Ballycastle to Aughris Point, with detour, 53km
Having pondered the forecasts, like everyone else who’s been here, we reckoned a weather window might allow us to do the direct hop to Rathlin o’byrne.
So we got on the water at 4, and passed the amazing Downpatrick Head at first light. At first a calm light SE and we decided to head out but review hourly, stronger winds being due later. By the second hour the wind had steadily picked up, and with real frustration but pragmatic acceptance we reckoned our window was shutting, certainly enough to make an 8-10 hour crossing a doubtful prospect. The red dawn (what is the weather lore rhyme?) outlined Slieve league in the far far distance.. So we headed across towards Killala Bay and Lenadoon point. The mist lifted as we touched land (which seemed to take forever) but out across the bay Donegal was gone replaced by layers of rain cloud.It rather summed it up.
This coast is surfing mecca, and we watched the slight swell become superb waves off Easky. A steady trundle across to the next headland where we reckoned a good pier would get us off the water without surf. We sneaked in between breakers on reefs, into a great little pier. We could see a beach further on but looked as though it might be a surf landing. After a chat with delightful locals we camped on freshly strimmed area (thanks Sligo C C your maintenance is appreciated) and then found that there was a campsite and bar on the beach!
A tedious frustrating day, (I don’t think I took one photo!) but still doing the right thing in dreich conditions.
However, a welcome surprise was the appearance of Chris McDaid (working nearby he said) offering contacts, shopping, advice–what a man! We couldn’t persuade him to join us in the bar, I know some of you ISKA folk will query this but he WAS on call….we belive you and really appreciate your super support.
The beach had the kind of lovely surf I rarely see at home, and a cracking bar… But the 2 am rise was catching up so the 3 dullards hit the hay before too long, while the rain lashed down and the winds gusted… some decisions to be made tomorrow!