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Displaying items by tag: Northern Lights

#CruiseLiners - On this Valentine’s Day the yacht-like cruiseship Saga Pearl II is due to depart Portsmouth International Port (PIP) at 17.00 this afternoon to see the Northern Lights in Norway. It won’t just be guests on board hoping to see incredible sights.

According to PIP, a team from ORCA, a marine conservation charity based in the UK's second busiest ferryport, will also be joining the crew of the Saga Cruises ship on the 15 night holiday. It will be the first survey of 2018 for ORCA, one of eleven journeys they will be making from Portsmouth with Saga this year to learn more about marine mammals and habitats in which they live.

The cruise from the historic maritime city of Portsmouth explores Norway's coastal waters and heads into the Arctic Circle. Last year's cruises to the same area saw everything from humpback whales to harbour porpoises, and sperm whales to pilot whales.

ORCA has also just announced it is to partner with another cruise ship operator at Portsmouth. Noble Caledonia specialises in small cruise ship holidays accessing incredible natural habitats that larger vessels can’t visit. A “unique and innovative marriage” between the charity and Noble Caledonia is expected to expand a citizen’s science programme onboard the small luxury liners.

Tim Cochrane, Noble Caledonia Managing Director, said “I am delighted to be able to introduce this concept into our expedition tours and to be working with ORCA: I know that our guests will relish being part of this exciting initiative as part of their holiday with us such that they can take away even more than the lasting memories our holidays provide. The opportunity to join in with some of the scientific research being undertaken by our knowledgeable and experienced expedition team members, many of whom are experts in their own fields, will, I am sure, enhance guest experience on our expedition tours”.

Saga Pearl II is the smallest of the operator's fleet and as Afloat reported the intimate 449 passenger cruiseship has in recent years called to Warrenpoint, where there are plans to boost cruise tourism. 

Published in Cruise Liners

#Aurora - Skywatchers in Northern Ireland were treated to a spectacular light show last night (Monday 7 March) as a "lucky combination" of weather conditions made the aurora borealis visible across much of the country.

The video below, via Tam Mullen and the Belfast Telegraph, shows how the Northern Lights looked over Belfast and Lough Neagh.

Published in Weather

#Aurora - The Irish Independent has an amazing photo gallery of the midsummer Northern Lights over the Aran Islands earlier this week.

Setting up late on Monday night on Inis Óirr, local teacher Cormac Coyne captured the incredibly rare spectacle - for the location, far from the Arctic Circle, as much as the time of year - with a DSLR camera mounted on a tripod to take the long exposures necessary for shooting at night with very little light.

And the results are astounding, as you can see for yourselves HERE.

Published in Island News

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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