AN Adrigole local is showing good initiative by changing direction to meet the needs of those looking for adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way.
Niall MacAllister’s West Cork Sailing and Powerboating Centre has come from humble beginnings, having been established in 1998 as a small sailing school with six boats and a shed.
Today it boasts a purpose-built sailing school with a fleet of 50 boats, now concentrating on the new demand for adventure sailing, wildlife discovery and coastal exploration.
The recent excitement over the surge in sightings of dolphins, whales and sharks along the West Cork coast is evdience of the huge potential for this type of tourism in this part of the world, says Niall.
Operating under the name Wild Atlantic Wildlife, he is now well placed to make the most of our magnificent Atlantic coast.
Skipper and founder of the company, MacAllister has a wealth of worldwide nautical experience and has just completed a degree in zoology at UCC.
He believes that what we have in terms of marine wildlife and pristine coastal scenery on the Atlantic seaboard is up there with the coasts of British Columbia, New Zealand’s south Island or Norway’s fjords.
‘It is the marine equivalent of the Serengeti in Europe,’ he said, ‘some of the largest animals on the planet are frequent visitors to the shores of Ireland and that’s something we should be very proud of.’
Clients live aboard sailing yacht Jessy of Adrigole and explore the magic the coastline has to offer. Each evening, Jessy anchors or moors up and the dinghy is launched to allow guests to clamber ashore to explore an abandoned island or visit a remote and normally inaccessible location. Some visitors choose to don a wetsuit and snorkel mask if they so wish to ‘go pro’ or photograph the underwater flora and fauna.
Accomplished chef Niall Mac Allister has been skippering for 30 years and has a personal passion for the sea and its wildlife.
Back at base, adventurers can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of kayaking or canoeing around Adrigole harbour which is home to a colony of seals, otters and numerous beautiful sea birds. Even the occasional porpoise or dolphin come in to play and the spectacular white-tailed sea eagles come over from Glengarriff to soar over the harbour.