This week: from Atlantic Swell to Community Frisbee

Swell Times..

This week our staff were asked to work with 2 local primary schools.

The thought of 50 young kids descending on our base in St Columb’s Park House was a bit daunting but soon we had them cooking bread, finding leaves, navigating and playing outdoor games like no-one’s business.

Kids prep the bannock bread

A week working with Far and Wild can be varied and it is great to start with youngsters who just love getting their hands dirty outside in nature. If only this could be a regular thing in primary curriculum, like in Wales.

I had to depart promptly after the session to meet a couple going kayaking. We had intended to go on the Swilly but with their time constraints to be back in time for school pick ups we put in at Mill Bay on Inch Island.

Much under-rated or overlooked, Mill Bay sits on the west of Inch under the watchful eye of An Grianan Aileach fort, Inch Castle (try this romanticised depiction) and Burt Castle- an area replete with history. We paddle across to Fanad, the neighbouring peninsula, for a well-earned lunch under a sky clearing from the east to leave us with a sun-kissed return journey.

Next day is another school day….

Our favourite location for Wild Atlantic Way Coasteering TM (lol) sees the arrival of a group of students from the US and the fun begins. The swell is running high(ish) and they have a ball. I’m impressed by their determination to enjoy it despite the relative cold temps compared to Florida (!) and their gutsy-ness taking everything we throw at them to complete the full Atlantic immersion experience!

We have to get back to base sharpish afterwards despite the urge to snooze en-route (always comes after coasteering). We have taken on to do some community engagement work back in the park, which has become a bit of a hang-out for local teens in good weather.

So out come the slack-line and longboards and I feel a bit evangelical with the frisbee as we move from group to group doing-the-do. It’s new work for our team and really interesting and challenging at the same time. The police are patrolling and doing spot checks for alcohol- making our job to engage people in healthy pursuits all the more vital.

As dusk falls we finish off, having had a lot of interest in boarding and frisbee, thinking the night may be just starting for some.