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Displaying items by tag: Dundalk Bay

Geotechnical surveys will take place in Outer Dundalk Bay from 6 March 2020, according to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in Marine Notice No. 13 of 2020.

The survey will be completed using the “Geoquip Saentis” (Callsign: C6UM8) currently berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The work is necessary to provide geotechnical data to facilitate the development of the Oriel Windfarm.

The survey is expected to start on 6 March 2020 and is expected to be completed by 27 March 2020 but dates provided are weather dependant and therefore subject to change.

When the survey vessel is engaged in survey operations, it will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre. Other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth. The vessel will be operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the survey works.

Download the full notice below.

Published in Marine Warning

A drilling-rig ship operated by a Swiss-based offshore geo technical data solutions company is currently berthed in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, writes Jehan Ashmore.

According to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the drilling-rig ship Geoquip Saentis is in the harbour to mobilise for work on the Oriel Wind Farm project to the east of Dundalk Bay. The vessel is expected remain in port until tomorrow or Friday.

The 3,404 gross tonnage drill-ship run by Geoquip Marine Operations AG based in St. Gallen, in north-east Switzerland near Liechtenstein, specialises in diverse market segments among them Offshore Renewables, Oil & Gas and Mineral Extraction.

The Swiss shipping firm has a fleet of offshore geotechnical drilling rigs. As for Geoquip Saentis, this drilling rig ship has a Dynamic Positioning (DP2) system for navigational on-site high precision accuracy. In addition, the Multi-Purpose Offshore Support vessel has an on board soil laboratory where data is analysed for clients of projects that can be nearshore (as in project in Dundalk Bay) to waters of ultra-deep oceans.

Afloat tracked the Geoquip Saentic which sailed from Nigg on the Gromarty Forth in north-east Scotland. Also offshore of Aberdeen, the ship in October completed its first geotechnical site investigation in the North Sea involving drilling to over 2000 metres.

The arrival of Geoquip Saentis to the Irish Sea involved a transit through the North Channel. After anchoring in Dublin Bay yesterday, a pilot was transferred on board from Dublin Port Company's new cutter DPC Tolka as previously reported.

drill shipGeoquip Saentis along side in Dun Laoghaire Photo: Afloat

In observing the design of Geoquip Saentis, Afloat concluded the vessel was a former platform supply vessel (PSV) which has been identified as the former Toisa Viligant. The vessel built in 2005 was specially designed to supply offshore oil and gas platforms. Following the acquisition by Geoquip Marine which coincidentally took place on this date exactly a year ago, the ship received conversion overhaul works to enable offshore geotechnical operations.

The major overhaul of Geoquip Saentis took place in the UK at Cammell Laird, the shipyard on Merseyside (see yesterday's Afloat coverage) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's tanker RFA Fort Victoria.

The drilling ship was dry-docked at the facility in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula, which included notably the installation of Geoquip’s GMR600 marine drill-rig situated amidships as demonstrated in the above photo. Underneath the rig is a 4m x 4m moon pool. 

Geoquip Saentis has accommodation and workspaces for 55 crew members. At 80m in length and an 18m beam, this provides a stable platform for offshore geotechnical operations which includes use of a Remotely Operated Vessel (ROV) to operate alongside the drill-rig.

Geophysical surveys are being undertaken in the Irish Sea in outer Dundalk Bay from this week.

The work is required to provide bathymetric and subsurface information for the development of the Oriel Wind Farm project.

Survey work was expected to start yesterday, Tuesday 20 August, with a view to completion by Monday 30 September, though these dates are weather dependent.

The surveys will be completed using the AMS Retriever (Callsign MEHI8), a versatile multi-purpose, shallow draft tug.

This vessel is towing survey equipment up to 100 metres astern and will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.

Other vessels are requested to leave a wide berth. The AMS Retriever will be operating from approximately 6am to 9pm during survey works.

Details of co-ordinates of the survey area are included in Marine Notice No 29 of 2019, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Ophelia - Windsurfers on the Louth coast have been roundly criticised on social media as they prompted a major rescue operation before the arrival of Storm Ophelia, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The four windsurfers, originally thought to be kitesurfers, made their own way to shore after getting 'into difficulty' this morning — but not before Clogherhead RNLI, Greenore Coast Guard and the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter had launched to their location, off Blackrock in Dundalk Bay.

The Irish Coast Guard has repeated widespread calls to stay away from the coast during the current storm conditions throughout Ireland.

This article was changed to correct an error in the number of windsurfers involved in this morning's incident.

Published in Rescue
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced two new reports of whale spottings off the Irish coast in recent days.
On 14 October the east coast rescue helicopter spotted a group of at least five lunge-feeding whales just four miles off Dunany Point on the southern side of Dundalk Bay.
Their relatively small size, white banding on the pectoral fin and absense of any obvious blow confirmed them to be minkes - a marine wildlife record for the area.
"This is further proof, not that it is needed, that there is a growing list of places outside of the expected 'hotspots' where whale activity is now being documented," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.
Yet more were spotted on the opposite coast the day after, when Nick Massett reported up to a dozen minke whales in a 1.5-mile box off Slea Head, near Dingle.
Meanwhile, this week a group of four killer whales was observed by the FV Celtic Cross on the prawn grounds off Co Louth, travelling in a north-westerly direction towards Dundalk Bay.
"There may well be something very interesting happening in this section of the Irish Sea that is attracting both baleen and toothed whale in the same area," said Whooley.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has announced two new reports of whale spottings off the Irish coast in recent days.

On 14 October the east coast rescue helicopter spotted a group of at least five lunge-feeding whales just four miles off Dunany Point on the southern side of Dundalk Bay. 

Their relatively small size, white banding on the pectoral fin and absense of any obvious blow confirmed them to be minkes - a marine wildlife record for the area.

"This is further proof, not that it is needed, that there is a growing list of places outside of the expected 'hotspots' where whale activity is now being documented," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.

Yet more were spotted on the opposite coast the day after, when Nick Massett reported up to a dozen minke whales in a 1.5-mile box off Slea Head, near Dingle.

Meanwhile, this week a group of four killer whales was observed by the FV Celtic Cross on the prawn grounds off Co Louth, travelling in a north-westerly direction towards Dundalk Bay.

"There may well be something very interesting happening in this section of the Irish Sea that is attracting both baleen and toothed whale in the same area," said Whooley.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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