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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay’s environment is being polluted by election posters which are up to 30 years old.

As The Irish Times reports, environmentalist Brian Bolger and his son Colm have located many around Bull Island Nature Reserve and Dollymount Strand on the north side of the bay.

Some are up to 30 years old, including one from the long-disbanded Democratic Left political party.

The newspaper reports that University of Galway marine scientist Dr Liam Morrison conducted tests on fragments of some of the posters, made with polypropylene, a water resistant material.

Although it can degrade, Dr Morrison said this type of plastic can break down into microplastics which can be ingested by marine organisms.

“This is just a short stretch of coastline,” Bolger told the newspaper.

“If it’s happening here, it’s happening in beauty spots around the country. In every small town, in every protected piece of coastline.”

Under the Litter Pollution Act 1997, election posters and the cable ties used to hold them up must be removed one week after polling day, which this time around is June 14th.

The newspaper quoted reaction from political parties, including Labour (which has former Democratic Left members) and the Social Democrats, who said they use secure poster materials and had received “no reports of sea or beach pollution”.

Read The Irish Times here

Published in Dublin Bay
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Paul O'Higgins's JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI is now five points clear at the top of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club AIB Thursday Summer Series IRC Zero division leaderboard after scoring his fourth win last night on Dublin Bay.

The Royal Irish yacht finished in a corrected time of 1 hour 02 minutes and 48 seconds, beating second overall clubmate Sean Lemass's First 40, Prima Forte, by one minute and 14 seconds. In third place was RIYC's Tim Kane's Extreme 37, Wow, finishing on 1:14:26 corrected. Five competed.

Rockabill VI is one of several bay entries that will miss this weekend's ISORA race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire. The ISORA champion will compete in the Round Ireland Race from Wicklow on June 22nd.

In an eight-boat turnout, Richard and Timothy Goodbody took victory in IRC One by over two minutes on corrected time. The RIYC crew beat the National Yacht Club sistership, Something Else (Brian Hall). Third was the series IRC One Summer Series overall leader, Colin Byrne, in the XP33, Bon Exemple, who has a ten-point lead after seven races sailed.

In the DBSC one-design fleets, Beneteau 31.7 overall leader Chris Johnston earned his fourth win from six sailed, beating Michael and Bernie Bryson's Bluefin Two.

In a 13-boat turnout, Niall Coleman's Flyer won the Flying Fifteen race from Tom Galvin. Third was the series leader, Phil Lawton. 

Full results in all DBSC classes below

Published in DBSC
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“James Joyce and Dublin Bay” is the title of maritime historian Cormac Lowth’s latest lecture which he is giving in Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club later this week.

Lowth will be discussing and interpreting some of the many references made by Joyce to Dublin Bay and Ringsend in several of his literary works.

The Cconfluence of the River Poddle and River Liffey, at Wellington Quay, at low tideThe confluence of the River Poddle and River Liffey, at Wellington Quay, at low tide. The rivers are mentioned briefly in James Joyce's novel Ulysses, and multiple times in Finnegans Wake, which mentions their role in Dublin's growth

He will also be showing some “rare and interesting illustrations” linked to some of the events mentioned in Joyce’s references.

The lecture will take place in Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club, Dublin, on Friday, May 24th, at 8:30 p.m. All are welcome, and Lowth advises attendees to arrive early to get a good seat.

James Joyce and Dublin Bay Theme of Cormac Lowth Lecture in Clontarf

Published in Dublin Bay
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This morning, the Viking Venus cruise liner anchored off Dun Laoghaire Harbour, marking the beginning of the 2024 cruise season that runs from April to October. The season includes 80 visits by cruise liners to the south Dublin town.

The Viking Venus is a small ship that has won awards and has verandas for all its 930 guests. Due to its size, it can dock where larger ships cannot, the company Viking claims.

The 745-foot ship arrived in Dun Laoghaire just after 7 am and immediately disembarked passengers by tender.

The 2024 cruise programme for Dun Laoghaire Harbour is available to download below.

The Viking Venus is viewable on the Dublin Bay ship anchorage webcam here

Residents and sailors in and around Dublin Bay have been asked to give their views on a “noise action plan”.

The draft Dublin Agglomeration Noise Action Plan 2024-2028 has been put together by the capital’s local authorities – as in Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Wicklow County Council and Kildare County Council.

Noise from shipping and road and rail transport is dealt with in the plan, based on strategic noise maps prepared for the Dublin agglomeration in 2022.

