Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Carlingford Lough

So far in this late season, Carlingford has enjoyed mostly kind sunny weather for its open meetings on the Lough and Warrenpoint Regatta was no exception.

Warrenpoint is a small County Down port town at the head of Carlingford Lough south of Newry and is separated from County Louth by a narrow strait. It is overlooked by the Mournes to the north and the Cooley Mountains opposite. A passenger service connects it with Omeath on the southern shore.

Warrenpoint Regatta struck lucky for its regatta with glorious sunshine and a steady sea breeze. Seven cruisers competed in three races over a triangular course set by Race Officer Tim Gibbons. With wins in races 1 and 2, it was the Beneteau 25 Platu Supersonic, skippered by Thomas Kearney from Carlingford Lough YC at Killowen on the northern shore, which pipped the J80 Warrior (owner Tim Gibbons) to win the coveted Whistledown Trophy. Tom Teggart’s Perseverance from Carlingford SC in Co Louth won the Echo 908 Class.

Warrenpoint Regatta struck lucky for its regatta with glorious sunshine and a steady sea breezeWarrenpoint Regatta struck lucky for its regatta with glorious sunshine and a steady sea breeze

Long-term sponsor Colum McAvoy from the Whistledown Hotel presented trophies to the winners at the hotel.

The final open event of the cruiser programme is the two-day CLYC Cruiser Regatta on Sept 24th & 25th

The inaugural Moneley Oyster Pearl regatta was held in 1979 and has been an enduring feature of sail racing in Carlingford Lough ever since, bar the Covid lockdown years. The people of Carlingford have been harvesting oysters since medieval times.

Last weekend saw the return of the regatta, which celebrated the renowned Oyster to the Lough, which lies on the border of Co Down and Co Louth between the Mourne and the Cooley Mountains, and it was far travelled Arklow competitors who made a big impression.

Glorious sunshine and a steady sea breeze gave perfect conditions for the event, which provided racing for dinghies, day boats and cruisers, with many visiting boats from as far away as Arklow in a stunning setting between the mountains.

Humdinger from ArklowHumdinger from Arklow

A fleet of twelve cruisers competed over four races for the coveted Pearl Trophy on a triangular port course in mid-Lough. The Race Officer was Brian McConville. John Conlon’s Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow lived up to its name, taking line honours in all four races. Supersonic, Thomas Kearney’s Beneteau 25 Platu from Carlingford SC and the J92 J’zus Outhaul (Brian Dempsey, Arklow) took second and third respectively in the Echo 908 class and Dempsey won the CPH class.

The dinghy and day boat fleet raced on a course between Carlingford Marina and the entrance to Carlingford Harbour. The event combined single and doublehanded boats, with the results for each race being decided by the average lap time for each boat. The wind was light and variable in the morning, but racing got underway in a steady sea breeze after an hour’s delay. The leads changed frequently, and the final positions came down to the wire with seconds separating winners in each race. Flying Fifteens dominated the first race with the Commodore of Carlingford SC Diarmuid and Aine Gorman in Ffree Ranger first, followed by Jim Garvey and Johnny Duffy with Stephen Callan and Marcos Simpson third.

The single-handers fought back in the second race, with the honours going to Fiachra McCormick in a Laser with anger second and Donal McCormick taking third. This left it all to play for in the third and final race. After multiple changes of lead, the win eventually went to Fiachra McCormick (CSC), just ahead of his brother Dónal.

The prize for the double-handers went to Diarmuid, and Áine Gorman in Ffree Ranger and the single-hander prize went to Fiachra McCormick.

The overall Moneley Oyster Pearl Dinghy trophy came down to a countback as both Diarmuid and Áine, and Fiachra each had eight points; however, Fiachra’s two wins gave the decision in his favour and made him the Moneley Oyster Pearl Dinghy Champion for 2022.

Skipper John Conlon and the crew of Humdinger with the coveted Moneley Oyster Pearl Trophy. Photo: Mark SlaterSkipper John Conlon and the crew of Humdinger with the coveted Moneley Oyster Pearl Trophy. Photo: Mark Slater

The presentation ceremony took place at Carlingford Marina, courtesy of the Moneley family, who generously sponsored the event. It was agreed that the success of this year’s event would help to re-establish the Oyster Pearl as the premier cruiser regatta on Carlingford Lough.

