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Hot on the heels of the Tall Ships Races visit to Dublin this August, a series of three tall ship voyages have been scheduled to take place to and from Irish ports by the UK-based Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) on its 65-metre tall ship Tenacious between 11 October and 4 November 2012.
The first sailing from Southampton to Dublin (via Waterford) runs for 10 days from 11-20 October, followed by a seven-day jaunt from Dublin to Belfast from 22-28 October, and another seven-day trip from Belfast to Milford Haven from 29 October-4 November. Each voyage will have room for 40 trainees.
Anyone aged 16 and above can join the voyage crew as a trainee, and no previous experience is necessary.
Tenacious is also specially designed to cater for the needs of people with varying degrees of physical disability, including wheelchair users.
Features on board Tenacious and her sister ship Lord Nelson include signs in braille, lifts between decks, power assisted and 'joystick' steering, wide aisles and low-level fittings, guidance tracks and other on-deck pointers, and a speaking compass with digital screen.
STIYD says it is committed to providing access to tall ship sailing for the people of Ireland. The JST has also offered these voyages at a greatly reduced rate to encourage Irish trainees to get on board with what is hoped can become an annual event.
“It is great to see that the international tall ship fleet is reacting to recent activity in Irish sail training," said Michael Byrne, manager at STIYD. "Now that there is a central point of contact for trainees and vessel operators through STIYD, we can expect to see more and more of this kind of activity.
"When the JST approached us with a proposal to run their Irish Sea programme we offered our full support in promoting the opportunity. A unique and hugely important aspect to the JST is its ability to cater for people with varying degrees of physical ability.”
Kyle O’Regan of STIYD's youth branch added: “It is great for Irish trainees that the JST has arranged for Tenacious to have an Irish Sea programme. Being able to join or leave in your own country is a major advantage in terms of lowering costs.”
Meanwhile, the JST's Grainne Arntz said the charity has shown its "commitment to Ireland" by scheduling these autumn voyages.
"Three years ago we introduced the Ultimate Transition Year Tall Ship Adventure, a programme whereby groups of Transition Year students from Irish schools experience the challenge of tall ship sailing with diverse people.
"These voyages in the autumn will allow more groups and individuals to avail of the unique JST experience of sailing on a tall ship with people of all ages and abilities.”
The tall ship voyages are priced at £775 per person for the 10-day trip, and £525 per person for the seven-day excursions. To book your voyage with the JST visit their website HERE or call +44 23 8044 9108.
For information on the Irish branch of the Jubilee Sailing Trust visit www.jstireland.ie. For general information on sail training activities in Ireland contact Sail Training Ireland, Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1 at 01 887 6046, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.irishsailtraining.com.
STIYD is the national sail training organisation for Ireland and is endorsed as such by Sail Training International. The vision of STIYD is to “provide access to the sail training experience for the people of Ireland”.
#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced another series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in West Cork this summer.
The courses cater for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. They will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches.
Three weekend courses will take place on 25-27 May, 20-22 July and 7-9 September, led by IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley. All are open to IWDG members and non-members alike, but places are limited to 20 places each weekend on a first-come-first-served basis.
Admission is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members), with a non-refundable deposit of €25 required. Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation (which is limited in high summer) or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.
More information on the weekends and booking details are available at the IWDG website HERE.
In other IWDG news, the group has secured another grant from the Island Foundation to continue its humpback whale research in Cape Verde this spring and summer.
A shore-based team will be stationed in Boa Vista in an area that is "possibly the most important site for breeding humbacks in the entire northeast Atlantic".
Bookings are now available for kayaking trips on the lakes of Killarney over the winter months of 2011-2012.
Kayaking on Lough Lein can be done all throughout the winter, the locale providing some great sheltered bays to paddle.
Irish Adventures runs kayaking trips on Lough Lein with a minimum of 2 people (€50 per person).
The route runs from Ross Castle with landings on Inisfallen Island and Ross Island to see the Bronze Age copper mines. There may even be a chance to get a glimpse of the white tailed eagle introduced to Killarney National Park.
All equipment (wetsuits, booties, waterproof jacket and hats) will be supplied.
To book call Irish Adventures at 087 419 0318 (morings 9.30am-12.30pm; afternoons 2pm-5pm) or e-mail [email protected].
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is offering a limited number of places to non-members on its two upcoming autumn/winter whale-watching weekends in Co Cork.
The weekends, based at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery, are geared towards sightings of larger marine wildlife – specifically fin and humpback whales, which are commonly sighted in West Cork between October and December.
Two weekends are scheduled, on 28-30 Octover and 25-27 November, and both will include presentations as well as plenty of whale-watching opportunities on land and at sea.
The IWDG has also negotiated a special weekend rate of €120 at the Celtic Ross Hotel which includes two nights' B&B, an evening meal and a packed lunch.
The weekends are being booked in succession, both limited to 12 bookings, with seven places currently remaining for the first weekend. The IWDG warns that the trips are not suited to anyone in poor health or prone to sea-sickness, and that as always whale spottings cannot be guaranteed.
Anyone interested in attending or wishing to enquire further can contact Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 8838761, or write to the IWDG, Dereen, Rossmore, Clonakilty, Co Cork.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will celebrate its 21st anniversary at a special banquet on Saturday 19 November at the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co Dublin.
The evening will consist of a three-course meal and entertainment including music and dancing, a film show of IWDG activities over the years, an international guest speaker (to be announced) exploring the impact of the IWDG on cetacean recording.
The marine wildlife conservation group's AGM will take place earlier in the day at the Grand Hotel at 2pm.
Tickets for the banquet are €60 - book early as places are limited to 120. To book contact Shay Fennelly at [email protected] or 087 642 8902.
Overnight accommodation is also available at the Grand Hotel with special rates for banquet guests of €90 for a single room and €110 for a double/twin room. To book contact Hilary Fogarty, quoting IWDG as the reference, at 01 845 0000, 01 816 8281 or [email protected].
Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander will be giving a public talk on her remarkable circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak in Co Fermanagh next month.
During the summer Afloat.ie tracked Shooter's progress as she battled against the elements to complete the round-Ireland route in 71 days - becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the island solo by kayak.
The Ulster woman had been training for over a year for the challenge, which was intended to raise funds for the Fermanagh-based SHARE, a charity that brings together disabled and non-disabled people in arts and outdoor-based activities.
On Saturday 22 October Shooter will be at the SHARE Centre in Lisnaskea to give a presentation and audio/visual show about her journey, followed by a question and answer session.
There will also be a meet-and-greet opportunity, as well as a chance to see the gear that she used on her epic voyage.
Tickets are priced at £7 for adults, £4 for children/OAPs/students/concessions, and £15 for a family ticket (2 adults/2 children).
Special B&B rates of £15 for adults and £10 for children are also available for those who want to make a night of it.
For all booking enquiries please contact [email protected]llage.org.