Stories from the deep

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

We are delighted to have been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Winners of the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website, with only the top 10 percent receiving the prestigious award.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors**, and over 100 million reviews and opinions covering more than 2.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, March 2013

**Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, April 2013

SOURCE TripAdvisor

Thank you!

This is a great addition to being voted the Number One Thrill Seekers Provider in the OutdoorNI Awards 

We really appreciate your feedback and with it we will continue to provide the best Coasteering trips in Ireland!

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Wake me up (and go Coasteering)

Coasteering NI

 

I was Coasteering at Ballintoy with 19 young people on Wednesday and went from there to Belfast to pick up my friend Kathryn Wilson before heading on to Lisburn for the annual 10K race.  On the way over, Kathryn played me some of the songs that she would be listening to while running and that was my first hearing of Avicci’s new song “Wake me up”.  I loved it immediately – great beats and lyrics.  Incidentally, Kathryn is a DJ and radio presenter and she started a new blog recently that I would recommend having a read at – www.kathrynbwilson.wordpress.com

It was Kathryn’s suggestion that I get a load of photos and put them together to the music and that’s exactly what I was doing until the wee hours last night.

You see, I have 1000’s of photos of people out Coasteering and it took quite a while.  Probably partly because I was looking through the albums and memories were flooding back of the experiences I shared with these people.

Eventually I managed to get a selection together and added them to the music.  At this point I have to admit to getting a bit emotional.  Watching the faces, the action and remembering how much people enjoyed themselves just made my night.

I could remember the laughter, the howling, the cheering, the camaraderie, the banter, the slagging and the jokes that were cracked.  I could remember when people were afraid and pushed on through to do what they said they wanted to do, I remember seeing the joy on their faces when they overcame those fears.  I remember the conversations as we walked back to the harbour.

I also remembered editing the photos first time round and thinking to myself “they’ll love that” and I remembered the likes and the comment that ensued when I posted them on Facebook.

This video means a lot to me.  So many happy memories and you might think this corny but I want to thank each and every one of you for them.  You make my job my dream job – thank you!!!

Stephen

Ps. Lisburn 10K was awesome!!

Challenge by choice

CoasteeringNI

 

We always ask people at the start of every Coasteering Adventure to introduce themselves to the rest of the group, or to us, if they all know each.  The introduction varies, but it often includes, what’s your name, how far have you travelled today and on a scale of 1 – 10 how are you feeling right now?

1 is for those that are s*** scared, nervous, apprehensive or all three.
10 is for those that can’t wait to get going.

There are five reasons we do this.

  • It helps us get a feel for how everyone is feeling
  • It helps everyone get to know each and see how they are feeling
  • It allows us an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions that people may have about their Coasteering Adventure
  • It helps us pitch the Coasteering Adventure at the right level for each person.
  • It means we can have good banter with everyone at the start and that really breaks the ice and makes people feel more at ease

The responses vary, a lot!  We have had people say they are 100 out of 10 and we have had people say that they are -10 out of 10.

Recently, we were Coasteering with a group of people on a training/employment course and one of the participants said that she was -10.  When asked why she said she was afraid of heights, couldn’t swim and was afraid of being too cold.  We asked her to have an open mind to what we were going to do and assured her that we worked on the principal of “Challenge by Choice”!  At no stage would she be asked/made to do something she didn’t want to do and at no stage would we put her in a position where she had to do something she didn’t want to do.  People often worry we will have them standing at the top of a cliff and the only way to progress is to jump – we never put people in that position and always have alternative routes.

Now, that girl got kitted up and went Coasteering with us.  At the end, we asked everyone how they felt now and she moved from -10 to +10.

The question is, why?  Which is a complex answer with many contributors and this applies to nearly everyone that does something that scares them.  In this case, she went at with an open-mind, or at least as wide as she could make it.  She had decided she would give it a go and at least try and face her fears.  Facing her fears was a massive push and some of the pulls were the confidence and support we and her peers gave her.

Ultimately though it was a lot of self-talk and courage that made her jump way outside her comfort zone!

BIG RESPECT!

The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.

Dan Stevens

My Coasteering Adventure by Kathryn Wilson

It was probably the coldest day of 2013 when I set out on my first day of Coasteering – too cold for new snow but it still lay on the ground.

As we started our adventure I got snug in TWO wetsuits adding up to an extra 8 mm of skin! Feeling nervous but excited we made our way towards our first rock.

To be honest I’ve never really had a lot of balance and I was more afraid of slipping on my dodgy footwork than my first jump! One thing I will say – Stephen has a true talent in supervision of this nature. He knew when to leave me to fend for myself to build my confidence and when I literally needed a hand.

I didn’t really know much about Coasteering before my day out at Ballintoy – not even how to pronounce it properly but what I definitely didn’t know was how rewarding it is. The team really get behind you and tell you anything is possible – within reason of course.

I felt my confidence grow over the day during the activity – a feeling that still hasn’t left me a couple of weeks later. “I can jump off cliffs so of course I can ask my boss for tomorrow off” without the usual nerves. Confidence is everything.

There was a constant positive atmosphere – even when I was feeling tired from swimming or climbing I still kept going as I was enjoying it so much.

I have to say I don’t really remember getting home as I fell asleep quickly that evening. When I woke up I was most excited to check out my footage from my jumps!

I will warn you though if you are going to try Coasteering – you may experience pain in your belly the following day from laughing so much!

About our guest blogger

Coasteering Northern Ireland
Kathryn Wilson is a Female Club DJ, Cool FM Radio Presenter & Producer based in Northern Ireland.

On a Sunday she can be heard co-hosting on Northern Irelands most listened to music radio station “Cool FM” where she has worked since 2010. Her ever increasing popularity is ensuring that she now regularly plays some of the hottest venues across the province.

Keep checking the Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/kitzDJ and www.facebook.com/kathrynwilsonDJ) or follow on twitter @kathrynBwilson for details upcoming gigs.

Contact [email protected] for bookings & info 

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!

P1010513

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!

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 🙂

 

http://www.facebook.com/TracysAngelsRunning
http://www.justgiving.com/TracyGilpin-MarieCurie

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!
BOOK NOW!