Early on Saturday 7th September 2019, a bus load left the church car park for an outing to Rathlin Island. The weather was superb allowing a very smooth crossing on the big catamaran. After tying up, most people went to get something to eat or to explore the area around the harbour. A bus had been arranged that took us to the Lighthouse and seabird cliffs. While some enjoyed coffee in the café, others saw what life would have been like back in the days when the lighthouse was manned. Some were even fortunate enough to be able to examine the lighthouse globe that floats on a vast quantity of mercury. Looking over the cliffs along miles of the North Coast it was possible to see as far as Donegal to the west.
The jovial bus driver gave us a fascinating insight into island life past and present. We were able to visit some of the lesser known parts of the island. Viewing various Scottish Islands on what was a remarkably clear day, we passed a number of inland lakes before returning to Church Bay for a look at the islands’ seals. Getting off the bus for some more sightseeing and shopping, most enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the ferry. One of the younger members headed off for a spot of fishing, catching a large Ballan Wrasse.
After the bracing ferry trip to the mainland, we relished fish and chips from Morton’s chip shop in Ballycastle. A relaxed run down the Coast Road home stopping off for ice cream finished off what must have been the nicest church outing for decades. The sun had shone, the company was great and Rathlin Island is a truly beautiful spot. The church would like to thank Jimmy McClenaghan for organising the day, not to mention building the harbour at Rathlin Island and a number of the island roads along which we travelled.