The Teardrop of Ireland: Fastnet

Ireland has mile upon mile of stunning coastline.  It’s one of the many reasons I came back to live here after some time in England studying and working.  But it’s sadly taken me four years to get round to this beauty!  Stuck out miles into the ocean beyond the county Cork coastline, Fastnet is an architectural feat to behold and gives you a boat-trip to remember.

Probably only one for those who like the sea, this boat-trip can be rough enough for 90 minutes, even during the calm summer months.  But for those who can stomach it, dolphins, porpoises, whales and many varieties of bird are to be often spotted on the trip.  We got 20 minutes of a show from a pod of dolphins, swimming alongside the keel, jumping in the air and loving the wake of the boat.

The video here will give you a fascinating look inside this remarkable lighthouse, often referred to as the “Teardrop of Ireland” due to the fact that many emigrating on boats to America would see this last as they sailed away across the ocean.  Built over six years, I can’t imagine a hairier experience in building something, with a rough atlantic ocean pounding away just metres beneath!  Even the lighthouse keepers had some moments they were nearly swept away.


Fastnet Lighthouse in evening sun (photo by Julia Grier, used with permission)