Nov 082014
 
Star of Kenmare

Photo courtesy of the hen planner.

My friend Catherine from Ever Changing Scenery recently went on a boat tour off the coast of Ireland, and offered to write a guest post about her experience. Enjoy!

Working in the travel industry comes with many perks, the best of which is having the opportunity to go on the ‘familiarisation trips’ that my company is frequently invited to attend. The tourism boards pull out all the stops, with unimaginable amounts of free food and drink, alongside visits to the area’s best attractions.

Failte Ireland & Discover Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way trip was no exception, and this is what led to me being in County Cork a month or so ago, discovering all that the south-west coast of Ireland has to offer. One of the many activities that we had crammed into our three days in the country was a boat trip on the Star of Kenmare.

The friendly guide welcomed us onboard, with the same character and charisma that we’d come to expect from the Irish folks. Unfortunately the skies were rather grey and misty on this particular morning, but again that’s something we’d quickly come to expect.

Mist2

Mist1

The boat swayed from side to side as we all settled down, and then we were off! The boat chugged along and the guide told us the history of the local area and tales of the people who had passed though.

You might think you haven’t heard of Kenmare before, but if you’ve ever read the Harry Potter books you’d be mistaken. The town is mentioned in the stories as the home of the Kenmare Kestrels, one of only thirteen quidditch teams in the UK & Ireland.

The area’s association with the famous wizard was rather fitting, as one of the first sights we spotted on our journey was this beautiful castle that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Harry Potter movies.

Castle

If you’ve ever dreamt of living like a king, you might be interested to know that this castle is currently on the market. With views out on to the ocean, your own moat and draw bridge and plenty of turrets to explore, it sounds rather tempting. The bad news is that unless you’re a millionaire it will be out of the question, with bidding starting at ten million euros.

We’d been told before the boat trip that alongside the castles we might get to see some seals, but I must admit I was sceptical. I’d been promised the same thing on many a boat ride before, and only ever caught a tiny glimpse of a seal’s nose bobbing in the water. I did not expect this time to be any different, but when the guide gestured towards one side of the boat and mentioned that we could see the seals I joined the crowds rushing over nonetheless.

Seal1

Can anyone spot the seals in the photo above? No? I was pretty clueless too. As we got a little closer, it became a lot more obvious though.

Seal2Seal3

This was certainly not what I had anticipated, but there they were, hundreds of seals laying out on the rocks! After years of disappointing ‘seal spotting’ experiences, I felt like I’d finally hit the jackpot! We watched on as the strange creatures flapped their flippers, before the boat moved on.

The trip was nearly coming to an end, but there was still one more great photo opportunity to be had. We headed up to the top deck and ‘Captain Patsy’ let us have a go at steering the boat!

Captain

The friend who took this photo seemed to miss the point though; you’ll just have to use your imagination to picture the steering wheel I was clutching. After a few twists and turns, we handed it back over to the captain to take us safely back to shore.

It was an excellent way to pass an hour or so and I would definitely recommend a boat trip on Kenmare Bay. It’s a shame the weather was not the best, but by the time we’d all piled back off the boat the clouds had broken, with the sun shining high in the sky ready for the rest of the day’s activities!

Catherine1Catherine loves to make every day an adventure. At Ever Changing Scenery, you can follow her story and learn how to make your own life a little more adventurous! You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 40+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories, commentary, and (of course) my greatest love... my Golden Retriever, Phoenix.

  76 Responses to “On Board The ‘Star of Kenmare’”

  1. I only visited Dublin a few times so far but would love to discover the rest of Ireland one day, a boat tour seems a good way to start.

  2. I’ve never been to the south west coast of Ireland, but boat trips and seal sightings sound enticing.

  3. Hehe, had a little chuckle about the friend taking the photo. It’s frustrating but always best to laugh I think! Actually kind of looks like you are cozying up to the captain!
    Love the connection to Harry Potter too, how fun.
    They should think of turning this place into a hotel. What a dream.

    • What a great idea – you could make a killing having a castle hotel! I know I would definitely want to stay there!

  4. Wonderful.
    S T U N N I N G.
    Gorgeous.
    thank you for these photos! x

  5. I’ve never been but I’d love to go to Dublin. And I’ve been on a few boat tours in new cities and I always enjoy them.

    • I’ve been to dozens of places in Ireland but still never made it to Dublin, so definitely somewhere I’d love to go to as well!

  6. Travel has always excited me but I have never recorded my trips so well. Now I feel that there is a great potential in writing about such adventures, with lovely pictures, which speak volumes!

    Thanks Catherine, I liked your description, it reminded me of various cruises, I didn’t record…the little details makes it so appealing and the last picture…Lol!! I could imagine the steering wheel!!

    • Ah, you should definitely find a way to record your trips; whether it’s through pictures, writing or something else, once you find a way to make it work for you it really won’t feel like much effort, but will have so many rewards when you look back on it in years to come!

