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Dunmore East

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I had a lovely Mother’s day today.

Originally I’d been roped into doing a bit of filming today for Bláthny and her friends.  Unfortunately one of her friends couldn’t make it for the shoot, and the ‘movie’ had to be postponed.

As we’d nothing else planned we decided we’d head to Dunmore East, which has recently become one of my favourite places to while away a few hours.

 

Dunmore East Lighthouse Waterford

 

The harbour is lovely, although it can be quite chilly, even on a warm day.  Today there was enough of a breeze to make me think twice about walking the high wall that runs the length of the pier.

The girls were about to attempt it but when I told them I wasn’t jumping in after them if they blew off, they thought better of it.  They posed for some photos instead.

 

Dunmore East Lifebuoy

 

Dunmore East Lifebuoy

 

I made my first attempt at using the bracketing on the Canon 7D to try out HDR…..without a tripod.

It’s a bit blurry and it doesn’t really look HDRish.  But at least I know how to do it now so I’ll practice a bit more with it and bring my tripod with me in future.

Dunmore East HDR

 

It wasn’t long before we were all feeling the cold and we made our way up to the Spinnaker for dinner.  I love the Spinnaker, and so do Ally and Bláthny, ever since we tried it for the first time last summer.

The Spinnaker Dunmore East

 

It was packed today though and when we arrived we were told that we’d be waiting for an hour and a half for a table.  So we made a booking and then went down to the little beach nearby while we were waiting.

 

This dog kept us amused for a while.  He was absolutely adorable.  All he wanted was for people to throw stones for him.

 

Dunmore East Dog

 

Bláthny and her friend had a great time.  They’ve been best friends since they were in Junior Infants in Primary School, and when we moved house seven years ago they lost touch with each other.  They recently got in touch again through Facebook and have basically picked up where they left off.

Dunmore East

 

 

Dunmore East

 

After about an hour of clowning around we were all starving and made our way back up to The Spinnaker again where there was a table ready for us right beside the fire.

The food was delicious, as always.

 

Fishcakes (iPhone Photo)

Fishcakes

 

 

Goats Cheese Tartlet with Roasted Veg (iPhone Photo)

Goats cheese Tartlet with roasted veg

 

On the way home we passed through Waterford and there was a funfair on the quays.  I’d love to have stopped and taken some photos but we were all feeling tired so I made an attempt to get some snaps as we drove past.

Waterford Funfair

 

The colours of the sky in the background were absolutely amazing.  I’m planning on rising early tomorrow morning to make the most of what I think is going to be a fantastic, sunny day!

 

Stranded – Sperm Whale, Waterford

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Cunniger Spit

On Saturday the 20th of August, at approximately 4AM, the sperm whale that had become stranded at Cunniger Spit in Ring, Co. Waterford, died.

The whale had been spotted on the Thursday just off Hook Peninsula and was obviously in some difficulty to be swimming so close to shore.  On Friday morning he beached on the sandspit just outside Dungarvan.

The following are photos I took of him on the Saturday afternoon.  Some are quite graphic so please don’t look any further if you’re queasy or easily upset.

I’ve already been criticised for taking the photos.  You can have a go at me too if you like.  Obviously I’d prefer to photograph a live whale, but it was still a great experience to be able to see this magnificent but unfortunate creature.

Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale

Sperm whale

 

 

Warning: The images start to get more graphic now.  You may want to look away.

 

 

 

Sperm Whale

Yes, that is a chunk of the whale’s flesh sitting on top of it.  I overheard someone saying that the reason this is done is to prevent the whale from exploding.  I can’t find anything on the internet in relation to this though, so I don’t know how true this is.

Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale

 

Apparently the whale had a few teeth removed for testing.

 

Sperm Whale

The Irish Times this evening carries the latest news in relation to the whale and its disposal.

If you’ve an interest in whale watching you can obtain information from The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group website.

Lismore Castle Gardens

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Last Saturday, after attending the Bloggers’ Clinic in Lismore, as part of the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, I had a couple of hours to spare and the sun was shining, so I decided to take a stroll around Lismore Castle Gardens.

Lismore Castle Gatehouse

Admission to the gardens and art gallery costs 8 euros, payable at the gatehouse (pictured above).  There is a café on site although I didn’t visit it on the day, having had lunch earlier in Foley’s with Catherine Rotte Murray.

Rhododendrons

My walk around the gardens commenced not far from these impressive Rhododendrons.  I love Rhododendrons but, unfortunately, any time I’ve planted them I’ve moved house and had to leave them behind me.  I’ve a Rhododendron sitting in a pot in the back garden and I’m almost afraid to plant it.

Rhododendrons at Lismore Castle Gardens

Clematis is another one of my favourites.

Clematis

 

Clematis

 

Giant Daisy

 

Red Rose

Sculptures

Lismore Castle Gardens are filled with various pieces of artwork and sculptures.  This one nearly frightened the life out of me!

