Tuesday, 23 August 2016

There was a swell

On the trip to Rathlin the sea was fairly choppy - so much so that our host Alan elected not to take us over on his 31-foot borrowed boat (his rib was in for service, apparently, awaiting a part from Japan).  Instead we got the fast ferry from Ballycastle.

I came out the back of the boat before we got underway, in the hope of getting a snap or two.  In hindsight that was a good move, although I was hanging onto the rail with all my might once out of the harbour as things got a little choppy.  The Brother elected to stay inside the cabin - wrong choice, as it happened, since the lady beside him was very sick.  Once the boat got moving there was no hope of moving - too dangerous, so he was stuck.  At least it's not a long crossing - 30 minutes or so.  Long enough in that situation though.

This was the view looking back towards Ballycastle, the hills of Antrim and Knocklayde visible in the background:

This was the only shot I took looking forwards, as the waves were by that time giving me a shower every so often and I didn't want the rangefinder soaked.  The sea doesn't look too bad, but it was bad enough for a land-lubber like me.  They cancelled the later sailings that day, as the wind got up and conditions deteriorated.  Marooned, we were - but not for long.  Apparently it's rare for there to be more than 2 days that the islanders (all 100 or so of them) aren't able to get back and forth to the mainland, even in the winter.  Even with the worst of the winter storms there's usually a lull every so often when normal proceedings can be resumed.

There weren't many birds around - a couple of gannets and I'm pretty sure I spotted a couple of Manx Shearwater riding the waves - all white underneath and dark on top - which was a treat.  Apparently they been spotted a few times over the last week, as well as an Osprey.  No Osprey today, though, unfortunately.


  1. Ah... the old bumpy sea, again. They keep on telling me it's flat as a pancake, but luckily I know the true face of that thing after a few years riding it's up's and downs. You made the very best of the situation though, being able to snap a few memories for the times ahead. That's always a good thing, anyway.

    1. I'm sure you've seen some big seas in your time, Roy. The currents around Rathlin are notoriously bad and the waters there have claimed many, many ships and lives over the years. Thankfully not that day!

    2. Thankfully not!
      Current is the big difference between the sea over there compared to my corner of the world. We got nothing close to what you would consider a normal day of current over there. And I can live with that...