By EU law, Strategic Noise Maps and Noise Action Plans are required to be made or revised every five years.

The final Dublin Agglomeration Noise Action Plan 2024-2028 must be completed and issued to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by July 18th, 2024.

The EPA must submit it to the EU Commission by the end of January 2025.

A period of formal public consultation opened Friday, April 12th and runs till May 24th this year.

The draft Noise Action Plan may be viewed on the Dublin City Council website or the Dublin City Council Consultation Hub at the following links;

Submissions may be made through the consultation hub or alternatively by email [email protected] or in writing to, Air Quality Monitoring and Noise Control Unit, Environment & Transportation Department, Block 3 Floor 1, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.

Published in Dublin Bay
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While the RNLI celebrates its bicentenary, the first lifeboats in Dublin Bay date back to the early 19th century and were run by the Port Corporation.

This is the subject of a talk by maritime historian and researcher Cormac Lowth at lunchtime on Tuesday, March 12th, at the National Maritime Museum, Dun Laoghaire.

Lowth, whose lecture is hosted by the Maritime Institute of Ireland, will talk about the many rescues and some tragedies which also occurred during that time. He will also recall the amalgamation of that service with the RNLI in 1862.

He has rare and interesting photographs, and details of the boats and the courageous people who manned them.

“A History of Lifeboats in Dublin Bay”, an illustrated lecture by Cormac Lowth, takes place in the Maritime Museum, Haigh Terrace, Dun Laoghaire on March 12th at 1.30pm. He advises people to come early to be sure of a seat.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Once upon a time, as Sutton Creek developed in the northerly corner of Dublin Bay, some bright spark councillor suggested the new and very tidal waterway should be called the Blue Lagoon.

The idea of such a name was aired after the sandbank had built up over the years to become the Bull Island, thanks to the re-direction of sediment when the channel walls had been built to protect the Port of Dublin. But the new title never quite took off, yet Sutton Creek is recognised more than ever as an intriguing waterway with a vital role as the feeding ground for thousands of wildfowl.  And it can be whatever colour you like, particularly if you're a canoeist at high water in mid-January, grabbing the opportunity to paddle down the golden path of a winter sunset.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Diver, sailor and coffee distributor David Lawlor is not that mad about oysters – he’ll eat them out of politeness – but he is mad about what they can do as keystone species in stabilising marine habitats.

That’s why he wants to re-introduce them to Dublin Bay as part of a community initiative which will be supported by Green Ocean Coffee, part of Lawlor’s Watermark Coffee brand.

It is two centuries since Dublin Bay had healthy populations of oysters, and his vision is to develop a broodstock which will multiply over time in sufficient numbers to form reefs.

These reefs can then provide a natural alternative to hard engineering defences against coastal erosion, and can also help to restore inshore habitats, including seagrass beds, he says.

"Lawlor is passionate about seeking solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change"

Lawlor is passionate about seeking solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change, and describes oysters as the marine equivalent of the “canary in a mine” in measuring the health of the marine environment.

He is starting out what may be a 15 to 20-year project with a pilot, cultivating a series of “oyster gardens” in several yacht marinas at Poolbeg, Malahide and Dun Laoghaire.

A University College Dublin (UCD) PhD student, Brian Rice, is working with him on the pilot, which has all necessary permissions, and Lawlor says he hopes it will lead to a not-for-profit model if it expands.

Lawlor is funding the pilot from his Green Ocean coffee brand, which is also supporting a project to restore seabed habitats in Clew Bay, Co Mayo.

The project will be looking for volunteers to manage the oyster gardens, and interested participants should email [email protected]

Listen to the podcast below

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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Satellite tracking of “pongy” seaweed and algal build up has been developed by University of Galway scientists.

As The Irish Times reports, local authorities can receive complaints of seaweed accumulation, particularly from Dublin residents who may confuse it with sewage discharge.

Scientists studying the patterns of these “golden tides” – named after the colour of ascophyllum nodosum, one of the most common seaweeds on the Irish coastline - have offered their tracking software to the local authorities to help manage the issue.

The researchers from the School of Natural Sciences and Ryan Institute at the University of Galway have been studying these tides in Dublin over a seven-year period.

Led by Dr Liam Morrison and Dr Sara Harro, the University of Galway team monitored seaweed coverage at Dollymount Strand in Dublin Bay between 2016 and 2022 in relation to tides and weather.

