Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2019 - Friday 31st May

Event date: 
Friday, May 31, 2019 - 10:00



Life on the Sea-shore: Weather permitting!
Fri 31st May, Exhibition gazebo, Rathlin Seafront, from 10am
Come and meet some of the amazing marine life that finds a home along Rathlin’s shores – the exhibition gazebo and touch-tank comes complete with a family-friendly marine biologist and expert in all creatures marine. The exhibition, with the Safari, provide excellent opportunities to learn about this wildlife wonderland and how we might treat it with kindness.

Rathlin Seashore Safari: Weather permitting!
Fri 31st May, Rathlin shoreline, meet at CEDaR exhibition stand on seafront at 12 noon
Join our marine life expert for a safari along the beach and the water’s edge to discover the incredible variety of sea life that thrives on the margins. An opportunity under expert guidance, to collect a few things to help stock the afternoon’s touch-tank display.

A Mermaids Tail:
Fri 31st May, Rathlin Seafront, from 10.30am
A yarn, collected on Rathlin Island by Sam Henry and told in a tent
Inside the tent, there will be lots of things to touch, feel, smell and see and children will be able to explore the story at their own pace. Tailored for children aged 5 and under, younger or older siblings are also welcome to join. (Children should bring your ‘responsible parent’, or a similar adult!)

Rathlin food tour:
Fri 31st May (time/meeting point TBC, will be on website)
We walk, we eat, we laugh, and we learn. Join us on a food tour of Rathlin Island. Meet chefs and owners that make Rathlin their home and enjoy the history of the food on Rathlin. Picnic in the Kelp Store and learn of the trade that kept the island.
£40pp Please book in advance via www.irishfeast.com

Our history - for keeps:
Fri 31st May, Parochial Hall, 2pm
Celebrate a taste of Rathlin’s history and genealogy in a presentation of the community’s recent heritage project, ‘Our history- for keeps’, a project funded by the European Union’s Peace IV ‘Understanding our Area’ Programme. Nic Wright from Causeway Museums will give an introduction to Rathlin’s early history, and Rathlin participants will provide a glimpse into the work done on local genealogy and oral history. Refreshments will be served.

Flotilla from Ballycastle to Rathlin:
Fri 31st May, Church Bay, early evening
If weather and tides are kind, an exciting flotilla of traditional boats, Vikings, drontheims and currachs, will depart from Ballycastle in the early evening, aiming to reach Rathlin’s Church Bay within an hour and a little more.
The crews will be welcomed ashore to a BBQ and, no doubt, some music to celebrate their arrival.

The Flotilla will include:
Sea dragon Vikings
The Vikings return to the island once again with the evocative imagery of the longboat, swords and helmets and, over the weekend, some mock (we hope) fighting along the beach. With participation in the successful US TV series ‘Vikings’ under their belts, boat and crew are welcome on Rathlin’s shores.

Colmcille and Menapian
Two of Northern Ireland’s large (almost 40ft) currachs, expedition tried and tested, will be rowed over by their 10 or 12 person crews. Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group and Row the Erne’s magnificent boats, Colmcille and Menapian, will take up residence in the harbour for the weekend, with some displays of rowing and more in store.

Some of the resident Rathlin drontheims will be joined for the crossing by friends from along the mainland coast and further afield across the (no hard) border.

Add to this a clutter of smaller racing currachs and there is a treat of a fleet in store.

Welcome BBQ:
Friday 31st May, seafront, at an appropriate hour, to be determined by the crossing conditions for the flotilla. There will be music, traditional or otherwise.

Disco night:
Fri 31st May, McCuaig’s Bar, late ‘till later...

Drontheims, Currachs and the like...
Add tides, weather, volunteer hours, interest and passion together with beautiful locally-built traditional boats, provide a week to gather them all together, stir well and see what happens. Over the two weekends there will be traditional boats in Rathlin’s waters. With luck they will be around during the week. Search them out, chat to their crews and enjoy a taste of maritime culture.

SS Rathlin Exhibition:
Fri 24th May – Sun 2nd June, St Thomas’s Church, all day and every day
Learn about the dramatic work of the WWII convoy rescue ship the SS Rathlin, and the hundreds of men she saved from drowning. From peacetime ferrying across the Irish Sea to the disastrous Arctic Convoy “PQ17”, the Rathlin’s life-saving role is examined, bringing this little-known story to a wider audience. This exhibition will continue to run after the Festival for the remainder of the summer.

Shipwreck exhibition:
Monday 27th May – Sunday 2nd June, Richard Branson Centre, 11am – 3.30pm
Enjoy a remarkable display of shipwreck artefacts salvaged from the waters around Rathlin Island. This popular annual exhibition is testimony to the rich maritime history of the area and a moving reminder of the ever present risk to a life on the sea.

No shelter for plastic:
Fri 24th May – Sun 2nd June, Passenger shelter, Pier 1
A display of ‘interesting plastic items’, flotsam and jetsam that have found their way to Rathlin’s shores and will be artistically installed into spaces in the passenger shelter for your education and amusement. Please don’t remove the exhibits but feel free to add to it if you come across something appropriate.

Festival in a shop:
Fri 24th May – Sun 2nd June, Co-op Community Shop
Make your own mask or pirate patch, make your own basking shark and other pirate/maritime based crafts (open during regular shop hours).
Grab n Go foods offering Fresh made Seafood Picnics by arrangement. £25pp (2 people per order min) for picnics including lobster, crab and seaweeds. Email: rathlinshop@gmail.com

A clean sea wall:
Fri 24th May – Sun 2nd June, Co-op Community Shop
Rathlin is one of 10 UK islands involved in the Cold Water Islands project, a year-long pilot project supported by Surfers against Sewage and Parley for the Oceans to tackle plastic pollution and marine litter. Come and see the information wall on the project, which islands are in with us and what we, and you, can do to clean up our act. Island businesses are reinforcing the message by reducing plastic waste and providing water refills for your own bottles. What can you do to make a sea change on marine litter?

Extra-curricular music:
Listen out for local singer songwriter Wendy Jack who will 'Pop-Up' in various locations during the festival...

Sea in the Lighthouse
Fri 24th May – Sun 2nd June, ‘Under the Sea’ Room, West Light, 11am-3pm every day
Video art works by Susan Hughes, made on Rathlin and other coastal locations of Iceland and Norway. Visual footage of below and above the surface of the sea is accompanied by audio of the artists’ own fiddle playing in response to the rhythms and tones found in the physical environment. Usual West Light Seabird Centre admission charges apply.

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