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Displaying items by tag: Cork

An alternative proposal for the staging of the next America’s Cup in Cork could save the State some €80 million.

The Irish Examiner reports on the pitch to Cork’s civil servants which proposes a publicly owned site at Tivoli Docks as a base for the event rather than the private dockyard near Cobh suggested in the original bid.

In addition, the race village is envisaged at Kennedy Quay in the city centre, most of which is also under public ownership.

A drawback to this proposal is the longer tow-out for race teams to the open water outside Cork Harbour, as outlined in the briefing document.

But the estimated €80 million savings in staging costs might present a strong case to coalition leaders who in September requested more time to consider the cost-benefit analysis of hosting the Auld Mug in Cork in 2024.

Ireland remains in the running to host the event, with the announcement of the match venue pushed back until the end of March next year.

Published in America's Cup
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Valencia is the subject of “advanced negotiations” between the America’s Cup defender Emirates Team New Zealand and the Madrid government to host the next contest for the Auld Mug, it’s being reported.

Scuttlebutt Sailing News has more on the story which suggests that a combination of existing infrastructure—in place since the Spanish port’s previous hosting of the event in 2007—and funding from government and private sources could secure ‘preferred bidder’ status.

Cork had been expected to snap up the rights last month before political wrangles dealt a blow to the campaign’s hopes.

However, with the New Zealand team’s final announcement still some weeks away, Ireland’s negotiating position remains stronger than it may realise, as international sail racing project manager Marcus Hutchinson told Afloat.ie’s Wavelengths podcast.

Published in America's Cup
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Beachgoers around Munster have been warned to watch where they step after numerous sightings of a venomous fish that lurks in the sand, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Lesser weevers are small fish, only 15cm in length, but their stinging spines pack a painful wallop — and in rare cases can be potentially fatal.

Kevin Flannery of Dingle OceanWorld says weevers generally avoid spots where people congregate on beaches, but may be encountered off the beaten track — so wearing footwear, even flip-flops, is a must.

And if you’re unlucky enough to step on one, get the affected area under hot water — up to 40 degrees if possible — to help break down the venom. The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Munster is also the place to be to see swarms of jellyfish that have turned up along the Cork coastline in recent days, according to the Irish Mirror.

Thousands of what are believed to be moon jellyfish have been spotted from Garretstown to Cobh in Cork Harbour, likely attracted by warmer waters to feed on their usual diet of plankton, molluscs — and other jellyfish.

Published in Coastal Notes
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A sea swimmer got “close enough to be a bit nervous” with a pod of dolphins off Myrtleville earlier this week.

Harry Casey tells the Irish Examiner about his once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming out to greet the marine wildlife off the Co Cork beach on Tuesday (8 December).

“I didn’t think I’d get that close to be honest,” he says. “I think maybe they were a bit curious and came over to suss me out.”

Harry’s friend Derek McGreevy, who was on hand to photograph the meeting, also snapped the remarkable image of a ‘feeding frenzy’ in outer Cork Harbour this week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, as many as 60 dolphins have been drawn to the area following shoals of warm-water anchovies and sprat, which have also been temping enormous fin whales inshore.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Plans for a new light rail bridge across the River Lee in Cork city centre have sparked concerns that the project would prevent any passage of vessels and “sterilise the city forever for future generations”.

The Echo reported last week on the multi-billion-euro transport plan for Cork that includes a light rail system similar to the Luas in Dublin, with a 25-stop route that could cross the city via a new bridge at Kent Station to the South Docklands.

This is the proposal that has raised the ire of Michael McCarthy, chairman of cruising industry network Cruise Europe, who fears the bridge would cut off the city from its maritime heritage.

McCarthy cites the pontoon by the coffee pods on Lapps Quay — “nothing but a few small rowing boats” — as an example of what could happen to the city without free access for vessels of all sizes.

And he argues that some councillors and officials who will be responsible for considering these plans have “no feel or empathy for the maritime or the marine”.

“The river made Cork City what it is today and now they are intent on sterilising it for ever when there is a very viable alternative,” he adds — suggesting that the light rail system could instead follow the old Cork-Blackrock-Passage-Crosshaven line using the existing bridges from Kent Station to City Hall.