Their BioIntertidal Mapper software analyses images from a European Space Agency satellite to help map habitats along the coastline.

Read more in The Irish Times here


Published in Marine Wildlife
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Those intrepid spirits who venture westward on the road from the Most Serene Republic of Howth through Sutton Cross, and on into the wilds of nearby Ireland, always used to look forward to the first glimmering glimpse of Sutton Creek and Dublin Bay on their left.

This comes with the long panorama of the Wicklow Hills blending into the Dublin Mountains beyond, book-ended by the distinctive peak of the Sugarloaf Mountain to the east, while westward the stopper is the double exclamation mark (“screamers” as we call them in the verbiage business) of the two Poolbeg Smokestacks. They smoke no longer, but sentimental Dubs won’t let them go, as they see them as essential to the scene, even if they did make mighty objections when their construction started in 1974

Whither, O splendid ship? Outward bound with all flowers set towards the Poolbeg Smokestacks. The Poolbeg Twins don’t make smoke any more, but Dubliners, having furiously objected when they were built in 1974, now object with equal fury to any plan to demolish them. Photo: W M NixonWhither, O splendid ship? Outward bound with all flowers set towards the Poolbeg Smokestacks. The Poolbeg Twins don’t make smoke any more, but Dubliners, having furiously objected when they were built in 1974, now object with equal fury to any plan to demolish them. Photo: W M Nixon

This up-lifting wide-screen vista appears as you emerge from behind the shoreside line of properties now known as Millionaires’ Row. It wasn’t always thus, as the location close along a southwest-facing shoreline made older properties very sad-looking indeed if maintenance slackened.

But since Rainfall Radar and its various accessories arrived, the Sutton Cross area has emerged as the driest place in all Ireland, something previously unknown when the only statistics came from official mechanical gauges in relatively rain-swept places like the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire.


Sutton Cross - the Howth Peninsula’s isthmus or tombolo - is not Ireland’s sunniest place, for that’s still Wexford. But as news spread on the grapevine about scientific recognition of the lack of rain along Sutton’s south shore, the cute ones started buying up the properties, many of which were in the tired state of a house that’s been in one family for several generations.

Renovations and re-buildings got under way, while sensible folk created a wind-break of escallonia up and growing as soon as possible to keep the worst effects of the salty sou’westers at bay. On the road side, meanwhile, the appearance of wide gateways funneling into a solid hardwood automated gate confirmed the up-graded status.

 Vista for a lifetime. Even on a winter’s day of limited visibility, the Sutton-viewed panorama to the southwest of the skyline from the Sugarloaf to the Smokestacks evokes thoughts of “over the hills and far away.” Photo: W M Nixon Vista for a lifetime. Even on a winter’s day of limited visibility, the Sutton-viewed panorama to the southwest of the skyline from the Sugarloaf to the Smokestacks evokes thoughts of “over the hills and far away.” Photo: W M Nixon

As one who feels that the best houses are those that cannot be seen from a public road, I could not demur. But it did mean that the first glimpse of the bay and the mountains beyond as you put Millionare’s Row astern was even better appreciated. Until, that is, a distraction was introduced by some well-meaning souls who felt it needed the ornamentation of a herbaceous plot of brightly-coloured flowers, almost garish, in fact, and they’re all in a tightly packed display.

It’s reasonable enough as an idea. But when a retired GP 14 dinghy is used as the flower-pot, we enter a different word of distracted drivers and confused thinking. We’ve always had mixed thoughts about the widespread habit – not necessary just in coastal area – of using de-commissioned boats as flower beds. However, a GP 14 dinghy is something else altogether, for superficially she seemed in quite good shape, but any traces of a boat name or builder’s plate has been removed to ensure anonymity.


So everyone will assume that she was taken as scrap from the boat-park at Sutton Dinghy Club a mile or so along the coast. Thus the little boat’s fate seems all the more sad, for as you look nor’east across her, visible in the distance is Sutton DC with its dinghy park alive with masts flashing in the sun, its vibrant if distant presence emphasising the flowerbed boat’s completely de-commissioned state.

Yet what do we do with old boats that have gone past their useful years as seaworthy sailing vehicles? It’s maybe better that decisions such as seeking out a landfall site are postponed over days and weeks. After all, James Dwyer of Royal Cork YC’s wonderful classic 1976 Bruce Farr-designed Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble is now a successful and life-enhancing presence around Crosshaven.

