Monday, 25 June 2007

Rathlin Bound

When my good mate Noel from Stranocum Ulster Scots told me he could get us a "lift" to Rathlin Island for the Robert the Bruce Festival on the evening of Friday 22nd June, I thought it would be just the ticket! So, at about 6:45pm on the evening in question, a carload of us arrived at Ballycastle Harbour Rathlin bound. Fifteen minutes later, we were aboard a fishing boat and heading out of the harbour. The picture here will show that I'm no sailor and you will note the youngster casually looking over the side as I clung on for grim death! When we got to the other side (of Rathlin Sound - I didn't die!) my fingers were dug into the cabin roof so hard that the whole crew had to prise them off.

It was a hair-raising experience (for those who have some) but well worth it when my shooglie legs touched down on the dry land of Rathlin. A huge marquee had been erected and Mark Thompson treated us to a talk on the Bruce before Frances Black entertained the crowds in song.

We headed off before dark and this time my other half offered to give me her place in the cabin, saying she preferred to stand on deck. Well, the first crossing was calm compared to the second one! My wife sailed into Ballycastle soaked to the skin but it was all part of the crack. At least that was how I saw it from the dry warmth of the cabin!

Our thanks to the crew and the good folk of Rathlin for a memorable night!

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