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Displaying items by tag: Sea Scouts

The 2023 seamanship competition for senior Sea Scouts, supported by the Irish Institute of Master Mariners, occurred on 5 March at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork Harbour.

24 young people from around Ireland competed for the Captain Desmond Fortune Founders Award and the Captain Cian Timmons Memorial Award. The competition has run since 1995. This was the first time the Captain Cian Timmons Memorial Award was presented for the highest-placing Rover Scout. Captain Timmons was a Sea Scout and a member of the Council of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners. 

Competitors were examined on a range of seamanship skills, including testing their knowledge of maritime safety legislation, sea survival and collision regulations. They represented Sea Scout groups in Ringsend, New Ross, Howth, Malahide, Dollymount and the Scout Group in Ballykelly in Co Wexford. 

Sea Scout Master Mariners awards were presented by the Irish Institute of Master Mariners and the Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland, Jill Pitcher FarrellSea Scout Master Mariners awards were presented by the Irish Institute of Master Mariners and the Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland, Jill Pitcher Farrell

The examiner pool was diverse and included Sea Scout leaders and external examiners with experience as professional mariners and as members of the Naval Service, Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI. They also included representatives from Irish Sailing and lecturers from the NMCI.

Participants were also treated to a full day experience on 4 March, touring the NMCI, the Naval Base at Haulbowline, and Crosshaven Lifeboat Station, before bedding down in the community garden campsite of the local Crosshaven Sea Scouts. 

Awards were presented by the Irish Institute of Master Mariners and the Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland, Jill Pitcher Farrell.


Venture Scouts

Captain Desmond Fortune 'Founders Award'

  • 1st - Cormac Eason - 9th Port Malahide Sea Scouts
  • 2nd - Dan Clohessy - 9th Port Malahide Sea Scouts
  • 3rd - Adam Kavanagh - 12th Wexford Ballykelly Scouts 

Rover Scouts

Captain Cian Timmons Memorial Award

  • 1st - Óran Ó hIrile - 9th Port Malahide Sea Scouts
  • 2nd - Evan Banable - 9th Port Malahide Sea Scouts
  • 3rd - Darragh Ryan - 1st Wexford New Ross Sea Scouts

Dan Clohessy won the Eoghan Lavelle Cox'ns Prize for achieving the highest marks in the practical section.

Published in Maritime Training

The winners of the 2022 seamanship competition for senior Sea Scouts, supported by the Irish Institute of Master Mariners, recently got the opportunity to tour the ILV Granuaile as part of their prize. The young people were invited to learn about the vessel and the essential safety service provided around the coast of Ireland by the Commissioners of Irish Lights.

The Sea Scouts, from Malahide and Greystones, were welcomed onboard by Captain Dermot Gray and the crew. Captain Gray, Master of the ILV Granuaile, is also President of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners. 

The winners of the 2022 seamanship competition for senior Sea Scouts got the opportunity to tour the ILV Granuaile as part of their prize(Above and below) The winners of the 2022 seamanship competition for senior Sea Scouts got the opportunity to tour the ILV Granuaile as part of their prize

The winners of the 2022 seamanship competition for senior Sea Scouts got the opportunity to tour the ILV Granuaile as part of their prize

To win their place, the young people had demonstrated their knowledge and abilities in a comprehensive examination of navigation skills, practical boat handling and seamanship in March 2022 at 1st Port of Dublin Sea Scout den in Ringsend.

The competition draws examiners from across the marine community including ships’ officers, lifeboat volunteers and experienced recreational boaters. In 2022 it also featured a presentation to participants on weather forecasting from Met Eireann. It provides young people in Sea Scouting with a unique opportunity to engage directly with a diverse range of professionals connected with the nautical sphere at a time in their lives where some may be considering a career at sea.

The 2023 competition will take place in March at the National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy, thanks to the continued support of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners, who have supported this competition for older Sea Scouts since 1995.

Published in Lighthouses
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A steady 8-10 knots all day provided perfect conditions, bringing out the best of competitors in some very tight formations and close racing for the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide Estuary.

The main event of the day was a Team-Racing format with 12 teams consisting of three boats per team.

Raced under a round-robin series, each team sailed against one another, scoring points before progressing to the knockout series.

The main event of the day at the Seas Scout Regatta was a Team-Racing format with 12 teams consisting of three boats per teamThe main event of the day at the Seas Scout Regatta was a Team-Racing format with 12 teams consisting of three boats per team

After 26 exciting races, the 7th Port Howth Sea Scouts came out on top, closely followed by 9th Port Malahide Sea Scouts in 2nd and 24th Port of Galway Sea Scouts in 3rd.

