South Wexford Road Trip

This trip was inspired by week two of the 52 week location Challenge where I plan to take photographs of a location new to me every week.  I will try to get two locations as I am still trying to catch up on last week’s challenge. I will look at trying to get the old boat outside Fethard. I will also check out Slade as an option. I will also be in Kilmore Village and hope to capture something there. On the way home I hope to get some shots across the river from Ballyhack looking at Passage East. As I am passing I hope to get some more photos of the old rusting steamboat “The Portlairge” near Saltmills.

Ballyhack Moon

Ballyhack Moon

The overall idea is that by forcing myself to go to new places it will challenge me and also result in new work and new discoveries. I set off from Dungarvan at 7.10 and was successful in being in Passage East before sunrise. I crossed on the ferry to Ballyhack and took some photos of moon setting over the hills.

I realised as I drove out the road to Hook Head I should have aimed to be there for sunrise. Ah well next time. Cold and windy around the Lighthouse but lovely lively sea with some breakers. I took some photos of Hook Head  Lighthouse with  the rough water in the foreground. I was conscious of the salt spray building on the lens by the time I finished I went up to the cafe and used the opportunity to wash the UV filter on the lens. I was the only person in the cafe but the currant scones were fresh and tasty. The hot coffee was welcome after being on the go for three hours. Looking out at the strong sunlight I realised I had got the best of the day and in future I must aim to be on the road an hour sooner.

Hook Head Lighthouse

Hook Head Lighthouse

Portlairge

Portlairge

I went over to Slade but the light was too harsh and there was too much contrast. I would like to come back there for sunrise some morning at full tide. I stopped at the Portlairge just outside Saltmills. It was very pleasant standing in the warm sun taking photographs of this wonderful old ship. It seemed to have deteriorated somewhat since my visit at the end of last summer. I am sure it will be there for many years to come but I was glad to have some photographs of it. On my previous visit most of the shots were taken from the road side due to the afternoon light. The water is very shallow and lends itself to walking out into the water while making sure the water does not come in over the top of the wellington boots.

 

 

I stopped in Kilmore Quay but again the light was very harsh. I had lunch in Mary Barry’s in Kilmore Village. I would highly recommend the fish. I had three pieces of plaice that tasted like they were caught in Kilmore that morning. A local man recommended that I should get some photos of St Partick’s Bridge from the shore. This spit of land snakes out to sea towards the Saltee Islands. While I had often seen it from the sea while kayaking I had never seen it from that perspective. While the sun was still high in the sky I was reasonably pleased to capture the shot that I did. I will have to get back there for a sunrise some morning. I think it looks best when the tide is fully out as it was in this case. It draws your eye out towards the Saltee Islands. The information plaque on the beach suggests it was formed by the moraine of glacier that had extended down the Irish Sea. The rocks are mostly granite which is very different from the local rock in the area.

St Patricks Bridge

St Patricks Bridge

My final destination for the day was Ballyhack for sunset. There was lovely bright evening light when I arrived in Ballyhack which quickly faded. I made a quick visit to the old ruined church on the hilltop that my Twitter friends in Byrne’s Pub told me about.  I manged to get some reasonable shots of the village  and the estuary as the light was fading. I will definitely be back to Ballyhack to explore it further.

Ballyhack Boats Sunset

Ballyhack Boats Sunset

As I said at the outset this trip was inspired by the 52 week location challenge I set myself. The day certainly did not go to plan but St Patrick’s Bridge from the beach and Ballyhack were definitely two new locations that I had never photographed before. This brings me up to date as I missed getting out last week due to a touch of flu.

 

 

 

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Cappoquin, The Cunnigar and Helvic

This was the first week that there was no trace of a storm. Light winds and pleasant days have become the norm. Potatoes planted in advance of St Patrick’s Weekend. On Tuesday I stopped at the Old Railway Bridge in Cappoquin to take a few photographs. The blue sky gave the impression that it was a summer’s day rather than a spring day. The burnt grass from the winter storms is the only give away.

Cappoquin Railway Bridge

On Friday afternoon I went to the Cunnigar which is a sand spit across Dungarvan Harbour. I recently set up the camera so that I can turn the knob and it is ready to point and shoot for wild life. I have missed the Brent Geese a few times trying to get the appropriate settings. This time it was just perfect. Less than a second to taking the first shot as a flock of Brent Geese who were feeding near the water’s edge took off when they saw me. I was very pleased to catch them in flight.

Cunnigar Brent Geese

It was great to see this Clean Coast sign on a makeshift rubbish bin at the start of the path to the Cunnigar. It was obvious that people had made some effort to collect several items from the beach. Hopefully we will see this initiative on all Waterford beaches this year.

Clean Coasts

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Cunnigar I went out to Helvic Pier. Just as I was getting out of the car I noticed a fishing trawler coming in with the birds behind it. I managed to catch the boat with the Ballinacourty lighthouse in the background.

Helvic Fishing Trawler

As I got near home I noticed lovely light in the sky out over the sea to the east. I went down to one of my favorite spots in Ballinard Beach. This is very close to where some of my ancestors lived in the 1800’s and 1900’s. The little beach provides great views of Helvic Head and Ballyvoile Head. Using the grad filter I took a few shots of the evening sky. While this is a great place for sunrises I think that it is equally good when the sun is setting behind the photographer and lighting up the sky and casting warm light over the wet stones at the water’s edge.

Ballinard Evening Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all a very relaxing afternoon and a great start to the bank holiday weekend.

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