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A Harbour Seal photographed at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of pinnipeds, they are found in coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Baltic and North seas. Photo: AfloatA photograph of a Harbour Seal taken at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, this species can be found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are the most widely distributed species of pinnipeds and can be found in the coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Baltic and North Seas. Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: Dragon

Two final races in glorious sun and moderate breeze completed the six-race Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar in Marstrand. The regatta ended on high drama when no less than five of the top ten boats were disqualified under black flag in the penultimate race, throwing the overall results wide open. Those on the wrong side of the line included Dirk Pramann, Dmitry Samokhin, Andy Beadsworth, Torvar Mirsky and Jens Christensen, who had gone into the day 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th respectively.

For overnight leader Pieter Heerema the sight of so many close challengers pulling out must have been a welcome relief. But with no discard in the Gold Cup there was still a lot of racing between him and victory so it was immediately back to the business in hand. Once again this hugely experienced team, which includes past Gold Cup and Double European Championship winning helm Lars Hendriksen and Ukrainian double 49er Olympian and past Gold Cup-winning crew George Leonchuk, sailed fast and smart to finish second behind Anatoly Loginov in RUS27. Loginov had been black flagged in the first race of the series so despite this being his third race win he had no realistic chance of making the podium and was sailing purely for the joy of it. Crossing the line in third came Belgium's Benjamin Morgen, with Demark's Frank Berg fourth and young Australian 49er sailor David Gilmour, helming for the Japanese YRed team in father Peter's absence, fifth.

Going into the final race Heerema and his team had a sixteen point delta on nearest rival Pedro Andrade so their focus was on starting cleanly and staying out of trouble. Andrade got a great start at the committee boat end, tacked right straight away and went on to lead the race comfortably all the way to the finish. Behind him a chasing pack soon broke off the front of the fleet and a tight battle ensued between Andy Beadsworth, Magnus Holmberg, Dmitry Samokhin, David Gilmour and Pieter Heerema. Despite winning the race in spectacular style Andrade knew his reign as Dragon Gold Cup Champion had come to an end as Heerema crossed the line in fourth behind Beadsworth and Samokhin. Holmberg took fifth and Sweden's Martin Pålsson sixth.

In the overall standings, Pieter Heerema claimed victory by thirteen points. Pedro Andrade took second and the Japanese team of David Gilmour, Sam Gilmour and Yashiro Yaju sailing YRed and representing event sponsor Yanmar finished third.

This will be a particularly sweet victory for Pieter Heerema who has spent some 30 years trying to win the Gold Cup and had developed something of a bridesmaid's reputation having made the lower slopes of the podium in 2013, 2018 and 2019, but never quite made it to the top step. But Heerema, a Vendee Globe Race veteran, is not a man to give in easily and that determination has finally paid off. After the prize-giving an elated Pieter Heerema summed up his feelings saying, "I've tried to win this thing a lot of times and I've been several times second, third and fourth, but finally it works!"

For Martin Pålsson his sixth place in the final race moved him up to fourth in the overall standings and confirmed him and his crew of Peter Lindh, Thomas Wallenfeldt and Gustav Gärdebäck as the 2021 Dragon Gold Cup Corinthian Champions. Second in the Corinthian Division was Denmark's Frank Berg with Germany's Benjamin Morgen third.

The Dragon Gold Cup also features a special competition for national teams called the Nations Cup. Three boat teams for each nation are selected based on their finishing position in the opening race of the series. The winners of the 2021 Nations Cup are the Russian team of RUS76 Rocknrolla (Dmitry Samokhin), RUS35 Sunflower (Viktor Fogelson) and RUS27 Annapurna (Anatoly Loginov). The deed of gift states that the trophy shall be held by the helmsman of the team member with the highest overall placing and so the Nations Cup will be returning to Russia with Dmitry Samokhin.

At the prize giving held outside the island's famous Societetshuset community hall the sailors were able to not only salute the victors, but also say thank you to the people of Marstrand, to the staff and members of the Marstrand’s Segelsällskap, the Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap and the Swedish Dragon Class, to the Race Officer Mattias Dahlström and his team and to the event sponsors Yanmar and the many supporting sponsors and suppliers who helped make the event possible.

