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Displaying items by tag: circumnavigation

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is backing Limerick sailor Peter Lawlesspending solo, non-stop round-the-world voyage on his Rival 41 yacht Waxwing.

While the charity has sponsored the yacht’s passive self-steering equipment, in return Peter — son of the late solo circumnavigator Pat Lawless — will be testing out the IWDG’s new reporting app for marine wildlife sightings.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, sightings and strandings can be reported on the new app by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts and whale-watchers alike.

And Peter — who sets off from Kilrush on 21 August — aims to take the app into the unknown, potentially recoding sightings and even video updated from parts of the ocean that may have never been visited before.

The IWDG’s chief Simon Berrow recently caught up with Peter on Waxwing as he makes his final preparations for his remarkable unassisted voyage:

Published in Solo Sailing

Mail Online is reporting that the yacht used by would-be round-the-world record-setter Jessica Watson has been left to rot outside the maritime museum where it has resided for almost a decade.

In 2009, then 16-year-old Watson, from Australia, sailed her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady around the globe in 210 days to unofficially become the youngest circumnavigator. The feat also saw her named as 2011’s Young Australian of the Year.

That same year the distinctive pink yacht was jointly purchased by Queensland and Australian governments for AUS$300,000, with the intention of a permanent exhibition dedicated to Watson’s feat at the Queensland Maritime Museum.

However, it’s now being claimed that Ella’s Pink Lady is lying all but abandoned on the museum’s grounds, with the hull leaking and riddled with mould.

And a marine auctions expert estimates that the famous boat is worth a fraction of its 2011 sale price. Mail Online has more on the story HERE.

In 2012, Watson’s claimed record was beaten by 16-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker by some eight months, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Offshore

Richard Hayes’ Laser isn’t the only small boat to complete a circumnavigation of Ireland in recent days.

This past Monday (24 September), the crew of Arthur — a 40-year-old inland motor cruiser based in Portumna on the River Shannon — finished their own historic rounding of the island of Ireland over four months at sea.

Arthur began its journey out of the river in June, cruising past Limerick and Kilrush through the Shannon Estuary and heading southwards in an anti-clockwise direction.

Top passage planning by the crew meant their vessel, built for the lesser rigours of more sheltered inland waterways, was able to withstand the winds and sea state around some tricky parts of the Irish coastline, particularly along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Tomorrow afternoon (Friday 28 September), members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will welcome Arthur and crew back to the inland Shannon from 3.30pm in Killaloe, at the canal moorings next to the Co Clare village’s tourist office.

And if you’re in the region you might catch Arthur’s passage along the way, as boat and crew are scheduled to arrive at Limerick’s Sarsfield Lock at 11.20am, followed by the world’s second-deepest lock, at Ardnacrusha, at 1pm.

Published in Cruising
Tagged under

#Laser - The Galway Advertiser is reporting that Galway Bay Sailing Club member Richard Hayes has completed a solo circumnavigation of Ireland by Laser dinghy.

Hayes sailed 54 days over three-and-a-half months since 27 May to complete the near 2,500km challenge last Friday 14 September in aid of heart and stroke charity Croí — and he is still raising funds for the remarkable effort online.

“This is one of the smallest boats ever to have circumnavigated Ireland and to have successfully done so without a support team on the water,” Hayes shared on Facebook of the achievement.

W M Nixon's Sailing On Saturday this weekend (22nd September) takes a detailed look at Richard Hayes’ great achievement, and other notable small boat voyages round Ireland

Published in Laser

#Kayaking - A German woman who circumnavigated Ireland by kayak in 2016 is taking the story of her remarkable global padding adventures on tour across Europe, as the Irish Examiner reports.

Freya Hoffmeister recently returned to Ireland to give talks in Dublin and Cork on her epic solo kayaking voyage around South America, which she undertook in sections over more than 30 months between 2011 and 2015.

Before that, she paddled around Iceland in what’s regarded as the ‘K2 of sea kayaking’, and took on New Zealand’s South Island that same year.

The speaker and endurance athlete also holds a circumnavigation of Australia among her host of achievements — with her next being the mammoth undertaking of North America, which will require kayaking through the treacherous Northwest Passage.

But as lofty as these goals might seem to the average human, Freya brings things down to earth in her motivational talks, on which the Irish Examiner has more HERE.

Published in Kayaking

The current Vendee Globe Race non-stop round the world is deservedly attracting enough attention without having to make over-stated claims on behalf of some of its participants writes W M Nixon.

The official website is today carrying a story that if Enda O’Coineen can succeed in his plan of sailing his dismasted IMOCA 60 Kilcullen Voyager from Dunedin at the south end of New Zealand under jury rig to Auckland 800 miles away to the north, where a loaned replacement masts awaits, then if he can continue the voyage back to les Sables d’Olonne round Cape Horn he will become the first Irishman to sail solo round the world.

Not so. Noted Dublin marine artist Pete Hogan, who sailed solo round the world in his gaff ketch Molly B, said today that the number of misapprehensions about who was first doing what in the Irish circumnavigation stakes is astonishing.

