5.15 to 16.05 h
N 51.56330 W 09.01430
This was the day of the caves! Right after launching, at Hake Head I explored five caves in a row like the one yesterday – deep, long caves, really great and inviting, not too scary, mostly with beaches at their ends. The sea was a tad bit higher than yesterday, but those caves were easy to go in.
Old Head was supposed to have a long cave where I could paddle through? Already before, at Black Head, I found a large cave with two exits – one of them blocked, the other narrow, with some swell and unknown exit situation. I didn’t dare to go through, but paddled to the exit, dared to enter the relatively calm exit pool over some swell and now paddled through this maybe 100 m long cave the other way round – quite a ride! Those caves must be all different at different tide and swell situations. But was this already the one Mick had told me about? I kept my eyes open for more caves, and was happy I did not cut across straight over the bay the Old Head yesterday. Would I have found those caves then?
Another huge opening caught very soon my curiosity – I saw some tiny light shimmering at the end, paddled carefully into the entrance, and saw the exit, very narrow, the right wall a bit tilted to the side, with some extra window in the rock. Would I fit through with my long kayak? The swell was going a rough criss cross towards the end, but the roof was high enough, and I felt slim enough to fit.
I gave it a bold “go” in a good swell timing and really exited luckily without touching nowhere on the rough side of Old Head! That was quite scary! The swell on the other side was caught in the exposed corner of Holeopen Bay West, reflecting waves made it bumpy and rough. I assume on full high tide at 8 am, this exit hole would be too tight. It was maybe 6.15 am, and I think this was marginal! Looking behind me and seeing this tiny exit hole, different to the other through passing cave with the halfway calm exit pool, today I would not enter from this side!
I did not explore the missing part of the peninsula with the light house of the Old Head, I had enough cave feeling – for now! As once more thick fog was sinking down over the bay across to Seven Heads, I rather opted to paddle more or less inside the bay. Fog lifted again just reaching the Seven Heads Bay, to be able to keep on cave exploring! But no great ones like this morning. I cut across Clonakilty Bay and only behind Galley Head, more caves kept on lining up like pearls l on a necklace. Unfortunately, here was the swell side, no chance to go I safely.
A lucky dolphin and a few seal heads popping out the water rounded the day which ended quite sunny and much warmer than yesterday, with barely lifting wind. But I had enough after my regular 50 km, though today I did not need to warm my hands in my freshly filled pee bag…
I opted to land on the river mouth of Rosscarbery, though lower tide still made me dragging my kayak quite some way high up the dunes to find a halfway people-free campsite. Not my favorite landing spot, but I liked to call it a day. As soon as the sun was out a bit, surely the beach was populated. And yes, today must have been an Irish summer day! Still cold feet all day though…