So a short while back I was at the clean coasts gig supported by some great local people and local businesses. There were various talks on where the groups had collected tonnes of rubbish. Hopefully we will start to providing an underwater part of this in the future. There were also some talks on the archeology in the area. Now I had heard about this fulacht fiadh back in September but I have to admit its significance at the time was lost on me. I am not aware if the exact date has been calculated yet but 3-4000 years seems to be agreed upon. The fulacht fiadh was used for cooking or bathing by putting hot stones into it, but it’s really unusual to have one on a beach.
Now I like tripping in me van. So do some friends of mine and without doubt some of the best experiences we have had as a group have been to rock up and circle the wagons at a beach spot, Post surf, dive or swim the bbq gets fired up, we eat and imbibe a few drinks. Good friends, good food and maybe a spectacular sunset over the Great Atlantic. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat. You retire to bed tired from the Ocean but stoked to be alive and to be so blessed. Given the recent good spell of weather, history is just repeating itself.
It’s a real mind bender to think our ancestors were doing much the same gig 4000 years ago. Won’t be long before they unearth a bronze age surfboard or speargun. No doubt a lot has changed in 4000 years but some things stay the same.
One thing that has changed is the debris some of us leave behind. I do think we need a cultural shift on this. The take three initiative, where anytime you are walking on the beach you pick up three pieces of litter is a great idea. On the walk on the beach yesterday evening as the sun was nearly setting I was mentally recording what bits I would pick up on the return leg. There were empty bins in the car park so I didn’t even have to put them in the van and bring home. No the beach wasn’t spotless when I was finished but some people noticed it. Hopefully the more of us do it, the more people will be inclined to do it until we reach a tipping point and it becomes the norm,
It starts with you and me.
Janey, I haven’t posted anything here in awhile.
So the Christmas is over and the new year is here. Last Saturday saw me with a big silly grin on my face as I drove away from the Ocean. It wasn’t that I had just spent the last few hours in it. It wasn’t that I was still toasty warm as I had a new suit and the heating left on in the van for changing. Nor was it that I had my super Stanley ultra flask with a piping hot brew ready for drinking.
The item that really brought a smile to my face was the crowd. This in itself is unusual in the surfing fraternity. I was finished though remember. I was really just astounded by the sheer volume of people making use of the playground that is our Ocean. Some were on boards others were heading out on kayaks, some were walking. Yes the sun was shining, yes the place was probably the only spot with half decent surf for a long while but still to see a busy car park in early January is a great thing to my mind.
For those of us who dislike crowds it just means we have to get off our asses and explore a bit more, it’s not like there is a shortage of coastline, dive spots, surf spots or swim spots.
Hopefully this will continue. People protect what they value and use in their lives. The more people that believe in the beauty of our Oceans and seas the better.
Hoping you all have a great 2015.
Feeling blessed to be able to call this place home.
What a diverse bunch of heads we have in Sligo. OK while I appreciate I am going to be biased as I was born and reared here the facts speak for themselves.
Last night the newly organised and re-energised Sligo Adventure Hub kicked off with a social to lay out their plans. The committee deserves great praise and a great crowd landed in to Fureys pub. But my oh my what a diverse bunch of people.
Barry Mottershead shared his story of how born in South Africa and though he travelled the world he came back to Sligo. He has done countless interviews on charging the monster that is Mullaghmores big wave but he hasn’t just stayed here for that. It’s the combination. Barry will be launching his new Kayak tour business shortly.
Our next speaker was Blaihthin Sweeney from the Rennafix group. In essence the group helps people out that are dealing with mental health issues by helping them enroll on different outdoor/adventurous pursuits. Trying to get a little natural endorphins going to help with mental health.
So between the epic mountains we have here and the mighty Atlantic Ocean it’s difficult to see yourself anywhere else. The range of activities is growing, we have had surfing for I don’t know how long but long anyway and now Stand up paddleboarding and kayaking are coming in to their own. Was also very excited to hear we should have some coastering starting in Sligo this summer to.
The big, big news is we also have our own home grown Aida instructor for freediving. Yes he is in Sligo too. So probably the ultimate underwater adventure sport now has two instructors in Sligo. This is a great thing and badly needed to grow the sport. I studied Aida up to a three star before moving to AA but like anything the agency itself is less important than the instructor . Our Aida instructor is none other than legendary waterman and all round good guy William Britton. William along with Warner run N.W adventure tours who do hiking and moutain-biking etc all along our spectacular hills and mountain tops. He surfs like a pro as well. Will keep everyone posted on his plans, yes this is competition for me I suppose but this is great for freediving in Ireland which is what it’s all about.
I could wax lyrical about the beauty we are lucky enough to share here but really the best way to see it is see with your own eyes. Yeats did his best to describe it but living it is different. Being in the scenery rather than just looking at it. Even better if you experience it while taking part in an activity. One of the things I dearly love about my beloved home county is this. As I sit typing this drivel I am just outside Sligo town. 10 minutes takes me to Strandhill for a surf. 10 minutes takes me to the foot of Cnoc na Rea mountain and a short while later I can be taking in majestic views of my Atlantic. 20 minutes brings me to Mullaghmore where some of the best diving is via the shore so no need to launch a boat. Along the way you will pass some of the oldest meagalthic structures in Europe and jaw dropping scenery. That’s before you start whatever you are about to start.
Make adventurous plans for Sligo this summer. You won’t be disappointed.