HD Video: Kayaking Downpatrick Head

This film was shot in June 2011 at Downpatrick Head, County Mayo, Ireland. Most people visit the headland to view the massive seastack known as Dun Briste. But beneath their feet, Downpatrick Head is riven with caves. The longest cave is around 400m long and runs right through from one side of the headland to the other. One of the only ways to explore the cavern is by sea kayak, but the right weather conditions are relatively rare - the cliffs are extemely exposed to Atlantic swells and kayakers need the water flat calm to enter in safety.

The footage was largely shot on a Go Pro HD mounted on the rear of the kayak on a tripod secured with (lots of) gaffer tape. Footage from an earlier trip had been marred by water drops and salt marks so this time we were careful to wash the lens with fresh water and dry it off with a chamois between shots. Additional footage shot on Canon 5d mk II.

The film is best viewed full screen to appreciate how good the Go Pro is. Natural light disappears almost completely in the depth of the cave, so this was an interesting test of the camera's low-light and auto-exposure capability.

Music: Weird Fishes from the album 'In Rainbows' by Radiohead - buy it on iTunes.

Kayaking Downpatrick Head from Gareth McCormack on Vimeo.