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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: documentary

A three-part TV documentary featuring a deep dive into the lives of the sailors and teams competing in The Ocean Race 2022-23 is now streaming on discovery+ and the Eurosport app.

A Voyage of Discovery: The Ocean Race follows key sailors from the five IMOCA teams racing around the world, including the skipper of the winning 11th Hour Racing Team, American sailor Charlie Enright.

Viewers are taken behind the scenes and given an all-access pass to live the drama of the toughest fully crewed race in the world, experiencing all of the highs and lows as the best sailors in the world take on this iconic offshore challenge.

All five race teams feature in the documentary, which takes a close look at the event through the lived experience of four sailors including Enright, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe crew member Annie Lush, Biotherm skipper Paul Meilhat and Team Malizia co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper.

“I’m super excited about the documentary,” said Kuiper. “It was very special to be part of it and I shared my feelings and thoughts with the producers like I would with my family and that was special. I’m excited to see it as I had no filter and really shared everything from my heart.

“It’s a really cool way to go behind the scenes and dive into a sailor’s brain. I hope we can continue this in the future, to allow us to show the human adventure in addition to the sporting side.”

A Voyage of Discovery: The Ocean Race is the latest television output from the 50th anniversary edition of The Ocean Race, which started in Alicante, Spain on 15 January this year and finished at the Grand Finale in Genoa, Italy on 30 June.

A Voyage of Discovery: The Ocean Race was broadcast exclusively in three parts across Europe at Friday 3, Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 November on Eurosport’s channels. Streaming of all three episodes is available on discovery+ and the Eurosport app in Europe, and Eurosport Extra in Poland.

The three-part series was produced and directed by Robert Bevan and edited by Steven Douglas Blake for Warner Bros Discovery.

Published in Maritime TV

The volunteer lifeboat crew from Larne RNLI in Northern Ireland will feature in the new series of popular TV show Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two at 8pm next Thursday 12 October.

Featuring footage captured on helmet and boat cameras, viewers watch dramatic rescues through the eyes of RNLI lifesavers while meeting the people behind the pagers and those rescued by the charity’s lifesavers.

The popular 10-part documentary is now in its eighth series and includes the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around Ireland and the UK.

It’s also available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for viewers in the UK following broadcast.

Including interviews with lifeboat crews and lifeguards, the series will also hear from those rescued and their families who, thanks to RNLI lifesavers, are here to tell the tale.

This forthcoming episode, on Thursday 12 October, includes Larne RNLI’s rescue of a capsized kayaker alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around the coast.

Larne RNLI helm Barry Kirkpatrick, who was on the call-out and will feature in the upcoming episode, said: “Our lifesaving work would not be possible without donations from the public and we are delighted to be able to share a frontline view of the rescues they support with their kind generosity.

“This is the first time Larne RNLI features on the Saving Lives at Sea series and this rescue is a good example of where our volunteers’ training, skills and experience all come to the fore in helping bring a casualty to safety. It also highlights the great teamwork not just among our own volunteers but with our colleagues from the various emergency services.

“The call for help in this rescue comes late at night following reports of a person capsized from their kayak. After a search, we locate the casualty floating on his back in the middle of the bay, who is estimated to be in the water for up to one hour and very cold.

“We bring him onboard the lifeboat and make our way back to the beach as quickly as possible while beginning first aid to try and warm him up but we are concerned about signs of hypothermia. Once on shore, we are assisted by our colleagues in the coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

“In this rescue, the casualty's wife does the right thing by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard when she realises her husband is in difficulty in the water. The kayaker also does the right thing by floating on his back with his arms stretched out. He is floating to live.”

If you get inspired to volunteer with the RNLI by the series, there are a variety of roles from lifeboat crew, to fundraiser, lifeguard to shop volunteer. Fund out more at rnli.org/volunteer

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Ahead of its broadcast this weekend, Newstalk previews A Sea of Sound, a new radio documentary that explores the impact of noise pollution on marine wildlife.

Marine mammals such as dolphins and whales effectively ‘see’ through sound in the water. “So to understand the life they lead, as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Simon Berrow says, we need to “think acoustically”.

Producer John Higgins spoke to Berrow and other environmental stakeholders for the documentary, which also features some of the remarkable sounds of whales and dolphins communicating beneath the waves — and explores the sounds that threaten them, from seismic surveys to military sonar and more.

A Sea of Sound will be broadcast on Newstalk this Sunday morning 27 March at 7am, with a repeat on Saturday 2 April at 9pm. It will also be available as a podcast.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The International Dragon One Design has been an important of Irish sailing since the 1930s, writes W M Nixon.

This classic boat’s good looks and excellent performance continues to provide rewarding racing for sailors of all ages worldwide.

