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Go Coasteering for Meningitis Research Foundation

MRF logo

We  have teamed up with Meningitis Research Foundation in a unique partnership to raise vital funds for the local charity.

We are going to give £5 from every person that books with us in April or goes out on a Coasteering Adventure with us in April.  With most people booking in groups ranging from 2 – 10 people the charity could be raising anywhere from £10 – £50 at a time.

Meningitis Research Foundation is currently funding 17 research projects into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia. The Foundation has spent over £16.5 million on research since its inception in 1989.

Meningitis Research Foundation operates a Freefone helpline – 080 8800 3344 – providing information on meningitis and septicaemia to the general public and health professionals.

Emma McNeill from Meningitis Research Foundation says “we are thrilled to be teaming up with Coasteering NI and we really hope people avail of this great activity and in turn help us in our fight against meningitis and septicaemia.

For those of you that don’t know, Coasteering is one of the fastest growing adventure sports in the UK and Ireland.  Wearing wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets participants will traverse a section of coastline, sometimes swimming, sometimes scrambling over rocks and with some cliff jumps thrown in for good measure.  It’s an activity that is enjoyed by groups of friends, hen and stag party’s as well as families and individuals.

So why are we doing this?  We know that times are tough for charities and we thought this might be a great way to get people outdoor enjoying themselves whilst raising much needed money at the same time.  And we are delighted to be in a position to work alongside Meningitis Research Foundation once again.

Coasteering NI mainly operate from Ballintoy but deliver Coasteering at various locations in Northern Ireland and Ireland.  Prices range from £35 – £45 per person depending on numbers which includes photos from the day.  Please contact Emma on 028 9032 1283 or email [email protected] to sign up or book directly with us.

Having fun, making friends and being a wee bit silly

Without a doubt the Harlem Shake is another YouTube phenomenon that cannot be explained…  Some of the videos that have been made are absolutely crazy and the people that make them must have the best craic – so we decided to make one too!


We created the event on Facebook and had a small group of people appear to take part.  The costumes and props that they brought with them were brilliant and certainly caught the attention of everyone else at Ballintoy Harbour.

So we introduced everyone to each other and then began coming up with a plan together.  The only thing that was certain was Sara would be the lead shaker – she had chatted about it the whole way up in the car and was pleased as punch when it was agreed she could do it.

After we made the video we all went down to the Bushmills Inn for soup and coffee.

Like everything we do, the best part of the day was the banter.  Read the quote and see for yourself 🙂

As Gavan said afterwards, “I did it because it was a fabulously different way to spend a Sunday, have great craic, meet some lovely new people & to do something that most folk I know wouldn’t dream of going.”

For Caroline it was all about “getting outside, breathing in the clean air, meeting an awesome group of people and having fun, what more motivation would you need!”

Sara said “I took part cause it seemed like fun and was something different being in the sea to do it!” which was echoed by her sister Emma “I enjoyed it as there was a twist to Coasteering and was different.  I came along cause it was something different and a was a good laugh.”

Super Gran (from Heroes go Coasteering) aka Lisa Kirkwood was back again and she said, “I did it because having worked with Coasteering NI before I knew I was going to be in safe and hands. And I’m a little nuts”

And young Meghan said “I really enjoyed getting to dance in the beautiful blue rock pools while dressed as Sylvester the cat.”

So from our point of view it was bit of fun, we all had a ball and the evidence is below!

Harlem Shake Ballintoy

Harlem Shake is the latest YouTube craze and we want in on the action; and we want in on it with you!!!

Have you seen the videos?  Just go on to YouTube and type in Harlem Shake and be prepared for loads and loads of videos to scroll through!  Some really funny, some weird, some rude and some that are insane!

It all started in early February 2013 when 5 teenagers from Queensland uploaded this video….



So how does it work?

The videos last 30 – 32 seconds and feature an excerpt from the song Harlem Shake by electronic musician Baauer.  The video usually begins with one person (often helmeted or masked) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people not paying attention or unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops (you’ll know when this happens) the video cuts to the entire crowd going crazy for the next 15 seconds. The “dancing” that ensues is as creative as you like – gyrating, the worm, moon walking, shaking, jumping and the list goes on!  Crucially, in the second half of the video, people often wear a minimum of clothes or crazy outfits or costumes while wielding strange props- the stranger the better in our opinion!

So what are we going to do?

We are going to make A Harlem Shake video at Ballintoy Harbour on Sunday 3rd March at 1.00pm.  We have created an event on Facebook already and want to get as many people there as possible.  If you want to come along and join the madness sign up to our event on Facebook or pop us an email to [email protected].