Alongside the main Team-Racing event was the Seamanship Challenge.

Racing flags at the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide EstuaryRacing flags at the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide Estuary

Here the teams of x3 sailed together on a multi-handed boat completing skills and tasks such as rigging, coming alongside and man-overboard.

Malahide sailors came in 1st (Malahide Wed 1), 2nd (Malahide Lír) and 3rd (Malahide Wed 2).

close racing for the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide EstuaryClose racing for the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide Estuary

The Albatross Race was next, which is a single-handed, all-against race to the finish with the best of the best.

1st - 7th Port Howth (Sarah)
2nd - 7th Port Howth (Hannah)
3rd - 9th Port Malahide (Timmy)

The last race of the day was the Rovers & Scouters Race this year won by Jordan - 9th Port Malahide.

Finally, the Centenary Cup was presented to the sailor on the day who achieved the highest individual score.

This was proudly awarded to Sarah from 7th Port Howth.

Prizewinners at the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide EstuaryPrizewinners at the 51st Sea Scout Sailing Regatta on Malahide Estuary

Published in Malahide YC
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The Galway Sea Scouts took a trip to Nawaka, the National Sea Scouts Festival in Netherlands as Damien McCoy reports

Like Disneyland for Sea Scouts is how one of our Sea Scouts described Nawaka, the National Water Camp they attended in Zeewolde, Netherlands. Held every 4 years and running for 10 days, the Sea Scout festival is one of the largest of its kind and this year, Port of Galway Sea Scouts returned with 27 Scouts and 8 Leaders to represent Ireland at the event.

With 7,000 Scouts and Staff on site, the Nawaka village had a real festival feel, complete with popup shops, exhibitions and activities to keep everyone entertained and provided for. The opening ceremony saw the entire festival flotilla descend upon the local harbour of Zeewolde, which was awash with the brightly coloured Lelievlet Boats that each Sea Scout group paints in their group colours.

Nawaka 2022 Opening ceremony, Zeewolde harbour

The Lelievlet has been the standard boat of the Dutch Sea Scouts since the 1950s, with its steel hull providing lower maintenance than wooden predecessors and its 6 person capacity ensuring that younger scouts have the opportunity to sail with and learn from their older crewmates. Its design also offers the opportunity for Scouts to gain proficiency in sailing, rowing and stern sculling all in a single vessel. Stern sculling was the required way to enter and leave port and it was amazing to see very young scouts powering boats out of harbour using this technique.

Galway Sea Scouts aboard Barbarossa and Grace O’Malley - Dutch Sea Scout Lelievlets

There was a previous effort to introduce Lelievlet’s into Irish Sea Scouting, but to our knowledge only two of the boats remain operational and are now based on the Shannon in Limerick City with 25th Limerick Scout Group since the withdrawal of sailing from the Killaloe Scout Centre. Given the suitability of this boat type for youth mentoring and participation in sailing, we’re now investigating how we can revive their use in Ireland.

The generosity of numerous Dutch Sea Scout groups also ensured that we got the use of Lelievlets for the duration of the festival, with many of the Galway kids electing to join Dutch crews, enabling them to learn the best way to rig and handle these unfamiliar boats.

Mixed Irish & Dutch crew aboard a Dutch Sea Scout Lelievlet

The exchanges went beyond nautical knowledge however, with our Scouts also learning about Dutch culture and building new friendships which will endure long after Nawaka is over. We’re expecting a few of the groups to visit Galway over the next year so that we can return the hospitality they extended to us and give them a chance to experience the mountains and ocean which is not part of their usual scouting program.

We also had a fantastic opportunity to provide the Dutch a taste of Irish nautical heritage as we brought Loveen, the Port of Galway Sea Scout Gleoiteog to Nawaka this year. Supported by a crew from Galway Hooker Sailing Club we were able to ensure that many of our new Dutch friends had the opportunity to experience sailing in the traditional Galway Hooker.

Aboard Loveen the Port of Galway Sea Scout Gleoiteog at the Nawaka 2022 Parade of Sail

An interesting feature of Sea Scouting in the Netherlands is the use of large barges, tugs and other retired commercial vessels by Groups as their Scout Den, many of which had made long trips through the canals and waterways of the country to bring the sailing and camping equipment required by their team. 

