Antipole cruises

The Causeway Coast

We completed our clean-up in Coleraine.  It is interesting to note that in Northern Ireland the towns seem more clearly defined, compared with the loose sprawl of houses in the Republic, the two having had very different land distribution policies.  Coleraine has an amazing floral display and the centre could be attractive, but in the evenings it is all shuttered up and a ghost-town.  We found it hard to find anywhere to eat.  There is a lot of alcohol consumed, and it seemed surprisingly cheap with 3 for 2 offers etc. We spent another lovely evening on the anchorage near the mouth of the River Bann before a very fast short sail to Portrush.  This is a very pleasant seaside resort with fine beaches and a good harbour.

Veteran Voss children, seasoned players of the Great Game of Britain, will remember that Portrush was the place to get to if you needed to visit the Giant’s Causeway.  The railway still runs here, although it stops just short of the mock Tudor station.

We cycled the ten miles out to the Giant’s Causeway which is a remarkable site, with its polygonal rocks reaching out to sea.  Legend has it that the Irish giant Finn MacCool built the causeway to reach his Scottish rival Benandonner.  [Scotland is a mere twenty miles away here.]  But Benandonner crossed to Ireland first, so Finn’s wife hid him in a crib.  When Benandonner saw the size of the ‘infant’, he imagined the size of the father and fled back to Scotland tearing up the causeway behind him.

A less satisfactory explanation concerns a massive volcanic eruption leaving a deep bed of lava, which cooled very slowly, shrinking as it did, much as mud cracks as it dries out in a drought.  Particularly amazing is the depth of the columns so formed (see the right-hand photo above).


On Friday we sailed from Portrush for the island of Rathlin.  We had to delay our departure  waiting for wind and so were too late to reach Rathlin before the very strong tides hereabouts turned against us.  So we stopped overnight under steep cliffs with a cacophony of sea birds.  We were anchored close by a Steep rocky islet called Carrackerade, which is connected to the mainland cliff top by a rope bridge.  This has become a major tourist attraction and we watched a succession of visitors scaring themselves by making it across the structure, which must move alarmingly.  Apparently, some have been too unnerved to make it back and have had to be rescued by boat.  On Saturday we completed our passage to Rathlin, much of the passage being in sea mist, but it was a good sail.

love to all
Tony & Ynskje

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