Causeway Coast Trip
Last April, I teamed up with Andy McMurray for a great trip up North. We'd done plenty of trip together in the past in Norway and out West, but this was Andy's patch- the plan was for a crossing to the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. We had planned the passage carefully across the infamous McDonnell race and Rathlin sound, but in the end the weather didn't play ball. We only got a weather window of about 24 hours, which would have got us over there ok, but then Southerly winds would have kept us there for the next week!
So, we headed downwind from Ballycastle, surfing along the legendary Causeway Coastline- most of it infinitly more impressive than the famous bit- the Giants Causeway. We camped that night in a super spot- an old fisherman's cabin, surrounded by towering cliffs an inaccessable to all but those who arrive by small seaworthy craft. Local seakayakers are currently working on renovating and cleaning it up as a nice basic bothy.
The next day was fine and we circumnavigated Rathlin island in idyllic conditions. We met some friendly seakayakers from Dublin en route. We walked up the island to look North from the lighthouse, from where we could see the Mull and even Jura in the Hebrides. So near yet so far! Then disaster struck- our explorations of the island made us miss the the only chipper there by just a few minutes. We'd been looking forward to those legendary fish'n'chips all the way around- and no amount of sandwiches and pints in the pub would fill that gap! Waking the next morning in my black bivvey bag, I found myself being eyeballed by a curious crowd of harbour seals, wondering who the new fella with no whiskers was? They were quite surprised when I wriggled out from my seal-like bag and grew legs!
We battled stong winds back to Ballycastle and thanked our lucky stars we weren't coming all the way from the Mull against them. Scotland is still there- enticing on the horizon, and we'll be back to give it another crack before long!
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