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Displaying items by tag: Books

An encounter with late poet and sailor Danny Sheehy enlivens author Philip Marsden’s adventure along Ireland’s wild Atlantic way, as he writes for The Irish Times.

Marsden had set out to research a book about mythical islands — which took shape as his recently published The Summer Isles — when he was joined by Sheehy in Dingle for a revealing chat that took in everything from the intricacies of boat building to the dangers of the Irish coast that lay ahead.

As it happened, their meeting occurred just weeks before Sheehy lost his life after his naomhóg capsized off Portugal, while Marsden was navigating the Hebrides towards the end point of his own journey.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Book Review

From Enda O’Coineen, in business and adventure, we can learn much. The man sails on a sea of obsession in life — guided only by the goals he sets himself.

He became the first ever Irish entry to qualify for the Vendée Globe. When he didn’t succeed in the solo circumnavigation at his first attempt, due to a broken mast, his default mode was to try again — and he sailed into the history books.

In his daily jousts with the elements at sea, the entrepreneur concludes that for every risk, there is a massive potential for reward and giving back.

But he is alarmed by rules, regulations and controls, hidden in the name of safety and security. Fundamental freedoms are being lost, he says.

The genius is in understanding the balance.

Every four years, an elite group of sailors endeavours to sail single-handed, non-stop in a circumnavigation of the planet, through the most unpredictable and perilous conditions imaginable.

They are the competitors in the Vendée Globe — one of the most arduous, challenging and dangerous events in sport. These sailors know the real adversaries are the waves and the weather, the ice and isolation.

The 2016 race had an Irish skipper competing for the first time, as Irish businessman Enda O’Coineen sailed the Kilcullen Voyager into the annals of sailing history.

But this grand solo voyage did not go to plan.

Also the subject of a documentary that screened as part of the IFI Documentary Festival last month, Enda O’Coineen’s bid to complete the Vendée Globe has been recounted in his own words in a new book.

Journey to the Edge: An Amazing Story of Risk-Taking in Business and Adventure, by Enda O’Coineen, is available from the Afloat shop at €14.99.

Published in Vendee Globe

Richard and Rita Kennedy’s sailing trip around Ireland was meant to be a 10-week journey. It ended up an odyssey spread over two summers.

But the time was more than well spent, as their leisurely sail became an exploration of an Ireland rarely experienced.

And now the voyage is recounted in a new book which launches in Birr, Co Offaly this Friday (6 September).

Round Ireland by Slow Boat is based on a detailed diary kept by Richard Kennedy as he and his wife set out on their sailing boat Seachrán on what was intended to be a “dream sailing journey” — and eventually became much more than that.

“It is also the story of the landscapes and seascapes we encountered, our adventures and misadventures, and the people we met in the many coastal communities around our shores,” he says.

“It was an unhurried journey, taking five months in total, and in that time we experienced, almost universally, the often unseen kindness of people.”

The charming story also recounts the “formidable challenges mingled with moments of wonder and serendipity” as they followed the island’s meandering coastline, taking in its varied environments and people.

Round Ireland by Slowboat is published by Throughthechair Publishing, priced €15, available from RoundIrelabdBySlowBoat.net

Round Ireland by Slow Boat

Published in Book Review

#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s whales and dolphins feature in a new atlas of the country’s wildlife, as The Irish Times reports.

The Atlas of Mammals in Ireland 2010-2015, published by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, maps the distribution of 77 mammal species both on the island and in its territorial waters.

Cetaceans account for almost a third of this number, among a whopping 68 species of whales and dolphins that frequent Irish waters.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Dr Simon Berrow relates his long-term study of the Shannon Estuary’s thriving population of bottlenose dolphins in a book that celebrates an encouraging national habitat for species that struggle not so far from our shores.

Afloat.ie readers might remember a previous atlas concentrating on Ireland’s abundance of marine mammals that was published in 2013, and for which this new book makes a useful comparison.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#OmeyIsland - Omey Island in Connemara is the subject of a new book by a local woman charting its remarkable history.

Strands of Omey's Story by Bernadette Conroy shows there's much more to the lands off Claddaghduff than the annual beach horse race, as Galway Bay FM reports.

Despite not being a true island, as its only cut off from the mainland when the tide is in, Omey has seen its population dwindle from over 100 a century ago to just a single resident in more recent years.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - Irish Water Safety's "long and proud history" has been paid tribute in a new book by author Tiarnan O'Sullivan

The History of Irish Water Safety is the culmination of two years of research by the Cork-based writer, who has been involved with IWS since 2002 both as a pool and beach lifeguard and as an instructor and committee secretary.

The result, published just in time for Christmas, comprises 288 pages of reflections and remembrances from people involved in the organisation right back to its very beginnings in 1945.

Available to order from Irish Water Safety, The Long Walk, Galway or online via [email protected], the book costs €25 for the hardback edition and €15 for the paperback.

Published in Water Safety

#Burren - The unique landscape of the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way is the subject of a new book by one of Ireland's leading photographers.

