Well, that’s it for another year. Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat week has now ended after a mixed week of weather, great too that the Harbour works and the new pontoon were completed in time to improve the launch times of the Lifeboat.
The week long event started last Sunday with the Rib raid from Ireland. It was a beautiful sunny day here in the Rhins of Galloway and the crowds were out to see the Ribs arriving into the harbour.
The Village was buzzing with people and the atmosphere was fantastic. The crowds were sat outside The Crown, The Waterfront and the Harbour House enjoying lunch, the sunshine and a few drinks. Smugglers cove, Port Pantry and Lighthouse Pottery gift shops were busy with people browsing their lovely ranges of gifts, things for the home and Jewellery.
During the week there was live music from Elvis (yes, I said Elvis!) and Life O’ Reilly, family events such as “Catch the crab competition”, Race night, Treasure Hunt, Pet show, fun run and even “Portpatricks got talent”! ( I might add that I did not enter!), Golf competitions at the Portpatrick Dunskey golf course and lots more.
I took a trip into the village to watch the Raft Race. It was looking pretty doubtful during Friday afternoon as the weather was not too good but the sun came out and with it came the crowds. As ever, it was a great fun event to watch, not sure how I would feel about participating though, looked pretty arduous and cold to me! The teams have to row their raft from Portpatrick beach into the harbour and back again, the first team to run and put their flag into the container on the beach wins. Rafts are sponsored by local businesses and teams are made up of 6 people. Anyone fancy it next year?
Saturday , for me was change over day at Kirklauchline cottage so I was busy getting the cottage prepared for our new guests arriving. I got finished in time to head into Portpatrick again for the HM Coastguard and RNLI Lifeboat demonstrations. Always a great event to watch. Whilst some areas had rain we had sunshine with a few spots of rain but nothing to worry about. It certainly didn’t affect the turn out. Just as the Portpatrick Lifeboat was about to start the demonstration and minutes before the Royal Navy Helicopter arrived they were called out to a real life emergency so off they went.
The Royal Navy arrived and Stranraer inshore Lifeboat demonstrated the air sea rescues along side them and what a fantastic display it was.
A new event for this year was the Newfoundland Dog Sea rescue demonstration on the beach. Beautiful dogs that gave us a wonderful demonstration of safety at sea.
The Royal Navy Helicopter landed near The Portpatrick Hotel after the demonstration and luckily enough I had parked near there so I was fortunate enough to get up close to it and stand there whilst it took off again. Abiidoodle was not too sure about the big red noisy bird though!
Enough excitement was had for one afternoon, just enough time to go home, empty the car, put the washing machine on, feed the cats and Abii doodle, put the hens to bed then off again to the finale of the whole event – the Portpatrick Lifeboat week crew BBQ, bonfire and Firework display (and I do believe Elvis made yet another appearance!).
Again , Portpatrick was so busy for this popular annual event. We parked near The Portpatrick hotel and walked down the cliff path to the village. The sun was just starting to fade and Portpatrick looked beautiful.
We had a Hot Dog cooked by the RNLI crew, very tasty! and mingled with the crowds. There were lots of families there and the children were running around with glow sticks waiting for it to get dark. At this point we decided a trip to Portpatrick would not be complete without a drink so headed to The Crown! Life O’ Reilly were just setting up for live music and it was standing room only. The sun was going down and the atmosphere fantastic.
Then the grand finale of a very successful and busy Lifeboat week for 2012. The Bonfire and amazing fireworks display.
All in all, a brilliant annual event in South West Scotland and for a very worthwhile cause – Lifeboats – The RNLI the charity that saves lives at sea.
So, see you here next year, same time same place?
Don’t forget RNLI Park Fest in Stranraer August 17th and 18th – I do believe one of the band members from the Bay City Rollers will be performing!
The Duke of Kent visited the Portpatrick Lifeboat station on 25th May.