As the sun finally set on the Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar Martin Pålsson summarised the event beautifully saying, "First Marstrand showed its bad side, I've never seen so many day's ashore here in my whole life, but finally we got three days with super sailing and we got all the races in and they were full length races. The Race Officers and everybody have done a tremendous job, the social life has been well organised and fun despite the COVID-19 restrictions and everything has been great. We've seen some impressive sailing from some young new crews and we've seen the Corinthian teams getting great results overall too."

The 2022 Dragon Gold Cup will take place in Ostend, Belgium from 21 to 26 August, while the next major event in the International Dragon calendar will be the Italian Grand Prix and the Dragon European Grand Prix Finals in Sanremo, Italy from 26 to 31 October 2021. And, as regular Afloat readers will know, the Dragon Gold Cup comes to Kinsale, County Cork in 2024.

Overall Top Ten

1st - NED412 - Troika - Pieter Heerema - 1, 2, 5, 3, 2, 4 = 17
2nd - POR89 - Pedro Andrade - Petti Portugal - 2, 6, 8, 7, 6, 1 = 30
3rd - JPN56 - David Gilmour - YRed - 13, 25, 2, 12, 5, 8 = 65
4th - SWE401 - Martin Pålsson - Nono - 14, 11, 9, 10, 25, 6 = 75
5th - SWE345 - Jan Secher - Miss Behaviour - 8, 27, 20, 5, 7, 9 = 76
6th - SUI311 - Magnus Holmberg - Sophie Racing - 20, 1, 30, 13, 9, 5 = 78
7th - DEN266 - Frank Berg - My Way - 28, 3, 14, 20, 4, 12 = 81
8th - RUS27 - Anatoly Loginov - Annapurna - BFD, 10, 1, 1, 1, 7 = 91
9th - GER1180 - Benjamin Morgen - Rosie - 12, 5, 33, 25, 3, 14 = 92
10th - GER1207 - Nicola Friesen - Khaleesi - 9, 8, 27, 16, 27, 10 = 97

Corinthian Top Five

1st - SWE401 - Martin Pålsson - Nono - 2, 3, 2, 2, 16, 1 = 26
2nd - DEN266 - Frank Berg - My Way - 12, 1, 5, 6, 2, 3 = 29
3rd - GER1180 - Benjamin Morgen - Rosie - 1, 2, 17 10, 1, 5 = 36
4th - BEL80 - Ben Van Cauwenbergh - FL4T OUT - 4, 8, 11, 1, 11, 9 = 44
5th - RUS35 - Viktor Fogelson - Sunflower - 7, 5, 9, 16, 4, 6 = 47

Click here for full results

Published in Dragon
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After the successful staging of The Sovereigns Cup in June, Kinsale Yacht Club is now preparing for another Championship in early September.

Over 15 teams are expected to battle it out for the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon national title, a title that has never been won by local hotshots "Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) having watched arch-rival "Phanton" (Neil Hegarty, David Williams, Peter Bowring) take the crown consecutively for the last number of years.

This year, however, Little Fella has won the South Coasts and East Coasts already this year so that the Nationals would give them the Grand Slam!

Racing starts on 2nd of September under race officer John Stallard.

Eight teams from the host club will compete, with another Kinsale crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon) expected to be in the mix if it's windy.

If conditions are lighter, "Serafina" (Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy, Sean Murphy) or the beautifully restored "Titan" (Martin Byrne, Ben Cooke, Rui Ferreira) could be the ones to watch.

"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kinston, Simon Fourney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title

Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)

Kinsale Yacht Club Vice-Commodore, Matthias Hellstern, commented, "We are delighted to welcome the Dragons to Kinsale for their National Championships next month in what looks like being a very hot fleet. The Dragon fleet numbers are continually growing in Kinsale, and two new teams are already actively seeking boats for next season. I am also delighted to see the initiative to attract young sailors from Glandore with a special reduced entry fee for the under the '30s. Special thanks to our sponsors O'Leary Life who has been a phenomenal supporter of our club over the last number of years, with multiple Sovereigns Cup sponsorships, and we are extremely grateful to have them on board for the Dragon Nationals."

Brian Goggin from sponsors O'Leary Life added, "As a Kinsale dragon sailor myself, O'Leary Life are delighted to support this event. Kinsale Yacht Club are a fantastic club, made up of some incredible volunteers who go above and beyond to ensure the continued success of the yacht club, and O'Leary Life is delighted to acknowledge the same with our support."

Notice of Race and online entry is now available here

Published in Dragon
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When Pedro Andrade and his crew lifted the historic Dragon Gold Cup on the 14 June 2019, little did they know it would be more than two years before they would be called upon to defend their title.

