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Afloat – Ireland's Sailing and Boating Magazine
Barry Cowen on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics programme on Sunday
Newly appointed marine minister Barry Cowen has said he regrets an incident where he was disqualified from driving four years ago after being breathalysed. The Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly and brother of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who was appointed…
“I only do it to keep fit, y’know”. Bus-pass sailor Frank Larkin with his latest Laser at Killaloe
Senior sailor and noted offshore veteran Frank Larkin of Limerick claims he only got his latest Laser a year or so ago as a present for himself for his 73rd birthday, and for “just the occasional sail to keep in…
Mathematician and musician Peter Knox singing the Turbot Island song remembering the death of three fishermen in 1974 which led to the island's evacuation
When three Connemara islanders drowned on their way home in a currach from watching the All-Ireland football final on television in Clifden in 1974, their loss had such a devastating impact that most of the residents of Turbot evacuated four…
The Golden One: Chris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia competing in 2020's opening ISORA Coastal Race is entered for next month's Round Ireland Race from Wicklow
Having come so close to overall victory in 2018, Chris Power Smith revealed the depth of his ambition when the Royal St. George skipper of J122 'Aurelia' became the Round Ireland Yacht Race's 50th entry at the weekend.  Power Smith…
Eyes of the whale shark. A. Anterior view of the whale shark, showing the locations of the eye (arrows). Note that whale shark eye is well projected from the orbit. Photo was taken in the sea near Saint Helena Island. B. Close-up view of the left eye of a captive whale shark
Japanese researchers have found that whale sharks have protective “armour” around their eyeballs in the form of tiny teeth. Japan's Okinawa Churashima Research Centre scientists studied the eyes of both living and dead whale sharks, which can grow to 18-metres…
Aran residents were similar to Australopithecus robustus, according to Inis Mor hotelier Keith Madigan
Gales over the weekend have cushioned the impact of full re-opening of offshore islands to visitors as COVID-19-related restrictions are eased. However, there has been a steady increase in traffic to the Aran islands, served currently by one ferry from…
The award-winning X4³
X-Yachts’ latest video tour goes ‘behind the scenes’ of the award-winning X4³ — looking below cushions, inside lockers and at systems and storage, for a greater understanding of what makes an X-Yacht an X-Yacht. The vessel in question, toured with…
The male Sowerby’s beaked whale seen in Wicklow Harbour on Saturday 4 July
A Sowerby’s beaked whale — of a marine wildlife species rarely sighted in Irish waters — has died after getting into distress in Wicklow Harbour, as The Irish Times reports. According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), the…
Solo star – Garry Crothers
When Garry Crothers (64) of Lough Swilly YC brought his Ovni 435 Kind of Blue into her berth in Foyle Marina in the heart of the City of Derry this (Saturday) afternoon at 1520 hrs, it marked the completion of…
West Cork winner Excelsior
The first race of the West Cork sailing season took place on Saturday in murky conditions with intermittent foggy spells and light rain making it a tough return to sailing for the Schull harbour sailing fleet. The seven yachts had…
Radial sailor Conor Gorman of the National Yacht Club
DBSC dinghy sailing continued its strong turnout for the first Saturday racing of the 2020 season. Over 40 Dinghies turned out for three races in a moderate westerly wind inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday. Royal St. George's Theo Lyttle won…
Dr John Killeen of Galway on his re-appointment for a second five-year term as Chairman of the national Marine Institute
John Killeen of Galway’s services to sailing and the broader maritime world expanded still further in June, when he became Chairman of the RNLI Council for Ireland. This is in addition to his major role as Chairman of the Marine…
The Brompton Goose pictured centre with sea swimmers on Belfast Lough
Northern Ireland’s coastline is dotted with cold water swimmers who go out no matter what the weather or temperature. The group who swim near Jenny Watts Cave just past Wilson’s Point at Bangor on Belfast Lough are known as the…
File image of vessels moored at a previous Southampton Boat Show
This year’s Southampton International Boat Show has been postponed to 2021 as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to reverberate throughout the boating industry. As International Boat Industry reports, the 52nd edition of the industry fixture — which had…
The Docklands Business Forum said approval for Dublin's Port €320m masterplan 'beggars belief'. Above AFLOAT's (file) photo of Alexandra Basin where Phase 1 of the port masterplan involved major reconfiguration of quays and additional hard-standing capacity for cargoes. In this scene is the former Tara Boliden Mines zinc/ore concentrate Bulk Jetty (see loading chute into hold of Arklow Fern which departed the capital on 30 June and reached Odda, Norway today). The facility located in the centre of the basin was demolished last year and replaced with a new mineral terminal built (at the entrance of the former Dublin Dry-Dock: Graving Dock No.2) that opened in October. As usual the main client here is Arklow Shipping and where last month, Arklow Rover, one of their former R class cargoships was sold to Norwegian interests also used the facility. Afloat will have more on the port's new infrastructure and disposal of the Irish flagged ship along with a fleetmate.
Permission has been given by An Bord Pleanála for the next phase of Dublin Port's €320m masterplan to proceed, subject to conditions. The project, reports RTE, includes the development of a new roll-on roll-off (RoRo) jetty, the lengthening of an…
RYA Northern Ireland Updates ‘Step 2’ Guidance For Boaters
RYA Northern Ireland has updated its guidance for boaters following recent announcements by the NI Executive. Sport Northern Ireland officials confirmed that the sport sector remains in Step 2 of the Roadmap to Recovery until further announcements. The situation in…
 The Clondalkin community-built 43ft Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan on Dublin Bay in 2003, with Stiofan O Laoire at the helm. Launched new in 1997, she had been based on Ireland’s East Coast until this week at Poolbeg Y&BC, regularly appearing in traditional events at home and abroad. But now she has moved west into new management with the Claddagh Boatmen in Galway City
If you’re having trouble processing the full implications of the fascinating new portmanteau ministry which has emerged this week from the formation of our latest government, not to worry. You’d be on your own if you weren’t a little bit…
Leslie Parnell's First 34.7 from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is one of 19 starters in this morning's first ISORA coastal race off Dublin
This morning's Dun Laoghaire Viking Marine Coastal Race (Re-Boot) course has drawn a potent fleet of ISORA 19 boats that includes former champions Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox) from North Wales and reigning champions Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins). The…
Freight operator Seatruck Ferries whose ro-ro ferry Clipper Point is seen in this file photo when departing off the Baily Lighthouse on Dublin Bay. Incidentally the 'P'-class vessel also departed the Irish capital this afternoon onto the Irish Sea bound for Heysham, England
Irish Exporters Association (IEA) have today welcomed news that Irish and EU officials have developed a draft proposal that would give Irish food exports access to "green lanes" when they come off ferries traveling from British to continental ports. The…
As AFLOAT reported in March (see CruiseLiners) the MS Fridtjof Nansen (would become) the only cruiseship that called to Belfast Harbour this season. The hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship with a 500 passenger capacity is operated by Norwegian owners Hurtigruten which was promoting the 2019 newbuild which was scheduled next to call to Dublin Port but was cancelled as the Covid-19 scenario was increasingly becoming a major public health emergency. The industry has all but collapsed and is unlikely to recover until 2023.
Cruise fall-out as Belfast Harbour is anticipating that Covid-19 could hit revenues by as much as 20% this year, largely due to the collapse of its cruise, tourist and leisure business. Port bosses said they do not expect any of…

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