You need to sort your outfit and props but if you fancy jumping in the sea and want a wetsuit make sure you let us know.

This is going to be crazy good!

Understanding Tide Tables

Understanding Tide Tables is something that is very important for some of the Coasteering venues that we use in Northern Ireland and Ireland.  Ballintoy is brilliant because we can coasteer there no matter what the tide or sea state is like – it can be really rough and it’s great and it can be as flat as a pancake and it’s great.  Other venues need certain conditions to make them safe and that’s when reading a tide table is crucial…

First off you need to know where you can find tide tables.  There are loads of sites that offer them but we really like the clean interface offered by the BBC site

Tide TableSelect what area you need and then you will see  3 columns on the left of the graph.  These show:

  • High and low tides
  • The times
  • The height of the tide

This is pretty straightforward, the tide will be at it’s highest at 0320 and then again at 1505.  Note, although it might appear that tides work it in a 6 hour cycle this is not actually the case.

The height of the tide also varies and this is to do with the stage of the moon and it’s gravitational pull.  When we have a new moon or full moon we will experience higher high tides and lower low tides.  See next diagram

Tide Table 2If you compare both graphs you will notice that the height difference is much more dramatic in the second graph – that’s because this one if for a full moon.

Another important thing to know is that for a period of time at high tide and low tide there is very little gravitational pull and therefore the sea will be relatively still.  These slack tides can last 1-3  hours split on either side of the actual low or high tide time.

It must be remembered that there are many other factors that determine whether it is safe to go in the sea.  Local knowledge is a huge factor and one which should never be overlooked.

We will be adding some more information on “understanding the sea” over the coming weeks but if you have a question please get in touch.

One man and the sea

One man and a waveWe just had to share this photo because we think it beautifully captures the power and ferocity of the sea and how small we really are…

It also just goes to prove that the venues we use are adaptable, safe and full of challenges.  No matter how rough the sea is we can still take people Coasteering.  That is the beauty of Coasteering with CoasteeringNI – we know our venues so well that we can take you on a different experience each and every time you come out with us.

Ask anyone that has been out with us – no two trips are the same.  You could come out on a calm day and will enjoy experiences not possible on a rough day and vice-versa.

Blue Sky Coasteering

Karen and Orla had wanted to try Coasteering for well over a year and got in touch with CoasteeringNI in January and very promptly booked their Adventure for February 2nd 2013.


The two ladies had already experienced some adventure activities when they participated in OutdoorNI’s Adventureland last year.   But they really wanted to take on the challenge of Coasteering and that they did!

It was a beautiful morning when we met them at Ballintoy, the waves were crashing, the sun was shining and the sky was blue although the cross wind certainly made it a tad nippy.  Not enough to put our girls off and soon we were kitted up and dandering along the coast to Elephant Rock.

From there on the rest is history – we did a whole range of jumps ranging from 5ft to 20ft and had a few epic swims!

Good times for sure and the ladies are already talking about coming back to do some higher jumps – bring it!

Best Thrill Seeking Provider 2012

ONI Award slider

WOW!!! What a start to 2013

This is the second year of the year of the OutdoorNI Awards, which are supported by Surf Mountain, and we are absolutely delighted to have been voted the Number 1 Thrill Seeking Provider.

We had been watching the announcements all week on the OutdoorNI Facebook page but somehow missed the announcement for our category.  It was a good job one our “Heroes go Coasteering” participants (Lisa Kirkwood aka Super Gran) spotted it and wrote congratulations on our Facebook wall!

We were over the moon and when asked about the award, Stephen said, “Coasteering is growing rapidly in Northern Ireland which will have certainly contributed to our success but we definitely believe the success ultimately lies in our delivery of this exhilarating activity including our friendly instructors to guide the brave and the not so brave and the range of scenic locations we use giving people the opportunity to see parts of the coastline from a different perspective”.

Ultimately though, it was the votes of our happy customers, Facebook fans, family members and friends that got us the “win”! And for that we can not thank you enough!

We were up against some really established companies and as you can imagine, competition was fierce; and with your help we still managed to secure almost 30% of the votes though!

So from all of us to all of you – thank you very much and here’s to another great year Coasteering in Northern Ireland!

Super Heroes go Coasteering

So I started writing this yesterday and saved a draft but now can’t find it.

Starting again I am filled with nostalgia; this really was a fantastic day with an amazing bunch of people.  It will be hard not to be sentimental in my version of the day; excuse me if I am, but I am blown away by how amazing all of these people are!

It all started with an idea I had for a YouTube video – I wanted to get a load of people dressed up as Superheroes jumping off cliffs.  As this was for my own (company) benefit I wasn’t going to charge people to come along.  And then it occurred to me that instead of paying they could make a donation to Tracy’s Angels.