Indeed, a recently released film, titled Setting Hearts on Fire, captures the flavour of these specie craft.

And though it costs €100 to access the complete package, this free video trailer — including an input from leading Irish and international yachting historian Hal Sisk of Dun Laoghaire — makes for evocative viewing of a great boat.

Published in Dragon
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Some of the faces featured in a new documentary on the origins and future of surfing in Ireland have been profiled in The Irish Times.

Keep It A Secret is the work of Irish-American film-maker Seán Duggan, who brought his camera to Tramore four years ago capture the 50-year reunion of many of the pioneers involved in the first Irish Surfing Championships.

From there, Sean followed the threads of Ireland’s surprisingly colourful surfing tapestry through the tumult of the Troubles to the present day — via Northern Ireland’s ‘black wetsuit brigade’ to the Brittons of Rossnowlagh, the big waves sought by Conor Maguire and even the unlikely early surfing hub of Bray in Co Wicklow.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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A documentary on the lives of people in coastal communities connected by the Carlingford Lough ferry will have its premiere in a special outdoor drive-in screening this Thursday (19 August).

Four Seasons in a Day is one of six documentaries in the Borderline series focused on border regions around Europe and the people who live there.

Already an award winner, Annabel Verbeke’s film — which was broadcast on RTÉ One last Tuesday — explores the complexities of Brexit through the eyes of locals and visitors alike via the ferry that links Greenore in Co Louth with Greencastle in Co Down.

The film will have its premiere screening on the island of Ireland in a special event at the Carlingford Lough Ferry terminal in Greencastle this Thursday evening at 8pm.

Tickets priced at €27.55 per car are available from the Eventbrite page HERE. The film can also be streamed by viewers in Ireland on the RTÉ Player.

Published in Ferry

Viewers in Ireland have another chance to catch a fascinating documentary on a unique expedition to the Arctic Circle tracing the origins of Ireland’s annual humpback whale visitors.

Broadcast yesterday evening on RTÉ One, Ireland to Iceland - On the Trail of the Humpback Whale follows marine wildlife researchers and volunteers with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on their weeks-long passage to Ireland in search of humpback whales in 2018.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Tony Whelan’s film also charts the links that the Irish crew made with Iceland and the costal communities they met along the way.

Now the film is available to watch for 30 days for viewers in the Republic of Ireland on the RTÉ Player.

Published in Maritime TV
Tagged under

The otters of Cork get a tribute in a new documentary that gets its online premiere this Tuesday 2 February at 7pm.

Made by the Cork Nature Network with funds from The Heritage Council among others, Cork Otters explores the lives of these elusive marine wildlife residents of the River Lee.

Free tickets for this Zoom screening — featuring a discussion and Q&A with an expert panel — are already booked out. But you can get in touch to enquire about the waiting list in case more viewing spots become available.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Tuesday 13 October at 8pm is the date and time for your TV diary to see the volunteer crew of Lough Derg RNLI feature in the current series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two.

Viewers will see Lough Derg’s lifeboat crew rescue a man who fell overboard in rough weather and an eerie night time launch in fog, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Saving Lives at Sea features real-life rescue footage captured on helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the RNLI’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea.

That’s accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around Ireland and the UK, alongside the people they rescue and their families.

Lough Derg’s upcoming profile follows on from Lough Ree lifesavers’ appearance in last year’s series of the hit TV documentary, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And in next week's episode, the volunteer crew of Skerries RNLI will feature with their rescue of a teenage paddle boarder who was blown out to sea.

“It’s great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this,” said Lough Derg helm Eleanor Hooker.

“In recent months, the pandemic has presented RNLI volunteers with additional challenges, but we’ve continued to maintain a 24/7 search and rescue service.

“This year, due to Covid, fundraising events have been cancelled and we’ve seen a drop in our charitable income. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea.

“It’s great that with the Saving Lives at Sea programme our supporters can see what we do out on a shout, and from the comfort of their own home. We need their support more than ever during these challenging times.”

Saving Lives at Sea is broadcast Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC Two, NI, and viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A new hour-long documentary following the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) on a unique research expedition to the Arctic Circle is now available to rent and watch on demand.

On The Trail Of The Humpback Whale tells the story of the IWDG’s weeks-long passage to Iceland two years ago in search of humpback whales, building links with the country and its people among the way.

Tony Whelan of Canola Pictures — which also produced The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde — was along for the voyage, documenting the team’s encounters with local people and marine wildlife alike.

The IWDG previously brought the story of their adventure on a nationwide tour — and now it can be enjoyed at home on your choice of computer, tablet, smartphone or streaming box.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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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.”