Traditionally held annually, the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, was just one of thousands of major international sporting events cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

As regular Afloat readers know, the 2020 edition was bound for Kinsale Yacht Club before the West Cork was forced to cancel. Happily, however, Kinsale is already making plans to stage the 2024 Cup, an important international regatta for the Irish south coast.

After this unexpected hiatus and having received official approval from the Swedish Government, Marstrands Segelsällskap, Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap, the Swedish Dragon Association, the International Dragon Association and the Clyde Yacht Clubs Association are delighted to announce that the 2021 Dragon Gold Cup by Yanmar will be raced off Marstrand, Sweden from 12 to 20 August 2021.

With over 80 entries from 17 nations already confirmed this will be a very special celebration for the 92-year young Dragon Class. International Dragon Association (IDA) Chairman Jens Rathsack summed up the feeling of the sailors in saying, “The past year and a half has been so frustrating for all sailors, and I want to pay tribute to all our Dragon friends worldwide who have tried to make racing happen wherever they are. It’s been especially hard to lose so many of our major championships, and that is why I am so delighted that the Swedish organisers have patiently worked to make this year’s Gold Cup happen. I know that it will be a fantastic event and I wish them and all competitors the very best.”

The Swedish organisers are truly pulling out all the stops to make this an event to remember. Afloat the race management team will be headed by Race Officer Mattias Dahlström, who’s experience includes the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Olympics, World Match Racing Tour and multiple World and Continental events. He leads an experienced team used to delivering regattas of outstanding quality. Ashore the International Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar competitors and their friends and family can look forward to a superb social programme in the elegantly relaxed Swedish style.

Published in Dragon
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While Kinsale Yacht Club cruisers boats were racing around the Kowloon Bridge Buoy and the club also staged the Squib south coast championships, another West Cork Yacht Club was staging a Glandore Harbour race for Dragons and Squibs to Castletownshend.

11 Dragons and 11 Squibs sailed in the annual race in ideal sailing conditions of 10 to 12 knot breezes last Saturday.

In the Dragon fleet, Sonata, in her first major event since being relaunched by her new owners this week, was the winner, ahead of Aphrodite second and War Baby in third. 

Trojan was the first Squib home followed by Tequilla Chaser in second and Kingfisher in third place.

Fergus of Mary Ann’s Bar in Castletownsend provided bottles of wine for the prizewinners.

Diarmuid O’Donovan of Glenmar Shellfish donated lobsters for the winning boats in the race back to Glandore. The first Dragon was Aphrodite, the first Squib was again Trojan,

Published in West Cork

West Cork Dragon sailors dominated the podium of the Irish East Coast Dragon Championships 2021 at the Royal St. George Yacht Club today with Kinsale Yacht Club crews claiming first second and third overall in the 13-boat fleet.

Overall winner Cameron Good's 'Little Fella' ended the six-race series with three race wins and a five-point margin over clubmate James Matthews on 14 points.

Securing its position as the new force for Dragon sailing in Ireland, Kinsale yachts led from Friday's first day of racing with Matthews edged out by Good after Saturday's fourth race in 15-20 knot south easterlies on Dublin Bay.

From left -  Joey Mason Dublin Bay Dragon Class Captain, Winning skipper Cameron Good with crew Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern and Royal St. George Y Commodore Richard O'ConnorFrom left - Joey Mason Dublin Bay Dragon Class Captain, Winning skipper Cameron Good with crew Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern and Royal St. George YC Commodore Richard O'Connor

One time leader James Matthews finished second overall Photo: AfloatOne time leader James Matthews finished second overall Photo: Afloat

Third place was Tomas O'Brien's Scarlet Ribbons two points further back on 17 points. 

Tomas O'Brien's Scarlet RibbonsTomas O'Brien's Scarlet Ribbons

The top Dublin boat was Peter Bowring and David Williams' Phantom of the host club in fourth place on 19 points. 

Peter Bowring and David Williams' PhantomPeter Bowring and David Williams' Phantom of the host club

Kinsale will host the prestigious 2024 Dragon Gold Cup, a high point on the calendar after the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 Cup at that venue due to COVID. 

Results are here

Dragon East Coast Championships Photo Gallery

Published in Dragon

Kinsale entries continue to lead after five races sailed at the 2021 Irish East Coast Dragon Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Friday's overall leader James Matthews from Kinsale Yacht Club has however been replaced at the top of the leaderboard by clubmate Cameron Good.

