Carrickfergus to Ballycastle

We woke up quite late in Carrickfergus, or at least late for us as it was still well before nine o'clock. We had agreed to meet up with some people from Sailing and cruising Northern Ireland, as they would be departing for Ballycastle in Northern Ireland at 4o'clock. This meant that we had enough time to walk along the shore front, taking in scenes of Carrickfergus Castle and the old harbour. We also bought some supplies, which we took back to Salty Lass. We stated getting ourselves ready for a shower, when we had a knock from the skipper of Celtic Spirit. So we invited him aboard and talked to him about the forthcoming passage to Ballycastle. When he explained that we would be doing the passage in two blocks, we understood immediately, the reasoning. Once he had left, Beverley and I went over the passage ourselves, taking in the advice from the skipper of Celtic spirit and marring his advice to the charts and other information that we had available.

As 4o'clock approached we were ready to go, but we waited for the other two yachts, Prudence and Celtic Spirit, as they had sailed these waters many times before. It was strange travelling in convoy, but it was a good experience. Beverley and I had a laugh about the movie "Convoy", and she went on about us being the rubber duck, but as I pointed out, we are the penguin. It was unfortunate that the wind was not great for sailing, but we did try several times through out the passage to no effect, so we watched the coast go by, seeing the North Coast walk and the Gobbins. Two walks that are pretty interesting as they go along the coast, pretty close to the sea. As the wind picked up, we got a strong wind over tide effect, not the best, so we were really happy to get in to Glenarm, where we would rest while the tide turned.

As we had left Carrickfergus at 4o'clock in the afternoon, it ment that we were leaving Glenarm at 4o'clock in the morning. Far too early, but you have to work with the tides if you are going to get anywhere in the North Channel. As we left so early we got to see a sun pillar which was rather beautiful. We did get the sails up, but we still had to keep the motor on as we had to keep to a tidal gate at the top of Fair head. We had calm weather for the section near Fair head so we could see all the whirlpools, so if there was any wind, this section of the coast would be very dangerous as you are guaranteed to get wind over tide all the time. We kept close to the coast, so that the tide would be reduced and we motored into Ballycastle by 9:00am, so we had second breakfast which was great.

At last we were at Rathlin Island's Maritime festival, so we went along to see what was happening. As usual with these type of events there was lots of tents selling various wears. I particularly liked some home cured chorizo and a curry stand as all these foods were gluten free. We had a go at Hola hoops and tried some other silly activities, as well as finding out loads about Rathlin. After we had spent a few hours at the Maritime festival, we went along to Pan rocks, which are at the far end of the beech from Ballycastle.

Later than night, we went along to the pub where we met up with lots of other people from Sailing and cruising Northern Ireland. It was great to meet up with people that we had been in communications with. We also met a fellow You-tuber, Skipper James, who swears a lot. Later that night we went along to their boat and drank a mystery drink. All I can say is,

"What happens on the boat, stays on the boat"