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Tuesday, 11 December 2018
Home arrow Trips arrow Road trips arrow Easter Ireland Surf Trip
Easter Ireland Surf Trip

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SURF SURFARI ROUND THE COAST OF WEST AND NORTH IRELAND
7-14TH APRIL 2009

This wasn't to be my ordinary sort of road trip -wait for huge forecast, jump in the van with the lads and head to a spot 'going off'. Instead my girlfriend Trudie and I were heading off to visit friends for Easter.
I figured Ireland in April was a pretty safe bet for wind and waves so I didn't take much persuading. On the run-up to setting off the forecast was giving me a proper twisting of the nipples -huge storms on one forecast, nothing on the next..

Here's how it went..


DAY ONE

Off the Holyhead-Dublin ferry and the forecast was pretty limp. So figured best bet for some action was Mayo and the Belmullet peninsula, we arrived to this view..

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Looked pretty small, so grabbed the Mc~Tavish Biscuit and headed out..

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Only to find it quickly became double overhead! sweeeet. But not ideal for my 1ft slop basher! coped pretty well though..

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Some nice barreling rights on the other side of the bay.. (if they'd hadn't been missed by the tog..)

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Another quality break near the grave yard and further South is the main windsurf beach which had some lovely peaks.

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We didn't hang around for long and went to check out the other well known spots and scenery heading North..

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DAY TWO

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The Peak at Bundoran, a truely world class wave on it's day with spitting barrell's at both ends! Not this day though.. but what a quality set-up.

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This looked tasty too! can't believe I didn't go in looking back..

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Just West of Bundoran. Endless reefs (Some nice looking windsurfable spots round here too)

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We finished up at Strandhill, another great spot for surfing/windsurfing with a great pub too.

DAY THREE

We'd scooted up to Bunbeg to catch up with the friends who were staying there and to catch some possible wind!
No wind in the morning, but had a great surf. Then fianlly in the afternoon there was enough wind to get out. Unfortunately no-one thought to pic a camera up, but luckily Oisin Van Gelderen and his friend Tom were there and captured some of the action..

OISIN'S BLOG

(check out Friday April 10th entry and the 'Emerald green waves')

DAY FOUR

The weekend. Had another surf, then headed round to the West coast to score some more.

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Here's the sunset over Bunbeg..

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DAY FIVE

Pretty much flat and windless everywhere so went for a good look round..

Dunfanaghy beach..

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Gweebarra Bay and Dooey point.. (check the far end)

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No pics but we also scoped Portnoo and saw someone out blasting near the island. Lovely big sweeping bays and flat water.

Mount Errigal..

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Izzy in Bunbeg harbour

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The wreck on Bunbeg beach

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Sheepage..

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DAY SIX

More sight seeing for the morning. This time 'Inishfree' near Donegal airport.

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Surely another good beach for windsurfing, but not enough wind this day.

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Another beautiful spot!

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Yes it's upside down..

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Izzies new friend Sammy. Followed us on a walk for a couple of hours. We were worried as to who he belonged to, but apparently he takes himself for walks with anyone who turns up..

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Dunes..

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We then headed back up to the North coast and I managed to score some very offshore 'wobble out and ride' windsurfing (sorry no pics again), wasn't really happening though. So I took a hike up to the sheltered end and scored some amazing little barrells all to myself while the sun turns the sky, sea and sand bright orange. Sweeeeeet!

And on the way home..

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DAY SEVEN

Big Tuesday!

A new swell had arrived, 10ft at 13seconds. Not normally much to get excited about, but check this out!..

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I had the place to myself for a couple of hours. It was high tide and the sets were all over the place and the clean up sets were triple overhead easy (don't pay too much notice of Trudies 10 seconds with the camera, it was big!). It's a pretty scary place to surf alone -a very abrasive boulder reef in the middle of no where.

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I eventually came back in with a comedy egg bruise on my forehead and blood dripping from my hand and foot. Trudie was not amused at the mess I made of yet another towel. All good fun except my leg getting trapped in the boulders whilst getting out -I thought it was gonna snap when a wave washed over me!

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A few vans had turned up and been watching. Apparently someone had been carted off to hospital first thing, hence their absence. And things were due to shape up and become more predictable as the tide dropped..

I headed back out for another two hours of amazing waves with just a handful of us out. Eventually another 3 surfers turned up to make a crowd of 7!! 7!! haha, too many, so I paddled in and took these pics..

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Styling!

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Yeehoo, tuck in!

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Check the colour of that wave!!

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Perfect racetrack..

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Sweeet..

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A biggie..   (it had dropped off loads!)

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The 'crowd'..  yeah baby. What a day!

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What a day! and it wasn't over yet..

I guess I'd had my share of 'days' on the water. Trudie had done a lot of sitting around and not much surfing, so I made a deal that we'd head of to Northern Ireland and check out the Giants Causeway and local spots..

We arrived at Portballentrae with an hour of daylight left. Didn't expect much surf this far round and didn't look like much on the beach from the carpark, but thought I'd take the McT for another spin. And guess what? it was overhead and barrelling! I'm such a jammy fecker! This really was a crowd though, within ten minutes it went from 3 to probably 30! A real photo opportunity missed here to -not only was it going off, but it seems one of the Pro's was in town and ripping it to bits (very impressive to say the least, both the surfing and the ability to snag every set wave despite the crowd) I stayed out 'til dark. again..

DAY EIGHT

More sightseeing for our final day as the swell really had disappeared for good.

Still a couple of foot at Ballentrae in the morning though..

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Prettier than it looks in the pics. Northern Irelands 'Praa' only twice the potential!!

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Dunluce castle.

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White rocks.

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White Rocks beach in the distance, sweet windsurf spot I'd imagine.

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The Giants Causeway..

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Pretty impressive! You know you're back in 'Britain' though with the £6 flat rate for parking! feckers..
Not that we payed, you could park 20ft away on the road for nothing, not that the 200 odd other visitors had noticed.

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Pretty cool!

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Last picture is of Izzy as ever..

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All in all, a really fun trip. So much potential for surfing and windsurfing and we only scratched the surface. You could spend years getting to know this coastline (we completely skipped a lot of places including Malin head). We had the minumum swell (generally under 10ft), so many of the secret spots weren't showing, but even so you could still score world class waves to yourself, at Easter!. Amazing..

I only had one day out of 8 when I didn't get in the water. 7 good surfs and a couple of windsurfs, not bad going!




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