A Lousy Castle for an Obnoxious Princess

This week, I put Bantry Bay on the map for the Performance Sea Kayak 1000 Islands Challenge.

Participants get points for distance and for putting new islands on the leader board. I’m starting with the tiny Lousy Castle Island, a frequent turnaround point on short weekday paddles.

lousy castle island bantry bay county cork sea kayaking

Local legend has it that there was once a princess so annoying that the townspeople banished her to a tiny “castle” on the island. All that remains is a stone wall, of unknown origin, covered over with brambles. The island is about the size of a tennis court.

lousy castle island bantry bay county cork sea kayaking

My guide for this challenge and all my island-hopping is Oileáin a guidebook to every island around Ireland. It’s full of useful info like where to camp, how to land safely, which islands have access to drinking water, and which ones are infested with rodents. The title means “island” in the Irish language. The guide includes 591 islands, 520 of which the author, David Walsh, has landed on. There are over two dozen islands listed around Bantry Bay and its headlands, I’ve visited or circumnavigated less than half of them. I’ll be putting more on the board this spring.