BY SIMON COCKING
LIKE all West Cork’s islands, Cape Clear has enjoyed one of its busiest summers for many years.
Locals say the hot sun and packed ferries reminded them of the best years of the 70s.
Last winter the new marina was completed for the inner dock in North Harbour to enable larger yachts to safely berth.
The results were there for all to see this summer: up to 30 sailboats squeezing themselves in at times, especially during the August bank holiday weekend.
Combined with another 30-plus ribs in the outer harbour, it was an impressive site and reminiscent of decades past, when this scene was commonplace.
‘Back then you could almost walk from one end of the harbour to the other side, there used to be so many boats,’ said Michael John Cadogan, long-time Cape resident and skipper of Gaisceanan Boat Trips.
‘It’s been a wonderful summer, and we’ve had lots of inquiries about trips around the whole Roaring Water area.’
Seamus Ó Drisceoil, manager of FastnetTours, added: ‘It was a great example of how much Cape Clear, and West Cork in general, have to offer. We sometimes forget that what we have here is as beautiful as the islands of the mediterranean. Greece and Croatia may be pretty, but this part of the world is also unique. Our bookings went up exponentially this year, and we can only see this continuing in the future.’
One tourist, overheard on a glorious day, appears to have agreed: ‘With the sun out, the people eating in the restaurant by the water, the marina full of yachts, and the kids diving into the water off the pier, it made me feel like I was on a Greek island.’
With advancing technology and a lot of ‘newbies’ discovering the joys of Cape Clear, residents are hopeful the island’s combination of striking views, and great community spirit will attract more digital nomads to the island.