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Who, What, Where, When … Why?

What is a “Guided coastal rowing tour in a traditional Irish currach”?

First thing is to ready the boats. Then, after a quick safety brief, we launch.

On the water the first priority is to master rowing a currach. Just like Irish roads, they don’t do straight lines. Add in the challenge of coordinating two fiercely independent rowers and this part of the trip is worth spending a little time on.

Once that’s perfected we set off. Depending on the weather, tides, and of course our guest’s preferences, we might explore the inshore loughs, head off round the islands, look for wildlife, do a spot of fishing or anything else that seems like a good idea.

Finally, we have to come home sometime … so we’ll aim to get back after about 2.5 hrs for our half-day mini adventures and 6 hrs for a full-day workout.

The boats:

Currachs deserve a little explanation: they are long, narrow, traditional rowing boats made using a wooden lattice, over which a waterproof skin is stretched. They are also one of the ancient boats of the British Isles, but these days are especially associated with the West coast of Ireland where they have continued to be used for centuries. Mine have a fibreglass skin to better stand up to the odd knock.

Compared to today’s “normal” rowing boats, most traditional boats were built to be rowed, with a performance to match – these boats are speed machines! Take a look here if you are interested.

What this isn’t:

It’s not rowing boat hire: I lead guided tours, so even if I’m boring you senseless we need to stay in one group for safety reasons. Mwahahah …

It’s not a passenger service: well, not for everyone. Someone, preferably two, from the group will need to row – you can draw straws to decide.

Where and When?

In July & August I am based at the beautiful Clifden eco Beach Camping and Caravanning Park. This is perfect for a spot of adventuring so most tours will start and/or finish here. Or we can explore Clifden’s beautiful natural harbour (this needs some prior notice).

For the rest of the year I am based near Bangor, Northern Ireland. From here we can easily explore the wildlife, landscape and history of Strangford Lough, the UK’s first Marine Nature Reserve. Or we can head over to experience the serenity of upper Lough Erne. I don’t have scheduled departures though so please just get in touch if you are interested – there’s no obligation.

As with everything however, Mother nature might have other ideas so please be aware that our plans might have to change due to the weather and tides.

Who is this for?

Currach tours are perfect for everyone!

Renowned for their load carrying abilities, each currach can take up to 5 people (or 4 adults) – so are perfect for families and groups.

Either 1 or 2 sea dogs can man the oars – so the grown up(s) can relax while the kids do the rowing … or vice versa. Perfect for when half of your party want to fish, look for seals, or just read a book (yeah, right!).

No experience necessary – so there is no excuse!!

These are open rowing boats so as long as you can climb in, swim if you have to, and climb out again then everything should be grand. If you do have any questions or concerns then please give me a call.

Who it isn’t for:

The lazy: see the above caveat about passengers.

The drunk: water and alcohol don’t mix. 

The unaccompanied kids: sorry, any under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

See the full list of conditions {here}.