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Displaying items by tag: Atlantic

#SeaSwim - Charity worker Heather Clatworthy has become only the second swimmer to cross the Atlantic between the Inishowen Peninsula and Portstewart on the North Coast – and the first in nearly 90 years, according to the Irish Examiner.

The 34-year-old, who lives in Warwick with her family but grew up in Portstewart, crossed the expanse of open sea on Wednesday 27 July in around half the time expected, reaching the shore a little over four hours after setting out from Stroove beach in Moville.

“Two hours in I just didn’t think I was going to do it,” she said after powering through illness and choppy waters to complete her amazing feat, last achieved by famous English Channel swimmer Mercedes Gleitze in 1929.

The Belfast Telegraph has video of Clatworthy as she set out on her remarkable challenge:



In other sea swimming news, Galway long distance swimmer Alice Flood celebrated her swim across the English Channel earlier this week.

As the Galway Independent reports, the Bushy Park native made the gruelling crossing in just under 14 hours and joins an elite group of swimmers who've completed the England-to-France challenge.

Published in Sea Swim

#Solo - Pictured above is the RIB that French sailor Christophe Maupaté will pilot solo in his quest to set a new Atlantic record from Bordeaux to New York.

Previously attempted by Ireland's own Enda O'Coineen, no one has yet completed a solo transatlantic voyage by RIB.

But as reported on Afloat.ie last December, Figaro veteran Maupaté has been planning his own crossing for some time, having plotted a 4,460-nautical-mile course that will take him from France via Ireland's East Coast, western Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland to the southern tip of Greenland and Canada's Maritimes towards the US – tracing the route of Lafayette's Hermione.

Now Maupaté's record attempt is just weeks away, launching from Bordeaux on Saturday 16 July with a stopover in Dun Laoghaire expected in the first few days.

Published in Solo Sailing

#Documentary - "It’s about understanding the ocean, working with the ocean. Not just seeing it as something to grab, but as something you look after."

That's the message of new documentary Atlantic by Irish filmmaker Risteard Ó Domhnaill, who spoke to Ian Maleney for The Irish Times on its release in Irish cinemas yesterday (Friday 29 April).

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the feature-length documentary – narrated by Emmy Award-winner Brendan Gleeson – follows the fortunes of three small Atlantic coastal fishing communities in Ireland, Canada and Norway.

Each facing their own challenges, from the impact of oil exploration and climate change to the pressures of large-scale commercial fishing.

And as Ó Domhnaill relates from his experience making the film, these livelihoods have changed dramatically even in only the last five years.

"Who knows what’s going to happen, what’s going to hit the ocean?" he says of the years ahead. "Acidification, warming of currents? We’re facing a crossroads. We can’t just fence off our part of the sea and say ‘We’ll look after that’. It’s a much bigger challenge."

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Rowing - Four intrepid British women were rescued from the Mid Atlantic in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 14 February) after capsizing during a rowing record attempt for charity.

As the Guardian reports, Gemma Chalk, Clare Lanyon, Jane McIntosh and Olivia Wilson were aiming to break the women's rowing speed record from the Canary Islands to Barbados when they lost their oars and GPS system after a series of capsizes some 400 nautical miles off Cape Verde.

But the women were able to get in contact with the UK Coastguard by satellite phone and activate an emergency beacon to direct passing vessels to their location – and they were finally picked up by a Canada-bound bulk carrier that diverted course to go to their aid.

“This shows you how important it is to be prepared for your voyage and have several means of contacting the coastguard or raising an alarm, even if you are not in UK waters," said UK Coastguard duty controller Ian Guy.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Solo - French sailor Christophe Maupaté aims to follow in the wake of Ireland's own Enda O'Coineen in his attempt to be the first person to cross the Atlantic solo from Bordeaux to New York by RIB.

The Figaro veteran will set off on 16 July 2016 from Bordeaux heading north, via the Celtic and Irish Seas – including a stop-over in Dun Laoghaire – on an epic voyage that will see him trace a semi-circle around the North Atlantic.

That route takes Maupaté via the Orkneys, Iceland and the southern tip of Greenland to Canada's Maritimes provinces and onward to New York to coincide with a commemorative voyage by a replica of historic French general Lafayette's ship Hermione.

