First Known Kayak Landings

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.

Room has nowadays been found for a separate table for long distance and other odder atypical achievements.

David Walsh, Christmas 2013

Landing If Landed Landers When
Maidens Yes Not known Early ?
Rockabill Yes Local paddler Sean Pierce, but probably many times previously. 1990 onwards
Tuskar Rock Yes Dave Elwood, Ger Lally, Jim Fox 1995
Coningmore Rock Yes, solo Conor Murray 2011
Fastnet Yes Simon Brewitt, Ann Bogan, Joanna McInerney 1988
Dursey Calf Yes  2 Kerry paddlers  2011
Dursey Cow Yes  3 Kerry paddlers  2011
Dursey Bull Yes
David Walsh
Gavin Sheridan
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
Skerdbeg Yes Dave Kavanagh 1997
Illaunamid Yes Aengus Parsons 1983
Carrickgaddy Yes Harry Whelan 1988
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 Yes Fred Cooney (didn’t summit) 1996
Teach Dónal Ó’Cléirigh Sean Pierce (summitted) 2003
An Teach Mór Yes David Walsh, Fred Cooney, Josie Gibbons (summitted) 2003
An Teach Beag Yes Colm Pierce, David Walsh (summitted) 2003
Carraig na Faola Yes Ewan LeNoach, Sue Honan, Marion Ryan 2013
An t-Oighean Yes Leon Conway, Sue Honan, Marion Ryan, Rob Scanlon, Frank MacLochlainn 2013
Stags of Owey Yes, solo Petr Sedlar 2011
Garvan Isles Yes David Walsh, Dave Carraher, Dave Kavanagh 2003
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
America to Ireland, St. Johns Newfoundland to Belderg Co. Mayo, 4,800km Yes Peter Bray 23.06.2001 – 05.09.2001
Ireland to England – Portavogie to Whitehaven (Cumbria) 127km Yes  Conor Murray 2012
Tor Beg (most north), North Rocks (most east), Fastnet (most south) and Great Foze Rock (most west), combination achievement. Yes Conor Murray 2011
Stags of Broadhaven, all five one daycombination achievement. Yes Marion Ryan and Sue Honan 2013