Bring on Festival Season – Rathlin Maritime Festival

On Saturday the 27 May, Living Seas trainees Patrick and Emma were up bright and early to hit the road. We were headed for Ballycastle to set up our Living Seas stall for the Rathlin Maritime Festival.

The Ulster Wildlife truck had been packed with everything we needed for a public event, under the watchful eye of Dave (concerned about letting his young trainees fly solo for the first time). We had our ocean giants, marine life tank, seashore treasures and a sizeable gazebo, all wedged in tight in a fun game of packing tetris.

We arrived and started setting up the gazebo, working fast because the eager festival-goers were already appearing before the official start time! Once the gazebo was set up Emma and I worked in a tag team with one of us engaging and talking with the interested public, while the other arranged our displays. Soon it was perfect and we had everything we needed... Except some marine life for our Marine Life Tank! Emma bravely volunteered to person the stall while I went to find some critters and beasties.

Rathlin Sound Festival 2017 setup

I returned, and not a moment too soon! Emma was grateful to have another hand at the stall again and we were at last able to open up the Marine Life tank that so many people had asked about earlier in the morning. I had found sea anemones, dog whelks, periwinkles and limpets, along with some examples of different seaweeds. The tank was far and away the favourite attraction for the children visiting our stall; we talked about how these intertidal animals had different adaptations to prevent them from drying out at low tide.

After two full days of the festival, and talking with 900 festival-goers, we were both exhausted but extremely pleased with how our first solo festival event had gone.

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