Probably the best way to do it, but this year it is the only way to do it as the island was Covid free and they were determined to keep it like that. Until recently it was forbidden to land and even when things eased up there was nowhere to go and nowhere to shelter. People were advised to bring their own food and if it rained eat it in the bus shelter. Things are slightly better now as I think the pub has opened but the seabird centre is still closed and the staff are furloughed. The word on the cliffs is that it will probably remain closed this year as the climb to and from the platform makes social distancing very difficult. So off we went with Redbay Powerboating and the Kintra ably skippered by Charlie Stewart. Due to tide and wind we did the trip anti-clockwise and started off with a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins coming out of Ballycastle. Unfortunately I discovered that my camera was still clamped to the scope which was in the house so all photos were taken on the phone. The list included all that was expected including peregrine, raven, manx shearwater, gannet and all the gulls except black-headed. We dipped on great skua - they were following the wrong boat! All in all a cracking thre hours with the usual stunning views of Rathlin from the sea, highly recommended. Here are two sites with photos taken from the Kintra.
The first site is the boat page which has some nice photos, the second one is the RSPB page and some of the punters put their photos up on the site, scroll down and look for Gary Gray and Brian Fullerton. Even if I had brought my camera I could not have bettered the shots by Brian and Gary.
|Stacks at Bull Point|
|Auks at sea|