Yet not so many years ago, she was in Greece and destined for an Athens land-fill, but fortunately the owner lacked that vital tool for action, the Round Tuit, and there was time for Swuzzlebubble to be saved by Mordy of Cowes.

 James Dwyer’s classic Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble of 1976 vintage is a life-enhancing presence at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven, yet only a few years ago she was saved from a landfill fate in Greece. Photo: Robert Bateman James Dwyer’s classic Half Tonner Swuzzlebubble of 1976 vintage is a life-enhancing presence at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven, yet only a few years ago she was saved from a landfill fate in Greece. Photo: Robert Bateman

But the problem with a GP14 is she’s “only a dinghy”. Larger craft lend themselves to more stately ends. Back in 1968 I was returning from Spain on a solo coastal cruise around South Brittany, and called into Camaret, which in those days was very busy traditional fishing port in which cruising yachts were just about tolerated.

These days, the situation is almost exactly reversed, as the fishermen have been removed to a nearby commercial purely fishing port, and Camaret trades for tourists and cruising boats on the charms of the characterful harbour they left behind.

But in 1968, it was the real McCoy, with the solemn tradition that the old Tunnymen – some of them still with much evidence of their sail-driven past – were not broken up, but rather all re-usable gear was removed, and they were given their final resting place in ancient dignity on a foreshore beside the harbour, and there boat anoraks like me could wander reverentially around, savouring the lines of some of the best working sailing hulls ever created.

The End Game. Retired Tunnymen were achieving a certain dignity in 1968 in their final resting place on the foreshore at Camaret harbour. Photo: W M NixonThe End Game. Retired Tunnymen were achieving a certain dignity in 1968 in their final resting place on the foreshore at Camaret harbour. Photo: W M Nixon

We can’t see that happening with an old GP 14, but nevertheless you’d be forgiven for thinking that a new life as a flower-bed is a fate worse than death. GP14 means General Purpose 14ft dinghy. But even that very positively-minded genius Teddy Haylock, the longtime ideas-laden Editor of Yachting World magazine who got Jack Holt to make the GP 14 the corner-stone YW’s growing list of Build-Her-Yourself in 1949, can scarcely have imagined it would become a red-hot racing class with worldwide appeal.


Thus it’s unlikely that you could persuade the many hundreds – thousands even – who continue to think that the GP14 is the bee’s knees to even think it’s slightly amusing if you suggested that GP can also be the anagram for Giant Plant-pot.

Nevertheless, it would surprise few of us if someone, temporarily traffic-jammed beside the flower-pot GP14 as kids pour out of the local high school, began to bethink to themselves of restoring it to full sailing condition, despite the fact that they wouldn’t have noticed it at all in its deteriorating state in the dinghy park.

Either way, can you imagine a flower-filled Shannon One Design at the roadside to welcome you to Athlone? Or a similarly-arrayed Water Wag in the approaches to Dun Laoghaire?

Published in GP14
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About the Star Sailors League Gold Cup

In 2022, Sailing finally got its own World Cup, according to the promoters of the SSL (STAR SAILORS LEAGUE) Gold Cup. 

Like football in 1930 and rugby in 1987, the SSL Gold Cup is designed to crown the best sailing nation of all! The World's Top 56 countries, selected on their SSL Nation ranking, will battle their way through to raise the coveted and only Sailing World Cup trophy.

The SSL is the global inshore sailing circuit launched by Olympic athletes in 2012, by sailors for sailors. Its main philosophy considers the athletes (not the boats) as the “Stars” and it aims to showcase the annual global sailing championship with its over 15’000 regattas; it determines and celebrates the world leaders in sailing promoting the inshore regattas to the global audience.

The three main components of the SSL Circuit are the SSL Ranking published every Tuesday, updating the position of over 100,000 leading athletes, thus highlighting the world’s top inshore sailors. The SSL Finals taking place every year around November-December, it’s the annual final of the SSL Circuit among the 20/25 best athletes of the ranking, to crown the champion of the season. And the SSL Gold Cup, the ‘ultimate’ championship of the circuit with 56 nations among World Sailing members, to crown the best sailing nation.

In a mechanical sport where the race for technology sometimes gets in the way of the race for glory, the SSL aims for equal competition where the talent of the sailors is at the forefront and the champions become heroes that inspire new generations of sailors.

The SSL is a World Sailing Special Event since 2017.

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