Good, who topped the first major Irish Dragon Championships since 2019 in June, now leads the 13-boat Dun Laoghaire event by three points. 

Cameron Good's Dragon 'Little Fella' leads on Dublin BayCameron Good's Dragon 'Little Fella' leads on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Good's scoresheet includes two race wins secured in yesterday's 12 to 18-knot breezes from the southeast with a mist and fine drizzle.

Testing championship conditions for the fleet were completed with a good chop in the north of the Bay. 

Racing continues on Sunday. 

Results are here.

Published in Dragon

Kinsale Yacht Club sailors dominate the top three places overall at the Irish East Coast Dragon Championships 2021 at the Royal St. George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this evening. 

James Matthews leads by three points having scored 3,1 in sea breeze conditions on Dublin Bay. The Kinsale ace is followed by clubmate Tomas O'Brien in Scarlet Ribbons on seven points with Cameron Good's Little Fella in third place on 11 points.

The south-easterly breeze built from ten knots for the opening race up to 16-18 knots for the second race of the day.

IRL 201 Titan in her first race since refit wins the opening race of the Dragon East coast Championships. Photo: Adam WinkelmannIRL 201 Titan in her first race since refit wins the opening race of the Dragon East coast Championships. Photo: Adam Winkelmann

Host club hopes were high when former Royal St George Yacht Club Commodore Martin Byrne took the gun in the first race but retired in the stronger breeze of the second race.

Byrne, a former Edinburgh Cup winner, was sailing IRL 201 Titan in her first race since refit. Byrne is sailing with Ben Cooke and Rui Ferreira.

Racing continues over the weekend. Provisional results below.

Published in Dragon

The first major Irish Dragon Championships in Ireland since 2019 was hosted by Glandore Harbour Yacht Club with 19 Dragons on the racecourse under Principal Race Officer Ciaran McSweeney. 

Cameron Good's Little Fella from Kinsale and Neil Hegarty's Phantom from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour were the pacesetters and after six races sailed were tied on eight nett points each. 

A winners tie break was settled in favour of Little Fella with third overall going to Good's clubmate James Matthews. 

The Championship Trophy and lots more race prizes were presented on the Glandore Terrace by GHYC Commodore Eamon Timoney and Fleet Captain Kieran O’Donoghue.

While local Dragon veteran Don Street did not race Gypsy in the event, he sailed out to the race area on Friday & Sunday to inspect the fleet.

Full results here 

Published in Dragon
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After two decades of printing hard copy yearbooks, the International Dragon Association has launched its first-ever digital edition. 

The bumper edition has 54 pages of entertaining and informative reading about one of the leading racing keelboats.

Despite many predictions over the years of the boat’s decline in the face of new technology, it has not just survived but prospered, and now numbers 1400 active registered Dragons.

The class will stage its 2024 Gold Cup in Kinsale following the cancellation of the 2020 Cup in the West Cork port due to COVID.

The new yearbook can be accessed from the Home Page of the International Dragon website here. It can be read on a tablet, phone or computer.

Published in Dragon
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Just as Ireland's one-design keelboat classes were gearing up for the last blast of the season this weekend, anticipated COVID-19 restriction hikes are threatening the staging of the annual regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary.

Flying Fifteens, Dragons, Squibs and SB20s are all scheduled to compete.

Organisers of the traditional end of season freshwater regatta at Lough Derg Yacht Club (9-11th October) will be watching out for COVID-19 level announcements today. The much-anticipated hike in restrictions aired on Sunday night (NPHET advice for a countrywide Level Five lockdown) would bring the curtain down on the popular autumn event that typically sees boats travelling from Northern Ireland, Dublin, Cork and other ports for the three-day event.

Some of Dublin's One Design keelboat classes are hoping that current Level 3 restrictions due to expire this Friday will allow travelling out of the county for the last sail of the season. All Dublin club racing has been cancelled over the last three weeks due to the county-wide restrictions.

Lough Derg Yacht Club has posted a Notice of Race with the rider that the 'Club reserves the right to cancel this event with short notice and all fees will be refunded' if it cannot go ahead.

In Kinsale, Squibs were hauled out at the weekend in anticipation of the Squib Inland Championships that are being held as part of the Lough Derg event.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 9 of 28

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”