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Kayaking around Cape Clear Island

Cape Clear Ferry Blog

Kayaking around Cape Clear Island

South Harbour
South Harbour Cape Clear

Kayaking around Cape Clear Island

Ag Caigheoireacht mórthimpeall Cléire

Cape Clear Island is particularly kayak friendly with a local Kayak Club for 35 years. Sit on kayaks and SUP’s are available for hire ( Cléire Lasmuigh) and our ferries accmodate kayaks. Chleirehaven  Yurt Village directly overlooks South Harbour. You will find other camping spots used by visiting sea-kayakers . Most Islanders under 50 years of age have experienced the sport so  there is a general appreciation of kayaking amongst the locals.

Kayaks in South Harbor
Kayaks South Harbor, Cape Clear

Sheltered Adventures in South Harbor

Eachtraí i bhfothain  Inbhir

Our  local sit on (family friendly)  Kayaks are mostly  found in South Harbour and for good reason. Because of the sheltered nature of the bay there is seldom a day in the summer when it is not suitable and safe for beginner kayaking. And you will find  many hidden surprises amongst its rocks and coves. Best of all are some magnificent accessible sea- caves  on the way to a spectacular sea arch. But there are also lots of other small caves, coves and other features.

Circumnavigating Cape Clear by kayak

Ag céaslaíocht timpeall an Oileán

Dún an Óir Castle
Dún an Óir Castle,Cape Clear

Circumnavigating the Island is also accessible to more experienced but by no means veteran canoeists. With 3 main embarkation points  Cape Clear can be circumnavigated in 3 easy trips while sheltered from the prevailing wind and weather.  These are North and South Harbours and the Easter Slip, Cuas a’Dubhglais.  For the more adventurous  Sherkin Island is accessible across the Gascannane Sound. And there are  other smaller islands in the vicinity.  All these trips offer opportunities to explore many small coves, normally inaccessible beaches and caves large and small. Also popular too is a  visit the famous Dún an Óir Castle which is only 10 mins by kayak from North Harbor.

Dolphin Cape Clear Ferries

While sightings of seals are almost guaranteed sighting of minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks are also frequent.

Bucket list trip of a life-time  around Fastnet Lighthouse

Turas Saoil go dtí an Charraig Aonair

Cape Clear Island is also the best location from which to kayak to the Fastnet Lighthouse. The normal

Fastnet Lighthouse

‘sling shot’ trip, under the best tidal conditions will see this bucket list item achieved in a 3-4 hour trip. Its also a good point from which to explore the wider bay with all the neighboring islands accessible to experienced sea kayakers.

Maximizing Kayaking opportunities for all levels

Deiseanna do dhaoine ag gach leibhéal

Sea Arch Cape
Sea Arch Cape by kayak

Many kayaking groups and families use our ferry service to maximise their kayaking opportunities. Experienced kayakers, coming from the mainland will be accompanied by less experienced friends and family who will bring their kayaks on the ferry and join them for shorter trips. Other canoeists will use the ferry for the return trip if weather conditions deteriorate.

Safety while sea kayaking around Cape Clear

Coiméad tú féin agus do dhaoine slán

Normal safety procedures apply with the wearing of long john wetsuits recommended for more exposed trips,

Entering Cave, Cape Clear
Cave South Harbor,Cape Clear

even in summer. Flares should also be carried on trips and personal locator beacons are especially recommended and should ideally be carried by one or persons in a kayaking group. Special waterproof bags can be obtained for mobile phones, great for taking photos of memorable trips. The minimum requirements are properly fitted buoyancy aids, light clothing, light shoes, windcheater. Helmets should be worn when required and are recommended for children at all times. First Aid kits should be carried. Weather, tide and wind conditions should be checked. Try to find out what the local padders are up to, chances are you may be even be invited to join up with them !.

Kayaking Courses and other opportunities as Gaeilge

Cúrsaí céaslaíochta agus deiseanna eile

There are various language courses available which offer kayaking opportunities. Included are the Cursaí Samhraidh ( Irish Summer Courses) from Coláiste Phobal Cléire . Cléire Lasmuigh also operate various courses for young people and others.