Wallace Clark

Sailing round Ireland

North-West books

Limavady (Co. Londonderry), 1990

bibliothèque insulaire


Sailing round Ireland / Wallace Clark. - Limavady (Co. Londonderry) : North-West books, 1990. - 175 p.-[8] p. de pl. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN 0-907528-17-1

Some to the wars to try their fortunes there,
Some to discover islands far away !

Two Gentlemen of Verona

: « Ireland », 
writes Wallace Clark, « is ideal to sail round. The circuit of about 900 miles fits well into a moderately energetic three-week holiday. The scenery varies from exposed cliffs and bold headlands to great bays with exotic gardens in their recesses, green meadows and unsullied beaches. There are islands a-plenty, each with its own character, for shelter or interesting runs ashore. A small well-foundboat finds good ports at hand on almost every passage, but the risk of being caught out in a blow for an hour or two adds zest to the voyage. »

This is the story of one such 
cruise, made in the author's 33-foot, 40-year-old yacht, Wild Goose. Because Wallace Clark writes vividly, humorously, and sometimes with a touch of poetry the book is delightful reading for its own sake. It contains much information to guide other yachtmen making the same voyage, but also fascinating detail about people and places on Ireland's shores.


The islands of Ireland lie round her shoreline like water drops fallen from the head of a swimmer. Some are single, others in little groups, thrown off by the swimmer's nose and chin as he turns his head sideway to breathe. Like water drops they glisten in many colours.

The islands are far enough from the coast to have its own special character. They are also far enough from the coast for there to be a sense of achievement in reaching any of them ; yet never so far as to prevent anyone with a will from using a week's holiday to visit one of them, or a group.

Living in the north of Ireland, and having owned a variety of sailing boats, I have been lucky enough to get to know almost all of the inhabited islands and something of the bays and inlets, tide-rips and headlands in between them over the last 20 years. At first I knew little of the background and history, for information was scanty and fragmented. As time passed, I learned more and more about the seaboards, its history, inhabitants and the outlook of those inhabitants. A little knowledge of this kind, to add to what the eye can teach, increases greatly the pleasure of sailing round Ireland.

Introduction, p. 9

  • « Sailing round Ireland », London : B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1976
  • « Rathlin, its island story », Coleraine (Co. Londonderry) : Impact printing, 1993
  • « The Lord of the Isles voyage : Western Ireland to the Hebrides in a sixteen oar galley », Naas (Co. Kildare) : The Leinster leader Ltd, 1993
  • « Donegal islands » ill. by Ros Harvey, Donaghadee (Co. Down) : Cottage publications, 2003
  • « Islands of Connaught : paintings and stories from sailing the islands » ill. by Ros Harvey, Donaghadee (Co. Down) : Cottage publications, 2005

mise-à-jour : 27 mars 2015