Thursday, October 20, 2016

St. Finian's Bay

This was a wonderful little pocket beach nestled among an exceptionally ragged rocky coastline. You can see from both the photos and the aerial view that the sedimentary rocks here have a distinct grain that runs out to sea. Of course, if you think about it, both the Dingle and the Iveragh Peninsulas (that's this one) are just large-scale manifestations of the same thing. Thus the role of structural geology in shaping coastlines at multiple levels.


We passed it several times and each time, conditions were different.

St. Finians Bay lies below an area of west Kerry called the Glen. It offers great views towards Skellig Michael, 6 miles out in the Atlantic.

Two notable aspects of this beach:

1. The strand line was marked by an enormous amount of plastic - something I simply hadn't noticed to this extent on other beaches. Besides the plastic in the wrack, piles of plastic debris had been collected and piled up at the parking lot. I have no idea whether I just wasn't paying attention at other beaches, whether other beaches get cleaned more regularly, or whether this particular beach is simply a plastic magnet. Plastic, like other flotsam, is highly subject to currents and wind and seems to accumulate in places where subtle aspects of the configuration of the shoreline conspire to trap material.

2. There is a small chocolate factory five minutes away, which makes this remote beach almost as good as one with its own coffee roaster or its own brewpub.

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