Winners of the Adult Fleet, Diarmuid and Áine Gorman (Commodore of Carlingford Sailing Club) receiving their trophy from Mrs Pamela O’Connor MoneleyWinners of the Adult Fleet, Diarmuid and Áine Gorman (Commodore of Carlingford Sailing Club) receiving their trophy from Mrs Pamela O’Connor Moneley

On Saturday next (20th), the fleet competes in the Warrenpoint Regatta for the Whistledown Trophy. 

Kilkeel RNLI came to the aid of a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Carlingford Lough yesterday.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 2.30 pm yesterday (Monday, 1 August) after the alarm was raised by a member of the public that a windsurfer was thought to be in difficulty in Carlingford Lough.

The lifeboat helmed by Raymond Newell and three crew members onboard, headed to Carlingford Lough in moderate sea conditions and navigated the lifeboat into the shallower sea grounds of Mill Bay.

A lone windsurfer was soon located in the area along with his board. With the wind direction and tide forcing the windsurfer further away from the land the surfer was finding it difficult to make it back ashore.

The crew were able to get the casualty into the lifeboat along with his windsurf board and he was then safely transported back into Greencastle where the Kilkeel Coastguard shore team were waiting to assist.

This was also trainee volunteer crew member Brandon Campbell’s first official call out.

Speaking afterwards, Kilkeel RNLI Helm Raymond Newell said: ‘Thankfully, we were able to assist in bringing the windsurfer safely back to shore. Given the good weather, there are a lot more people around and on the water and we would like to advise people to always carry a means of calling for help, always wear a lifejacket and other appropriate protection and always check the weather and tides before going to sea. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI crews from Kilkeel in Co Down and Clogherhead in Co Louth launched to the aid of seven people and a dog last week after their 80ft tall ship ran aground in Carlingford Lough.

The lifeboat volunteers launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats at 3.30pm on last Tuesday 24 May following a report that a vessel had run aground on a falling tide earlier in the day close to Narrow Water Castle while on passage from Newry to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland’s North Antrim coast.

Greenore Coast Guard and Kilkeel Coastguard were also tasked. But with no one in immediate danger, a decision was made to hold off on launching the lifeboats to assist until the tide came up.

With the rising tide, the ship began to take on water quickly so upon arrival, lifeboat crew transferred on board with two salvage pumps to take the ingress out.

The seven crew of the tall ship and the dog were transferred onto their smaller inflatable tender which was safely escorted to Warrenpoint Harbour by Clogherhead RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat.

Meanwhile, two more pumps were put aboard the vessel and after two-and-a-half hours the ship became level with the sea again. Subsequently the tall ship was towed into the channel where it was able to continue under its own steam to the nearest safe port at Warrenpoint Harbour escorted by both lifeboats.

Speaking following the callout, Kilkeel RNLI helm Gary Young said: “Thankfully, no one was in any immediate danger, but the ship’s crew safely moved to their tender once the vessel began to take on a lot of water as the tide rose.

“There was great teamwork between ourselves and our colleagues from Clogherhead RNLI and Greenore Coast Guard. We had to work quickly to get the salvage pumps on and to remove the ingress of water which we were delighted to see working in order to save the vessel.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lee Maginnis notes the 200th anniversary of the great granite Haulbowline Lighthouse on the County Louth coast will be in 2024

Haulbowline Lighthouse, that feat of granite engineering sitting on a wave-washed rock in the mouth of Carlingford Lough. Northern Ireland on one side, the Republic of Ireland on the other. Not that the nesting Cormorants on the window ledges know or care.

There was another lighthouse on Cranfield Point; it became a victim of the erosion going on a lot longer than many care to admit. But the old light had already been replaced by the time it fell into the sea.

It had been in the wrong place. Invisible to ships in the West and not marking the dangerous rocks at the mouth of the lough. George Haplin designed and built Haulbowline in 1824.

That makes the remarkable Haulbowline nearly 200 years old. Remarkable. Sitting out there on a rock that can rarely be seen. Battered by the waves. Strong currents racing past the base.

The tower was white until 1946. Now it is back to its natural stone.

