In August 2019, I was part of a 12 person crew that rowed across the Irish Sea. Lead by Eamonn & Peter Kavanagh, our crew consisted of a mix of people like me who have rowing experience and also a good smattering of friends who learned how to row specifically for this trip over a 10 to 12 week period. We started from Fishguard in Wales and rowed back into Arklow on the east coast of Ireland.  We had the privilege of rowing one of the only Cornish Pilot Gig’s in Ireland that was built by Peter Kavanagh. Over the course of our 21 hour crossing, we alternated crews of 6 with a cox every hour. It was a great experience and an absolute honour to get to row across the Irish Sea with Eamonn and Peter in a boat that Peter built. Our last few hours on the oars were particularly memorable as we fought the tide to make our way into Arklow. In particular, to get to row into the dock with Peter and Eamonn was something very special for me as was the thrill of getting to do this trip with good friends like Tomas O’Driscoll, Gerry Hussey and some of the great characters of Gerry’s “Dawn Bombers”. It was also a real honour for me to get to experience a rowing trip with Georgina, Terry and Vanessa from the Arklow Rowing club. I first met Georgina nearly 15 years ago when I began training with the gang in Arklow to prepare to row the Atlantic. And to top it all off, my wife Colette surprised me by being there to welcome us in with our 6 week old baby boy Noah and my parents who came up from Limerick.


Personal Reflections from this trip

  • We all have far more capacity to do things in life than what we often give ourselves credit for.
  • Life is short, make time for what’s most important.
  • In moments of real challenge, we often have very relevant life experience we can call upon if we have the awareness to tap into this.