Statue in Lismore Castle Gardens

Eilis O'Connell Sculpture

I’m not really into Contemporary Art – it’s not my thing. ‘Whatever floats your boat’ as the saying goes, although there was nothing floating in the overgrown pond above.  A photo over at Travelmania Ireland shows the same pond filled with colourful floating lilies.  It’s a pity to see it so neglected looking now.

Steps

I have this fascination with steps.  Maybe it’s because I’ve a fear of heights.

Lismore Castle Gardens Steps

Or maybe it’s because there’s so much to be seen when you climb to the top of them. (Yes…climb….because when one is scared of heights one climbs, or crawls, to the top.  One never runs, jumps or skips!)

Lismore Castle Gardens

More steps….

Lismore Castle Garden steps

Another beautiful view of the castle…..

Lismore Castle

I confess to being extremely jealous of the veggie growing area and the greenhouses.

Lismore Cstle Gardens Greenhouse

Lismore Castle, itself, is privately owned and not open to visitors, although it can be booked for private functions and business conferences. If prices on this website are anything to go by then I probably won’t be staying there any time soon (penniless student and all that)….unless His Grace the Duke of Devonshire or the Earl and Countess of Burlington Google this post, find it, and decide I’m most deserving of a nice (all costs covered) break. 🙂

Today’s Find

Hammockology – an Irish company that supply Hammocks! Who’d have known they exist? I found them while I was searching for a steel washing line, of all things.  But now that I’ve found them, I’ve bookmarked them.  Neat idea!

Ballymacaw Cove, Waterford

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Chance brought us to Ballymacaw Cove in Waterford last weekend. We were on the road from Dunmore East to Tramore and took a narrow turn-off that led us to the small enclosed bay once known as ‘Smuggler’s Cove’.

Ballymacaw Cove, Waterford

In the early 19th century this small, pebble strewn cove was used to smuggle in items of French furniture so that the ‘gentry’ could decorate their large manors and castles in style.  (This was during the period that the starving Irish were piling themselves into the Dunbrody and sailing ‘Weshtwards’).

Big ships would dock close to the cove and their expensive cargo was transferred onto long wooden boats that were rowed ashore.  Carts then transported the sought after items into Waterford City and from there to its wealthy buyers.

Smugglers Cove, Ballymacaw

The tide was in so we couldn’t climb the steel steps which are visible in the left hand side of the picture above.  It’s a pity because I’m sure the view would have been mighty!

The only sign of life were two dogs that followed us down to the beach from a house we had passed on the way.  I thought this was very funny.  They obviously knew that the only place the road went was to the beach so they’d every chance of us throwing a few stones for them.  They were in luck!

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The Munster Express online has a decent article on driving the coast of East Waterford.  It lists various points of interest and can be downloaded from their website.

More information on the coves near Dunmore East can be found at www.dunmoreeast.com.

 

Dunmore East

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Dunmore East Harbour

I took the girls to Dunmore East last Sunday – a lovely little fishing and holiday village, not too far from Waterford, and just over an hour’s drive from Clonmel.  It was such a relaxing day – much needed – and the three of us really enjoyed it.

The weather was glorious and people were out on the pier, enjoying the sunshine.

A walk along the pier

Ally and I had both brought our cameras to take a few photos of the boats.  Which reminds me, I have some interesting news on a photo job that Ally managed to pick up recently.  I’ll reveal all in another couple of weeks.

Taking Photos

I seemed to spend most of my time taking photos of lobster pots and seagulls. There were a huge amount of seagulls about.  I’d like to take a trip to Dunmore East during the week when the fishing boats are coming in and the harbour is busy.  I can imagine the noise as the fishermen unload their boats, and the hustle and bustle of people coming and going.

Dunmore East - Lobster Pots

Seagulls

(I wish I had a good ‘zoom’ lens.)

Dunmore East - Boat

I didn’t envy the fishermen trying to untangle these nets. What a way to spend your Sunday! But….it has to be done, I suppose.

Dunmore East

Fishermen's Nets, Dunmore East

We walked up by the cove where Dunmore East Adventure Centre are based and stopped to watch a boat being loaded onto a trailer.  We weren’t the only ones looking on.

Dunmore Adventure CentreDunmore Adventure Centre

It was on to the beach then and Ally and Bláthny hunted for oddly shaped shells and stones. Ally has a collection of unusual artifacts that she’s found on beaches and she uses them in art projects.

Dunmore Beach

Picking Shells

Ally

We ended the day by having lunch in The Spinnaker, which is a bar and restaurant in the centre of the town.  It was really busy and I’m not surprised.  The food was delicious! Ally enjoyed her fishcakes which I had to sample (very tasty), Bláthny opted for sausages and chips, and I went for the goat’s cheese tartlet with roasted vegetables in filo pastry.

This photo was taken with my iPhone so apologies for the poor quality.

Spinnaker Dunmore East

All in all a very enjoyable day off, and next month, when exams are finished with, we’ll be doing this a lot more often.