And he'll be doing it all single-handedly in a 7.5m RIB, a custom French-built Zeppelin, equipped with a Suzuki four-stroke outboard motor and Garmin navigation and communication devices.

The Atlantic has been crossed by RIB several times before, most notably by TV adventurer Bear Grylls and team in 2003 from Canada to Scotland, and more recently by the Brown brothers from Florida to London in 2009.

But the closest anyone's come to a solo RIB crossing was Enda O'Coineen, when he helmed the 5.5m Zodiac RIB Kilcullen III from Halifax in Nova Scotia to Dunmore East in the mid 1980s – a voyage recounted in his book The Unsinkable Kilcullen.

There is no Guinness World Record for O'Coineen's feat, so Maupaté aims to be the first into the books with his own incredible expedition of some 4,460 nautical miles.

More details can be found on the official Bordeaux -> New York in Solitare website HERE.

Published in Solo Sailing

The dominant subject in the past week has been the weather – pictures on television and in the newspapers of water pouring through streets, into houses, shops, stranded cars and so on – bringing in its wake flooding, destruction, tragedy in its effects on people’s lives. I have heard from seafarers who faced appalling conditions at sea - winds gusting from 50 miles an hour, up to 100, accompanied by massive seas, huge waves. Nightly on television the weather maps have shown where it was all coming from – across the oceans – spinning over the Atlantic, moving in the jet stream, lashing the first land mass it encountered, THIS ISLAND NATION…..

SHERKIN ISLANDSherkin Island in West Cork

Nature does show us humans at times just how little we can control her moods and what can be unleashed upon us and I wonder if people fully realise the importance of the oceans.

Matt Murphy lives on one of our offshore islands which felt the first lash of the gales in the past week. That’s Sherkin Island off Baltimore in West Cork where he founded and has run the Sherkin Marine Station for 40 years and was an early exponent of the need to be aware of climate change:

Matt outlined his views to me in an interview which you can hear on the audio Podcast of THIS ISLAND NATION above.

MATT MURPHY OF SHERKIN ISLAND MARINE STATIONMatt Murphy

I attended a seminar in Dublin a fortnight ago as part of the Sea for Society programme, which is an extensive European Commission project, promoting the opportunities in the seas, but also warning about the threats to them from human behaviour. The seas, the oceans are a marvellous place, so vital to our human welfare, but at the seminar I wondered if those of us who are aware of the maritime importance in life are talking to ourselves and that the message may not be getting through to the public at large. Have you ever listened, really listened, to the sounds of the ocean?

It is worth listening to these unusual sounds, which you can hear on the Podcast. For example, have you ever heard the sound a haddock makes?

DR.PETER HEFFERNAN CEO MARINE INSTITUTEDr. Peter Heffernan

Those sounds should, surely, make one think about life in the oceans and men like Dr.Peter Heffernan do. He is Chief Executive of the Marine Institute which carried out a seabed survey between Newfoundland and Ireland in the past year.

He summarised for me the importance of the oceans:

You can hear Peter Heffernan outline in the Podcast why “every time we breathe… we need the sea….”

Indeed we do …. Let’s remember that…….

Published in Island Nation

#MarineScience - A unique opportunity to participate in the North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT) summer school and carry out ocean research in the North and South Atlantic Ocean is being offered to graduates of marine-related sciences from across the island of Ireland.

Applications are invited for up to 10 fully funded scholarships on-board the German research vessel RV Polarstern, which will leave Germany for this summer school in November and transit 14,000km to Cape Town, South Africa.

Along the transect, students will collect samples and data to help to increase our understanding of ocean processes and which will feed into a range of exciting research projects.

The joint mission between the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research & Training (SMART), the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) will focus on training talented early-stage scientists in oceanographic research techniques and provide the skills and practical experience needed for a career in marine sciences.

Participants will get hands-on training in deployment and operation of scientific gear, acquisition and processing of the sample material and interpretation of the respective data. Work on board will also include lectures, data workshops, practical exercises and student presentations.

"Although over 70% of our planet is ocean there are lots of areas that are poorly observed and about which we have little knowledge," said Dr Pauhla McGrane, national coordinator of SMART Ireland.

