The island appears and disappears in the distance as our boat rises and lowers with the swells. An offshore storm has made conditions just rough enough to make the journey to Skellig Michael feel adventurous. We’re unable to land on the island, a disappointment after waiting for so long. Still, the view of the island from the base is beautiful.
As we turn towards Little Skellig, the screams of 45,000 gannets can be heard over the sound of the engine. I’m speechless as I realize that the top of the island isn’t white because of the color of the rock, but because of the amount of bird droppings from the thousands of birds that call it home.
Boat tours operate daily from several different towns, including Portmagee and Ballinskellig. Prices vary from €25 – €50, based on whether you can land on the island or not. Skellig Michael is open from mid-May to fall every year. Before visiting the island, visit the OPW website for information about dates of opening and safety details.
Photography by Rebekah Marenda Burder.