Saturday, January 31, 2009

a tree

have a beautiful day everyone

Friday, January 30, 2009

day trip, sligo

Some snaps from a day trip to the west coast city of Sligo, Ireland. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009


i've found that when inspiration to write hits, i'm often not sitting in front of my computer. so i've decided to include some writing from my travel journal. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

feeding the pigs

Lieke and I have been laughing at these videos for a couple days now. To the point of tears. This is me and Lieke feeding expired cheese and yogurt to two pigs at Tullyboy Farm. 

The laughing you hear in the background is me filming. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fellow WWOOFer, Natasha

Natasha, from Philadelphia, arrived at the farm yesterday. Here on her first day of work. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lough Key forest

With my point and shoot after getting scared my 5D was getting water damage. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lough Key

Spent a rainy, wet afternoon strolling by a local lake with fellow wwoofer, Lieke, of Holland. Relaxing, cold, wet. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

up at my window

pounding cups of tea cut with milk this evening. haven't had a decent cup of coffee since I left the states. no bother though, probably better that I get off that stuff. 

back hurting from what I'm guessing is two days of putting in fence at the farm in Boyle. 

the sun really is amazing this time of year in Ireland. it doesn't really stay out long, granted, but when it is out, wow. It never really rises above the trees, dawn breaks lazily at about 8:30 a.m. then it's a constant morning/evening light until night creeps in at about 4 p.m. 

took a stroll yesterday evening with the other wwoofer here, lieke, from holland, and I was laughing as I told her how much this part of Ireland looks like western kentucky, save for the stone houses and the occasional niche Irish novelty. funny really. 

Monday, January 12, 2009

new digs

Settling in to a temporary location near Boyle, Ireland, where I'm WWOOFing with some very gracious hosts on a 200 year old farm. 

Friday, January 9, 2009


Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Irish Sea

It was my second full day in Ireland. I decided to take a train to fairly touristy fishing village of Howth, just north of Dublin. I met up with a German traveler and walked the streets with him, chatting for a few hours. The town, it being late December, was desolate. He decided to take the train back to Dublin. 

I wanted to go down to the docks and meet some sailors.

Before long an Irish fellow waiting for his crew saw me photographing and called me over. After a few minutes of chatting, he called his skipper and arranged for me to go out with them on their fishing trip. So in two hours I hop a train back to Dublin, grab my equipment and some clothes, ride back to Howth and board the ship. 

The Catherine Alice, a 27 meter Icelandic fishing boat, sat waiting for me when I walked back into Howth with my few bags. Mark, the skipper, knelt welding on the deck. Weld, one of two Egyptian sailors of the crew, caught my eye and notified Mark I had arrived. Within moments we left the port.

As night set in and we headed south, the Irish coast began to disappear. The Catherine Alice was out for prawns. She scoured the Irish sea for them day and night. The tides weren't quite right and she caught sand dogs more than anything, a bottom-feeding fish that resembles a sad looking shark. These, the crew dumped back into the sea. Most everything else they kept. But prawns were scarce. 

Times are difficult in recent years for Irish fishermen. The change to the Euro has hurt fish values. Since Ireland joined the European Union, its waters were carved up and distributed to countries with larger fishing fleets. France. Spain. These countries now freely fish once Irish waters, under less-strict regulations to which the Irish are adhered. 

The skipper tells me regulations governing the Irish fishing industry are the most strict in Europe. When other nations receive a slap on the wrist, an Irish fisherman is heavily fined, even receiving a criminal charges at times. 

These effects trickle inland. They effect old fishing villages. Markets and families dependent on the sailor's dollar are no longer getting the same money. And the world-wide economic crisis only furthers the burden. 

This is a start to an essay examining the Irish fishing industry. Soon I plan to visit more traditional fishing villages, less dependent on tourism and more on fishing, to see how the industry-dependent shops are dealing.