I've spent an interesting day at Whiterock, a small coastal community near Killinchy in County Down.
The National Trust invited me to the naming ceremony for their new Strangford Lough barge, the Cuan Brig, at Strangford Lough Yacht Club.
The official naming was to have been performed by the Minister for the Environment, Mark H Durkan MLA, though he was unable to attend.
We all congregated in the club-house, where we enjoyed refreshments.
His Worship the Mayor of Ards was in attendance.
Alas, there was very heavy rain during the actual ceremony at the jetty, where a bottle of locally-distilled whiskey was smashed against Cuan Brig; though this didn't dampen our spirits (!).
Cuan Brig is technically a new steel landing craft for use in Category C tidal waters on Strangford Lough, for the National Trust in Northern Ireland.
The new vessel named was designed by Ian Paton of S C McAllister Ltd, and will be used for transporting cattle, vehicles, machinery, or up to twelve passengers, from the mainland to several islands around the Strangford Lough area.
National Trust staff are responsible for the maintenance of the flora and fauna on many islands in the Lough.
Work began on the vessel at the beginning of March, 2014.
The Cuan Brig is a flat-bottomed vessel with a length of 30 yards; a beam of 4 yards; and it is designed to be road transportable.
The vessel has a small wheelhouse aft, with a drop door on its bow which is raised and lowered by electric winches on both sides, and controlled from within the wheelhouse; and can be all operated by one crew member.
AFTERWARDS, a number of us moved on to the celebrated Daft Eddy's bar-restaurant at Sketrick Island, where we lunched and bade farewell to Alan, a member of NT staff who is leaving us.
The trusty nose-bag was ready for the County Down scampi and chips.