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The Skellig Rocks are two large Devonian Sandstone islands that rise out of the Atlantic Ocean some 12 km south east of Valencia Island on the Ring of Kerry, South West Ireland. The larger of the two (to the right), Skellig Michael, rises 230 metres above sea level. Perched on a promontory near the top are ruins of a monastery dating back to the 6th century which was inhabited by monks for over 200 years. It’s hard to even imagine the conditions there in those days, especially when you factor in the cold, the wind, the rain and the isolation, although the latter is presumably what they were after. Both islands are home to huge colonies of seabirds including some 27,000 pairs of gannets on Small Skellig.
On our trip to Ireland, we had every intention of visiting Skellig Michael (Small Skellig is closed to the public) but the weather got the better of us. This shot was the view from Valencia Island on the afternoon we arrived, with the mist bearing down on the coast, a mist that remained for the rest of our stay and which precluded us even seeing the islands again. Needless to say, the mist, together with rough seas, meant all trips were cancelled. Another time, perhaps. Meanwhile, I’ve posted this shot because I think the conditions evoke the mystery and remoteness of Skellig.
Canon 40D with Canon 70-200 f4L IS at 121mm; ISO200 f8 1/1000