Many other features have long gone. It seems a pity to many that they were not retained. The metal ball hoisted and lowered to indicate the tide level. The half-tide lantern displayed on the seaward side, halfway up. The red turning light. Explosive fog signals...

On 17 March 1965, Haulbowline had the dubious honour of becoming the first Irish major offshore light to be fully automated and remotely monitored and controlled from shore. The dataphonic system installed sent pre-recorded voice messages ashore by telephone about the status of the light and equipment. This was the beginning of the end of the lighthouse keeper.

Haulbowline in the past. Photographer unknownHaulbowline in the past. Photographer unknown

The fog signal sounded, and the light flashed if visibility was poor, day or night, back then.

The light still flashes three times every ten seconds. Still from a height of 32 metres in a tower 34 metres tall. But it is an LED now, range down to 10 nautical miles.

The fog signal is gone. It is missed by many.

Generators are no longer heard humming; now, a solar panel charges the batteries that provide power during the night.

Thankfully Haulbowline is still there and is listed. It is active. A monument to the past, but still capable of stirring up a strong sense of adventure and mystery today as it guides ships and guards the mouth of Carlingford Lough.

Kiwi Lee Maginnis lives in the countryside of Northern Ireland likes the outdoors, wildlife and sport. He has a keen interest in the sea and the environment. 

Published in Lighthouses

A documentary on the lives of people in coastal communities connected by the Carlingford Lough ferry will have its premiere in a special outdoor drive-in screening this Thursday (19 August).

Four Seasons in a Day is one of six documentaries in the Borderline series focused on border regions around Europe and the people who live there.

Already an award winner, Annabel Verbeke’s film — which was broadcast on RTÉ One last Tuesday — explores the complexities of Brexit through the eyes of locals and visitors alike via the ferry that links Greenore in Co Louth with Greencastle in Co Down.

The film will have its premiere screening on the island of Ireland in a special event at the Carlingford Lough Ferry terminal in Greencastle this Thursday evening at 8pm.

Tickets priced at €27.55 per car are available from the Eventbrite page HERE. The film can also be streamed by viewers in Ireland on the RTÉ Player.

Published in Ferry

Photos that emerged last month of cuts on the back of Carlingford Lough’s resident dolphin have prompted an investigation, as Independent.ie reports.

Finn the dolphin has become a popular sight off Carlingford and Greenore on Co Louth’s Cooley Peninsula since taking residence in the area more than a year ago.

But concerns for his welfare were raised last month after photos surfaced on the Facebook page for Carlingford Lough and The Cooley Peninsula showing what appeared to be a deep gash on his back below his dorsal fin.

While more recent images of the dolphin show that his wounds are healing, the general public have been urged to keep their distance from the animal.

A spokesperson for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said: “We have not had a chance to fully investigate the reported injuries.

“However, we are aware, as is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, An Garda Síochána and Louth County Council and an investigation is ongoing.”

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Pádraig Whooley told Echo Live that curious dolphin-watchers should “stay out of the water and enjoy the spectacle from the shore”.

He added: “The more people engage with this animal, the more people turn him into a local pet [and] the more we are encouraging this aberrant behaviour. It is not natural for a…dolphin to seek out human company.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

The coastal ferry service across Carlingford Lough is set to recommence next weekend with the easing of lockdown.

As The Irish News reports, the service, between Greenore in Co.Louth and Greencastle in Co.Down, has not been operational since last March.

Since its launch, the service has been a valuable transport link between the Republic and the north, for commuters and the tourism industry.

Operated by Frazer Ferries Group the company's second cross-border service, the Lough Foyle Ferry, which operates between Greencastle in Co Donegal and Magilligan Point in Derry, is expected to reopen later this month.

Commercial director Irene Hamilton,, said: "We’re absolutely delighted to be opening our service on Carlingford Lough.

More on this development here.

Published in Ferry
Tagged under

It's 7000 km from the Caribbean island of Grenada to London and somewhat farther if you travel via Den Helder in the Netherlands, Carlingford Lough, the County Down village of Killowen and Bangor in North Wales. And this is how the Chocolate Maker NearyNógs on the edge of the Mourne Mountains forged close ties with Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly in London, one of the oldest and most luxurious department stores on the planet, to help produce a 99% emission-free sailboat chocolate.

