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OutdoorNI.com does Strangford Sea Safari

Posted on August 23, 2011 @ 12:45 PM in Adventure

OutdoorNI.com does Strangford Sea Safari is the latest in our regular blog feature ‘OutdoorNI.com does…’ which is our opportunity to showcase the exciting outdoor activities available in Northern Ireland.

Find out how OutdoorNI.com’s Claire Overend got on when she took a blast on the Strangford Sea Safari.

Strangford Sea Safari

 Like a child on Christmas morning I woke up early on the morning of my first ever sea safari, my excitement grew even further as I opened the curtains to glorious sunshine. 

The drive to Strangford from Belfast only took about 40 minutes.  Strangford Village has an idyllic location, right on the edge of Strangford Lough, it really has the traditional feel of a quaint Irish village.

We arrived slightly early so just chilled out in the sun watching the car ferry move back and forward between Strangford and Portaferry.  After a short wait a fast looking RIB (which stands for Rigid Inflatable Boat) approached the pier and unloaded all the passengers from the previous trip.  I was getting excited!  My boyfriend who isn’t too keen on water seemed a bit nervous!

Our guide, Andrew gave us large waterproof jackets to wear even though we where already wearing jackets, I thought I wouldn’t need as I’d be too hot, but put it on anyway. I am so glad I did!

As we climbed into the boat I got front view seat, which also gets all the force of the wind, great! The boat held about 12 passengers.

Once we all on board, Andrew gave a short safety brief and outline of the trip before setting off nice and slowly out of the harbour. Once we were out of the harbour, Andrew put his foot down which was fantastic, it felt as if we where skimming the water.  I was very glad I had put the extra jacket on as when you go fast the wind made it feel a lot colder but the jacket kept me warm and toasty.

At various points we slowed or stopped to allow Andrew tell us information about various spots along the Lough including Castle Ward, Audley’s Castle and the SeaGen turbine explaining what it does and how it provides energy. We then spotted the lovely sight of seals basking in the sunlight on the rocks.

We continued towards the mouth of the Lough at what felt like full speed (Andrew told later it wasn’t even close, shame), it was great to go so fast a real rush of adrenaline.

On the return trip we slowed down and talked about the wildlife and fish in particular. We then went close to the Routen Wheel whirlpool which was amazing, who’d of thought we had such powerful whirlpools in Northern Ireland.  

Andrew then asked if we’d like to do some circles and told us to hold on, he did a few circles which were a bit like a rollercoaster, excellent fun and everyone roared with excitement.

As we came back to port I thought about what a great trip it had been and seemed to fly by even thought we’d been out for nearly an hour. Even my previously nervous boyfriend said “this is a must do trip and a great way to see Strangford Lough from another perspective.”  

 

Claire Overend
Claire Overend  Venture Outdoor Development Officer

Claire has been has been in the Outdoor Recreation NI team since 2010. As Development Officer for the Venture Outdoors Project she is responsible for creating opportunities for those from disabled, minority ethnic and socially disadvantaged communities to enjoy Northern Ireland's outdoors.

Claire is a keen mountain biker and snow sports enthusiast.

2 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Jayna on October 9, 2011 @ 3:14 PM

We've airvred at the end of the line and I have what I need!

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