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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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#TITANIC - Next month's edition of National Geographic magazine features startling images with the first ever complete views of the wreck of the Titanic.

The large-scale panoramas were produced by combining "thousands of high-resolution images" of the wreck on the North Atlantic sea floor, according to the Guardian - which has a sample gallery of the Titanic as it is today HERE.

Published in Titanic

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Ireland's first humpback whale of the year has been spotted off the Wexford coast.

The sighting was made yesterday by whale-watchers among a pod of fin whales some three miles south of Hook Head, according to TheJournal.ie.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has also confirmed that the humpback is a new sighting in Irish waters, and has been designated the reference HBIRL18.

RTÉ News has images of the humpback whale HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#TITANIC - The Titanic is for sale - if you have a spare $189 million to spend, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The single-lot auction, which will take place in April on the 100th anniversary of the Belfast-built ocean liner's tragic demise, includes more than 5,000 items salvaged from the wreck, from gold coins and clothing to parts of the ship's hull itself.

But casual buyers need not apply, as aside from the multi-million-dollar outlay, the prospective purchases must also take on stewardship over the collection, preserving it for future generations and exhibiting parts of it to the public.

Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auctioneers & Brokers in New York, commented: "It's like getting a puppy. When you bring it home, you don't think of all the responsibilities and the time and investment that will be required... But it takes great care."

Images of the items up for auction are available HERE.

Published in News Update
#FERRY NEWS - Demotix reports that the first ferries have sailed to Northern Ireland from the new £200m Stena Line port facility at Cairnryan in western Scotland.
The company's final sailings from Stranraer took place at the weekend before the official relocation to the new port, which lies closer to the mouth of Loch Ryan and the North Channel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Stena Superfast VII is serving the new route following the mothballing of the Stena Voyager service.
The ferry and her sister ship Stena Superfast VIII are on charter from Scandinavian ferry operator Tallink, and are the largest ferries ever to service the North Channel route.
Images of the new Belfast-Cairnryan Stena Line crossing are available HERE.

#FERRY NEWS - Demotix reports that the first ferries have sailed to Northern Ireland from the new £200m Stena Line port facility at Cairnryan in western Scotland.

The company's final sailings from Stranraer took place at the weekend before the official relocation to the new port, which lies closer to the mouth of Loch Ryan and the North Channel.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Stena Superfast VII is serving the new route following the mothballing of the Stena Voyager service.

The ferry and her sister ship Stena Superfast VIII are on charter from Scandinavian ferry operator Tallink, and are the largest ferries ever to service the North Channel route.

Images of the new Belfast-Cairnryan Stena Line crossing are available HERE.

Published in Ferry

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland 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. 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 the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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