National Geographic : 1964 Aug
Coyles, the pilot, who is a famous man in Ulster. When the cargo is secured we cast off, bound for Rathlin Island, six miles away, the northernmost part of Ulster and the hardest to reach (map, page 243). I'd been hearing about Rathlin ever since my visit began, but I'd met no one who had been there. "It's treacherous water," everyone said. "If the wind comes up, you're likely to stay there for a week." 252 But Captain Coyles reassured me. He was a quiet man in his 50's, with graying hair close cropped, and a look of competence. He had been sailing to Rathlin and back for 30 years; he delivers the mail three times a week, weath er permitting, as well as what the 115 island ers need in the way of supplies. They phone their orders by radiotelephone to Ballycastle. "We'll make it all right," he said. "When I can't make it back, I don't go." Make it we did, and home again, too, with the help of a smoking engine and a small sail hoisted by Jim Curry, Captain Coyles's crew.