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Displaying items by tag: Cape Clear

Island life, in all its challenges, also harbours opportunity for the transition to renewable energy — and the people of the Aran Islands are putting that into practice.

Juliette Gash reports for RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland from the Galway Bay island group, where the local energy co-operative set an ambitious target to be self-sustainable for energy generated from the wind, waves and sun by 2022.

While they may not hit 100% by that date, they have made progress that outs the rest of Ireland to shame.

But that should be no surprise when Ireland’s island communities have long been ahead of the curve when it comes to green energy — particularly Cape Clear in West Cork, which until 1993 had the world’s first integrated wind energy system.

Listen to the full RTÉ Morning Ireland report below:

Published in Power From the Sea

A high-profile royal visit is set to bring out the orange in Cape Clear Ferries’ orange-and-white branding next weekend.

The company’s new fast ferry from Schull and Baltimore to Cape Clear Island will take a different route next Friday 14 June as it transports the Dutch royal family on a special trip from Cork city via Cobh to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour.

Séamus Ó Drisceoil, manager of Cape Clear Ferries, expressed his delight that Dún na Séad II would be considered suitable for such an event.

“Our company has invested and reinvested consistently over the years to raise our standards and we feel that this is an impressive and merited endorsement both of our newest ferry and also our dedicated and hardworking team,” he said.

“Karen Cottrell along with crew members Shane Ó Drisceoil, Cathal Cottrell, Niamh Ní Dhrisceoil and Iain O’Driscoll will be present on the day to welcome on board the Royal Highnesses, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, as well as Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins and other dignitaries.”

Dun na Sead at Port of Cork
There will be a heavy security presence around the royal ‘boatercade’ with no other unapproved vessels permitted on the river during the visit.

Karen Cottrell said: “We are working very hard to make good of this significant upgrading of the ferry fleet in West Cork by promoting award-winning tours around the iconic Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.

“This is an outstanding natural and historical landmark off the West Cork coast and of course all our tours are via Cape Clear Island also known as ‘The Gateway to the Fastnet’.

“We will be delighted to welcome the royal couple and other dignitaries on board, but in reality all our passengers are special to us.

“In a few weeks’ time we will also welcome on board the chief of the O’Driscoll Clan for their annual visit to Cape Clear Island,” Cottrell added.

Published in Cork Harbour

Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac last night (Friday 7 June) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of Baltimore in West Cork.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 6.20pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to an islander living on Cape Clear.

The lifeboat arrived at North Harbour in Cape Clear within 20 minutes, and was headed back to the mainland with the casualty on board after just a two-minute turnaround.

By just after 7pm the casualty had been handed over to the care of a HSE ambulance crew in Baltimore.

Conditions at sea during the call out were good, with a north-westerly Force 4-5 wind, a one-metre sea swell and very good visibility.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island call 999 or 112 and explain to the operator what the nature of the call is.

“The operator will then make sure that the call is directed to both the coastguard and the National Ambulance Service. We wish the casualty a full recovery.

“Our thoughts today are also with the family, friends and colleagues of the crew members of the French lifeboat service SNSM who lost their lives yesterday during a rescue.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat on this callout: coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, Pat Collins, Colin Rochford and David Ryan. Assisting at the boathouse in Baltimore were Gerald O’Brien, Aidan Bushe and Don O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork is seeking to become one of only 22 Dark Sky sites worldwide officially recognised by the IDA ( International Dark Sky Association). These sites are dedicated to stargazing and are increasingly hard to find because of the amount of light created by modern living which makes it harder to see and appreciate the true beauty and wonder of the night sky.

Cape Clear lying 8 miles off the coast, like the other sites is remote from towns, cities and busy roads and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Already famous for ornithology and whales, dolphins and basking shark its pristine night sky is another fantastic natural resource the Island has to offer.

Dark Skies events provide opportunities to view the night sky with the naked eye accompanied by experienced guides and astronomers, sharing their knowledge and appreciation of the splendour above our heads and breathing new life into the rich folklore, tradition and history associated with the night sky.

The first Cape Clear Island Dark Skies event takes place over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, 22 to 24th May and includes both night time and day time events and with support from Blackrock Castle Observatory and Cork Institute of Technology. There will be a range of speakers led by Dr Niall Smith of CIT and night photographer Cian Walsh.

