Monday, 13 April 2009

Salt Island: 28 March 2009

My volunteering colleagues had quite an eventful day at Salt Island on Strangford Lough, according to Patricia. She sent me a résumé at the weekend; I have edited a few words:-

Salt Island was beautiful as usual but it was eventful. I think you would
have enjoyed the excitement.

It started out as a cold windy morning and Craig had trouble even rowing out
to the NT boat at Whiterock but after a long delay he arrived at Killyleagh
and took the volunteers over in two runs.

We didn't arrive to start work till after 11am. There were about ten of us
all together and whilst some cleared some dead wood from the trees in the
small wood behind the Bothy the rest spread three large bags of gravel (left
over from the building work) to form a path to the bothy from the jetty.

We stopped for lunch around 1pm and the sun shone on us. We all sat outside
and enjoyed the heat and the views!

After a beach tidy Craig decided we should leave around 3 from the far side
of the island as usual because of the tides but that's where we ran into
trouble. The small motor on the boat wouldn't work and what with the wind
the tide and the seaweed we couldn't get into open water.
A couple of the volunteers (two new lads) were soaked pushing the boat off
shore whilst the rest of us, yes all of us, were in the boat, as Craig
didn't want to risk two journeys back and forward. But the boat kept getting
blown back into shore before we could get the motor started and out of the
weed, so on about the tenth attempt Craig was just about to call for a tow
when we got going and finally got to Killyleagh about 4.30pm. The boat had
to be moored at Killyleagh until Monday.

To add to the excitement earlier in the day Kevin found a rowing boat just
off the island and waded out and brought it into shore it still had the
rowing bracket things (can't remember their name) in it and a mobile phone
(very wet). Kevin and Craig reported this to Killyleagh Yacht Club but it
was on the news later in the day that the RNLI had rescued at man from a
rowing boat just off Killyleagh at 6am that morning. So it must have been
his boat.

Perhaps my absence several thousand miles away was timely!

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