Andrea HarrowerPeter LennonChristopher Somerville
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Learn something new this summer

Posted on May 4, 2011 @ 3:52 PM in Adventure

Northern Ireland’s outdoors offer the opportunity to learn some really inspirational activities.  Sea kayaking, canoeing and hill walking are just some of those available over the next month.

Whether you are seeking to learn a new skill, improve you talents or rekindle your youth then it’s time to get out and sign up for some of the excellent courses available.

You’ll also get the chance to meet some like minded people and explore parts of Northern Ireland that you never even knew existed.  If only school had been like this!!

These are some of our top tips for ‘learn to’ skills courses over the next month:

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking is by far the best way to view Northern Ireland’s stunning coastline and sea loughs.  These long sleek craft are perfect for day trips and longer.  These courses will teach you the art of sea kayaking whilst taking in beautiful surroundings.

Mobile Team Adventure – 6 Week Sea Kayak Training Course – Strangford Lough 

Life – Sea Kayaking Skills 2 Day – Annalong

Clearsky Adventure Centre – Paddle Power for Adults – Castle Ward, Strangford Lough



You’re never too far away from a river or lough in Northern Ireland and what better way to explore the by canoe.  These canoe skills courses will teach you the necessary skills before embarking on your own trip on one of Northern Irelands Canoe Trails.

Activities Ireland – Introduction to canoe / kayak skills – Lower Bann

Life – Open Canoe Skills 2 Day – Annalong

Hill Walking

Hill Walking

There are 100’s of excellent walks throughout Northern Ireland, for a full range see our sister website 

These courses will equip you with the skills and confidence to get off the beaten track and enjoy the best of the Mournes, Sperrins or North Coast.

Activities Ireland – Introduction to Mountain Skills and Mountain Navigation – The Mournes

Life – Hill Walking Skills – Annalong – The Mournes

This blog only highlights what is available during the month of May but you rest assured these opportunities and many more activities such as sailing, rock climbing, mountain biking are available year round check out our Learn Something New section for more details. 



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Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

Epic Solo Circumnavigation Begins

Posted on May 4, 2011 @ 1:31 PM in Canoeing

Elaine Alexander aka Shooter set off on Tuesday 3rd May on her challenge to become the first woman from Northern Ireland to circumnavigate Ireland by kayak.

The epic trip started with a bang as Elaine launched from County Antrim Yacht Club at Whitehead with the strong onshore wind generating powerful waves crashing off the rocky beach.

Shooter set off from Whitehead

A large crowd of well wishes and media roared, cheered and watched in amazement as Elaine battled her way through the swell often disappearing completely between the crest of the oncoming waves. 

The challenge will involve a solo voyage of 1000 miles battling tides, headlands, cliffs, not to mention unpredictable weather. 

The motivation for the trip is not only the 1000 mile challenge but also to raise much needed funds for the registered charity – SHARE. In 2011 SHARE based in County Fermanagh will celebrate 30 years of providing outdoor activity programmes which promote the inclusion of disabled & non-disabled people in a wide range of arts, land and water based recreational programmes. 

Elaine’s first day saw her battle against a strong headwind and oncoming waves until her first stop of point Donaghadee. She has continued to make good progress today on her clockwise route before returning to the same location in approximately two months time.

Amanda Poole interviewed Share's General Manager Robert Livingstone for an article in Wednesday 4th April's Belfast Telegraph 

He said: “Elaine is determined and fun to be around. She’s totally dedicated to what she sets her mind to and always gets the job done. It’s a brilliant challenge and completing the 1,000 miles will be a great achievement.

“She’s put so much work into preparation and training, sorting out maps, rest areas and equipment. Up from 6.30am each day, paddling before work and again for a few hours after.”

Robert was one of 80 guests at the newly-refurbished Co Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead yesterday to wish Elaine well on her daunting challenge.

Robert said: “She’ll have it tight in her first week, as the wind will be in her face for the first four or five days. The money raised will make a huge difference to us. We have an old bus we would like to replace with one adapted for wheelchair access.”

UTV Live has some great footage of the launch available via the UTV Player

Elaine will keep in touch through regular posts, updates and uploads on social networking sites Facebook, Twitter and Youtube and is fundraising through Just Giving with regular blogs and a map on her website which will pinpoint her location on route. All links are available from her website  On departure Elaine said "I will blog when possible throughout the trip. I would like to a big say thank you to all those that have donated so far and encourage anyone who would like to support this worthy cause to gift-aid donations online through our justgiving page”

Elaine’s trip has been made possible with generous support from Valley Sea Kayaks, Desperate Measures, Lendal Paddles, North South Marine, River Lake Sea, Yak, Brookbanks Canoes and Kayaks, Signal Signs, Asda Enniskillen, Canoe Association for Northern Ireland and Blackthorn Design.

Chris Scott

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Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

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