The Causeway Coastal Route

Causeway Coast

We travelled the Causeway Coastal Route from Bushmills to Ballycastle and found the scenery beautiful and the drive pleasant. We stopped at the Causeway, White Park Bay, Dunseverick Castle, Carrick-A-Rede and a few miscellaneous laybys.

We stopped at the Dunseverick Castle ruin as we made our way along the costal route. There isn’t much left, but what there is on its outcropping is impressive. The surrounding views are also great. There is a National Trust carpark on the causeway side of the ruin, and a layby/viewing area on the eastern side. Both parking options are free.

Several of these have viewing spots where payment isn’t needed, though Causeway and Carrick-A-Rede are major National Trust sites and have paid parking (unless member). The views are worth the drive and it is a great alternative route to using the motorway back down south.


Anger Personified


Turbulent, unpredictable

Subject to swings of mood

The sea is ever-changing

Incapable of being subdued

Oh, we think that with science and engineering

Building vessels that seem so concrete

That we are the masters

But that’s a fool’s conceit

Our human vanity will come to naught

When the ocean’s true anger we meet

That calm façade inviting

Is just to us a tease

For if you overstep the bounds

You will be punished by the seas


The Littlest Fisher (Part 2)

The next morning Danshe grabbed her tackle box and made her way to her fishing spot. The waters seemed as turbulent as they had since the storm, but the small tide pull into which she often dangled her feet was absolutely calm. To her surprise the largest lobster she had ever seen was there in the pool. Leaving her rod and tackle on the edge she lowered herself into the pool. After giving it a few moments’ thought she took out here show laces and bound the creature’s massive claws. All-in-all it took her nearly fifteen minutes to subdue to beast of a lobster.

“Thank you sea,” she called out over the waters.

She could have sworn that a seal or sea lion responded with a bark of “You’re welcome.”

Danshe placed the creature next to her tackle box and then scrambled up the ledge. She now faced another problem. The lobster was so large that she couldn’t carry it and her precious tackle box at the same time. She decided to make two trips being sure to get the sea’s gift home to her mother first.

Within an hour, she had completed her round trips and was settled back home.

Shortly afterwards her sister came in saying there was a boat struggling to come to the island. About an half and hour later the assistant lighthouse keeper, Brian Smally managed to work his way ashore.

“I’ve been rowing since yesterday morning,” he said.

“Is help coming from the mainland?” Karl asked.

“It looks worse over there than it does here,” Brian replied. “The port is totally smashed up. One barge with fifteen thousand kilos of onions broke its moorings during the storm and rammed the ferry broadside bringing them both to the bottom of the harbour. It was enough to bring a tear to the eyes,” he said giving a wink to Danshe.

“So no help?” Danshe’s mother asked.

“No time soon. But I did manage to get a small sack of potatoes; and picked up some floating onions on my way.”

That night the islanders has a rich lobster stew.

“Do you think we should bring some to the redheaded lady?” Danshe asked her mother.

“It would be nice to offer,” her mom said, but later they found no one at home, so they left a small covered pot on the cottage porch.



The entire voyage had been a fiasco. The “captain” had obtained the position through family connections and he in turn made an old school acquaintance the first mate. One of their first actions was to sack the quartermaster for being “too old.” They then headed into the town to acquire stores themselves. The merchants they encountered saw their greenness from a mile away and the pair paid well above the market price for spoilt beef and weevily biscuit.

The new helmsman they hired didn’t know his starboard from his larboard, and the purser had “sticky fingers.”

Well, after two months of bad food, course irregularities, and three days stuck in the doldrums the crew had enough and threw the captain, his mate, and the other offending officers into a dingy and cast them adrift. I guess you could say it was a boat of no confidence.



Bournemouth Pier from the Observation Wheel (Padre’s Ramblings)

My wife and I had a nice visit to the seaside while I was attending a union conference. Bournemouth has an interesting combination of beaches and the usual British coastal amusements and a very hilly terrain which for someone more familiar with Great Yarmouth was a bit of an adjustment.

We stayed at the Hilton which we found very welcoming and convenient especially as it has its own parking. We had a meal at a lovely southern African restaurant called Zimbraai which my wife enjoyed as a “taste of home” and took our other dinners in the hotel’s own Schpoons and Forx restaurant which had lovely attentive service and a really friendly manager who is from Italy. The room was large and clean and had both a fridge and a spacious safe that was large enough to store laptops, etc.

