Great Newtown Headand
The Reef, heading into the playground of Ronan’s Bay, my normal route. But beyond means due south. Leaving the Guill, leaving the coast, leaving the country, heading on a southerly bearing. Past the step-like outcrop on the brow of the Head, past the outside reef falling away west. Straight out. There’s a flag and a buoy over a lobster pot out there, like the last or first marker of Ireland, maybe four hundred metres out. A nervous four hundred metres, four hundred metres you feel in the weight of your shoulders, the frequency with which you look forward and back, your increased chance of swallowing water.
Beyond – Great Newtown Head and the Metalman pillars from out deep
The Ilaunglas Mafia finally make an appearance, riding the updrafts from the south-westerlies hitting their home
The last Great Auk in Ireland was taken at Brownstown Head in 1816, the same year as the Wreck of the Seahorse. Michael O’Keeffe, a friend and ornithologist has portrayed that last Auk amongst some of other the local species
A flock of small birds I don’t know pass over toward the Head. Was that flash a tern, that treasured black-tailed migrant sometimes so hard to see, diving? More fulmars and adolescent speckled-brown herring gulls can be seen. Not falling in an attack wing into a shoal on the surface. It is merely these cumulative clues, the waves, the water temperature, the time of year, the sense that is like a fruit a day past it full ripeness. And so I think the mackerel are here.
Memorial for Eamonn Crotty, with the Metalman across the bay
The paradise that is Ronan’s Bay in August, to Newtown head and the Metalman pillars, & across T-Bay to Brownstown Head in the distance.
Twelve Birds reef
In the years before I’d swum into Loneswimmer Cave, when I rounded Great Newtown Head, if I wanted to progress west into Ronan’s Bay, I either had to swim around Oyen reef, or through the f..
In a year with a poor summer, any remaining prospect of heat finally slips away like an ebb tide by the second or third weekend of September, to be replaced by the next straw to be grasped in the e..