Sunday, December 30, 2007

Home port Carrickfergus - Belfast lough last paddle of the year 30.12.07.

Me at Whiteabbey shore and Carrickfergus in the far top right . Roy and I are getting some distance training in , as we are going to be paddling for charity very soon and need to keep up the mileage ! The Sea Kayak's we use are made to carry a few day's kit in three water tight bulkhead's ie : food, tent, spare clothes sleeping bag , fishing rod , and any other equipment you need to stay safe on long trip's, and the shape is to help track and glide through sea's you encounter in your journeys . As alway's click all photo's to enlarge . ps happy new year to everyone and keep visiting my blog thankyou. Carrickfergus harbour. 15:20 air temp dropping like a stone.
Belfast lough is a narrow inlet a u shape maybe 4 mile's wide and 20 - 30 mile's from headland to headland and is sea ! very cold Irish sea , trust me I've been in it a lot ! (zoom in on it use the map at the bottom of my blog. )Titanic built in Belfast once steamed out of here many year's ago. Roy and Belfast dock's in the background. Me again.
Me at the seaplanes mooring point used by RAF and U.S. during w.w.2 1939-1945 , they hunted U boat's and supply vessel's belonging to German Navy, the North Atlantic and our coast's were patrolled daily . No bad pic's this time mate !!

Leaving Carrickfergus marina with a winter's sky looming before us .
A Grey Heron I startled . Grub ! and coffee stop ! 5 min's later I heard my ar-- is freezing ! I sat on my boat , been there read the book and ate the stew !
Marina again.
Some nice boat's, but no patch on our sea kayak's .
Paddling up the pontoon's
Roy near his Orkney ( blue hull - white top) .

My ugly mug , note my Isle of Man hat is dry ! no roll's today, I am trying out a new sailing long john wetsuit from (Rooster Sailing) under my cag ( paddling jacket ) seem's the bee's knee's so far ! nice and comfy - next time out I will bail out and go for a swim and see how it hold's out or the other way around ! video will be rolling so don't laugh !

More Belfast lough photo's 30.12.07.

Sunday morning saw two brave soul's out in temp's around +5c reason ! to get our battery's recharged after a great christmas . My paddling mate Roy and I left Carrickfergus harbour at 11:30 am first port of call was the marina next to harbour to check Roy's boat and to take a few photo's.

Belfast lough and two of the largest cranes in the world named Samson and Goliath in the distance , they belong to Harland and Wolf shipyard and are used (the odd time) to lift whole sections of ships and rig's for the welder's and rigger's to work on . A lot of Famous ship's including - the Canberra a Cruise ship were built here , in the 80's she was involved in the Falkland's war nicknamed the (white whale ) it was turned into a hospital ship and transport vessel for the British force's in the south Atlantic task force . Nearing break-time and a right turn on the way!
The shore at Greenisland and the first pit stop . Belfast is in the distance , also the same direction we are heading , note the sun's setting already in the winter sky ! time 13:40

While I'm on a war theme I was told this was a mooring point for boat plane's during the second world war. The Sunderland made in Short Brother's Belfast and the Catalina flying boats used it.
Evening at Carrickfergus Harbour nearly home after 10 + nautical mile's of good paddling
A Royal Navy Launch , over visiting the Sea Cadet's I think !
The old Castle at the harbour and Roy glad to be near the slip as his foot peg's had slipped during the last few mile's home !
Roy racing a red cargo boat !

At Whiteabbey and Carrickfergus the little white line in the distance 8 land mile's away .

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Glenarm , paddling up the mouth of the river ( video ) 25.11.07.

Glenarm marina . Roy powering up!
Getting back on the water after little break for a week or so was great. This Sunday the weather 9 deg c and wind's decreasing and swinging from the west, so up the Antrim coast we headed. Glenarm is a little sleepy village which used to quarry lime to be used here and in Scotland in the building trade . Now it's only busy in the summer with tourist's and fishermen , when I was a kid I would fish here for cod and flatfish , now it's the turn of my little one's Lauren and Lee who love fishing. ps click picture's to enlarge.Roy launching at the slip at the marina .
Roy taking it all in !

Here are the Salmon cages,were all of the fish were wiped out by jelly fish last week, I was talking to a local person and they told me that boat's even had difficulty going through the water because of the density of the jelly fish ! apparently the salmon that were not stung to death died from lack of oxygen in the water. Today not one little blob was to be seen anywhere! We named this island - poo island for obvious reason's, Me taking five.
Roy getting a good sniff of poo island!
Cormorant's rock.

The new bridge at Glenarm linking the Marina to the bay.
A great picture of me thank's (Roy)Ha Ha.
Church on the river's edge
Note the defence's on the right , to fend of kayaker's who approach from the sea !

beautiful picture ! I got my own back mate ha ha .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I want Summer back again !

On these cold and dark evening's I miss this above -T.E.P. our club's (Tuesday Evening Paddle's ) out and around Northern Ireland's coast. On the radio's new's today was something very strange , £1million pound's worth of salmon which were being raised at fish farm's on the coast near me , at Glenarm and Red bay have all been wiped out by, wait for it - JELLY FISH ! a huge swarm ( if that's the right term) , three mile's wide by 35 feet deep attacked ! I found it a bit funny at first , but then I thought of Bob, a fellow Kayaker who worked there! so I hope his livelyhood's ok and thing's get back to normal a.s.a.p . very strange this global warming thing!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

River Lagan Sunday 22nd October 07.

Not the sea ! I know, but today we - as in Sammy , Roy, and myself embraced the lovely water's at Shaw's bridge Belfast . We arrived early morning around 9:30 and found the water quite busy with kayaker's already , some of which were from our - Belfast Kayak Club. So we geared up and took a little walk and inspection of our capsizing area's and eddyline's . After a little warm up ,two Dagger's and my Piranha went on the water.
The water was flowing ok and some good playing was had at the 3 weir's , which first caught out Roy then me ! Sammy was the only dry cag and he got some ripping from us ! but sure enough a bow rudder move and flow flipped him over , but Sammy's skill's from a few year's ago were embedded in his arm's and straight up he came like a lifeboat ! after a few more run's we retired to our mobile cafe - Roy's van ! Chicken noodle soup from the stove on board and we were fully charged for more. Sorry no photo's as the camera was forgotten , but next time it will be in the kit bag.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

East coast of N.Ireland

Roy having a wee coffee break at Brown's bay before heading south again. Me stretching my leg's and warming up my soul , Winter is nearly here so out with the old "Chicken noodle soup "! the best thing since sliced bread.
Larne harbour is just around the headland on the left , one of deepest port's in Europe! over 100 ft L/water.
I caught this little seal playing in the surf on an island near Larne.
A wild view of the Gobbin's cliff's from an of shore island , quiet now but in the Spring they are packed full of bird's from Puffin's to Falcon's and other rare types.
Relief , a bit of a struggle to reach top of the hill on the island !The ground was like sponge and drained the energy out of you..
Brown's bay . In the summertime this place is very busy due to a campsite near buy .

The Glen's of Antrim in the far distance.
Next stop Scotland 15 mile's away in the distance Roy!
A little choppy back side of Muck Is.
Bit of a drop .
A steel clad yacht passing by, i think from my home town of Carrickfergus..