A wild place.

Three minute long tourist promotion video but a good one featuring big winter seas along the Wild Atlantic Way.


Carol said...

It's never boring at the coast is it - especially spectacular coastlines like that.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Yes, all our coastal trips here have been excellent and a good alternative when the hills are covered in cloud. It might be freezing and blowing a gale but winter or summer there's been no rain so far exploring the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kay G. said...

You have made me want to visit Scotland. Now, you have made me want to go to Ireland. Shame on you, I am poor!
Is that you Bob in the 6th photo, on the edge of the rock? Be careful!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Kay,
No need to come over as I'm showing you the best bits in good weather. The weather in Scotland can be wet 70 percent of the time so the odds are not good on seeing the landscape on a bright sunny day. Same with Ireland.
That is spider-man Alex in the 6th photo. He is traversing around the cliffs and I am trying to keep up. Graeme is a keen photographer as well with a large camera which is why he's not in many shots as he's either stopped to take a photo himself or is behind due to having to unpack his camera from the rucksack, take a photo, then put it away again safety. That's why I like a smaller camera as I can keep up with any action better, on the run, as it were.

Neil said...

Didn't know that there was so much wild scenery in Ireland. Doubt if I'll ever visit now so thanks for showing me so much of it here.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Neil,
It's funny how we seem to have more energy and determination to pack a lot in when over in Ireland or the Lake District as it's still fresh and exciting to go there and every view is a new frontier.