March 13th 2017

When I established the forums in 2005 it was to offer a more richer web experience and greater functionality than the platform where we started this social adventure in 2003, Yahoo Groups. The forums were once a busy hive of activity and provided locals and visitors with a wealth of information just like the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook today.

It was a time where we didn't have the many social media platforms we have today, and it was a different time in terms of mobility and technology. There was no instant access to information, no Google Maps and a very limited base map on your GPSr. Mobile connectivity for me was a 9600bps Infrared connection from a Nokia to a laptop and in later times to a PDA using WAP.

As we moved into the social media era so did our forums users. Geocaching Ireland moved there too, and we have a thriving community on the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook. As a result, forum activity isn't what it used to be and I have taken the decision to disable new registrations to the forums and to make the forums read only so any information there can still be accessed.

The discussion hasn't ended, it has just moved. Join us on the Facebook Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group .

Donnacha

I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

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Eclectic Penguin

I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Eclectic Penguin » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:55 am

I posted this on the Geocaching Ireland Facebook page a few days ago and there's been some interest - and also a suggestion that I post it here (slightly modified as, in the original post I was just considering going - I've now booked my accomodation and a place on a sailing for the morning of June 2nd).

In early summer of 2009 I organised a visit to Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, South Wales for a group of South Wales Geocachers to meet up, have fun and also to go to see the wildlife, and especially to go to see the puffins who nest there at that time of year. I even created a Puffin Geocoin to mark the occasion and we had an event cache in a nearby inn afterwords which was open to anyone. It was a spectacularly memorable day all round.

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I've now decided to go to Skellig Island on the south west coast of Co. Kerry early this summer, a location that for years has interested me not just because of the wildlife but also its history.

Timing is crucial to catch the puffins at their best – after some research, I found that the last weekend in May or first in June is ideal to see the birds bringing in beak loads of krill for the newly hatched young. These are really fearless little birds who will scarsely move out of your way as you approach them. You won't need a zoom lens to get some spectacular close-up photos of these unusual looking birds.

Cost is definitely a factor for Skellig – a number of companies operate small boats to the island. Late may is out of tourist season so slightly cheaper, but the round trip costs about €40 per person and of course these sailings are weather dependant too and most, like me will probably be spending a similar amount in fuel just to get there and back home. I have booked a crossing with http://www.skelligstrips.com/

Fauna is very similar to what I saw on Skomer – Manx Sheerwaters and Puffins abound at that time of year and there's a strong possibility of seeing seals or possibly even dolphins.

Flora – I'm not sure what you can expect on Skellig, to be honest. On Skomer it was coming to the end of the bluebell season and large stretches of the island was covered in a carpet of purple, but Skellig's geography is quite different to Skomer.

History – you'll see one of the earliest Christian sites in Ireland and there's still a lot to see of the ruins of the monastary today including the beehive huts in which the monks lived.

There are no caches on Skellig and I strongly suspect there will not be any in the future for the same reason as was on Skomer due to the delicate balance of nature. For this reason, if this trip goes ahead and there are a number interested in joining me I shall set up an event cache in a nearby mainland pub the afternoon/evening after the island visit (there are a number of contenders that look good for a drink/meal) which would be open to all and I shall attempt to place an Earthcache on the island (by no means guaranteed of course). Plus, there are a number of existing caches in the surrounding area too.

The big difference with Skellig is that you can pre-book a crossing and I suggest doing so sooner rahter than later if you intend coming. For Skomer it was first come first served and with the strict limit of only 250 people allowed on the island a day, the crossings would long have sold out before the first crossing at 10am. I slept in a tent the night before in a camping site right next to where the boat sailed from and arrived at 7am at the boat and there were already over 50 people ahead of me in the queue – by coincidence most of the Geocaching crew arrived about the same time so we were all on the first crossing and spent the day together on the island..

Again, if we go ahead with this it may be worth considering car-shares if a number of people are travelling to and from roughly the same areas of the country (though as I've stated previously I'm driving from Cork the night before and driving back the day after).

So, is anyone interested, or does the cost / logistics of getting there form a stumbling block to getting something like this organised?

THE_Chris
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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by THE_Chris » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:58 pm

Hows about an event cache for the trip over, and not just a pub afterwards. Would certainly be an interesting one.

