3. North Ireland 2012  

Our friends left us in Tayinloan and that was our last stop in the Hebrides before we continued to Ballycastle in North Ireland. Here we went by car to Londonderry to see the boats from the Clipper Round the World Race. After that we sailed along the coast down to Belfast where we would pick up new crew.

Ballycastle and the North

Our first stop in North Ireland was Ballycastle. Marconi, the father of wireless communication, born in Italy, was here 1898 and experimented with his equipment. His mother was born in the Irish Jameson Whiskey family.

Ballycastle has a fine marina but is also a fishing harbour. The surrounding waters seem to be full of big lobsters. Look at the size of those claws.

A big golf course is located next to the harbour. Maybe that is why the beach is empty ?

The Clipper Round the World Race came to Londonderry close by, so we picked up a car and went there to have a look. Ten identical boats, each with an amateur crew of 16 plus two professionals.

I wonder how it feels to steer a machine like this downwind in 25 knots ! Everything on these boats is optimized for functionality.

The skipper of this boat happened to be from Scotland so he took on his kilt and showed people around. He had many interesting things to say about the life on these boats.

The ten racing boats visiting Londonderry was a big happening. Lots of arrangements in the harbour and lots of people. On of Britain's famous Sikorsky Sea King Rescue helicopters showed up for a while.

On our way back from Londonderry to Ballycastle we stopped in Carrik-A-Rede. This rope bridge leads to a small bird island. High cliffs and everywhere sea birds nesting.

After a few days we left Ballycastle and sailed south along the coast. First night we anchored in Red Bay. The weather here can change quickly. Sun, rain, fog, sometimes all at the same time.

The white mountain to the right in the left picture is fog. Half an hour later it disappeared. It was all so beautiful.

One of our flag lines was broken and needed replacement. Martin climbed the mast and for the first time I tried our new windlass to pull him up.

He went up like a rocket ! Very convenient.


After Red Bay we spent a night on a buoy in Larne and then it was time for Belfast. A very nice marina, right in the middle of the city. 200 meters to the main entrance of the Titanic museum.

Titanic was built in this dock 1910. The design office was close by but not open for visitors.

The dock now is part of the museum. Here is a close up of the slipway where the keel of Titanic rested.

And here is a picture showing parts of an engine (crank shaft) from that time. Heavy pieces !

This buildning close to the dock was used as a Paint Hall but is now a film studio. The TV-series Game of Thrones was recorded here.

Belfast also has a very nice Zoo. Can't miss that ! The bear seemed a little tired.

Curious or stupid bird ? Hungry elephant ?

Observant Meerkat (Swedish=Surikat). Surprised giraffe.

Out through Belfast harbour and on our way to Isle of Man.

  End of North Ireland 2012