Northern Ireland Report

by Willie Coates

Sunday 1st June
After landing the passengers from Peel back at Bangor, Balmoral sailed light to Warrenpoint for the following day's operation.
Monday 2nd June
I did not travel on this sailing. About 120 persons sailed from Warrenpoint to Peel. They were predictably poor sailors, and so Jim McFadzean proposed that the return voyage should be to Bangor instead of Warrenpoint. This gave them a smoother voyage and less time at sea. They were then transferred by bus to Warrenpoint. This operation also saved Balmoral the light voyage from Warrenpoint to Bangor, which they would otherwise have had to do in any case.
Tuesday 3rd June
Off service day at Bangor. Shared the North Pier with the sailing vessel Grand Turk.
Wednesday 4th June
Bangor - Red Bay - Campbeltown and return
A lovely day for a sail. It was just a pity that a few more people did not come to find this out. I would guess that we had about 100 passengers total.
Thursday 5th June
Belfast - Bangor - Donaghadee - cruise Copeland Islands and Islandmagee and return
Several very shrill parties from primary schools boosted the numbers for this voyage. Nice weather and good visibility.
An evening charter by the Belfast Master Mariners' Club. It also sailed out by the Copelands.
Friday 6th June
Bangor - Red Bay - Ballycastle - Londonderry with return by coach
We had a total of about 160 persons for this trip. Visibility improved during the day, giving us a good view of the Giant's Causeway Coast. We also met the Currach "Colmcille" with 12 persons on board. It was making a pilgrimage voyage to Iona.
Evening showboat cruise cancelled due to lack of advance bookings.
Saturday 7th June
Londonderry - Moville - Coleraine - cruise Giant's Causeway and return
Our first ever call at Moville. Because Moville is in the Irish Republic, this was also an international voyage. Our numbers were again disappointing, totalling about 100.
Sunday 8th June
Londonderry - Moville - Port Ellen (Islay)
A brilliant day! With about 380 passengers total, we sailed the calm North Atlantic to this magical island, the home of seven malt distilleries. During time ashore, a coach was provided to take our passengers to visit some of the nearby distilleries. Because the new engines are still knocking spots off the published timetable, Capt. Lee decided to make the return voyage via the Giant's Causeway. It looked magnificent in the evening sunshine.
Monday 9th June
Londonderry - Coleraine - Ballycastle
Cancelled due to lack of advance bookings and a poor weather forecast.

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