Tracy’s Angels?  What’s that you say?

Well, Tracy is one of my best friends and this year she has been running a race a month to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Northern Ireland.  In October she was joined at Runher by 17 women – some of these women were runners, some were not, some she had known for years and some she just met, but they all turned up to walk or run and so became Tracy’s Angels.  And then the madness began…

New friendships were formed, races were planned and lots of other mad ideas including a calendar!

Back to the heroes….

As we turned down the windy road to to the harbour it was very obvious that we were in for a day of huge waves.  Looking across the cliffs towards Carrick-A-Reed I could see the spray coming up over the cliffs.  It was no surprise that everyone already gathered at the harbour met me with a strange giddiness and excitement mixed with a good dose of nervousness!

This event had been building momentum for weeks, the craic was great on the Facebook page and now we were all here, but those bloody huge waves were intimidating!

We all got busy turning into Super Heroes and the waves were forgotten!  And I have to admit, I have never seen a funnier sight than Superman, SuperGran, Spiderman and his twin, Super Girl, Robin and his twin, BananaWoman, Mrs Claus, Mr Incredible, Mr Fantastic and not least, a Marie Curie Hero, Daffodil Girl, dandering along the shore at Ballintoy.

It was a sight to behold and the passing tourists stared on in complete bewilderment; we were just laughing non stop!

The sea was I expected, really rough so we managed to do the first jump a few times each and then went for a swim in some epic waves with strong currents.  It was class seeing Spiderman landing on some rocks and getting helped to the shore by one of the Robins – even Super Heroes know the importance of Team Work!

After the EPIC swims we headed back to the Harbour for some Pier Jumping and posey photographs.  Again, the tourists and passersby looked on, some laughing and some looking thoroughly confused.

A few of us then made a beeline to the jeep for Hot Port and mince pies kindly supplied by Tracy, while the rest went and caught another couple of waves!

Standing around the jeep at the end chatting to everyone was just brilliant.  We were all swapping stories and telling tales of how epic our adventure was.

I love days like this.  New friendships are made and the shared experience will never be forgotten by anyone of us.  And we all know that between us we raised enough money for Marie Curie Cancer Care to provide 25 hours of care!

So from me to all those that took part, helped out, sponsored or even just looked on and cheered from the sidelines – thank you!

You are all legends in my book

Now, have a look at this video and scroll to the bottom of the page for links to Tracy’s Angels and the Just Giving page 🙂

Can Super Heroes go Coasteering?

The 15 Heroes that are coming Coasteering with us on Sunday 9th December will be able to answer that question better!  But we know fine rightly that it will be a YES!

That’s because they know that they are going to have a brilliant afternoon of waves, jumps and laughter!  They also know that their “madness” is helping raise vital funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care Northern Ireland via Tracy’s Angels.

Tracy’s Angels is a group of like minded runners  who all came together for Runher in October 2012 in support of Tracy’s Gilpin’s ‘Race a Month’ for Marie Curie.

They have loads of events coming up including:

  • A 24 hr sit up challenge – as many people as possible needed to keep sit ups going over a 24 hr period at Monkstown Boxing Club – date to be confirmed and more details to follow!
  • 20th January – Santa Pola Half Marathon
  • 26th January – Causeway Coast Adventure Racing Winter Series
  • 27th January & 3rd February – Hell & Back (extreme 10k) – Angels taking part on both dates!
 And they are about to release a Calendar for 2013 with all proceeds going to Marie Curie
Anyone can join, you don’t need to be super fit or sporty, you just need to be willing to join in and have the craic.
Check them out on Facebook, make a donation or do both 🙂
And keep an eye out for photos and videos from this AWESOME ADVENTURE!

I love Coasteering

Coasteering NI

There is no doubt about – I absolutely love Coasteering.

I love the thrill
I love the rush
I love the peacefulness
I love the escape
I love the challenge
I love seeing Mother Nature at her finest
I love exploring places never explored before
I love the inaccessibility
I love the blustery days with huge waves and I love the calm day with blue skies

I love the drive to my next Coasteering Adventure
I love the music I play to get me in the zone

I love guiding people on Coasteering trips
I love seeing them step out of their comfort zones
I love seeing them try new things
I love the smiles and the laughter
I love the banter and playful teasing
I love the stories on the walk back to the start
I love seeing new friendships form

I love getting changed in to nice warm clothes
I love that big mug of coffee afterwards

I love reading the feedback on Facebook and Trip Advisor
I love people sharing the photos
I love it when the photos are tagged and become profile pictures

I love Coasteering so much it’s hard to call it a job!