This Is The Burren, Carsten Krieger's photographic ode to the world-famous region, will be launched by Rose Hynes, a native of North Clare and chairperson of Shannon Group plc, in Hyland's Burren Hotel in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, this Sunday 29 November.

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher – which, along with Waterford's Copper Coast, was last week designated with UNESCO Global Geopark status, as the Irish Examiner reports – is among Ireland’s most enigmatic and magical landscapes.

The 176 photographs featured in This Is The Burren – some of which are featured on Krieger's website HERE – capture the essence of the Burren, including its weathered karst landscape, the ever-changing light; the exotic flora; the elusive wildlife; the tombs, cairns, forts and churches; and the people who call the Burren their home.

Carsten Krieger, who was born in Germany, visited the Burren after learning it was the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. More visits followed before he and his wife finally decided to move to Co Clare to be close to the unique landscape.

After publishing his first book, Carsten moved on to other projects, but said: "The Burren always stayed close to my heart and in all the books I have made over the past decade the Burren pops up in each of them in one way or another."

Carsten returned to the Burren to take more photographs in 2011, a project that turned into his latest book.

"Although four years sounds like a long time I could easily have spent another couple of years exploring and photographing the Burren, and most likely will do so. Every trip brings something used and unexpected and a reason to return another time," he said.

Cllr James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, described the book as "a valuable photographic record of one of the jewels in the Irish tourism crown."

He added: "Carsten's photographs illustrate perfectly how remarkable the landscape of the Burren really is and why the work of organisations such as the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark in heritage management and sustainable development throughout the region is critical.

"The book also is a tribute to how man and nature are deeply entwined in the Burren and have shaped each other over the millennia."

Carol Gleeson, project manager for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, said her and her team were "delighted to have been able to support Carsten and the publication of this book which demonstrates the enormous wealth of history and geological significance associated with the Burren and Cliffs of Moher."

She continued: "Since 2006, Clare County Council has been working in the Burren to develop a truly sustainable tourism destination that gives direct benefits to the local community, promotes and celebrates local culture and produce, preserves the environment and provides a great experience for our visitors.

"Carsten's photographs gives credence to this amazing landscape and the wide range of fantastic work that is ongoing throughout the Burren through sustainable practices."

Carsten Krieger's This Is The Burren, which is introduced by local author and broadcaster PJ Curtis, is published by The Collins Press and is available in all good bookstores and online at www.collinspress.ie.

Published in Coastal Notes

#RNLI - Christmas came early at Donaghadee Primary School yesterday (Tuesday 24 November) as children enjoyed a reading of an RNLI festive story.

Accompanied by Rookie the RNLI Reindeer and coxswain Philip McNamara, Donaghadee RNLI’s deputy second coxswain John Ashwood read The Big Christmas Rescue to a group of pupils in Primary One.

The kids were able to hear about the station’s all-weather lifeboat and learned about the lifesaving service that the RNLI provides.

The story is set on a wet and windy Christmas Eve night. But when Santa crashes his sleigh in the sea, volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew members go to the rescue.

The Big Christmas Rescue children’s book is also customisable, making it a perfect seasonal gift.

It can be personalised to put young readers at the centre of a magical festive story, and the gift-giver can select the name, gender and skin tone of the child in the story, making it a truly unique present for their own special little person.

"I really enjoyed reading the story to the children," said Ashwood. "They all seemed to enjoy the book and it was great to tell the children about the lifesaving service we provide at the RNLI.

"The Big Christmas Rescue is a really beautiful book and it’s the perfect gift for children this Christmas. I love the way the book can be personalised, putting readers at the heart of the story. Importantly, all profits from sales of the book will help the RNLI continue to save lives at sea."

To order a personalised copy of The Big Christmas Rescue, go to RNLISHOP.org/BigRescue. The last order date for the book to guarantee delivery before Christmas is Sunday 13 December 2015.

All profits from book sales will be used to fund the charity’s lifesaving services, delivered by volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards who between them rescued 10,496 people last year – more than 1,400 across the island of Ireland alone.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Diving - One navy man's "accidental entry" into diving in the 1960s was the birth of what is today Ireland's most advanced underwater unit.

As the Irish Examiner reports, a new book by Martin Buckley titled The Ninth Ship - The Irish Naval Diving Section charts the history of the Naval Service's subaquatic division, which began when Lt Joe Deasy was sent to the UK for months of torpedo anti-submarine training.

Diving happened to be part of the curriculum, and Lt Deasy returned to Haulbowline in 1964 as the Naval Service's first qualified diver.

Within a decade the navy had chalked up its first major team diving operation, on the IRA gunrunning vessel Claudia, and later built a reputation as rescue experts, assisting in the wake of 1979's Bantry oil tanker explosion and the Air India disaster in 1985 among others.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Diving
Tagged under

#HowToNavigate - A new revised edition of bestselling sailing guide Learn to Navigate continues its reputation as the accessible, no-nonsense guide for every boater.

Basil Mosenthal and Barry Pickthall take the reader through every step, from reading charts to understanding tides and much more, giving even novice sailors a sound practical basis in navigation.

Learn to Navigate is available now via Amazon and all good nautical booksellers.

Published in Book Review
Tagged under
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