‘Twas an early start to reach the pier at Cruit Island to meet our guide Iain Miller of Unique Ascent to bring us on an excursion to Owey Island, off the coast of Donegal. The island can be accessed by local boatmen or for instance by kayak which was our method of transport. The island has no cars and no electricity but yet there is a plethora of holiday homes dotted around the island and there is a hostel. The declining corncrake are almost extinct in Ireland but you could be lucky to spot these birds here.
Our kayak was a 2 person sit-on type and we were provided with wet suits and life vests. We began our paddle shortly after 8am on a calm sea towards Owey Island. As soon as we approached the island we were astounded by its beauty and the large canyon rocks and cliffs that decorated the whole periphery. There were many accessible sea caves which we explored and had fun crashing a few times as we tried to back paddle to exit. We circumnavigated the whole island and rested at the most beautiful pier before we went to our main objective: The lake under the lake.
We had to descend into a smallish crevice and meander our way on wet rock to reach the underground. Here we got our first glimpse albeit in the dark of the lake 50 metres below. Unfortunately, we could not explore too long as it was particularly muddy underneath and the tide was on its way in.
We escaped the cave and ventured to the trig point on the island at a height of 102 metres. Such an experience to reach the lowest point to the highest point in a short period of time and the views from the top were simply amazing.
Iain also took pictures for us along the trip, so we didn’t need to risk getting our phones exposed to the water. We paddled back to the mainland with disbelief of what this secret island offered and vowed to return soon again.