Monday, 7 May 2012

Owey Island: Donegal's Ultimate adventure weekend

 It was Saturday morning and in a convoy we travelled across Cruit Island towards the blue skies and sunshine living over Owey Island. In total 6 cars, 1 4x4 pick up, 1 transit and kayak laden trailer, 22 people, a film maker and video camera wielder, 2 dogs, a monster BBQ hamper and more kayaking/climbing/camping/coastaleering/caving and fishing equipment than a large outdoor hypermarket. We arrived at the Cruit Island golf course car park and began the transition from land to sea. We were travelling to Owey island by kayak and catamaran, using the catamaran as the mother ship to transport the colossal amount of equipment required for our weekend’s activities.

Preparing to depart Cruit Island

The Flotilla departs Cruit.

The mother ship departs Cruit.

Arrival on Owey Island.

 After a bit of a bumpy crossing we arrived on Owey Island we decanted the mighty vessel and set up camp at the head of the north end pier slip.

Setting up base camp on Owey Island

 We had several cunning plans for the weekend’s activities, Mark headed off to coastaleer along above the Atlantic on the West Coast of the island. Myself and six troopers headed south to climb a sea stack living off the south of the island. A wee bit of coastaleering, paddling and multi-pitch climbing later 6 happy troopers stood on top of their first sea stack, in fact, stood on top of their first ever outdoor climb! J As the sun was threatening to set we descended the landward face of the stack, paddled across the channel and climbed a route up the south face of Owey to once more stand on mainland of Owey Island.

The seaward face of Finbar Stack

 We all arrived back at base camp in the early evening and commenced the campfire activities.

Camp fire

 The next day Mark and 12 troopers set of at an unsociably early hour to circumnavigate the island by kayak. Myself and another party of 6 including our intrepid film maker set off to climb another stack.
 As another 6 troopers topped out on their first sea stack, the kayak flotilla passed through the channel below having encirced Owey Island.

Summit of the stack as the flotilla approach

The channel crossing

View from Finbar Stack

 Alas mid afternoon Sunday and after a weekend of tropical sunshine and high end adventure we left Owey by kayak in bouncing North West motion to arrive back on Cruit.
 In summary 12 people who had never climbed outdoors or kayaked on the open ocean before climbed their first sea stack and paddled around the island. All of course under the glorious Donegal sunshine on the beautiful and unspoilt island of Owey Island.
 This weekend was a joint activity organised by 4 elements NI and Unique Ascent. Our activities were filmed by CM Photography Ireland.  

1 comment:

  1. Really awesome time Iain thank you. Some buzz on reaching the top of that stack. Can't wait to do it again.