Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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: Skibbereen

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched an ‘all abilities’ accessible angling facility in West Cork to enable wheelchair users to fish safely and conveniently.

The bespoke €106,000 fishing platform at Shepperton Lake, 3km from Skibbereen, provides access to wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility to a section of the popular angling destination.

Up to four wheelchair anglers at a time can be accommodated at the outdoor facility which consists of a long boardwalk and a large accessible steel stand, a new picnic area and parking for six vehicles.

The initiative was co-funded by IFI and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Speaking at the opening of the new platform, John Twomey, disheries inspector with IFI said: “The demand for accessible and safe infrastructure for wheelchair users — and those with reduced mobility — at Shepperton Lake was obvious, and we are looking forward to seeing many anglers enjoy our brand new facility.

Deirdre Harrington with John Twomey of IFI on the new accessible angling platformDeirdre Harrington with John Twomey of IFI on the new accessible angling platform

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the Irish Wheelchair Association on this project and are very pleased the amenity has been constructed. We can’t wait for the new stand to open tomorrow, and for it to be used by people of all abilities.”

On Friday (31 March) IFI hosted members of the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty, Co Cork for the official opening of the new amenity, following an extensive programme of works to transform the site to support inclusive angling.

Sinéad Burke, service support officer for the Irish Wheelchair Association said: “Our service users are thrilled with the new fishing podium at Shepperton Lake and will be able to enjoy a long season of fishing from now on.

“Getting out in nature and having access to a tailor-made resource like this will be extremely beneficial to the wellbeing of our service users. We would like to thank the incredible team of IFI who went above and beyond to enhance the fishing experience of our service users. We feel very grateful to work in partnership with the team from IFI.”

IFI has collaborated with the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty for the past seven years and in that period angling day trips to Shepperton Lake have increased in popularity among the latter’s members, the organisations say.

Published in Angling

RTÉ News reports that a man in his 50s has died after getting into difficulty while swimming near Skibbereen yesterday (Sunday 1 May).

It’s believed the man may have suffered a heart attack while the water in Lough Hyne around lunchtime. He was known locally as a keen swimmer and a regular in the West Cork sea lough. RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sea Swim
Tagged under

#Rowing: UCD won only their second senior men's eights Championship of Ireland since 1973 at the National Rowing Centre today. They last won in 2011. They had a clearwater lead by half way and never let it go.

The senior women's eight saw NUIG/Castleconnell also win well. The stern pair of Sadhbh O'Connor and Fiona Murtagh were taking their fourth titles of the weekend.

The final session of the Irish Championships started with a UCD win in the men's novice eight and continued with Ruth Morris of Commercial moving well clear to win the women's intermediate sngle sculls.

Colaiste Iognaid won a battle with Commercial in the men's junior pair, while Lee's junior women matched their junior men by winning the quadruple.

The final race of the whole event, the men's intermediate double, was won by Skibbereen.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Cork clubs had a set of good results in the first session of Sunday finals at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre.

Cork Boat Club's junior women's pair started the ball rolling, while Skibbereen then took their second title of Championships as Aodhan Burns proved a strong winner of the lightweight single sculls.

Margaret Cremen of UCC had a huge win in the lightweight single sculls, and Lee added the junior men's double to the junior quadruple title they had won on Saturday.

The tighest finish came in the men's club coxed four. NUIG made a tremendous effort to catch St Michael's of Limerick but they fell short by just .329 of a second.

Commercial of Dublin and Fermanagh's Enniskillen Royal Boat Club are having a good reatta. Enniskillen won the men's intermediate pair, while Commercial won the womens intermediate coxed four.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Seven different clubs won in the second session of finals on the second day of the Irish Championships. The races were run in hot sunshine.

Two women's finals senior finals were won in emphatic fashion. Georgia O'Brien of Kenmare won in the women's senior single sculls to give the club its second Championship. NUIG were also well in control in their victory in the women's senior pair.

Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, who is a junior, followed the trend in her big win in the women's club single sculls.

The women's junior 18 eights was a tighter affair, though Bann, once in the lead, held on strongly to rebuff Enniskillen.  

The men's junior quadruple was a big event, with Lee taking the title ahead of Three Castles and Neptune.

