Gavin, a friend from Dublin Ireland, was one of the lucky few to embark on one of the Redbay Boats in Cushendall in Antrim Ireland to head to Islay and visit the Ardbeg Distillery, a trip that is made annually. This year the Ardbeg visit was on Saturday 3rd of September. Gavin sent the following trip report and included some images too:
Hi Ron, all went well, the boats left Cushendall in Antrim and headed North, out into the North Channel and towards Islay. As you approach Islay from the sea you can see Lagavulin and Ardbeg, as two white shapes on the coastline of Islay. The approach to Ardbeg is treacherous with a lot of rocks below the surface, so there is a bit of a zig zag approach in. The boats tied up in calm conditions and the group headed for the Old Kiln Cafe, Drams of Ardbeg waited on a table for everyone at the door, and we had lunch in the Cafe. Ardbeg as ever, had a huge spread off food laid on, and provided excellent service. A traditional group of musicians played music for everybody, they were really very good. It is, as you know, a great place to look around. After lunch the group was treated to a tour of the Distillery by one of the Ardbeg guides. We left Ardbeg in the afternoon and headed for Rathlin Island, where we stopped for an hour for a drink and a rest, and then back to Redbay for about 7 that evening. This year the weather was perfect, one boat didnt get there due to mechanical problems, and was towed into Rathlin, they were picked up on the way home and the boat was towed back from Rathlin.
Last year the weather turned to gale 8 gusting 9 so all involved were lucky with the quiet weather this year. I'd like to thank Gavin for his travel report and pictures. If you're interested you can see more pictures of the trip on Flickr
An Ardbeg Treat for the thirsty Irish Visitors