The Wild West Coast

by Ollie, 20/12/2013

It's that time of year again.
That time when ferocious winds and swell batter the house. Sunshine gets exchanged for rain, hail and darkness about every 15 minutes. 
It's when Met √Čireann declares status red and Christmas trees go flying through the streets that you realize you're better off to batten the hatches, dig in with hot whiskeys, mince pies and a big old roaring fire and give out about the weather. It is an endless source of conversation, especially here in Ireland where we have lots of weather.
Or you could do like myself and set up tripod and camera to document the various stages of the weather. And then give out about it haha.

To be fair it hasn't just been rubbish this past week. We had some stunning sunrises and sunsets and some savage surf.
if there's one thing the North Atlantic is good at in winter it is producing big long period swells. Winds have been mainly cross/offshore and the Clare coast has been on fire!
A fair few savage waves were caught and only once did we paddle out in waves that were scary big!
The ocean put us in our place that time and showed who's boss.

It's always nice to wake up and find surf like this; the reefs around Lahinch firing!
A beautiful end to the day, sunset at Clahane.
When the swell is too big for us to surf it's great to drive along the coast to take photos. The Clare coast is spectacular on a calm day but it really comes alive in big swells.
The other day I drove over to a spot on the coast that has a crazy death slab called Riley's. It's not exactly a secret spot anymore seeing as it has featured in surf magazines and even a book has been written about it (Cliffs of insanity, by Keith Duggan if anyone's interested in reading it) but for arguments sake I won't tell you where exactly it is.
Anyways, I climbed down the cliff and got some nice photos of the beast. 
Hats off to the lads who surf it, I was scared just watching it from the rocks! I can safely say I will never paddle out there myself, the reefs around Lahinch will do just fine.

A liquid monster: Riley's
A bomb exploding onto bare rock

Even the horses come out to see the swell rolling into Doughmore Bay
Secret spot
Enough said
Waves crashing into the cliffs at Doolin
Unfortunately the howling winds have turned onshore and the surf is totally blown out. If the forecasts are anything to go by it looks like we will have some more of that typical Irish winter weather for the coming days.

Have a merry Christmas!     


  1. een beetje zeeman hou daar toch wel van zo,n ruige zee.But at least you have a lot of nice Pictures

    1. Oh ja hoor, geweldig! Als je het vanaf de wal kan bekijken ;-)