Eye Feel Good Lough Erne Canoe Expedition July 2012

Canoes packed ready

It was Wednesday morning when Richard Fee, Jack Gilbert and I started loading the Hulk (The Company Landrover) and trailer with canoes, paddles, buoyancy aids and supplies. We set off from Antrim after picking up Mark Kennedy and David Kirkpatrick at around 4pm and started our journey over to the top of the Upper Lough Erne.

Few hours later and a quick stop at McDonalds in Enniskillen we arrived at camp. Glenglum Quay a remote part of the mainland with a church at the top of the embankment. Wild camping had started. We met up with Gareth Mahood and Mr M (BB leaders) and gave them the canoes they requested. Mr M was to accompany us on our adventure too. EFGO kept separate from the Antrim Boys Brigade and kept a distance at all times. This was the only time we camped in close proximity to the boys. The rest of the trip we kept hidden and away to allow the groups to have a true unaided expedition to complete their Duke of Edinburgh award.

The following morning EFGO packed up and prepared the canoes and set off down the Lough weaving in and out of the many islands that are scattered across the Lough. Whilst the BB set off on their expedition. The weather couldn’t of been any better, we had expected and planned for torrential rain as the weather reports had suggested but a few minutes into the paddle we had to strip down to t-shirts taking advantage of the hot sun. Glassy water conditions and a light breeze made for a very relaxing paddle…

Inis RathOur first stop was Inis Rath or as I called it ‘Arry Christnaa Island‘…  in my Scouse accent! Hare Krishna Island is a centre for the Hindu faith, a nature reserve and a retreat. We enjoyed a few of the woodland walks and came across many life-size illustrations from Hindu mythology. Leading up from the jetty passing an old ruined boat house we first glimpse the main building. We made our way around the woods and up to the front door. We didn’t go in but we said our hello’s to the 2 monks at the door way. On leaving the island we saw a bat flying in the day light catching fly’s over the water…

Naan IslandNaan Island was our next stop a very peaceful island with loads of wildlife and lushes vegetation. Hundreds of blue dragon flies flying about…  I would highly recommend wellington boots for the islands as they are mostly marsh and bog land. Mark or Barefoot as he is now known liked to walk in sandals through the mud… bringing one back to nature as he called it.

The final stop of day one was at Knockninny back on the west coast of the lough. We set up camp in an orchid belonging to the very hospitable Knockninny Country House who supplied us with a bite to eat and a pint of Guinness. It’s so refreshing being out in the wild you really do appreciate good food and drink after a long days paddle. It wasn’t so much wild camping eating dinner at the country house so to make up for it we went for a wild swim from the private jetty below the orchid. Expecting it to be freezing I went in first making all the sounds and shrieks of a squealing pig… I was only messing giving Rick and Mark the impression of ice cold water but it was actually rather warm giving a great break from the heat of the day we had injured. One final laugh before bed was watching a couple of novices ramming their rather large cruise boat into the jetty at one point almost mounting the entire bow head first. After half an hour they eventually moored up.

The morning after we awoke to a mist over the Lough but this soon lifted as we set off towards Bellanaleck. We took the western route out of the Upper Erne and settled for lunch at a jetty just before the Knock Island. A friendly swan joined us for a bite to eat and a stretch, it seemed to like our company! Just before we set off again we had a bit of a fright as a cruise boat was coming towards use Tokyo Drift style! Luckily the 12 year old girl got it back under control and passed us unharmed!

Next stop was Bellanaleck where we stopped to check out the BB’s next campsite… all looked good so we carried on to Enniskillen for a look at the castle.

Wasn’t anywhere to camp as we had planned so we continued on to Trory after a stop at Devenish Island. Devenish Island for those who have never been is a 12th Century Settlement featuring a near-perfect round tower and abbey. The site dates back to as early as the 6th Century. It was about 9pm when we arrived at the island so was a bit spooky walking round the buildings and graves. When we arrived a Trory just as stones through away we set up camp and started a campfire. The rain started and by the morning the ground was fairly saturated. A quick morning wild swim and a wash before breakfast then set off towards Manor House. Quick stop at here then set off to Inish Davar Island where we found some excellent wild camping spots.

We set up camp on the windward side to keep the midges at bay, loads of dry wood scattered the island so we set about putting up our tents, hammocks and collecting fire wood. The fire this evening was the best fire of the trip, burnt like a beacon for guiding ships. Just as we settled down to dinner rave music started pumping out of the island. We went to investigate and discovered on the opposite side of the island an organised rave was kicking off. Hundreds of revellers and tents scattered everywhere with generators and lanterns lighting the area up. They partied to the early hours of the morning till their fuel ran out.

The next morning after a sleepless night I awoke to a fresh morning, fire was out and several sheep where in our campsite shouting at each other in load deep belly shouts. It had rained hard that night but the shelter from the trees helped and the inner forest was still fairly dry. We were all suffering by this stage so we decided to raft the canoes together and build a sail to make use of the northerly winds and made are way make to the Manor House where we waited for the BB groups to finish their Duke of Edinburgh award.

All happy and exhausted we packed away all the canoes and set sail back to Antrim.

