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Displaying items by tag: whale watching

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a series of land-based, guided whale watches in five counties around the island of Ireland this Saturday 21 May.  

Hosted in celebration of Biodiversity Week and to promote the biological recording of marine wildlife like cetaceans and basking sharks in Irish waters, these free events will be led by experienced IWDG personnel and local members who will be on hand to introduce you to the field skills involved in locating, identifying and recording the more frequently seen whale and dolphin species in Irish waters.

No pre-bookings necessary so you can just turn up on the morning with your optics, sense of adventure — and sense of humour!

Whale watches are taking place this Saturday morning in the following locations:

  • Loop Head, Co. Clare, meeting at Lighthouse, leader Mags Daly, tel 083 8401102, email: [email protected]
  • Dun na mBó, Mullett Peninsula, Co Mayo, leader Sean Pierce, tel 086 8368736, email: [email protected]
  • Rathlin Island, Co Antrim, meeting at West Lighthouse, leader Pádraig Whooley, tel 086 3850568, email: [email protected] 
  • Howth Head, Co Dublin, meeting at Balscadden Car Park, little shop (Howth Hub), leader Dave O’Connor, tel 087 6665049, email: [email protected]
  • Cloghna Head, West Cork, meeting at Galley Head View car park, leader Denis O’Regan, tel 083 3369775, email: [email protected]

All five whale watches will take place from 10am to noon so you should arrive at your local meeting point in good time (9.50am) to ensure you don’t miss the welcome, introduction and safety briefing. 

As whale watching requires reasonable weather, watch leaders reserve the right to cancel a local watch in the event of strong winds and/or rain, so our advice as always is to keep a close eye on the local weather forecast. If in any doubt, contact your local watch leader the day before your event (details below) to avoid a wasted journey.

You should dress appropriately for conditions on the day. The IWDG suggests warm and waterproof clothing and sturdy footwear if the forecast is marginal. If the weather is settled, then of course you should apply sunblock and wear a sun hat.

Also please remember to take away your rubbish, as these sites are both scenic and rich in biodiversity. It’s best to leave family pets at home.

Optics are important for land-based whale watching and at a minimum you should bring a pair of binoculars with which you’re familiar, and better again if you have a wildlife spotting scope. A camera with zoom lens is an optional extra, in case animals venture close to the shore.

Watch leaders will have some educational material to hand out and some will have whale artefacts of interest to show participants on the day. 

There will be some IWDG resources and field guides for sale for anyone who’d like to support our charities work and learn more about our recording schemes.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Tagged under

#OnTV - Be sure to tune in to RTÉ One’s Nationwide tomorrow evening (Monday 30 July) for a special feature on whale watching and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) conservation and research work.

RTÉ filmed with IWDG sightings officer Pádraig Whooley in October 2017 and more recently in mid May of this year, when presenter Anne Cassin and the Nationwide team travelled to West Cork for a day out with Cork Whale Watch.

It proved to be the perfect day for whale watching as the team filmed as many as 30 minke whales, more than 100 common dolphins, and the humpback whale known as HBIRL82.

See the results from 7pm on Monday 30 July on RTÉ One and later on the RTÉ Player.

Published in Maritime TV

#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".

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Enniscorthy Guardian reports that the fin whales that have been sighted off Tramore in recent weeks may soon make their way towards the Wexford coast.

Afloat.ie recently reported that Waterford was the 'best place to be' for whale watching, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirming fin whale sightings along a 20-mile stretch from Stradbally to Brownstone Head.

Cetacean fans are being advised to keep an eye on the coast from Hook Head to Brownstown headland to catch a glimpse of the fins, which are renowned for their six-foot whale blow.

Whale watchers are also urged to report any sightings to the IWDG online at www.iwdg.ie to help keep its database up to date.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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) 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.

Published in Marine Wildlife
All are invited to take part in the All-Ireland Whale Watch Day next Sunday 21 August.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is organising 13 land-based whale watches from headlands around the Irish coast on the day from 2pm-5pm as part of the Heritage Council's annual Heritage Week.
Each will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly observed cetacean species seen in Irish waters.
The watches are free to attend - all that is required is to bring binoculars or a spotting scope, and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.
The purpose of day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that can be seen around the Irish coast. The event will also provide IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters.
For details on your nearest whale watch visit the IWDG Whale Watch Ireland website.

