Today we went to Kilmore Quay in the on the Southeast coast to catch two fishing boats to transit to Saltee Island. A short 20 minute boat rise landed us at low tide, requiring us to hop across a number of slick rocks. We only had a damp butt or two for the effort and we crossed a sandy beach to begin the climb to the top of the island.
The islands are a breeding ground for Fulmar, Gannet, Shat, Kittiwake Guillemot, Razorbill, Puffins and Grey Seals. It is truly an extraordinary sanctuary for wildlife and we were able to get up close to most of the bird species.
As we do on each day, we begin with morning prayer and later our host and guide John Spencer takes us through some Irish history, the influence of the Vikings and Normans and the impact of Christianity on Ireland. After a brief lunch we went out to explore the island and commune with God in nature.
We got very close to the rookeries. We’ll let the photos tell a little of the story.
It was loud and….ummm, odiferous….
“Sage and I sang ‘The Irish Blessing’ while visiting the Saltee Island today. This song acts as sort of an anthem for the Woodson choral department, and it has been a major part of my life since I started high school. Singing the song in its original home felt surreal. It reminded me of the importance that music holds for me and for others. In addition, I felt more connected to those who have come before me. -Mackenna
“For me, today was very meaningful. We took a boat out to an island that was filled with puffins, seagulls, and vast variety of other birds. As we were sitting on the rocks, looking at the rookery, I was thinking about how cool it was that God had made all of these creations, and I watched a bird fly in a figure-8 around the rookery, and it made me feel God’s infiniteness. Later on, when we got back, after not having hot water in the shower for the entire trip, we were able to use Aaron’s bathroom to take a hot shower, and I thanked God several times during it.” -Chris