Bournemouth Observation Wheel (Padre’s Ramblings)

The Observation Wheel is directly in front of the pier on Bournemouth Beach. Tickets are £6, or £5 for seniors, and the views are good making it a nice little addition to the seaside visit.

Land Train (Padre’s Ramblings)

There is a land train which runs both east and west along the seafront from Bournemouth Pier and which stops also at the Boscombe Pier. An all day adult ticket is £6.50 and does allow some easy and inexpensive transport along the attractions on the beach.

Pier from the Land Train (Padre’s Ramblings)

The Bournemouth Oceanarium is one of those attractions which I guess makes the seaside the seaside. This aquarium has a number of exhibits and sports such things as clown fish, sharks, and penguins. It costs £14.50 (adults) or £12.50 (seniors), family ticket are also available.

Penguins (Padre’s Ramblings)
Oceanarium (Padre’s Ramblings)

Add in an ice cream on the beach, and I think we have a complete seaside adventure (I will write about the boat trip to Poole in another post).


Serpent (Part One): Dragon Hunter Tales

Pliosaurus, Dinosaur, Sea Monster, Reptile, Dino

It had started much like any other day. Rolan loaded the nets on the boat and waited, as usual, for his brother to arrive at the boat. The sea was calm and the morning warm, and there was just a hint of feathery cloud as the sun began to ting the horizon.

“Get a move on,” Rolan bellowed at Kiffer as the latter appeared on the jetty still pulling his jerkin on.

“Sorry,” Kiffer said as a matter of course. “Lily slowed me up.”

Rolan knew that it was probably true as Kiffer was still a newlywed, but scolded his brother nonetheless. “Let her hold you up on your own time, those fish won’t wait all day for us.”

Soon the pair had cast off and were making good time to their usual fishing ground.

When they arrived they set their nets and opened the breakfast basket. Winnie, Rolan’s wife had made-up some biscuits and boiled eggs for them, and their was a bit of a surprise that there was cold mutton from the night before’s dinner in the basket as well.

“Good omen, I’ll tell you,” Rolan said as he placed a slice of meat on a biscuit.

“Well, good eating anyway,” Kiffer said dropping some shell overboard and popping an egg into his mouth.

The boat made a sudden jerk, and then settled.

“Net’s snagged,” Rolan said as he got up and began to haul in the guide cable. Kiffer joined him and the net came up easily. There was a decent catch in it, but not enough to have jolted the boat. The catch was dumped into the hold, and the net inspected. No sign of damage was detected, and so it was lowered again.

“Funny,” Kiffer observed.


“Didn’t you notice that there was no birds?” Kiffer asked.

“Didn’t think anything of it, but is odd,” Rolan said thoughtfully.

As he spoke a huge looming form crossed under the boat causing the boat to lift in its wake.

“What in the spirit’s . . . .” Rolan began only to trail off as a huge head broke the surface.

The apparition gazed at the boat for a moment an then dived. The brothers were knocked to the deck by the force of their net being caught in the beast’s jaws and the dentire boat began to be towed into deeper waters.

It was then that Kiffer had the presence of mind to cut the net cables freeing the boat from its seaward course. The brothers quickly took to the oars and beat a retreat shoreward. After what seemed an eternity, they beached themselves some three miles from their harbour.

“They will never believe a word of this,” Rolan said.

“I’m not too sure of that,” his brother retorted pointing to an eight-foot-long gouge along their larboard and the nearly footlong piece of broken talon embedded in the wood.



Google Photo Frame

It was not long now before the sunset and Harin knew that he would have to hurry. The first day of spring had come and the Kraken would need to be appeased if the village was to have an unhindered fishing year.

“Hurry up Harin,” Taris shouted from the waiting boat.

“Don’t rush us,” Harin replied. “We still need to say the words.”

Harin’s brother, Tarin, poured the scented oil over the offering and Harin began the incantation.

“So be it,” they said in unison as spell ended and the last drop of oil fell upon the offering.

“Now lets get back to the village before it arrives to take its tribute,” Tarin urged, and the two brothers joined their cousin in the boat and pulled with all their might to distance themselves from the sacrifice rock.

They knew that in the morning all of the offerings would be gone except for a few bones. They didn’t want theirs to be among them.

Thus the spring ritual ended. The village would indeed have a successful fishing season. No great storms would wreck their habour. The boats would again all return from their daily fishing.

As for the Kraken, no one was really sure if it really appeciated the tribute, but safe was safe. Besides, the gulls all seemed to enjoy the leftovers.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #113