A beach of smooth, rounded rocks

Boulders in Sandeel Bay

Boulder Beach in Dunedin, New Zealand is a good example of beach where large smooth cobbles and boulders replace the more familiar sand. Strong underwater currents matched with wave power have polished loose bedrock into such forms over a long period of time. This picture is not from New Zealand however-this is from right here…

An impression of a snail in a small rock.

Gastropod Fossil

Here is a less familiar type of fossil that was found around Slade. They are Gastropod impressions in limestone. Gastropods are basically similar to our present day Snails that lived in the sea as well as on land and are from a large family of other animals called Molluscs, which include Periwinkles and Mussels right…

A surface of red sandstone with a maze of naturally eroded indentations

Weathered Sandstone

The Hook Peninsula is composed of many rock types including sedimentary limestone and sandstone. These are considered generally soft in geological terms and over time can be manipulated by chemicals/particles in the water/wind. Here’s a large slab of Red Sandstone around Boyces Bay eerily shaped by time and nature.

Booley Bay Rock Formation

The variation in rock type and formation around Hook Peninsula is impressive in relation to the size of the area. Each beach and bay has something different to offer. Here on Booley Bay, the late Cambrian fine-grained sandstones/shale rock strata sweep from almost horizontally to almost vertically and every other angle in between!

A net like fossil in a limestone rock

Crinoid and Bryozoan Fossils

The Hook Peninsula is a very good place to get a glimpse of our ancient past. This is especially true in the low lying Carboniferous limestone around Hook Head and Slade. Crinoid and Bryozoan fossils are two of the most frequently encountered types here. These are over 300 million years old! Crinoids, often called sea…

A naturally carved bowl in a sandstone rock playing home to a pair of limpets

Sandstone Bowl

Limpets have taken up residence in an almost perfectly round ‘bowl’ hollowed out of the red sandstone by time and nature. Sandeel Bay is full of such features and even larger hollows present are a reminder that large mill wheels, water troughs and other objects were one hewn out of the bare rock.   While…

A white outline of a sea sponge in a grey rock

Fossilised Sponge

Found this little guy last weekend as I walked on Loftus Bay. He is a fossilised Sponge approximately 340 million years old (Lower Carboniferous). Sponges are marine based animals and would have generally lived their lives attached to the seafloor. Feeding by filtering food particles out of the water through their bodies. When this guy…

A picture showing the strata in the rocks at Booley Bay

Geology of Booley Bay

Booley Bay is home to some of the most amazing geology on the hook peninsula. Pictured below are Late Cambrian (approx. 500 million years ago) turbidites consisting of sandstones and shales. These rocks would have been deposited in a marine environment at a time when Ireland would have been located close to the south pole…