By Borys Stan & Cormac Rowe
As the new semester begins, The University of Limerick Kayak Club is proud to welcome its newest members, and what a better way to introduce the newcomers to the spirit of ULKC than with a weekend of fun and adventure! On the 25th of September we set off on our annual trip to Lahinch, Co. Clare. The weekend proved to be a truly amazing experience for all.
As we boarded the bus on Friday evening everyone was full of anticipation and eager to delve into all that the weekend had to offer. The journey was shortened by the angelic voices of all our members. Instruments were welcomed and we sang our hearts out for nearly the whole journey. To our amusement, amazement and possible distress, we attempted to recall the words of our favourite songs. Some eventually found their astounding lyrical prowess while others continued to squawk like crows!
Upon arrival at the hostel everyone was eager to introduce themselves and integrate with the great atmosphere in the building that evening. The night was jam-packed full of craic with names repeated several times until they were remembered. The experience did bring about a warm sense of nostalgia among returning members. Arriving in Lahinch was quite a varied experience among the group, simply because of the fact that we all had different expectations regarding how the weekend would progress, but regardless of that we knew it was going to be memorable.
By Saturday morning everybody was more or less settled in and the main attraction of the trip was on the agenda, the surf! Soon everyone was fed, geared up, and rearing to go. We got into our kayaks, and after a prolonged struggle to shimmy off the sand everyone was tackling or being tackled by the waves that Lahinch had to offer. Being met with relatively calm waves at the offset, which were perfect for the beginners, it was a great pleasure to see the swell pick up and get some purely enjoyable kayak surfing for the more experienced members. When everyone got a chance to paddle, it allowed for a perfect display of the varying skill levels present in our club and also allowed everyone new to kayaking to gauge the extent of their own ability on waters that are a step up from the pool and it was wonderful seeing everyone improve as the weekend progressed.
Apart from kayaking, the trip was spent enjoying the weekend as a club, relaxing and getting to know each other in the hostel, cheering for our favourite rugby team, or even dressing up as ridiculously as possible and going out to tear up the dance floor in the local club. We all have slightly different memories from the trip, but I know everyone will remember Lahinch fondly and will be looking forward to our next trip. We had a whole load of fun and made a vast amount of tremendous (and somewhat blurry!) memories!
The journey was a lot more relaxed as we made our way home on Sunday evening, allowing everyone to lean back and take in all they had experienced over the weekend. The trip was concluded with a mass clean-up of all the gear and everyone went home for a well deserved, and probably long awaited, good night’s sleep!
It was an absolutely remarkable weekend! We hope that you all had an amazing fun journey and we can’t wait to see all of you on our next outing!
By Borys Stan & Cormac Rowe