Welcome to See The Light! It’s a grand name for a rather long solo sea kayaking adventure, paddling all the way around the island of Ireland, both for enjoyment and also to raise some money for a few charities. It’s been done before, but not by me and actually not by many, fewer solo. Starting in Dublin, I’m going to load up with everything I need to live out of my kayak for most of a couple of months and paddle all the way around the Irish coastline, stopping and camping mostly at beaches and small harbours. There’s plenty to see, wild places, open sea, dramatic cliffs, birds, whales, dolphins, basking sharks if I’m lucky, and lighthouses!
Sea kayakers frequently pass close to lighthouses, whether on major headlands, offshore islands or isolated rocks. Big boats mostly avoid them, but we’re usually able to get really quite close, unless the weather is poor. They’re typically a hundred or more years old, having been put up at great expense and often in challenging conditions to save the lives of many in a bygone era. Some are much older, like the one at Hook Head (pictured above) established around 1172 and one of the oldest in Europe. It’s good old-fashioned, solid, tangible engineering. So, I like lighthouses and Ireland has plenty.