#cruising – Norman Kean, who continues to sail and cruise with his recently-acquired 40ft cutter Coire Uisge from Courtmacsherry in West Cork, is the Honorary Editor of the Irish Cruising Club's continually up-dated Sailing Directions, which cover the entire coast of Ireland in two volumes. This week, writes W M Nixon, he was honoured in London when he was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, one of the worlds leading organisations in the development and propagation of the art and science of navigation.
The Fellowship was conferred on Wednesday July 15th by the RIN Patron, Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh, who talked with Kean about his entirely voluntary work in research and the collation of knowledge of the Irish coast, discussing the citation which reads: "in recognition of his contribution to Irish (technical) maritime literature, including the Irish Cruising Club Sailing Directions".
The Royal Institute for Navigation was founded in 1947, and leading figures in it have included Francis Chichester who, before his ocean-voyaging days, was renowned as a pioneering aviation navigator of small aircraft on long distance transoceanic flights, often with the target being a landing site on a remote and tiny island.
Norman Kean and his wife Geraldine are renowned for their diligence in researching the entire Irish coast, and in disseminating up-dated information as quickly as possible. Not only is their new information readily available online, but they publish new printed editions of the Irish Cruising Club's Sailing Direction with almost bewildering speed – when you rely on Norman Kean's latest information, you have no excuse for not being fully informed on the latest developments on the Irish coast, or of new hazards in established anchorages.
Peter Killen of Malahide, the Commodore of the Irish Cruising Club, who is currently exploring the waters of eastern Canada with his Amel Super Maramu 54ft ketch Pure Magic, has emailed Afloat.ie from Nova Scotia to record his and his members' pleasure at this recognition of Norman and Geraldine Kean's assiduous work on behalf of Irish sailing and cruising:
"We are very proud indeed to have Norman as a member of our club, and offer him our sincerest congratulation on this recognition of his fine work. It is a very special recognition, as in all there are only 300 Fellows in the Royal Institute for Navigation.
For many years now, Norman has been the Editor of the ICC Sailing Directions, which are a superb and valuable guide for all seafarers passing along our Irish coastline. In many ways, the Sailing Directions are the heart and soul of the ICC, and the way in which Norman and Geraldine have kept our heart in ever more vigorous health is an inspiration for all Irish sailors"
Men of the sea. Norman Kean being conferred with his fellowship of the Royal Institute for Navigation by the Duke of Edinburgh in London on Wednesday July 15th.