From next summer you may be able to sail from the Crannagh Marina in Coleraine to the popular sunshine holiday resorts of the Meditterean!
Visitors to the Crannagh Marina may have noticed an impressive 72 foot wooden boat named ‘Soteria’ docked on the River Bann.
Originally built in 1932 as a Danish fishing trawler, ‘Soteria’ was converted to a sail training schooner with 12 berths in the 1970’s.
It has since crossed the Atlantic four times and made two return trips to the Canaries, where she often sails the balmy waters off the African coast during our cold winter months.
Basing the boat at the harbour located between Coleraine and Portsteawrt, during our not so balmy summers, is a joint venture between Rob Skelly of Edge water sports, and the owner’s agent David Kidd.
Rob and David have been working together on water based projects for many years.
They are behind the popular Riverfest on the Lower Bann and Loughfest on the River Erne in Enniskillen.
“The boat has moved around several Irish and British ports doing maritime festivals, and some sail training cruises for four years now,” explained David.
“We felt it was time it had a more permanent base. The Crannagh is perfect with sheltered mooring, and close proximity to the stunning and historic north coast of Ireland and the cruising heaven that is the western Isles of Scotland, is an ideal location for the activities Rob can offer,” explained David.
Rob went on: “We will be covering all levels of interest in traditional sailing; motor cruises to the bar mouth, day sailing for groups viewing the scenery, including the now popular Game of Thrones locations, longer trips to the Western Isles, and whisky tasting trips to Islay’.
Rob hopes that school, community and charitable groups will make use of the vessel.
Live aboard diving trips are also under development.