At Lovin.ie, we love to share some of Ireland’s hidden gems and help you to make the most of your staycations.
And this week, we’ve got something particularly special for you.
West Cork is one of Ireland’s most stunning areas and while there are many ways to explore the region and enjoy the wildlife and natural scenery, we’re confident that this is one of the best.
Atlantic Sea Kayaking is based at Reen Pier and is run by Jim Kennedy, with his wife Maria, daughter Jessie, sons Naoise and Adam and their granddaughter Lauren.
The company, which is involved in projects all over the world, aims to help people to enjoy the sea through kayaking but also uses its knowledge of the local environment to help fellow kayakers appreciate the fragility of their surroundings.
Jim is an absolute mine of information when it comes to all things marine and his passion really showed through when the team brought us on a twilight kayaking trip recently.
So, what does that involve?
Well, it began like any normal kayaking trip – getting decked out in the appropriate gear and receiving a quick crash course on correct technique.
Once we hit the water and found our stride, the team kept us entertained and they regaled us with stories of the area around us – including a haunted house!
However, the real magic kicked in once night started to fall.
As conditions grew darker, the sea seemed to get even more peaceful and all we could hear was the twittering of the birds in the trees and the occasional swish of the water from an overenthusiastic stroke.
By the time we had started to work our way back to the shore, it had become almost completely dark – with nothing but the light of the stars and a bonfire on the shore illuminating our path.
While this might sound a bit scary, I’m a non-swimmer and felt completely comfortable throughout the whole experience as we had all the necessary safety gear on and the team were there at all times to make sure we stayed together as a group.
This is Ireland so realistically, we were completely frozen by the time we arrived back to shore and were greeted with the amazing surprise of hot chocolate and absolutely delicious banana bread to warm our bodies.
The experience was like nothing else I’d ever done before and would be ideal for a hen or stag party, or just a trip to remember with a gang of mates.
The warm welcome of Jim and his family, as well as their clear love of the sea, really made the whole trip special and it’s something I’d jump at the chance to do again.
If you fancy giving it a go for yourself, you’ll find more information on Atlantic Seakayaking here.