All aboard - last call for Festival fun

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The festival might be in full swing but it’s not too late to get involved and come and experience the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2014.

The festival is organised by Moyle District Council, Ballycastle Community Development Group, Rathlin Development and Community Association and sponsored by the Northern Island Tourist Board.

This year the festival runs until Sunday 1st June, and promises to be a riot of colour and fun whether it’s, the music, the food or of course any of the maritime activities.

Caroline Carey, Tourism Development Officer, Moyle District Council said, “We are all very excited for the festival to begin so we can welcome visitors to this fabulous part of the Causeway Coast where they can enjoy all the wonderful maritime themed activities on offer.

“There are of course the obligatory shopping opportunities, from artisan craft in the market to the independent boutiques in the town, specially decorated for the festival we are sure there’s something to suit every taste. “

This is a maritime festival so of course there are numerous sailing experiences to get involved with, whether that’s a fishing trip on Lord Moyle, Lady Lynda or the Torra or getting into your own kayak or paddle boat.

It’s not too late to grab your camera and skip on board the Round Rathlin Sunset Cruise on Friday 23rd May, a perfect way to relax into the weekend, sit back, enjoy the live music and float past the fabulous scenery.

However for something just that little bit unique why not climb aboard the majestic Tall Ship, Irene and take to the waves. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing from o Ballycastle Harbour on a traditional Tall Ship.

The voyage is at sea for four hours and takes in a tour of the Rathlin Sound, the name of the body of water separating Rathlin Island from the mainland.

The maximum number of passengers allowed on each trip is 10 and the cost is £30 per person. The departure time varies according to the tide each day and there will be sailings everyday from Friday 23rd May to Sunday 25th.

Don’t worry if you prefer to stay close to shore, the Irene will be open for visitors from 10am everyday until 30 minutes before sailings depart. On Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th May it’s open from 10am until 8pm and it’s absolutely free to come on board. Irene will also be open again in the evenings when it is back in Ballycastle harbour until 9.00pm.

The Irene will also be in the harbour for the, ‘Blessing of The Boats Ceremony’, on Monday 26th May, at 7.00pm, this is an ancient maritime tradition that’s been revived by the festival organisers. Everyone is welcome to come down to harbour to enjoy the ceremony.

On Saturday 31st May take a trip to Rathlin Island. Immerse The traditional Drontheim and Curragh boats which will be on display and racing around the Bay watch from as the traditional Drontheim and Curragh boats race around Bay.

On Rathlin Island there is a unique event taking place which chronicles the history of the island through the islander’s personal items retrieved from the sea around Rathlin Island.

For bookings and further information contact, Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre tel: 028 2076 2024

For further information about the festival log on to www.heartofthecausewaycoastandglens.com/maritimefestival or contact Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre 028 2076 2024.