Sometimes in the morning I look out the window and I know its a perfect whale day. This morning wasn’t perfect but all the whale reports coupled with the fact that rough seas have made whale watching difficult since early December made me head to my usual whale spot just above Dunabrattin Head near Boatstrand anyway.
A lot of the whale reports are from the Hook in Wexford right now where the herring are and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to see anything but it’s always a pleasure to sit by the sea. Whale watching is quite meditative. It’s difficult to sit on a cliff for any length of time without a focus and a pair of binoculars gives you just that.
I didn’t stay at Dunabrattin for long. I spotted some activity further back up the coast opposite Kilfarrasy about 4 miles east. There seemed to be a lot of seabirds wheeling around and I thought it could be a Minke whale but I could see nothing from Kilfarrasy and after 10 minutes or so I decided to head further east to the cliffs at Garrarus.
The coastline all along here is just stunning. Between Kilfarrasy and Annestown the cliffs are such that you could be in anywhere in the world:Big Sur, Greece, China. There is a lovely cliff walk between Kilfarrasy and Garrarus passing above Sheep’s Island. It’s also possible to do this walk at beach-level at low tide and the sea arches and islands give the area a fantastical air.
Between Garrarus and Westtown it is different again with inaccessible beaches, pure and untouched, lapped by turquoise waves. These cliffs are well worth a visit but sadly they aren’t officially accessible. I would love to see this area sensitively developed for walkers but in the economic climate this is just not going to happen soon.
At Garrarus I sat for a while and scanned the sea. A couple of times I thought I saw something and then the sun brightened and far off, maybe 10km I could see the backs of a school of dolphins splashing in the sun. They were too far out to identify with certainty but as there were trawlers around and it seemed to be a large group I think they were Common Dolphins which enjoy following boats. Common Dolphins are small and quite pretty with and hour-glass type pattern on their flanks. The group I saw this morning were gradually moving away and after a while I wended my way down from the cliff and made my way home.