The event was inspired by Shane O’Neill a teacher in the Island national school, who, living on its south side became impressed with the clarity of the night sky, often seeing shooting stars, planets and even the International Space station moving across the sky. Keeping up with celestial events quickly became a passion and one which he should like to share with others.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

Today, 26 European islands have officially launched their clean energy transition with the support of the European Commission’s Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat.

In a first phase, 6 islands, the Aran Islands (Ireland) Cres-Lošinj (Croatia), Sifnos (Greece), Culatra (Portugal), Salina (Italy) and La Palma (Spain) will develop and publish their clean energy transition agendas by summer 2019.

"This is an important breakthrough for the Island which also sees electricity vehicles being used for public transport from Summer 2019", Cape Clear's Seamus Ó Drisceoil told Afloat.ie

 

The other 20 islands will do so by summer 2020. These islands are:

• Hvar, Croatia • New Caledonia, France • Pantelleria, Italy • A Illa de Arousa, Spain
• Brač, Croatia • Crete, Greece • Azores, Portugal • Gotland, Sweden
• Korčula, Croatia • Samos, Greece • Ibiza, Spain • Öland, Sweden
• Kökar, Finland • Cape Clear, Ireland • Mallorca, Spain • Orkney, UK
• Marie-Galante, France • Favignana, Italy • Menorca, Spain • Scottish Islands, UK

"European Commission initiative kick-starts energy transition process with islands to support them in becoming more self-sufficient, prosperous and sustainable"

Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy at the European Commission, said:
“The 26 islands selected display a remarkable potential and enthusiasm for developing strong and lasting multi-stakeholder collaborations around the clean energy transition. By embarking on this path, not only will they become more energy self-reliant and prosperous, but also provide inspiring examples for other islands and Europe as a whole. This in turn will help the EU achieve its ambitious climate and energy targets.”

There are more than 2200 inhabited islands in the EU. Despite having an abundance of renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar and wave energy, many of them currently depend on expensive fossil fuel imports for their energy supply. The clean energy transition can help islands not only become more self-sufficient and prosperous, but also unlock new employment opportunities in their communities.

The objective of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat is to help as many European islands as possible embark on and advance their clean energy transition in a way that includes the whole island and its stakeholders. Based on experience with successful transition processes, the key to success is to involve all levels of governance of the islands - citizens, municipalities, local businesses, universities and schools – as well as relevant stakeholders from the mainland and bring them on board to actively support and shape their own transition.

Croatian MEP Tonino Picula said: "Islands are becoming more and more visible on the European agenda. The support for 26 islands throughout the Union is an important step in making island communities torchbearers in clean energy transition. This is a first, but an important, step in securing permanent EU assistance to islands. Congratulations to everyone!"

The 26 islands were selected based on their potential for establishing a high-quality transition process with the support of the Secretariat. In order to serve as inspiring examples for as many European islands as possible over the coming years, special attention was paid to including islands covering a broad variety of geographic and contextual conditions.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

The storm gates on Cape Clear Island in West Cork have malfunctioned and the island ferry has been stranded inside the harbour.

"We are undergoing a bit of a crisis at the moment as a result," according to the islanders who are dependent as a result on small boats to provide transport or supplies until the situation is resolved.

"We have received every possible help and support from our local fellow operators and service providers which is greatly appreciated but it is nevertheless a very difficult situation," they say.

The Cape Clear Ferry Company has issued this statement about the Storm Gates malfunction:

On Wednesday morning, 18 April the Cape Clear Ferry, Dún Aengus was berthed at her overnight station inside the recently installed Storm Gates, designed to protect the inner harbour. Unfortunately, during the opening of the gate, operated hydraulically one of the stainless steel pipes burst leading to a loss of oil pressure and the gates remained closed, thus trapping the ferry inside. Given the nature of this marine standard equipment, sourcing spare parts and replacement oil will take some days at the earliest.

At this time of the year the Island’s main Ferry, Dún an Óir 11 is undergoing her annual survey and is not available for service.

We are very grateful to our good friend Nic Slocum of West Cork Whalewatch who agreed to provide an unofficial relief service on Wednesday at extremely short notice and arrangements have been made to provide an emergency service from today, Thursday 19th using our own 12 passenger vessel, Deep Star. Since this vessel has very limited passenger capacity, multiple trips will be required at peak times, possibly leading to delay’s and lack of cargo capacity is obvious. We are very grateful also to the Ro Ro service operated by Vince Ó Driscoll which will make a run to Cape Clear at 2pm today bringing both heavy and light cargo and with a license also for 12 passengers.