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Eye Feel Good Outdoors Coastereeing

EFGO took party out last weekend for a trip around the coast… but in a slightly different way than by car or bike! This time by swimming, jumping, climbing, running, hiking and any other form of movement possible to get you around the coast. Yes coasteering is the ultimate way to see the Northern Irish coastline.

This trip took us around Dunluce Castle. Not many folk can say they’ve seen it from the other side.

Get in touch if you want to try it!

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The Hulk Is On The Road And Ready For Work

Our Landrover Defender, The Hulk, is on the road and ready for work.

The Hulk is the ideal vehical to tow our climbing wall and all our other equipment.

Much thanks and appreciation must go to the following:

  • Oliver Boyd for the paint Job.
  • Devine Design for the Graphics.
  • Nigel Gilbert for the servicing.
  • Richard and Danny for the interior work and odd jobs.

If you need to organise outdoor activities and don’t who to call, pick up the phone and call the Hulk.

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New Flags For Eye Feel Good

We got new flags as part of our promotional material for 2012.

The flag design and concept were created by Charlene at Devine Design.

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A New Climbing Wall For Hire And £1000 Donated to Royal Liverpool Hospital

The Eye Feel Good team visited Liverpool in April 2012 and handed over a £1000 cheque to Professor Damato who is head of the Eye Cancer Clinic at Liverpool Hospital. The Professor found the time in his busy schedule to explain how the clinic helps those with eye cancer and the amazing work that they do in Liverpool.

Read the full press release from Liverpool Occular Oncology Research Group.

We also picked our new mobile climbing wall along the way

 

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£1000 Donated to Macmillan

Eye Feel Good Donated £1000 to Macmillan via local fundraiser Cynthia Cherry.  Cynthia is walking 10 miles each month for Macmillan in order to raise money to pay the salary of a Macmillan nurse at the palliative care unit at Antrim Area Hospital.

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Coasteering On The North Coast, Northern Ireland

Eye Feel Good had a great day coasteering on the North Coast of Ireland.

Our expert instructors took a group of teenagers from Portballintrae to Dunluce castle.

We navigated the coastline jumping from the cliffs, swimming across the sea and clambering over the rocks.

Watch our video.

If you would like to go coasteering or take part in any of the other activities that we can offer please get in touch with us.

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Belfast Telegraph Making A Difference Awards

Belfast Telegraph

Tonight we are off to the Belfast Telegraph Making the Difference Awards which is being held in the Grand Opera House.

Eye Feel Good has been nominated in the best business category.

We are absolutely stoked to be nominated as there are some truly amazing businesses and people nominated across all categories.

The awards are being hosted by UTV’s Alison Fleming and Marc Mallett and it promises to be a great night. Entertainment on the night includes May McFettridge, Afrikan Warriors, the cast of Bugsy Malone, Oklahoma, Diamond Dance, Peter Corry and much more.

We can’t wait!

We would like to thank everybody who has helped to make Eye Feel Good a success over the past couple of years. Without the involvement of everybody who has turned up at our events or given their time to help out we could not have got to where we are in such a short time. We thank you all!

The Eye Feel Good Team

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Lough Neagh Raiders Summer Scheme & Open Sessions

LOUGH NEAGH RAIDERS SUMMER SCHEME

Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead… Hey who remembers that from the 70′s ?

So get the Kids away from ‘Call of Duty’, tell them to ditch their iPads and laptops, hide their DS and mobile phones and get them down to the Lough Neagh Raiders Summer scheme.

Forms are now availabe for the Lough Neagh Raiders SUMMER SCHEME at the Lough Shore Cafe in Antrim. Just ask a member of staff.

Registration Days

SUMMER SCHEME forms should be completed and returned with full payment to the Eye Feel Good Outdoors Office at the Lough Shore on Saturday 31st March or Sunday 1st April between 11am to 4pm.

Forms are also Available by contacting Richard at 07877857220.

Raiders Summer Scheme

OPEN SESSIONS – EVERY SATURDAY & SUNDAY

The Eye Feel Good Open sessions begin on Saturday 17th of March 2012.

The Open Sessions will be held every Saturday & Sunday at the Lough Shore Marina in Antrim until October 2012.

You can come and try Kayaking, Canoeing, SUP, Archery and Games.

Climbing Wall

Our Climbing Wall will be arriving in April. Our climbing wall is also available for hire.

Open Session Times:

Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm

For more details contact us via info@eyefeelgood or call Richard on 07877857220.

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Eye Feel Good’s Portrush Open SUP Report

We had a great day on Saturday 10th March 2012 at the Circle One Portrush Open Open.

Gerard McAuley and the team at the Causeway Cost Surf Club put on a great event.

The Eye Feel Good crew turned out in full force to support the SUP contest and we provided tea, coffee and biscuits for all who attend the surf contest.

We had a entries in the first round of the SUP contest from Richard Fee, Mark Kennedy and Oliver Boyd.

The SUP contest was split across 3 heats this year with 11 competitors in total.  This was the biggest entry for the SUP contest for the Causeway Coast event and we are delighted to see the progression of the sport.

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