Friday, July 22, 2011

Bolus Loop Walk

Bolus Barracks Loop walk was opened recently, you can start at the memorial for the American Warplane  that crashed into Skellig Michael and walk to the far end of Bolus Head, up to the fort at the top  and back. If you like to take it easy, its a nice 3 hours walk with breathtaking cliffs and great views to the Skelligs, St.Finians Bay and Ballinskelligs Bay.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

South Kerry Camera Club Annual Trip to Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael
South Kerry Camera Club at Skellig Lighthouse
Little Skellig

Richard explaining the history of the road to the Upper Lighthouse

Skellig Lighhouse

Club members on top of Skellig Lighthouse

South Peak, Skellig Michael

Mind the step, Puffin.


Little Skellig and photographers

Little Skellig

Gannets, Little Skelligs

Little Skelligs, severe landslide on the left

Skellig Michael and Little Skellig

Detail, Little Skellig

Rock, Little Skellig

Skellig Michael

Gannet country

Rocks and Gannets

Puffins and Little Skellig

The South Kerry Camera Club went to Skellig Michael for a very special day of landscape and wildlife photography. The trip on the boat was the smoothest in years according to our skipper Ken Roddy. On the way to Skellig he stopped for  a moment to give us time to admire the sunfish swimming right below surface with the upper fin flapping around. Arriving on Skellig Michael at 10 am we had time on our way to the monastery of Skellig Michael to take photos of the Puffins from all angles and even  Razorbills and Sheerwater from a small distance. Kittywakes were still feeding their chicks on the rocks while the Puffin chicks were  hiding inside little caves waiting to be fed. The sound of birds was everywhere, and due to the luck that we were the first group we had them all for ourselves. Arriving at the monastery was special as always, it is a feeling as you get it when you enter a chuch or a big concert hall, it must be the energy of the place.
On our way down from the monastery we could take more photos of Puffins, and the view from the higher angle is always different, looking over to Litte Skellig with its Gannets.
Arriving at the bottom of the steps we met our man Richard Foran, the Principal Lighthouse Keeper of Skellig Michael. Richard is a member of the Camera Club from the beginning and a dedicated photographer. He has the fastest camera in the group, a Canon 7d. Richard gave the group a guided tour trough the lighthouse and explained in detail how everything works and the historical background. It was most fascinating to hear all the stories and technical jargon from a man that spend all his life in lighthouses.
Below on the rock were 6-7 seals enjoying the fine weather, while we took photos.
On  our way to the old lighhouse we admired the perfection of the walls and road that had been build with the two lighthouses and the dwellings in the 1820s. It was a great opportunity to take a picture of the lighhouse from the higher viewpoint. Coming down from the old lighthouse ruin we had lunch in the lighthouse dwelling room before heading back to the pier where Ken Roddy awaited us with the boat. The final part of our journey was a very slow visit of Little Skellig with its thousands of Gannets and a breathtaking landscape. The rock is almost white at the moment and the sound of the birds is very present. On the way home we reflected already on this beautiful day and the great photos we took.
After arrival at Portmagee it was time to celebrate the day with a pint outside the Bridge Bar, right in front of the harbour.
To make it even more special, Mairead Teahan, one of our club members gave birth to a little girl  and her name is Ella today. All the best to Ella and what a day to be born, congrats Mairead. We are looking forward to take pictures of the young model.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Traffic in the Harbour, Valentia Island Lifeboat

Saving lives at Sea

Part of the King Scallop Festival in Knightstown, Valentia Island.
RNLI Lifeboat and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter display today.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Clouds over Kerry

After a nice chat with a friend in Knightstown, Valentia Island I went for a walk from the famous slate grotto up to the top uf Geokaun Mountain. The sun was getting low and big fat clouds where everywhere and moving fast. It was a dramatic scene just to stand there and watch the light and the clouds, but I took some photos too. I used a polafilter but I did not apply any changes except sharpening to the raw files, there is no need. You can drive up Geokaun mountain from the other side. After 9 in the evening is a good time at the moment.