The following account of a shipping tragedy in 1853 at Casana Rock is taken from www.chaptersofdublin.com
“This precipitous portion of the coast was the scene of a lamentable shipping disaster in 1853. The steamship Queen Victoria, on a voyage from Liverpool to Dublin, with about 100 passengers and cargo, struck on the southern side of the Casana Rock during a dense snowstorm, between 2 and 3 o'clock on the morning of the 15th February. Eight of the passengers managed to scramble overboard on to the rocks, from which they made their way up the cliffs to the Bailey Lighthouse. The captain, without further delay, ordered the vessel to be backed, so as to float her clear of the rocks, but she proved to be more seriously injured than was imagined, and began to fill rapidly when she got into deep water. Drifting helplessly towards the Bailey, she struck the rocky base of the Lighthouse promontory, and sank in fifteen minutes afterwards, with her bowsprit touching the shore. The Roscommon steamer fortunately happened to pass while the ill-fated vessel was sinking, and, attracted by the signals of distress, promptly put out all her boats and rescued between 40 and 50 of the passengers. About 60, however, were drowned, including the captain.”
Access to Casana Rock
A convenient start and return point is the public slipway at the inner pier in Howth Harbour, beside the RNLI station (N 53 23.373 W 06 04.110). Car parking is available near the slipway. To drive to the inner pier, take the left turn after the DART station, then the next right turn towards Howth YC and the RNLI station.
From this slipway, it should take about 45 minutes paddle time to reach Casana Rock.
Once out of the harbour, head south east across Balscadden Bay towards the headland known as the Nose of Howth. The large split rock, before you reach the Nose, is called Puck's Rock where, according to legend, St. Nessan struck the Devil. This area of coast is popular with fishermen (rock fishing for mackerel (in season), plaice, dabs, dogfish, pouting, whiting and codling).
Once south of the Nose of Howth, Casana Rock is the most prominent sea rock ahead of you.
The cache is not concealed, just located in a way to minimize risk of being washed away, or pecked ! It contains just a log and a pencil, but BYOP just in case.
Points to consider before setting off ..
- as with all open sea activities, you should take all suitable precautions, e.g. ensure someone on shore knows where you're going, what time you're due back and what to do if you're not back as advised. If you're not sure what such precautions should involve, then maybe this cache is not for you.
- at Casana Rock, you'll need to climb onto the rock, so make sure your kayak/craft is secured.
- on Casana Rock, underfoot conditions require a robust sole for your footwear