It is thus named because to transport the 25kg blocks of chocolate in a sustainable way as possible, the company looked back to its early 18th century roots and combined some old methods with modern green thinking to enable the 99% emission-free chocolate to be carried that 7,000 km. The chocolate's epic journey begins in the Grenada Chocolate Company's solar-powered factor in the West Indies, where the Trinitario cocoa beans are processed using zero emissions.

The Tres Hombres Tall ShipThe 30-metre engineless brigantine, the Tres Hombres Photo: courtesy Fair transport

So the first stage across the Atlantic used a 30m engineless brigantine, the Tres Hombres to carry the 350kg of chocolate, in 25kg blocks The ship is owned by Fair Transport. This company carries sustainable and organic cargo between South, Central and North America and Europe. Tres Hombres has become a shining example of the existing possibilities for alternative shipping methods, and she is the ambassador for sail-powered cargo shipping worldwide. Its destination was Den Helder in the Netherlands from where the chocolate began its second voyage on the T/S Britta, with Silvery Light Sailing under Capt Chris Wren, to Carlingford Lough on the east coast of Ireland where it moored close to Killowen on the northern shore.

But that was only part of the story. How to get the chocolate to NearyNógs? Now a team of volunteers heeded the call to transport the chocolate to the Neary family factory. The name NearyNógs comes from children's stories written by Johnnie Neary. Neary is the family name, and Nógs comes from the Irish Gaelic word Tír na nÓg, which means the land of the youth. This passionate team of volunteers used a Boyne Currachs Heritage Group's traditional open-ended clinker-built Drontheim rowing boat. After several trips ashore with the 48 boxes of chocolate, it was a bumpy 9 km by horse and cart to NearyNógs. There the chocolate was broken down into slates, tempered and packaged in recyclable, biodegradable packaging before the final leg of its adventure to Piccadilly.

Danish built ketch the Klevia The Danish built ketch the Klevia Photo: courtesy Anglesey Traditional Sail

The crew of the TS BrittaThe crew of the TS Britta

That final leg began with return horse and cart, and Drontheim trips to another boat, the Danish built ketch the Klevia skippered by Scott Metcalf, which transported the cargo to Port Penrhyn, in Bangor, North Wales. And to complete the virtual emission-free the final leg of this sustainable journey was entirely on land, using Fortnum & Mason zero-emission electric vans to Piccadilly.

Shane Neary, Neary Nógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light SailingThe rowers (and the ship's dog) get ready to deliver another load of Chocolate slabs bound for NearyNógs Photo: Columba O’Hare

The mission was made possible with the help of the local charity Silvery Light Sailing and a hard-working rowing crew at Killowen. Silvery Light Chairman Gerry Brennan was delighted to help in the arrangements. "As a Newry based sailing charity, we were pleased to be asked help local Mournes business NearyNógs organise the emission-free transportation of their chocolate using traditional sailing ships. Being a part of the story of the journey from the Caribbean to the shelves of Piccadilly is beyond our normal outreach. Still, it was great to help promote the maritime potential and scenic beauty of Carlingford Lough and the Mournes."

Shane Neary, Neary Nógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light SailingShane Neary, (right) of NearyNógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light Sailing Photo: Columba O'Hare

Published in Tall Ships

Ireland has a new resident dolphin, as a solitary bottlenose seems to have made its home in Carlingford Lough — and locals have voted to name it ‘Finn’.

Nearly 3,000 people took part in the Facebook poll in which Finn (the Anglicisation of Fionn) won out over ‘Bobby’ in a landslide.

“As we don't know if the dolphin is male or female, Finn works well as it is a popular name for both boys and girls,” the Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula Facebook page said.

“But if we can call our famous legend Finn or Fionn, we are sure the dolphin won’t mind.”

The Dundalk Democrat reports that Finn has been recently sighted ‘belly flopping’ near the port of Greenore — but marine wildlife experts warn that this may be a sign of distress.

Particularly in light of reports that a snorkeller was seen swimming close to the dolphin, all water users are to be reminded that it is a wild animal and advised to keep their distance.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 1 of 5

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating