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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: Normandy

#Fishing - Authorities in France and the UK have stepped into the ‘scallop wars’ that broke out between rival fishing fleets in the English Channel near Le Havre last week.

As the Guardian reports, some 35 French boats chased away five British vessels off the Normandy coast in a standoff over restrictions on the region’s scallop fishery.

Between March and October, French boats are barred from fishing for scallops in the 40 miles of international waters off Normandy called the Baie de Seine.

Smaller British boats dredging for scallops in the same waters are under no such prohibition, which has raised the ire of their French counterparts who claim their stocks are being poached.

The French navy has already pledged to intervene in the event of any further clashes — prompting Downing Street to push for further talks between the two sides.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

100 yachts are expected in Le Havre from 3 to 9 June for the eighth running of Normandy Sailing Week. Around ten series will be racing during the week-long competition in Baie de Seine, North-East France. A number of events will be run within the context of Normandy Sailing Week, including the French J80 Cup, the European J111 Championship, the first leg of the French Elite Championship for crewed offshore M34 racing and the UNCL Trophée Manche and Normandie for the IRC category.

A fine vintage is scheduled to race in Le Havre for the eighth act of Normandy Sailing Week! Over 800 racers will be competing on a number of close-contact, coastal courses launched by race committees responsible for each of the three race zones.
Significantly, the French J80 Cup is making its comeback in Le Havre this year. As such, over 25 J80s will be on the race zone with a sizeable local delegation. Le Havre's Société des Régates (Racing Society) has helped to boost this move with the purchase of five boats from the "J Composites" yard.
This Norman sailing event will begin with action from the M34s, the craft used in the Tour de France à la Voile. Around a dozen 34-feet Archambaults will enter the fray from the morning of Tuesday 4 June, when they take the start of a 230-mile race. All the Class' powerhouses will be there. Daniel Souben "Courrier Dunkerque 3", Nicolas Troussel "Crédit Mutuel – Bretagne", Cédric Pouligny "Team Oman", Corentin Douguet "Nantes / Saint-Nazaire" will be doing battle with some of the series' 'newcomers', including "Groupama 34" skippered by Franck Cammas, the recent winner of the Grand Prix Guyader and the Volvo Ocean Race, as well as Thomas Coville aboard "Sodebo". Suffice to say then that this "Volvo Drive E Race" will be hotly contested, providing a perfect foretaste of the Tour de France, which sets sail from Dunkirk at the end of June. Following on from this, the M34s will complete a series of round-the-cans courses off Le Havre from Thursday.
They will be joined by the J111 racer-cruiser fleet, which will see no less than 14 boats competing for the European J111 Champion title. This prize will be awarded on Sunday as Normandy Sailing Week draws to a close.
On the second race zone, the IRCs will take centre stage from 7 June, with four separate rankings deciding between the IRC 1, IRC 2, IRC 3 and IRC 4 categories. The organisers are expecting large numbers with the confirmation that Franck-Yves Escoffier, of offshore fame, will be racing aboard an Archambault 35. The current IRC 2 title holder, "Dunkerque Plaisance", skippered by the formidable Philippe Bourgeois, will also be keen to score well. Other serious contenders include the JPK 10.10 "Foggy Dew" helmed by local sailor Noel Racine and the X41 "Orange Mecanix" skippered by Maxime de Mareuil.
Finally, on the third and final race zone, the sportsboats (which include the Seascape 18s), will put on a show amidst a frenzy of bowsprits and zippy hulls, fleshed out by the presence of some all new J70s. The stakes will be especially high for the First 7.5s, who will also be competing here in a challenge specific to the Ligue de Voile de Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy Sailing League).

Published in Offshore
Tagged under
Diplomat, the original ferry that started operations for Celtic Link Ferries in 2005 has been sold to Indian ship-breakers after serving a spell on charter in the Caribbean, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Since leaving the Rosslare-Cherbourg port route in late 2009, the Diplomat has run between Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and San Juan (Peurto Rico) for Marine Express. For more click HERE. The freight-ferry was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea in 1978 and she was the final 'Searunner' class of 11 ordered by the Stena Rederi.

Launched as the Stena Tranporter, the career of the 16,000 tonnes has spanned over three decades in which the 151m vessel changed through several owners and subsequent vessel renamings.

It was when she served under the name Baltic Ferry, that her most notable career took place in 1982 during her wartime deployment as part of the
Falklands Islands Task Force. The 151m vessel was requisitioned by the British Ministry of Defence which saw the ship engaged in military operations when RAF Harrier Jump-Jet aircraft transferred store supplies from the deck of the ship as part of the war-effort in the South Atlantic Ocean.

In 2001 the vessel undertook ferry operations to Ireland as the European Diplomat on the Dublin-Liverpool route for the P&O (Irish Sea) route network. The following year she was transferred on the direct route to France until P&O pulled the plug on the continental service in December 2004, leaving Irish Ferries as the sole operator.

It was not until February 2005 that the route resumed service but this time under new owners Celtic Link Ferries. The O'Flaherty brothers, owners of a large fishing fleet in Kilmore Quay purchased the vessel and renamed her Diplomat. See PHOTO.

For the next four years she built up a steady customer loyalty between freight-hauliers drivers and car-only accompanying passengers who were accommodated in the ship which had a limited passenger certificate for 114 passengers. In addition she had a license to transport livestock.

Currently Celtic Link Ferries operate the ferry Norman Voyager but the 800-passenger / 200-car ro-pax vessel will only remain on the route until an October debut of a larger sistership the Cartour Beta.

The vessel is running this season between Italy and Sicily and with an added deck the 27,552 tonnes vessel has an increased capacity for passengers, cars and enhanced range of facilities. Recently the company had run a competition to name the new vessel which is to begin a five-year charter on the service between Wexford and Normandy.

Published in Ferry

Details for next year's course of the La Solitaire du Figaro race were revealed at the Paris Boat Show yesterday. The race will comprise four French towns and Dun Laoghaire will be the only foreign port of call when the boats are expected to arrive on 10 August.

In spite of Dublin airport weather delays a National YC contingent headed by Commodore Peter Ryan made it to Paris in time for the announcement.

The single-handed sailors will face a 1,695 nautical mile race in a traditional format with four legs with a decidedly northern course, set between the 46th and 53rd parallels. The Breton town of Perros-Guirec will be host to the festivities on 23 July and up to the first race leg to Caen, some 320 nautical miles, on 31 July. The course will not follow a direct route as the competitors will follow the British coastline before sailing down into the Bay of Seine.

Following several days for rest, the fleet shall once again set sail on 7 August for the second leg, of 470 nautical miles, that will take the Figaro Bénéteau 2 towards Dún Laoghaire. After leaving the Bay of Seine, a 40-mile or so run, the first obstacle will be the passage of the Barfleur point. The course remains inshore, as the single-handed sailors will sail along the Cotentin to the cape of the Hague, before heading towards the Channel Islands.

It will be compulsory to leave the islands of Aurigny, Herm and Guernsey to starboard. The skippers will then take on a long crossing of the English Channel, 120 nautical miles to Land's End. The last third of the course is a sail up almost full north over 190 nautical miles to reach Dún Laoghaire.

The Dublin Bay harbour is set to be a discovery for the visiting sailors and where the National Yacht Club are to be the host venue. After a few days rest and recuperation, the fleet then will set sail on 14 August to The Vendée and Les Sables d'Olonne. This third leg is long at 475 nautical miles with boats expected on 17 August.

Four days later and the final leg departs on 21 August with the boats setting a course for Dieppe, to arrive on 24 August. On the following day the Normandy port will also be hosting a closing regatta. For more information www.lasolitaire.com

Preparing for La Solitaire du Figaro here

Latest news for La Solitaire du Figaro here
Published in Figaro

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.”