Intending passengers are asked to contact us by text or email, especially at peak times where lists of bookings will be taken for multiple trips. By doing this, we hope to avoid or reduce long delays. We ask all service users to check our Facebook page and website regularly for sailing updates and where possible, trips that can easily be postponed would be a great help to us.

We also thank the wonderful staff at Fields Supermarket for their legendary cooperation and forbearance and indeed to all the wonderful local people on the Island and elsewhere who have offed every possible help and assistance to us and to one another.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

South Harbour in Cape Clear is a favourite anchorage of mine. There are other beautiful West Cork locations - Schull, Baltimore, Crookhaven, Glandore and Kinsale to be enjoyed, but I have really loved a calm, moonlit night lying at anchor in South Harbour as a very special experience.

North Harbour on the other shore of Cape is more popular because of the onshore facilities there, but also more crowded and often difficult to find space there.

“The island is hopeful of a good response from the sailing community”

However, all that is changing, with a new marina provided, I am told, by the Department of the Marine, where work is ongoing this week installing power points, with plans for water availability onto the marina. The Island Co-op premises is being upgraded to provide clothes washing and drying and the FLAGS development programme where financial support is given through Fishing Local Area Groups, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, is going to fund shower facilities for marina users.

“The island is hopeful of a good response from the sailing community,” I was told this week “’’’ and diesel is available, petrol also and the pubs and restaurants are well set-up.”

NIC SLOCUMS WHALE WATCHING BOAT AT CAPE CLEAR MARINANic Slocum's Whale Watching boat at the new Cape Clear pontoon

Two early visitors to the marina were Neil Prendeville from Kinsale Yacht Club who brought his Mary P there this week… “three metres depth at low water” he told me.. …. An observant and dedicated sailor he suggested the installation of “better cleats for yachts…” and said it was great to see the facilities that will encourage more yachts to visit this Summer.

Also berthed there in the past week was Nic Slocum’s West Cork Whale Watching vessel.

That’s another marina on the West Cork coastline to add to Bantry from last year and, with the granting of €112,000 from the Department for the installation of a pontoon at Schull, perhaps - at last – official appreciation is growing of the jewel which West Cork provides for marine tourism.

Listen in to the podcast here: 

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

Marina pontoon installation work has been installed at Cape Clear Island's North Harbour where pontoons to the value of €200,000 are now in place at the West Cork island harbour.

As our pictures below show the new facility is a welcome addition in the popular harbour for both commercial and leisure craft. It's another valuable asset for boaters exploring the sailing wonders of West Cork.

The facility was installed by leading Irish pontoon supplier, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems Ltd.

 cape clear pontoon1cape clear pontoon1

Under the 2017 fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure capital programme, Junior Minister Andrew Doyle told the Dail Harbour's debate in June he had allocated €720,000 for maintenance and development works at the Island's North Harbour.

'The 2017 programme provides €200,000 for pontoons at Cape Clear and €250,000 for the design, preparation of contract documents and planning for additional repair work to Duffy's Pier' he said.

Read more on the works in our July report here.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

Marina pontoon installation work is well underway at Cape Clear Island's North Harbour where pontoons to the value of €200,000 have been procured for the West Cork island harbour.

Under the 2017 fishery harbour and coastal infrastructure capital programme, Junior Minister Andrew Doyle told the Dail Harbour's debate in June he had allocated €720,000 for maintenance and development works at the Island's North Harbour.

'The 2017 programme provides €200,000 for pontoons at Cape Clear and €250,000 for the design, preparation of contract documents and planning for additional repair work to Duffy's Pier' he said.

Read more on the works in our June report here.

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

It may be just three miles long by one mile wide but there's heaps of maritime activity on Ireland’s southern most inhabited Gaeltacht island, Cape Clear. 

Removed from the hustle and bustle of mainland life, Cape Clear offers relaxation, nature and peace. Photographer Bob Bateman captured exactly that (see images below) on a recent visit to the rugged and remote island, eight miles off the coast of West Cork.

Cape Clear’s remote island location, coupled with its proximity to the continental shelf, makes it a foremost centre for bird watching in Ireland. It is also a marine widlife haven with Whales, leatherback turtles, sun fish, dolphins and sharks are spotted regularly every year. 

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Published in Island News
Tagged under
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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