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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Betty Armstrong

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

Stand up paddleboarding on Lough Shannagh
Stand up Paddleboarding in the mountains? Lough Shannagh (or the Lough of the Fox), is a corrie lake on the southern side of the Mournes in County Down and lies at 390m at the foot of Carn Mountain. It is…
Long distance traveller - the Mediterranean gull in Bangor Marina
Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough in County Down welcomes visitors from far and wide, but this Mediterranean gull must be one of the most interesting, having travelled from Poland, Spain, and France before flying into Bangor. Berth holder, wildlife expert…
The Cruising Association of Ireland Crusie in Company takes in Carlingford Lough (above) in County Louth
It is just over three years since the Cruising Association of Ireland fleet visited Belfast Lough. And now another trip north is planned for the middle week of August. The CAI has managed to keep active through the COVID 19…
Ballyholme Yacht Club junior sailing in Bangor County Down
Neighbouring clubs Royal Ulster and Ballyholme at Bangor in County Down on Belfast Lough are both due back on the water soon. The RUYC sailing committee has decided that in line with further guidance from the RYA that competitive sport…
Royal North Of Ireland cadets launch for sailing lessons on Belfast Lough
Cadet Summer Sailing at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is proving popular with much interest in the scheme which starts on Monday next (13th July). Rear Commodore Sailing Jonny Millar, Cadet Officers John Driscoll and…
FunDay Fridays at Bangor Marina
Last Friday was the first of July’s FunDay Fridays on Belfast Lough, a three-way collaboration between Bangor Marina, SUP HubNI and Citizen Sea who are together providing a fabulously educational and active two-hour session where all the children will have…
Kevin Baird (Bangor Marina Manager and Harbour Master) with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings
The Ards and North Down coastal area has done well by winning awards for excellence in facilities, environmental management, environmental education, accessibility and safety. Bangor Marina has been awarded the internationally renowned Blue Flag for the 2020 season. The Blue…
Laser racing at Strangford Sailing Club
Strangford Sailing Club enjoys a stunning location on the northern shore of Strangford Lough Narrows in the Castleward Estate and has occupied that site for about 40 years. After the long layoff due to COVID 19, members have been back…
On Thursday evening the Coastguard and the Police Service investigated reports of concern for a kayaker seen the Ballywalter area of County Down
Last Thursday and Friday were busy days for Bangor Coastguard on Belfast Lough with an incident on both days. On Thursday evening the Coastguard and the Police Service investigated reports of concern for a kayaker seen the Ballywalter area in…
Rathlin Island is open again to visitors
The Island of Rathlin in the Sea of Moyle off Ballycastle is now open to resident and visiting boat owners and overnighting is allowed. The ferry is also operating. This popular destination is six miles long, one mile wide, "L"…
The Brompton Goose pictured centre with sea swimmers on Belfast Lough
Northern Ireland’s coastline is dotted with cold water swimmers who go out no matter what the weather or temperature. The group who swim near Jenny Watts Cave just past Wilson’s Point at Bangor on Belfast Lough are known as the…
Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough
The opening up of Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough has been long-awaited and tomorrow (Friday 3rd July) is the big day. During the past week bar and waiting staff have undergone training on the new way of working.…
Bangor Coastguard at Donaghdee
The rescue services were so busy over the weekend that they have related several incidents together. A jetskier needed medical assistance after coming off his jetski. Donaghadee Lifeboat brought the casualty from Millisle into Donaghadee harbour and was met by…
Bangor Town Regatta Chairman, Gavin Watson
Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough was a casualty of COVID-19 this year, (in fact the regatta would have been on the water last week), but a 2021 date has now been set for Thursday 24th till Sunday 27th June.…
Portrush Harbour in Northern Ireland
Kevin Baird, Harbour Master and Marina Manager in Bangor, has posted a substantial update to the state of harbour and marina opening dates in the North of Ireland and beyond. The situation continues to be fluid. Among the notable changes…
A new initiative at Ballyholme wants to give a voice to Stann Up Paddleboarders and other watersports at the club
Ballyholme Yacht Club is planning to form a Sub Committee to ensure members who are interested in Standup Paddleboarding, Sea Swimming, Kayaking and Windsurfing have a voice. Before the Lockdown the club had plans in place for a new Social…
Newcastle RNLI tractor assisted the vehicle, which had become bogged in soft sand
This morning Newcastle RNLI were tasked along with their colleagues from Newcastle and Kilkeel Coastguard to assist a casualty who had trapped his foot under the vehicle with an incoming tide while in the process of trying to launch their…
RYA Northern Ireland Women on Water Goes Online
Women on Water became Women online for a festival which should have been held at Carrickfergus Sailing Club but had to be redesigned due to COVID 19. The festival brought together like-minded women who have been involved in sailing from…
The RNLI were able to return the three teenagers safely to the beach and hand them over to the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team
Answering what was the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team’s third shout of the day yesterday (Sat 20th), after a telephone call from former Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Byers, a volunteer RNLI crew was tasked with rescuing three kayakers in Ballyholme Bay…
East Antrim Boat Club at Larne
Members of the Larne club will welcome its General Committee’s decision to make the most of the lockdown easing, for hot on the heels of RYA NI advice that Step 2 of the Northern Ireland Executive’s Pathway to Recovery has…
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