Ballintoy Harbour

A couple of weeks ago, the Champlain Abroad Dublin group went on a program sponsored tour to Northern Ireland. The group stayed in the small village of Ballintoy on the Antrim coast. This is student Lara Bessette’s (Professional Writing ’15) way of describing her time there:

I thought of “Ballintoy Harbour” as I climbed around the grassy rocks at Ballintoy Harbour, in Northern Ireland; the landscape was stunning, and the waves were beautiful and impressive. “Ballintoy Harbour” is my reaction to this wonderful place.

Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Photo Credit: Lara Bessette

Leave me here, buffeted,
Cheeks wind-rouged,

Hair tossed like the waves
That crash against this outcrop.

I would like to picnic here,
With the sheep-dotted hills,
Segmented by orderly fieldstone walls,
Behind me, the sun rising
And washing the pale cliffs
Of Rathlin Island in dawn-light.

I would like to sit on this rippled grass
And watch Scotland shimmer into view out of the sea-fog;
Watch the cloudy sea foam catch and bubble
Between these millennia-old basalt rocks
Watch the broken wave run in rivulets
Down the pocked, craggy surface
Watch the seaweed shift under the tide
Watch sand ebb back and forth,
Dragged and pushed, dragged and pushed
By the green-blue waters.

I would like to sit
Eyes closed,
The perfume of salt heavy on the air,
And listen to the roar and crash,
Roar and crash, roar and crash of the sea.

—Lara Bessette
Champlain Abroad Dublin Spring’14
Champlain College, Professional Writing’15

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