Updated: Jun 12, 2022
Today was another bifurcated day where the morning and afternoon activities were quite different. Shortly after breakfast, we hopped into an inflatable skiff and headed towards Blasket Island. The water was a bit choppy, but not too much, although it was a challenge to hold my camera still. I praise the people who perfected image stabilization. Next they need to work on skiff stabilization.
Skiffs are quite maneuverable so we were able to get fairly close to the cliffs to view nesting birds and wildflowers. While we were watching the bird life, several grey seals swam up to watch us.
After lunch back on the boat, the Captain moved the ship to Dingle, but he had to anchor quite far from the bay. This meant a longer skiff ride to shore. When it is windy, as has been the case on much of this trip, a skiff ride can also mean a complimentary sea shower. Fortunately this ride wasn’t as wet as it could have been.
Dingle town was bustling with tourists. It had a rather large parking lot on its shore, something I hadn’t seen up to this point. I hopped on a waiting bus and we drove out of town for a tour of the Dingle Peninsula. We visited ancient beehive dwellings with remarkable stonework, were treated to views of Slea Head and the Skellig islands, saw ring forts, numerous lambs with their moms, and the 12th century Kilmalkedar chapel (below). A whirlwind tour, but fabulous to get such an overview of the area.
A lot of us had heard stories of Dingle Whiskey, so I was a bit disappointed when the bus drove past the Dingle distillery. A stop was not on the itinerary. However, as with many days on land, this would end in a pub with prepaid drinks. Ah, I could order a Dingle whiskey there! Alas, the choices were wine, Smithwick’s Ale, or Guinness. A few shipmates and I decided to upgrade to Dingle liquor at our own expense. The whiskey was delicious. A shipmate reported that Dingle gin was pretty good too.
After tossing the drink, I set out to see the town and visit its many shops. But it was after 5:00PM and just about all of the town had closed. The long ride back to the ship wasn’t too choppy, but the Captain had to do some fancy maneuvering of the ship to counteract the swell of the Atlantic. That, and the steady hands of the crew, got me into the ship. Swimming in the Atlantic is nothing that I aspire to do. At least not in Dingle.