Dutch Sea Scout Tug boat, which serves as their Scout Den

Sailing events during Nawaka included the Vlettenrally, where Sea Scouts are challenged to sail the greatest distance in 8 hours, resulting in one crew taking the directions literally and making it half way to Belgium before being intercepted and brought back late at night by powerboat. Other days were spent by the kids honing their tacks, jibes and reaches, while other times they simply enjoyed the freedom of swimming off the side of the anchored boats as a way to cool off from the high temperatures. For many of them it was the first sailing experience outside of Galway Bay and the absence of our usual wetsuits, hats and gloves was welcomed by all.

The parade of sail towards the end of the festival involved the entire flotilla of Nawaka craft making their way up to Zeewolde for a night time display of lights, decorations and music for the families of Scouts and local residents who had assembled on shore to watch. Explorers Scouts, the equivalent of our Venture Scouts, provided entertainment on barges as we paraded past, including a rock band and disco.

Irish & Dutch mixed crewed Lelievlets, under tow for the parade of sail

Sunset at the Parade of Sail in Nawaka 2022

 Lelievlets under tow to join the Nawaka flotilla

 The 27 Sea Scouts who attended have all vowed to return in 2026, either as Scouts again, or in the case of the older ones as leaders and staff volunteers. Nawaka 2022 has ensured that they have not just expanded their knowledge of sailing and scouting and gained an appreciation of Dutch culture, but have also grown and developed the life skills they will need as they become young adults.

Flying the Ireland & Scouting Ireland flags at Zeewolde Scout Centre Marina

The trip would never have happened without the dedication, time and efforts of the Leaders and parents of the Port of Galway Sea Scouts, with Denis Murphy who worked tirelessly during COVID to ensure we made it to Nawaka worthy of a special mention.

Denis Murphy, Nawaka 2022 Camp Chief for Port of Galway Sea Scouts

If you’d like to find out more about Nawaka, please visit and to learn about Port of Galway Sea Scouts you can find us at

Published in Galway Harbour
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‘Bravo Zulu’ to the young competitors from Arklow, Malahide, Ringsend, Greystones and Howth Sea Scouts who participated in the annual Master Mariner competition last weekend, hosted at Dublin Port and sponsored by the Irish Institute of Master Mariners.

A huge syllabus covered nautical skills from meteorology to boat maintenance to passage planning at a level often regarded as akin to a second mate’s ticket.

Competitors are examined by professional mariners and yachtsmen to showcase their skills as well as an opportunity to learn tips from the experts.

Getting to grips with the intricacies of knotsGetting to grips with the intricacies of knots

The examiner team this year featured members from the RNLI, Naval Reserve, Irish Sailing instructors, a professional shipwright, ocean yacht-masters, experienced sea-kayakers and special guest Linda Hughes from Met Éireann.

Linda joined the examining team for the day to assess the competitors meteorology skills and also provided a very informative talk about Met Éireann’s weather forecasting methods and tools.

The examiners praised all competitors who entered, commenting on the impressive level of nautical skills shown.

The syllabus for the annual Master Mariner competition covers a lot of groundThe syllabus for the annual Master Mariner competition covers a lot of ground

By the end of the day there were only single-digit points between the top candidates so an absolute credit to their skills and time put into their seamanship training.

Congratulations to Dan Clohessy from Malahide who was crowned Venture Scout Master Mariner, and to Jordan Killen from Malahide who was crowned Rover Scout Master Mariner.

Published in Dublin Port

#JamboRí - Up to 6,000 young people will get afloat over the six days of JamboRí 2018, the biggest scouting event in Ireland for a decade.

Scouting Ireland will hold JamboRí at Stradbally Hall in Co Laois, the home of Electric Picnic, from 25 July to 2 August 2018.

As part of the festival, all participants will spend a full day on the water at Blessington Lakes in Co Wicklow where they will have the opportunity to sail, row, kayak, windsurf and more.

The water element is headed up by the Sea Scouts, the specialist group within the Scouting Ireland movement which uses nautical skills and experiences to create outdoor adventures for young people.

“Putting 1,000 young people on the water each day for a week is an exciting task and we can’t wait!” said Colum McCaffrey of Malahide Sea Scouts and team lead for the water element of JamboRí 2018.

“We do need support from other agencies to maximise the experience of the young people attending and we welcome contact from anyone wishing to help us by assisting with equipment, training or logistics.”

Offers of assistance with equipment welcome at [email protected].

Published in Youth Sailing

When Kaitlyn Dow of Waterford High School in Connecticut put a shout–out through last September for people to look out for her unmanned yacht off the Galway coast, little did she realise she would be travelling across the Atlantic to meet those finders and be reunited with her school project.

The 5ft mini–sailboat, The Lancer, was washed up in Connemara on September 20 last year. Sent by Dow of Waterford High School in Connecticut, it travelled all the way across the Atlantic, and was picked up by Méabh Ní Ghionnáin (aged 8) on Garumna Island, Co. Galway.