All are invited to take part in the All-Ireland Whale Watch Day next Sunday 21 August.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is organising 13 land-based whale watches from headlands around the Irish coast on the day from 2pm-5pm as part of the Heritage Council's annual Heritage Week.

Each will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly observed large marine wildlife seen in Irish waters.

The watches are free to attend - all that is required is to bring binoculars or a spotting scope, and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.

The purpose of day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that can be seen around the Irish coast. The event will also provide IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters.

For details on your nearest whale watch visit the IWDG Whale Watch Ireland website.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Today's Irish Times recounts a day in the life of whale watch operator Nic Slocum.
Originally from the UK, Slocum traded tiring commutes to London for the peaceful life of sailing in west Cork 10 years ago, and shortly after turned his hobby into a new business by running whale watching excursions.
"We don’t promise whales and dolphins every time because they are unpredictable creatures," says the Whale Watch West Cork proprietor, "but for anyone interested in wildlife, there is an abundance of things to see. The marine coast is spectacularly beautiful here."
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Today's Irish Times recounts a day in the life of whale watch operator Nic Slocum.

Originally from the UK, Slocum traded tiring commutes to London for the peaceful life of sailing in west Cork 10 years ago, and shortly after turned his hobby into a new business by running whale watching excursions.

"We don’t promise whales and dolphins every time because they are unpredictable creatures," says the Whale Watch West Cork proprietor, "but for anyone interested in wildlife, there is an abundance of things to see. The marine coast is spectacularly beautiful here."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a new series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in Co Cork this summer.
The first weekend course from 8-10 July 2011 caters for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. It will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches.
Admission for this course is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members). Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation, or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.
Places are also limited to 20 per course on a first-come-first-served basis. Booking requires a non-refundable deposits of €25 to be paid by cheque or postal order to the IWDG.
For bookings and enquiries contact IWDG sighting co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 883 8761.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a new series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in Co Cork this summer.

The first weekend course from 8-10 July 2011 caters for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. It will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches. 

Admission for this course is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members). Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation, or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.

Places are also limited to 20 per course on a first-come-first-served basis. Booking requires a non-refundable deposits of €25 to be paid by cheque or postal order to the IWDG.

For bookings and enquiries contact IWDG sighting co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 883 8761.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta

From the Baily lighthouse to Dalkey island, the bay accommodates six separate courses for 21 different classes racing every two years for the Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

In assembling its record-breaking armada, Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta (VDLR) became, at its second staging, not only the country's biggest sailing event, with 3,500 sailors competing, but also one of Ireland's largest participant sporting events.

One of the reasons for this, ironically, is that competitors across Europe have become jaded by well-worn venue claims attempting to replicate Cowes and Cork Week.'Never mind the quality, feel the width' has been a criticism of modern-day regattas where organisers mistakenly focus on being the biggest to be the best. Dun Laoghaire, with its local fleet of 300 boats, never set out to be the biggest. Its priority focussed instead on quality racing even after it got off to a spectacularly wrong start when the event was becalmed for four days at its first attempt.

The idea to rekindle a combined Dublin bay event resurfaced after an absence of almost 40 years, mostly because of the persistence of a passionate race officer Brian Craig who believed that Dun Laoghaire could become the Cowes of the Irish Sea if the town and the local clubs worked together. Although fickle winds conspired against him in 2005, the support of all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht clubs since then (made up of Dun Laoghaire Motor YC, National YC, Royal Irish YC and Royal St GYC), in association with the two racing clubs of Dublin Bay SC and Royal Alfred YC, gave him the momentum to carry on.

There is no doubt that sailors have also responded with their support from all four coasts. Running for four days, the regatta is (after the large mini-marathons) the single most significant participant sports event in the country, requiring the services of 280 volunteers on and off the water, as well as top international race officers and an international jury, to resolve racing disputes representing five countries. A flotilla of 25 boats regularly races from the Royal Dee near Liverpool to Dublin for the Lyver Trophy to coincide with the event. The race also doubles as a RORC qualifying race for the Fastnet.