"This collaborative effort with AWI and POGO will increase our understanding of the Atlantic Ocean as well as inspiring the marine scientists of tomorrow to sustainably mange our seas and oceans for future generations."

Prof Karen Wiltshire, vice-president of AWI and chair of POGO, added that "improving our knowledge of the ocean requires a new generation of well-trained researchers that are able to combine practical field work with modern methods like remote sensing or RNA sequencing.

"This pooled infrastructure and expertise provides an incredible chance for postgraduates to get the necessary practical experience and develop networking opportunities they need early in their careers.

"We are all delighted to be leading this strategic collaboration, which will promote mobility for a total number of 34 students from across Europe and Africa and increase multidisciplinary research capacity in Atlantic nations."

Graduates, postgraduates and post-doctoral students of marine-related sciences from across the island of Ireland are eligible to apply via SMART.

The closing date for applications is 7 June 2015. Applicants should make sure that they are available between 29 October and 2 December 2015 to account for pre- and post-cruise events and travel times. For further information on how to apply, visit the SMART website or contact [email protected]

Published in Marine Science

#CheekiRafiki - US Coast Guard officials say they have identified the upturned hull of the Cheeki Rafiki, whose crew have been missing for more than a week.

But according to BBC News, they also confirmed that the vessel's liferaft was still on board - dashing any hopes that its crew of four British sailors may still be alive.

Contact with the 40ft yacht was lost last Friday 16 May after it reported taking on water and altered its transatlantic course while returning to Britain from a regatta in Antigua.

US and Canadian search teams covered a 4,000 square mile section of the mid Atlantic but halted their initial search after two days with no signs of its four-man crew - James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin - who are all experienced offshore sailors.

However, earlier this week the search resumed after a request from the British government amid pressure from the families of the missing yachtsmen and their supporters, who collected hundreds of thousands of signatures in an online petition.

The capsized yacht was found yesterday (Friday 23 May) by the US Navy in the same area where the crew had originally reported difficulties. Search operations have now ended.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore

#Offshore - The US Coast Guard has resumed the search for four British yachtsmen missing in the mid Atlantic after a request from Westminster, BBC News reports.

Contact was lost last Friday 16 May with Paul Goslin, Steve Warren, James Male and skipper Andrew Bridge of the Cheeky Rafiki a day after the 40ft yacht got into difficulties when returning to the UK from a regatta in Antigua.

Two days later, a major search operation covering 4,000 square miles of the Atlantic was suspended with no sign of the yacht's crew.

It's not been confirmed what specifically prompted the search for the four men to resume - but the move comes a day after an online petition calling on US authorities to restart the search collected more than 200,000 signatures.

The families of the missing sailors maintain their insistence that the men may well have survived the rough ocean conditions in their liferaft, despite the US Coast Guard estimating a survival time of just 20 hours.

Veteran ocean-crossers Sir Richard Branson and Tony Bullimore have also backed the families' belief that the conditions were potentially survivable.

However, experts suggest it "highly unlikely" that rescue teams missed sighting any liferaft during last weekend's search.

A sighting of what's thought to be the upturned hill of the Cheeky Rafiki by the cargo ship Maersk Kure midway between Cape Cod and the Azores has yet to be confirmed.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under

#Offshore - Almost 60,000 people have signed an online petition urging the US Coastguard to resume its search for four British offshore sailors feared lost after their yacht disappeared midway across the Atlantic last week.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, the Cheeki Rafiki was returning to the UK from Antigua in the West Indies when it got into difficulty on Thursday 15 May, with all contact lost the following day.

Its last known heading was the Azores, and US and Canadian search teams combed a 4,000 square mile section of the Atlantic between there and Antigua over the weekend.

The search was suspended after two days with no signs of life, a spokesperson for the US Coastguard saying: "We believe that we would have found them by now if we were going to find them."

But as Practical Boat Owner reports, friends and family of the missing crew -Paul Goslin, Steve Warren, James Male and skipper Andrew Bridge - have called on the search to continue and give them a chance to be found despite the rough conditions at sea, with evidence suggesting the four made it to their life raft.

The hull of their 40ft racing yacht is believed to have been spotted by a container ship, which passed a vessel of its description upturned in the mid Atlantic.

Practical Boat Owner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
Tagged under
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