  7. I’m definitely interested in that castle! Too bad I’m not a millionaire 🙁 I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland so I just loved this guest post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh – that castle….do you think we could swap it for our Motorhome? Really, please cause I have always wanted to live in a Castle!!!
    The owners wouldn’t be out of pocket by too much 🙂
    All jokes aside, what a fantastic Job Catherine has, travelling because of Work. Be great to explore and see more of Australia, as part of a travel agency!
    The Boat ride looked incredible, glad you all made it back safely and had fun having a go at steering.

  9. Oh, i would love to visit Ireland! That looks like you had a lovely boat ride, the seals are so cute!

  10. I have never been here!! This place is gorgeous!! Great that you work in the travel industry!! Work and vacation go hand in hand!!

  11. Sounds like a great little trip. LOVE the seals. I’ve only seen them in Sea World lol.

    • I’d seen them a couple of times in the wild before, but only a flash of their tail or nose before they disappeared under water. Great to finally get to see the full thing, and so many of them at once!

  12. I’m looking forward to visiting Ireland one of these days. Glad you were able to spot some seals this time around!

    • I would definitely recommend Ireland as a place to visit! I’ve been to quite a few different places within the country so let me know if you want any additional info or tips 🙂

  13. Boat cruises are always fun to do on a trip, and I’ll try to fit in at least one depending on the trip. I’ve not been to Ireland, but I recently was in Germany and surrounding countries for Oktoberfest. One of my favorite things was the cruise I took on the Rhine. Oh wait… everything about the trip was my favorite thing!

  14. What a lovely trip! So green and lush looking! Thank you for sharing it with us. 🙂

  15. It’s been far too long since we visited Ireland and we’d love to return. What a great cruise and to see a castle and all those seals too. That castle just looks amazing and it’s too bad I don’t have a few million euros around 🙂 Lucky you to be able to go on such fun trips.

  16. I hiked the Kerry Way and the Dingle Way a few years ago so I was in the area. Had a memorable night in Kenmare but no boat ride. Hope you also made it to the Skellig Islands – – one of the best one day trips I’ve ever done.

  17. I want to go to Dublin. My mom and her husband went to Ireland recently for their 10 year anniversary (he’s from there) but I think that they were more focused on visiting the mountains. Which actually as I type this I realize that I only assume mountains…Ok scrolled back to ensure I’m not being an idiot… and you know, the fact that you do such a great job of journaling your travels is something I’m pretty jealous of!! Love this!

  18. I love Ireland and it’s one place I look forward to return to. I went to Courty Cork but did not do any cruising. A boat ride seems a fun way to see a different perspective of the area. I would love to see that castle! I’ll certainly keep a cruise on Star of Kenmare next time.

  19. Absolutely beautiful. My grandpa was born there 😉 I’ve always, and hopefully will visit there one day. Shoot, I’ll have room and board. Watch them be crack dealers or something.
    Oh Harry Potter. Blame him for this comment.

  20. A beautiful boat tour, the scenery, the castle and hitting the jackpot with the seal spotting …

  21. Who wouldn’t want to live in a castle?! SOLD! 😉 Now let me just rob a few banks and then I’ll send over the payment <_<

    • How about we cut a deal – we rob the banks together and split the castle? Everyone needs a good accomplice! Haha.

  22. what a great trip.. but if I was her the best part for me would have been steering with Captain Patsy!

  23. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…you really do have the best job ever, Catherine!;-) And spotting all those seals must have been SUCH a treat, what cuties!!!

    Thanks for hosting her on the site, Mike!:-)

  24. OMG. I am going to Ireland in a few weeks. Sadly I woun’t be near here. I would have been fab to see that gorgeous scenery. Lucky you.

  25. That looks like a lot of fun! The greyness adds a nice mysterious atmosphere which is pretty cool. Especially with the castle. Interesting Harry Potter fact! 🙂

  26. Catherine, I love a good boat ride, and one with seals is just perfect! I haven’t seen that many seals since I lived in Alaska.

    Great guest post, Mike!

    Happy Weekend All!

  27. This place is absolutely unreal!

  28. What a super sounding trip. And, those seals – what a bonus. I always enjoy boat tours, and this one was no exception. Well done, and thanks for sharing.

  29. Sounds like a wonderful trip! I love the castle too, I wonder who’s the lucky person who’ll buy it. So cool seeing those seals too 🙂

    • Would be very interesting to find out who actually buys it and what they do with it – will have to keep an eye on it!

  30. I’m so very grateful for you sharing your wonderful adventure here, Catherine! I’ve been very blessed with whomI’ve met online and offline and continued those friendships even outside of direct blogging. Thank you so very much! 🙂

  31. Sure looks like a fun trip!

  32. This is one trip I would really love to take. I love Ireland <3

  33. The seals are soo cute! What a great place to visit 🙂

  34. This place is absolutely wonderful, especially for a weekend getaway! Although I’ve never been there, I’m adding it to my bucket list right now!! Lovely pictures! :*

  35. My husband wants us to go to Ireland one day. Why? Because he wants to see all of the lovely castles. Sounds like a gorgeous place!

  36. What a beautiful part of the world! This castle, amazing!

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