On a sunny September day, I took a walk along Streedagh beach in County Sligo, Ireland, with maritime archeologist Auriel Robinson of SeaTrails. It was an encounter with geologic time, pre-history, and centuries of Irish participation in world affairs.
Along the shore, we marveled at beautifully fossilized coral and sea lilies. Above, on a bluff, we heard about the role landowners hereabouts played in the massive departure of so many Irish for North America.
In particular, we learned how the region figured in the flight of the Spanish Armada after the fleet's humiliating encounter with Tudor ships in the English Channel. Auriel showed us the site of three still-buried ships in just eight meters of water off-shore. She brought to life the account by Francisco De Cúellar, a ship's captain in the Armada, as he avoided a watery grave, and made his torturous way home to Spain across occupied 15th century Ireland. It was a tale of extraordinary resolve and travel derring-do!
Auriel guides visitors on walking, cycling and horseback tours along Sligo's rough-and-ready coast. All tours feature history lessons as lively as the woman herself.
Do yourself a treat, and join a Seatrails walk when you're in Sligo! Perfect for individuals, families and groups.