During our Connemara week we surveyed some shores with evocative names: Mweenish, Lettermore, Gorteen Bay…. We found richness in numbers of invertebrates and rarity of species. But we were knocked sideways by a shore in a very sheltered location which shall remain nameless to preserve its mystique and bounty. It is axiomatic that the most beautiful beaches to walk may yield nothing in the way of shells and other rejectamenta, and rather mucky-looking gravelly muddy bits of coast may reveal a fantastic array of marine life when the tide recedes to uncover something of the seabed.
So it was when we drove north from Roundstone to record a shore which was reached by a tortuous route. As the water ebbed we found mussels, clams, oysters in profusion and scallops aplenty. It was thrilling, wading about in the shallows, stooping to collect the shellfish for our communal cooking pot. The six of us staying in Island Cottage pooled our catch, and when we got back to base we took a deep breath and began to prepare the ingredients for a seafood fest…………..