Sunday, July 31, 2011

On Celtic Tides

In 1996, Chris Duff kayaked around Ireland. On Celtic Tides is a terrific account of his twelve-hundred mile journey around the Emerald Isle. Duff documents with rich prose the sweeping cliffs and snarling waters he encountered, as well as his encounters with various folk who invariably ask when told that Duff is planning to paddle around Ireland, “In that little boat? Are you mad?”
He may not have been mad, but the idea of kayaking solo around Ireland in three months is a daunting one, and Duff’s narrative takes us into the quaint villages along the coast, the ancient ruins and castles that dot the shore, and the blistering storms and waves that batter the western shore.
It’s a wonderful read, taking us from moments of quiet introspection as Duff visits ancient pagan ruins, to moments of exhilaration and terror as Duff battles surging tides and waves along the battered open coastline. Highly recommended.

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