For instance, when he rounded Cape Horn in the 1990s, he was acclaimed as the first Irishman to do it alone, for of course Conor O’Brien had done it with the crewed Saoirse in 1925. Yet Pete Hogan found it very difficult to get anyone to listen when he subsequently tried to set the record by saying that Bill King of Galway with the junk-rigged ketch Galway Blazer was the first solo, and that was way back in 1973.

The fact that Bill King was a distinguished former British submarine commander may have projected the image of being non-Irish. But in fact he flew both the Irish tricolour and the
British red ensign, and his home was Oranmore Castle at the head of Galway Bay.

irish solo2Bill King’s purpose-designed Galway Blazer circumnavigated the world solo south of the great Capes in 1973.

Since then, other Irish sailors who have striven to circumnavigate include Declan Mackell, originally from Portaferry but Canadian-based by the time he undertook his voyage in a Contessa 32, with which he returned home to Ireland for a prolonged stay during his circuit.

Another lone circumnavigator, Pat Lawless of Limerick who completed his voyage with a Seadog ketch in 1996 at the age of 70, had hoped to take in Cape Horn, but rigging damage forced him into a Chilean port, and eventually he returned to Ireland via the Panama Canal. But his circuit was definitely completed, and completed alone.

And Pete Hogan believes there may be one or two other Irish lone circumnavigators who have done it without fanfare. For not everyone seeks the kind of publicity which the Vendee Globe inevitably provides.

Pat Lawless solo sailorLimerick circumnavigator – the irrepressible Pat Lawless aboard his world-girdling Seadog ketch

Published in Vendee Globe

#Kayaking - It hasn't been the best summer for long-distance kayaking in Ireland, what with Manx duo Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw being forced to abandon their round-Ireland effort three weeks ago.

And that's not to mention exhaustion getting the better of pizza-oven maker Hendrik Lepel on the first leg of his voyage from Kinsale to Germany.

But two expeditions currently under way may have better chances as the weather improves.

The42.ie brings news of Jon Hynes and Sean Cahill's "once in a lifetime" kayaking trip round Ireland, which began on 16 June near the former's Kinsale home.

Taking a clockwise route around the island of Ireland, as of yesterday (Tuesday 30 June) the pair were taking shelter in Broadhaven Bay, Co Mayo awaiting a break in the weather to proceed to Donegal and on to the north coast and the half-way mark.

“It's definitely the pinnacle of expedition kayaking when you’re trying to get around Ireland in this type of weather!" said Hynes, who can boast of some 60 years of kayaking experience between him and Cahill.

However, ahead of them is an even more elite kayaker in the form of Waterford man Mick O'Meara, who as of yesterday was just four days shy of setting a brand new speed record for a solo circumnavigation of Ireland, as The Irish Times reports.

If O'Meara - a multiple-time Liffey Descent winner – reaches his hometown of Tramore by this Friday 3 July, he will have shaven two days off the record set by Jeff Allen and Harry Whelan on the 1,200km voyage in 2011.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - A duo of paddlers from the Isle of Man are getting ready to set a new round-Ireland sea kayaking record.

As BBC News reports, Keirron Tastagh and George Shaw aim to cover as many as 50 nautical miles a day in their standard seagoing kayaks to break the current 28-day record and raise funds for the RNLI.

And they've warmed up for the challenge appropriately, kayaking from their home in the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland as the start of their clockwise circumnavigation, beginning at Strangford in Co Down.

Experienced kayakers Tastagh and Shaw are already record breakers, after setting the furthest paddle west from Dutch Harbour – famous from the TV series Dangerous Catch – to Herbert Island in the Aleutians.

They're also not the first to attempt a circumnavigation this summer, as the Ogden brothers will set off from Baltimore over the June bank holiday in their 18ft Drascombe Lugger.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Derry Mayor Martin Reilly offered his congratulations to native son Jake King on taking the surf kayak world title in Australia earlier this month.

As the Derry Journal reports, 18-year-old King was crowned champion after topping three other reigning top dogs in the men's longboat, masters and junior short boat in the final of the competition at Maroochydore beach in Queensland.

According to his father Paddy, Jake King can now add his name to the list of five previous world champions from the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) surf kayak club - which includes his brother Corin.

In other kayaking news, a London paddler has broken the record for circumnavigating the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.

BBC News reports on the feat achieved by 39-year-old George Shaw, who completed the 115km route around the island in 11 hours 43 minutes - smashing the previous record by almost an hour.

Published in Kayaking

#Kayaking - Red Bull recently caught up with sea kayaking adventurer Justine Curgenven, who is currently over a month and more than half way into her 1,000-mile circumnavigation of Ireland.

Unlike Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander's epic solo voyage two years ago, the New Zealander has some extra paddle power in the form of her partner Barry Shaw and friend Roger Chandler.

"We aren't going for any speed records, just hoping to enjoy the scenery and meet some local people," she says of their 50-day adventure around Ireland.

But that's not to say our waters aren't challenge for this experienced kayaker.

"Irish waters can be very challenging," says Curgenven. "They get 2-3m swells quite regularly and are known for their surf beaches, which we are trying to avoid!"

Despite the hard work, the film-maker says "time really does fly when you're having fun... If you like circumnavigations then it's really a great island to paddle around."

Red Bull has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
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Irish Fishing industry 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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