The Storm called Brigid  – “I was drawn down to the sea – and learnt you are never alone on Valentia Island”

Joanne Cahill  recalls  the 05.20 hrs  High-tide  at Valentia Harbour this morning.

The alarm was unnecessary this morning, the wind was my alarm, & it was with mixed feelings I dragged myself from the comfort of a warm bed at the ungodly hour of 5.15 am, donned my wet gear, grabbed the camera and headed out.

Driving down through the village of Knightstown there wasn’t sinner to be seen, but I was drawn down to the sea, as I turned at the town clock towards the lifeboat shed, I smiled – I wasn’t alone on this wild morning, for my welcoming committee awaited, the youngest in his late teens through to a wonderful man in his eighties, 9 in all, they all stood shoulder to shoulder watching, waiting.

And it began, the first few waves gently meandered up the lifeboat slipway, nothing out of the ordinary there, the wind picked up a notch – then suddenly it took hold, wave after wave,  driving the water around both side of the lifeboat shed meeting in the middle, then the over flow spilled into the already saturated dock.

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The sea breaking around the sea wall and the RNLI station at Valentia Island on Saturday


The power of the sea showed her might this morning, but what was brought home to me yet again on this wet & wild St. Bridget’s Day morning is that islanders are a breed of their own, who without words showed respect to that wonderful lady that surrounds us, who was a tad out of sorts this morning, and so to my early morning companions, Lifeboat Cox Richard Quigley, Boat owners Diarmuid Ring, Peadar & Eileen Houlihan, Aidan, Owen & Dermot Walsh, Mick Kerr Pink & his son Declan – thank you for keeping me company at the harbour wall, but next time can make it a coffee somewhere dry & warm?!     

To see the power of the Wild Atlantic sea rolling on to Valentia  today  click here 



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