Cork clubs are having a good Championships, and UCC took the women's club eights.

Skibbereen figured strongly in some finals, but had their first Championship win when Kealan Mannix won the intermediate single sculls from Shane Haugh of Castleconnell.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler, the world’s best women’s pair, beat Sadhbh O’Connor and Natalie Long of NUIG and Skibbereen in the heat of the Hambleden Pairs at Henley Royal Regatta today. The Irish women, who had qualified, saw the New Zealanders move away from them and win well.  

Henley Royal Regatta, Day Three (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Hambleden Pairs (Women’s Pairs, Open): G Prendergast, K Gowler bt S O’Connor, N Long

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Orla Hayes was beaten by Jordan Lara Cole-Hossain in the Princess Royal, for open single sculls at Henley Royal Regatta today. The Thames Rowing Club sculler had a big advantage over her Skibbereen opponent down the course, and won easily.

Hayes had qualified for this tough event.

Henley Royal Regatta, Day Two (Irish interest)

Visitors (Men’s Four, Club and University): UCD bt Leander Club 2¼ l.

Fawley (Junior Men’s Quadruple): Christiana Roklub, Norway bt Enniskillen RBC 1/3 l.

Princess Royal (Women’s Single, Open): JL Cole-Hossain Orla Hayes (Skibbereen) easily

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The standout names in the Irish entry for Henley Royal Regatta are Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll. The world lightweight champions of 2017 have entered the Silver Goblets for open pairs.

 The Irish challenge features Commercial in the Thames Cup for club eights and UCD’s four in the Visitors. Both crews are Irish champions. Enniskillen have chosen to enter quadruples in the Fawley and the Diamond Jubilee.

 UCD, who compete at Henley Women’s Regatta this weekend, have entered the open event for women’s eights, the Remenham.  Orla Hayes of Skibbereen has entered the Princess Royal, the open event for women's single scullers.

Henley Royal Regatta, July 3rd to 7th (Selection of Entries, Irish interest)

Remenham Cup (Women’s Eights, Open): UCD

Thames (Men’s Eight, Club): Commercial

Visitors (Men’s Four, Club and University): UCD

Prince of Wales (Men’s Quadruple, Club and University): Lagan Scullers’

Fawley (Men’s Quadruple, Junior): Enniskillen Royal Boat Club

Diamond Jubilee Cup (Women’s Quadruple, Junior): Enniskillen Royal Boat Club

Britannia (Men’s Fours, coxed, Club): Belfast Rowing Club

Silver Goblets (Men’s Pairs, Open): Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen)

Hambleden Pairs (Women’s Pairs, Open): Sadhbh O’Connor and Natalie Long (NUIG and Skibbereen)

Double Sculls (Men’s Double, Open): Nathan Hull and OJ Dix (Queen’s, Belfast and Leander)

Stonor Trophy (Women’s Double Sculls, Open): Fiona Chestnutt, CK Knight (Reading Univ and Newcastle Univ)

Diamond Sculls (Men’s Single, Open): Callum McCrae (Cambridge Univ Lightweight RC)

Princess Royal (Women’s Single, Open): Orla Hayes (Skibbereen)

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Commercial beat UCD and Cork Boat Club to take the men's eights at Skibbereen Grand League Regatta at the National Rowing Centre today. Commercial seemed to be in a commanding lead coming up to the viewing area, but UCD chased them down and were under two seconds behind at the finish, with Cork not much further back.

The women's eights went, as expected, to UCC, while Holly Davis, who is just 14, won the Division Two single sculls by a huge margin.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under
#Rowing: Two junior crews which are set to represent Ireland this season had good wins in Saturday's second session at Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre. The junior women's quadruple of Anna Tyther (Killorglin), Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, Aoife Lynch of Lee and Lucy McCoy of Belfast Boat Club beat the UCC/Skibbereen seniors: Orla Hayes, Niamh Casey, Aoife Casey and Lydia Heaphy. The junior men's coxed four, which is set to compete at the World Junior Championships, also won their Division One final. At Portadown, the good run by Carrick on Shannon continued, as their junior women's double and quad won, adding to the win in the junior single by Shauna Murtagh.
Published in Rowing
Page 1 of 10

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.”