Since then, the Connemara Sea Scouts, who are affiliated with the ISA’s Galway Sea Scouts, have patched up The Lancer and are preparing to send it on another voyage.

Visitors from Waterford High School are due in Connemara in late February – so more updates to come.

Connemara Sea ScoutsThe Connemara Sea Scouts with the American mini yacht

Published in Coastal Notes

#seascouts – The 2015 Sea Scouting conference was held last weekend based in the Commodore Hotel in Cobh. Over 90% of the country's Sea Scout groups were in attendance, with delegates from as far away as Donegal, Louth and Galway. Sea Scouting is a branch of Scouting Ireland which concentrates on the development of leadership skills through adventurous activities afloat, having being founded by Baden Powell's brother in the 1910s. Its members make up about 1 in 12 of Scouting Ireland's members.
The weekend's programme was packed with workshops and speakers, with Commodore Hugh Tully, Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service opening the conference. Lieutenant Commander Martin Brett of the Naval Service gave the keynote speech at the dinner on Saturday evening. Lt Cdr Brett, who also the Venture Scout Leader in the 55th Cork (Carrigaline) spoke about leadership at sea and his presentation was a highlight of the weekend. Workshops included a presentation by Scouting Ireland's new Programme Commissioner for Youth Empowerment Niamh Donnelly, hands-on sessions including an exploration of inclusivity for young people with disabilities led by Ciaran Murphy from the ISA, a session on applying the Leave no Trace principles to activities afloat and talks on adventurous journeys including Finbarr Hedderman who spoke about his swim from Ireland to Scotland.
There was also a presentation from Sail Training Ireland. In conjunction with Sail Training Ireland, Sea Scouting launched an opportunity for all Scouts age 16-26 to join a Scout-only voyage from Falmouth to Belfast as part of the Tall Ships festival this summer.
Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland Michael John Shinnick also attended the gala dinner on the Saturday evening. In recognition of his support over the last 6 years as Chief Scout, he was presented with a framed photo of himself at the helm of Yahtzee, the well-known ISORA campaigner, which acted as committee boat at the 100th anniversary Sea Scout Rowing Regatta last year in Dun Laoghaire.
Programme Commissioner for Sea Scouting Stephen Taylor said about the conference: "We are at very exciting time for Sea Scouting with a number of new Sea Scout Groups opening around the country. We also have some ambitious projects in the pipeline that will see more and more young people enjoying fun and adventure on the water. The level of attendance at the conference and the spirit in which delegates engaged shows a bright future afloat."

Published in News Update

#malahide – Two Malahide sailors, Gemma McDowell and Sarah McKernan, travel to the USA this week to represent Scouting Ireland and Malahide Yacht Club at the William I Koch International Sea Scout Sailing Regatta in Long Beach, California. The two scouts earned the right to compete by winning the Irish Scout Sailing Championship on the Broadmeadows last August.

The biennial regatta will see teams from Brazil, England, Ireland, Finland, Poland, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago square off against their American counterparts from a dozen states in a week of competition in Flying Junior sailboats. Gemma and Sarah will also compete as part of international eight-man crews on board Catalina 37s.

The week-long regatta will end with an awards dinner where America's Cup-winning skipper and philanthropist Bill Koch will present the Koch Cup to the winning team.

Scouting Ireland Sea Scout Commissioner, Stephen Taylor, will travel with the team along with Kate O'Farrell, team manager, and Colum McCaffrey who has coached the team.

Published in Malahide YC

#STOLEN BOAT - Dollymount Sea Scouts have reported the recovery of a boat stolen from their scout den in north Dublin earlier this week.

The BP 18 standard boat was taken from outside the scout den at the Crow's Nest in Dollymount at some time between the hours of 5pm on Sunday 16 and 5pm on Monday 17 September.

But eagle-eyed gardaí in a patrol car from Santry spotted the boat in the driveway of a derelict house in a north Dublin housing estate.

The boat, Orion 2, was towed back to Santry Garda Station from where it was picked up by the sea scouts and brought home to Dollymount on Tuesday evening.

The brand new boat has a red fibreglass hull with brown varnished timber thwarts and gunwales, and is painted light grey inside. The boat is 18ft long and was last seen on its four-wheel trailer.

This type of boat is only used by Sea Scouts in Ireland and An Slua Muiri (Irish Navel Reserves). It has only been used a handful of times since its launch in May this year, and only one of this particular kind has been manufactured recently.

Published in News Update
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