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Displaying items by tag: Expedition

#TITANIC - To mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, JOE.ie sat down with the first Irishman to dive the historic wreckage.

In 2000, Rory Golden descended two-and-a-half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic to witness the Titanic's watery gravesite.

“When I first cast my eyes on the wreck," he says, "for me it was just an incredibly exciting and equally humbling and incredibly poignant moment and you have all these emotions all at once because you are looking at something very few people in the world have seen.”

Amazingly, the self-avowed Titanic expert wasn't originally a part of the dive team for the expedition.

"My role at the time was to be the dive safety supervisor, but that whole role changed over the course of the expedition," he says. “There was no guarantee of me going down there because I was very low in the pecking order."

But a memorial plaque he brought with him from Cobh ended up being Golden's ticket to the TItanic, joining the crew aboard an 18-tonne Russian submarine.

And he came back with more than memories, too, as a glint in the corner of his eye turned out to be the remains of the ship's wheel.

"I was the first person to touch the wheel of the ship since it went down in 1912 and probably the last person to hold it before it went down was Captain Smith.”

JOE.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

#SEA KAYAKING - Brit duo Andy Pearson and Paul A'bear will embark on a 500-mile sea kayaking voyage along Scotland's west coast this summer in aid of charity.

Canoe & Kayak UK reports that the pair will set out from the Solway Firth near the Scottish border at the end of June on the expedition that will take them through the Irish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

The adventure will see them paddle through "wild, stormy seas" and "some of the strongest tidal currents in the world".

Pearson and A'bear, who have been friends since primary school, hope to raise at least £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.

For more details on their adventure visit www.westcoastchallenge2012.co.uk.

Published in Kayaking
A new Irish-led marine research mission has set off to discover strange new lifeforms that inhabit the deepest parts of our oceans.
In collaboration with scientists from the UK’s National Oceanography Centre, the team sailed from Galway earlier this week bound for the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to investigate life at 3,000m below the surface of the sea.
Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) they will explore for the first time the 45o North MAR hydrothermal vent field, where vents spew mineral-rich seawater heated to boiling point in the earth’s crust. These are home to a rich variety of marine life that thrives in complete darkness on bacteria fed by chemicals.
Patrick Collins from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute will lead Ireland's marine biological team investigating this unique ecosystem, which could tell us not only about how life might have evolved on other planets, but may also be a rich source of new biochemical processes with valuable medical and industrial applications.
"There is potential here to put Ireland on the global map as a serious player in deep sea science," said Collins. "This is all the more timely with the exploitation of deep sea and hydrothermal vents for precious metals and rare earth minerals now a reality.”
The mission carries geochemists, marine biologists, marine geologists, marine geneticists and technicians from Ireland and the UK as well as a three-person TV crew from National Geographic.
They will spend 25 days at sea and will be posting a regular blog on scientistsatsea.blogspot.com

An Irish-led marine research mission has set off to discover strange new lifeforms that inhabit the deepest parts of our oceans.

In collaboration with scientists from the UK’s National Oceanography Centre, the team sailed from Galway earlier this week bound for the Mid-Atlantic Ridge to investigate life at 3,000m below the surface of the sea. 

Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) they will explore for the first time the 45o North MAR hydrothermal vent field, where vents spew mineral-rich seawater heated to boiling point in the earth’s crust. These are home to a rich variety of marine life that thrives in complete darkness on bacteria fed by chemicals.

Patrick Collins from NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute will lead Ireland's marine biological team investigating this unique ecosystem, which could tell us not only about how life might have evolved on other planets, but may also be a rich source of new biochemical processes with valuable medical and industrial applications. 

"There is potential here to put Ireland on the global map as a serious player in deep sea science," said Collins. "This is all the more timely with the exploitation of deep sea and hydrothermal vents for precious metals and rare earth minerals now a reality.” 

The mission carries geochemists, marine biologists, marine geologists, marine geneticists and technicians from Ireland and the UK as well as a three-person TV crew from National Geographic. 

They will spend 25 days at sea and will be posting a regular blog on scientistsatsea.blogspot.com.

Published in Marine Science
Liverpool's Merseyside Maritime Museum (MMM) is holding the exhibition: 'Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure' which tells the epic story of the Irish born Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 polar expedition.
The exhibition also pays homage to photographer Frank Hurley who dove into icy waters to retrieve his glass plate negatives from the sinking Endurance. The photographs, printed from the original negatives and Hurley's album of prints, are accompanied by gripping memoirs from the voyage.

To celebrate the achievements of Shackleton and Hurley's stunning photographic collection, the (MMM) want you to share your photos of spectacular scenery, unusual locations and far-flung destinations. Just add them to the Flickr group to be in a chance of a family concert ticket for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's unique combined film and music experience 'Polar'.

The cinematic portrait of the Arctic and Antarctic explores the homeland of the polar bears and humpback whales. The moving imagery will be accompanied by a live orchestral soundtrack performed by the world-renowned orchestra.

For further detailed information about the competition and entry rules logon HERE.

The Endurance: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure at the Merseyside Maritime Museum is open to the public free of charge until the 27 February 2011. For more info logon HERE

Published in Coastal Notes

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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