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Blasket Islands: Boat Tour Around Island or Explore Island on Foot?

Blasket Islands: Boat Tour Around Island or Explore Island on Foot?

May 30th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Blasket Islands: Boat Tour Around Island or Explore Island on Foot?

We're visiting Ireland in less than 2 months and I'm torn on whether we should take the Blasket Island's Ferry Eco Marine Adventure Tour which takes us for a 2 1/2 hour tour around the island or if we should take the Blasket Island's Ferry to the island and explore on foot. We're young and have the stamina to explore on foot, but we also would be fine on a boat and would be interested in seeing the wildlife. The Blasket Islands Ferry also has an option to do both but I'm not sure if that would be overkill.

Additionally, the website http://www.blasketislands.ie/daily/ says booking is essential. Is that really necessary?
monicakw is offline  
May 30th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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I was just in Ireland a couple of weeks ago and took the ferry over and walked around the island for about 2 hours or so. There is kind of a path around the island and from several vantage points you can see some wildlife tho I would think that if you want to up close and personal then the Eco Marine would be the way to go. I thought the island was pretty cool and there are some great views, tons of sheep, and a lot of solitude.

I don't think that booking is essential as I (and it appears everybody else as well) just walked up, paid, and got on. The whole 'booking operation' is one guy in a little shack the size of a closet, very informal. Keep in mind that weather can influence the ferry as well. It's a quick trip over to the island (20 minutes or so) after they run you out to the ferry in a little dinghy. If it were me, I would leave it open and decide what you want to do when you get there depending on the weather and your mood.

robw95 is offline  
May 30th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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I don't have an opinion on what OP should do.

I am, however, interested in why people visit the Great Blasket. I would have thought that social history would be a motivator for many -- the history of a small island community on the very western edge of Europe, a history that has been documented to a remarkable extent (and in remarkable ways). I think that if that community is absent from your mind when you visit, then you have failed to get the point.

Or do people just go because puffins look cute, and gannets spectacular?
Padraig is offline  
May 30th, 2009, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I agree with robw; leave the booking until you see the weather and feel the mood. We were there in July and just walked up and got tickets to visit the island.

It was a magical day for me. I had read much about and by the Blasket Islanders before and a visit had been on my to do list for a couple of years. The feeling of the community that is no more is quite palpable there and left me a bit wistful. However, at the same time, the quiet left me refreshed.

I hope that the weather will cooperate and you have a wonderful visit.
irishface is offline  
May 30th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Thank you for the feedback, I'm glad to hear that we can make the decision when we get there. If we've been doing a lot of walking and we need a break then we'll do the Eco Tour, and if we feel like exploring, great we'll check out the island.

Padraig, there are many reasons we would like to visit Blasket- I think the social history is unique and interesting, my husband has an interest in history in general and my sister has an interest in both marine mammals and photography so she's looking forward to seeing animals as well as taking photos of the views.
monicakw is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 01:23 AM
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I have a shelf of books here, written by islanders and about the islanders and their place. The most convenient introductory reading is "The Blasket Islands: Next Parish America" by Joan & Ray Stagles. It's well worth looking at as preparation for a visit.
Padraig is offline  
May 31st, 2009, 04:27 AM
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Thanks Padraig, I've added it to my summer reading list.
monicakw is offline  
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