Sailors from the Ribble, Mersey, the Menai Straits, Anglesey, Cardigan Bay and the Isle of Man have to travel three times the distance to the Solent as they do to Dublin Bay. This, claims Craig, is one of the major selling points of the Irish event and explains the range of entries from marinas as far away as Yorkshire's Whitby YC and the Isle of Wight.

No other regatta in the Irish Sea area can claim to have such a reach. Dublin Bay Weeks such as this petered out in the 1960s, and it has taken almost four decades for the waterfront clubs to come together to produce a spectacle on and off the water to rival Cowes."The fact that we are getting such numbers means it is inevitable that it is compared with Cowes," said Craig. However, there the comparison ends."We're doing our own thing here. Dun Laoghaire is unique, and we are making an extraordinary effort to welcome visitors from abroad," he added. The busiest shipping lane in the country – across the bay to Dublin port – closes temporarily to facilitate the regatta and the placing of six separate courses each day.

A fleet total of this size represents something of an unknown quantity on the bay as it is more than double the size of any other regatta ever held there.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta FAQs

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Ireland's biggest sailing event. It is held every second Summer at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is held every two years, typically in the first weekend of July.

As its name suggests, the event is based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Racing is held on Dublin Bay over as many as six different courses with a coastal route that extends out into the Irish Sea. Ashore, the festivities are held across the town but mostly in the four organising yacht clubs.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is the largest sailing regatta in Ireland and on the Irish Sea and the second largest in the British Isles. It has a fleet of 500 competing boats and up to 3,000 sailors. Scotland's biggest regatta on the Clyde is less than half the size of the Dun Laoghaire event. After the Dublin city marathon, the regatta is one of the most significant single participant sporting events in the country in terms of Irish sporting events.

The modern Dublin Bay Regatta began in 2005, but it owes its roots to earlier combined Dublin Bay Regattas of the 1960s.

Up to 500 boats regularly compete.

Up to 70 different yacht clubs are represented.

The Channel Islands, Isle of Man, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland countrywide, and Dublin clubs.

Nearly half the sailors, over 1,000, travel to participate from outside of Dun Laoghaire and from overseas to race and socialise in Dun Laoghaire.

21 different classes are competing at Dun Laoghaire Regatta. As well as four IRC Divisions from 50-footers down to 20-foot day boats and White Sails, there are also extensive one-design keelboat and dinghy fleets to include all the fleets that regularly race on the Bay such as Beneteau 31.7s, Ruffian 23s, Sigma 33s as well as Flying Fifteens, Laser SB20s plus some visiting fleets such as the RS Elites from Belfast Lough to name by one.

 

Some sailing household names are regular competitors at the biennial Dun Laoghaire event including Dun Laoghaire Olympic silver medalist, Annalise Murphy. International sailing stars are competing too such as Mike McIntyre, a British Olympic Gold medalist and a raft of World and European class champions.

There are different entry fees for different size boats. A 40-foot yacht will pay up to €550, but a 14-foot dinghy such as Laser will pay €95. Full entry fee details are contained in the Regatta Notice of Race document.

Spectators can see the boats racing on six courses from any vantage point on the southern shore of Dublin Bay. As well as from the Harbour walls itself, it is also possible to see the boats from Sandycove, Dalkey and Killiney, especially when the boats compete over inshore coastal courses or have in-harbour finishes.

Very favourably. It is often compared to Cowes, Britain's biggest regatta on the Isle of Wight that has 1,000 entries. However, sailors based in the north of England have to travel three times the distance to get to Cowes as they do to Dun Laoghaire.

Dun Laoghaire Regatta is unique because of its compact site offering four different yacht clubs within the harbour and the race tracks' proximity, just a five-minute sail from shore. International sailors also speak of its international travel connections and being so close to Dublin city. The regatta also prides itself on balancing excellent competition with good fun ashore.

The Organising Authority (OA) of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is Dublin Bay Regattas Ltd, a not-for-profit company, beneficially owned by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC), National Yacht Club (NYC), Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and Royal St George Yacht Club (RSGYC).

The Irish Marine Federation launched a case study on the 2009 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta's socio-economic significance. Over four days, the study (carried out by Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network) found the event was worth nearly €3million to the local economy over the four days of the event. Typically the Royal Marine Hotel and Haddington Hotel and other local providers are fully booked for the event.

©Afloat 2020

Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023

The dates of the 2023 Dun Laoghaire Regatta are July 6-9

 

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