Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2019 - Wednesday 29th May

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 08:00



‘A morning of Mothing’
Wed 29th May, Manor House front garden, from 8am
An early morning insight into Rathlin’s nocturnal nature. Join enthusiastic 'mothers' Ric Else and Hazel Watson to discover what moths have visited their light traps overnight. Last year over 220 moth species were recorded on Rathlin, including many spectacular and colourful moths like the striking Garden Tiger, lurid pink Elephant Hawkmoth, and the large fuzzy Poplar Hawkmoth.

At sea with words..?
Wed 29th May, Parochial Hall, 11 – 1pm
Bernie McGill, award-winning Northern Irish writer and author of The Watch House, set on Rathlin, offers a creative writing workshop. Numbers limited so please phone the Rathlin Visitor Information Centre (028 2076 0054) to ensure a place.

Rathlin Shipwrecks Talk:
Wed 29th May, McCuaig’s Bar, 3.00pm
Join well known maritime historian Ian Wilson, author of Shipwrecks of the Ulster Coast, and HMS Drake. Rathlin Island Shipwreck, as he tells the stories of the ships whose historic nameplates adorn the walls of McCuaig’s Bar: the Arriero, Saracen, Girvin and Her Majesty.

A Light on the Stacks
Wed 29th May, 9pm – 10.30pm, West Lighthouse Seabird Centre
The RSPB is hosting two special evening openings at the Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre - see the sun going down in the company of auks, fulmars and kittiwakes, then watch the West Light come alive as its red beam shines out across the sea and over one of the biggest seabird breeding colonies in Europe. Free entry; donations very much appreciated. (Transport will be available from the harbour car park, in front of the Manor House, for a small charge.)

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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