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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by mr.-oda » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:33 pm

I will definitely be there if I can get a lift from there if I can get a lift from Waterford or Cork
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Fjon
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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Fjon » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:36 pm

Sounds like a lovely idea. Wish I could make it!

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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Spark_ie » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:11 pm

Would definitely be interested in this, and it's very coincidental, as I've booked flights for that weekend the other day with the intention of going to the Skelligs and spending some time around South Kerry (My girlfriend is from Waterville).

In fact my plan is to spend time in Kerry and then make my way to Dublin as I'm going to fly to Italy on either tues/wed 5/6th of june (this part of trip not booked yet). I had been talking to BlueJay about hosting a Coffee event, but we can see how things pan out.

I won't need accomodation as I'll stay in gf's place, but will look into booking the boat crossing anyway.
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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by MunsterFan » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:47 pm

Would be very interested in a trip to the Skelligs only that on the dates in question I will be running around the Auvergne region of France on holidays (hope to include some caching too)
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Eclectic Penguin

Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Eclectic Penguin » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:19 am

I would love to make the trip over an event; the reason I suggest a pub event after is because I asked for the Skomer trip to be an event and the reviewers rejected it on the grounds that it was an event to go Geocaching (something I struggled with at the time because there were NO GEOCACHES on the island!) and that there was no way out of having to pay for going to the event .

That said, I've seen events since then (Steep Holm in the Bristol Channel comes to mind) where the event was on the island itself - and there were caches on the island and you had to pay...

If the event is in a local pub then its opento any cacher, even if they don't come out to the island.... But my preference would be to make the island trip the event.

Let me mull this over to see what comes out of it. Maybe some advice from a couple of reviewers will help - I know a couple personally and also some email correspondance with an Irish reviewer.

Eclectic Penguin

Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Eclectic Penguin » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:05 pm

Well, I listened to what people suggested, did what was needed and...

http://coord.info/GC3G5T0

We have an event on Skellig Michael island for the day! :D

All we need now is the weather to be grand on the day too! :|

Exact details will be sorted out in the next couple of months.

It's a risk, to be sure - the advice I was given when arranging an event for Skomer Island in Wales a couple of years ago was that if the sailings were canceled, the event would fail and to have an evening event nearby. At the time I didn't like that idea but I have one failed event under my belt now (cancelled due to railway engineering on the trip it was supposed to use) so...

Who's coming? ;)

I'm staying in Portmagee Hostel which is costing me less than some camping sites I've used, in Britain!

I'm also trying my best to see if we can set up a live video link at some point in the day using Skype with the Annual South Wales Geocaching Event that is taking place on the same day (I'd not twigged that, at the time I was making my bookings).

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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by THE_Chris » Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:34 pm

I'd love to be able to make this... hopefully the family trip to Donegal wont happen as this would be a once in a lifetime chance for me to go to the Skelligs.

pookeen

Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by pookeen » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:48 pm

Hi. I was there last August and spent a couple of days in the area getting as many caches as I could, it’s a brilliant idea for an event but I don’t think I’ll be going as its about a 5 hour drive for me.
I’ll just throw this into the mix, I stayed at the hostel in Ballinskelligs and used this bunch http://www.skelligboats.com/daytrips to get to the island. He has a couple of boats, one at 40 euros and the other was 50 I believe because its is faster allowing a wee bit more time on the island , about 2 and a half hours is all thats allowed.
We spotted some dolphins on the way back so they stopped so we could take pictures, no puffins though they were all away doing what ever they do that late in the season.
It’s pricey but well worth it.

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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Team Vorst » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:21 pm

I stumbled across the event today. We are planning an Ireland trip end of May/beginning of June and this event would fit more or less in our "not yet perfectly planned route". So I talked to my girlfriend and I think we will join you. On the way to Skellig I have to do an intermediate stop south of Cork :-)

Have to see the Puffins in real :-)

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Re: I'm off to Skellig. Anyone care to join me?

Post by Spark_ie » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:46 pm

Team Vorst wrote:I stumbled across the event today. We are planning an Ireland trip end of May/beginning of June and this event would fit more or less in our "not yet perfectly planned route". So I talked to my girlfriend and I think we will join you. On the way to Skellig I have to do an intermediate stop south of Cork :-)

Have to see the Puffins in real :-)

I would really recommend including this place in your 'Ireland trip'.. Not a lot of people get around to getting out there, and I really do think it would complete a real Irish trip..

Hope to see you on the boat! 8)
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