Everyone we had talked to along the way in Ireland had commented on how great Dingle is. So of course we had to go there, being fairly close by at this point. Dingle Sound is as far north as we traveled on the Western Irish coast. If we had time at hand, we would have gladly continued on to circumnavigate Ireland. We were very fortunate to have a glimpse of this amazing coast, constantly reminding you, “You are not in Kansas anymore”. Not that we ever lived in Kansas.

Impressive clouds as we crossed Dingle sound
The colorful town, where everyone seems to be eating ice cream.

We spent two days in Dingle, enjoying the local food, ice cream, and riding our little folding bicycles all over town. Diana had a sip of Dingle single malt whiskey and was instantly smitten, so we spent some time looking for a bottle. Perhaps related, she also dragged Randy onto some amusement park rides spotted on the waterfront. She also heavily considered buying a stuffed sheep. Randy was happy to leave Dingle, as Diana was having too much fun. 😉 (Not True!!!)

One of these very nearly became Randonnée’s mascot.

The Blasket Islands

A uniquely stellar anchorage on this trip was among these remote and uninhabited islands to the west of Dingle Sound. The weather was still and foggy as we quietly slipped past Great Blasket Island, appearing eerily out of the mist.

Great Blaskett Island shrouded in mist

We finally settled in at anchor in front of the unpronounceable island, Inishvickillane. The water gets deep fast (as evidenced by the cliffy shoreline), so we were within 50 meters of shore with hills towering steeply above us. It was truly a spectacular spot, and we were fortunate to be the only boat there. We only spent one evening in this magical place, going on an evening hike on Inishvickillane and the following morning taking the dingy through a cave to land at the neighboring Inishnabro for another amazing walk.

Inishvickillane is actually privately owned, with some old structures scattered about the island (including a fallen windmill and a huge cable thing we assume was used to hoist materials up to the top of the island). It seems a fairly scandalous politician by the name of Charles Haughey owned the island and we assume his heirs now manage it. They’re not doing a very good job – everything is in terrible disrepair except one decently-appointed cabin in the middle of it all, though no one was staying there. It was still a beautiful place, garbage aside, and we were surprised to see herds of red deer roaming the island (Rather, they were surprised to see us).

Randonnée at anchor in Inishvickillane
Randy, looking alarmingly like Brad Pitt, walking up from the “landing place” – a steep outcropping of stairs.
The “landing place” at Inishvickillane. Calm weather only.
The dinghy is just out of sight to the left

We had read about a way to go ashore at the neighboring island Inishnabro, also only in calm seas. We were to take the dinghy through a cave, which then opened up to a small cove where we could lift the dinghy ashore. From there, we had to scale a steep, cliffy hill, hanging on to tufts of grass for support as we kicked steps in to the soft ground, trying not to think of what might happen if we fell. It was reminiscent of climbing on very steep snow. Once we got above the cliff, it was a stunningly beautiful walk up toward the top of the northern peak of the island.