Cork City councillors were briefed last week by the National Transport Authority on the plans, which form part of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).

Next month a specialist team will be commissioned to analyse all route options for the scheme, which is expected to cost €1 billion in total. The Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour
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A local surfing school instructor raced to the rescue of a teenage boy caught in a rip current off a Co Cork beach at the weekend, as CorkBeo reports.

Luke Chambers of the Swell Surf School was with a surf class off Inch Beach near Whitegate on Sunday (26 July) when he spotted three teen sea swimmers in distress nearby.

Acting fast, Chambers got his surf students back on the beach safely before paddling out to the three boys as they were dragged out to sea by the sudden tide.

One of the stricken trio had managed to get onto a rocky reef, and the surfer assisted a second to climb onto the same reef.

Meanwhile, another man whom Chambers describes as an “angel” was keeping the third boy’s head above water, and they used the surfboard to bring him back to the beach where he was attended to by paramedics.

The boy, since named as Joey Kinahan, was taken to hospital as a precaution but has made a full recovery depite coming close to drowning.

CorkBeo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
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The Irish Times reports that a 35-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with serious spinal injuries after a diving incident in Co Cork yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 June).

It’s understood that the man was diving from rocks near Nohoval Cove, between Kinsale and Crosshaven, when his foot caught and he landed on rocks.

Kinsale RNLI and gardaí attended the scene along with the Irish Coast Guard, which airlifted the casualty on board the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter to Cork University Hospital.

Elsewhere, the search resumed this morning for a five-year-old boy believed to have fallen from a dinghy on Lough Mask.

RTÉ News reports that gardaí and the coastguard are searching the west side of the lough near Toormakeady in Co Mayo.

Published in Rescue

In light of the rapidly evolving situation and public health measures due to the coronavirus, a decision has been taken to postpone European Maritime Day in Cork Harbour until later this year.

The European Maritime Day Team released the following statement regarding European Maritime Day 2020:

Dear speaker, dear workshop organiser, dear stakeholder,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support for European Maritime Day (EMD) 2020 in Cork, Ireland on 14-15 May.

Given the implications of coronavirus for all countries including restrictions on travel, it is with regret that, together with Cork City Council and the Irish Marine Coordination Group, we have decided to defer EMD.

We are currently looking into possible alternative dates later in the year and will keep you posted.

We thank you for your understanding and hope that you will be able to join us in Cork later in 2020.

Published in Cork Harbour

Sunday 15 March is the deadline to apply for a stand at the European Maritime Day Expo in Cork this May.

Ahead of the official launch of registration later this month for the conference taking place at Cork City Hall on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May, applications are now open for stands at the Expo taking place over the two days.

European Maritime Day (EMD) is the annual EU meeting point on maritime affairs and a sustainable blue economy, and targets maritime professionals, entrepreneurs and ocean leaders.

This year’s conference will also be held back-to-back with SeaFest, Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime festival.

As such, EMD is an ideal place for maritime stakeholders to showcase innovative ideas, products and services related to the conference themes, as well as to meet, exchange experiences and discuss the latest developments on blue economy.

Get more information from the EMD website, and apply for a stand at the EMD Expo HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

#Rowing: Hugh Sutton of UCC Rowing Club was the overall winner of the 48th Cork Sculling Ladder time trial, which was run on calm water and on an outgoing tide at the Marina on the River Lee on Sunday. Sutton covered the 1800 metres in seven minutes and 3.4 seconds. Jessica Legresley of Shandon Boat Club won the women’s trial in 7:57.5.

 Two previous winners of the the ladder, Jack Dorney and Andy Harrington, set a time of 6:42.1 as they won the first coxless pairs time trial. Amy Mason and Grace Collins won the the women’s pairs time trial in 7:36.1.

 The event, which was sponsored by Argos Fire, had a big entry. The oldest competitor on the day was 83-year-old Seamus Quane of Shandon Boat Club.

 The sculling and coxless pairs ladders continue with two-boat racing until March 2020.     

Published in Rowing
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Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.

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