I have compiled a list of many remoter, harder Irish offshore islands and rocks, and on which, which kayakers are thought at present to have landed there “first”. This hopes to reflect in an obscure way an interesting insight into a small part of what Irish sea kayakers were at in the late 20th century.
A spin-off of the evolution of Oileáin is the possibility to reflect the activities of Irish sea kayakers in the late 20th century. Kayakers measure their performance in many ways. Some always want distance, some want scenery, caves, rough water, ceteceans, headlands, islands. But some, a few, want difficult landings, normally difficult island landings. Mountaineers have their first ascents, but some kayakers, like astronauts, count first landings. I have attempted to chronicle in some small way an aspect of all that here.
Landings anywhere can be difficult with conditions, but this study considers landings that are achievements at the best of times. On the one hand this virtually always requires the absence of a technically easy landing once the kayak has arrived, but there are exceptions. An exceptionally difficult passage (e.g. Inishtrahull) can sway the balance. Exceptional good luck or swimming ashore is usual. On the other hand, technical difficulty would rarely if at all be enough of itself for this study, unless extreme. A remote rock somewhere is almost always in question. There is usually a combination of factors. There always needs to be some off putting factor also present. Introduce technical difficulty, or distance off the land, or remoteness otherwise, and/or off-putting currents or conditions, and the recipe becomes complete.
Such remote rocks often have lighthouses. Landing onto hard rock from a kayak is entirely different (and almost always more difficult than) from other boats. One steps off a boat onto rock at the same height, but one slithers out of a kayak up onto rock. Remote lighthouse rocks tend to count.
|Maidens||Yes||Not known||Early ?|
|Rockabill||Yes||Local paddler Sean Pierce, but probably many times previously.||1990 onwards|
|Tuskar RockConingmore Rock||Yes
|Dave Elwod, Ger Lally, Jim Fox
|Fastnet||Yes||Simon Brewitt, Ann Bogan, Joanna McInerney||1988|
|Dursey Calf||Yes||2 Kerry paddlers||2011|
|Dursey Cow||Yes||3 Kerry paddlers||2011|
|Scariff Island||Yes||Paul Butcher, Aisling Conroy||1984|
|Lemon Rocks||Yes||David Walsh, Fred Cooney||1995|
|Little Skellig||Yes||David Walsh, Fred Cooney||1995|
|Great Skellig||Yes||Not known.||Early ?|
|Washer Woman Rock||Yes||Conor Murray||2009|
|Great Foze Rocks||Yes||Mick Murphy and Claire Knight||1983|
|Littlet Foze Rocks||Yes||Eileen Murphy aka Pirate Queen||2006|
|Eeragh Island, Inishmore||Yes||Dave Kavanagh||2000|
|Skerdmore||Yes||Stephen Hannon, Gary McMahon||1994|
|An Buachal||Yes||David Walsh, Sean Pierce, Josie Gibbons||2003|
|Bills Rocks||Yes||Stephen Hannon, Kevin O’Callaghan||1994|
|Black Rock||Yes||David Kavanagh, John Hannan, Aengus Parsons & Brian Coll(?)||1999|
|Eagle Island||Yes||Dave Kavanagh||1997|
|Stags of Broadhaven Teach Dónal Ó’Cléirigh An Teach Mór An Teach Beag Carraig na Faola an t-Oighean||Yes Yes Yes No No||Fred Cooney (didn’t summit) Sean Pierce (summitted) David Walsh, Fred Cooney, Josie Gibbons (summitted) Colm Pierce, David Walsh (summitted)||1996 2003 2003 2003|
|Stags of OweyGarvan Isles||Yes, solo
|Petr SedlarDavid Walsh, Dave Carraher, Dave Kavanagh||20112003|
|Inishtrahull||Yes||Joe Rotheram and Charlie Cassidy||1983|
|Torr Mor||Yes||Sean Pierce, Josie Gibbons||2003|
|Torr Beg||Yes||Michael Roulston, Denis Gallagher, Eadaoin Healy||2003|
|Tor Beg (most north), North Rocks (most east), Fastnet (most south) and Great Foze Rock (most west), combination achievement.
||Yes||Conor Murray||2010 2011 2012|