Displaying items by tag: Holyhead
According to Canoe & Kayak, last Saturday 2 October Anglesey man John Willacy crossed from Soldier's Point in Holyhead to Howth in Dublin - a distance of 55.8 nautical miles - in 11 hours 19 minutes and 59 seconds.
It's not the first open sea kayaking record set by Willacy, who last year broke the record for circumnavigation of the Isle of Man in 12 hours 38 minutes.
The third service between Belfast-Stranraer is in the hands of rivals Stena Line which maintain the HSS Stena Voyager (1996/19,638 grt) on sailings but only to around mid-November. She will be replaced by conventional sister-ships which will be introduced on the North Channel's newest port when services switch from Stranraer to a new terminal close to Cairnryan.
Finally the fourth fast-ferry is Irish Ferries marketed 'Dublin Swift' service which runs on the Dublin-Holyhead route served by Jonathan Swift (1999/5,989 grt). The craft built by Austal in Fremantle, operates alongside the conventional cruise-ferry Ulysses.
Stena Line's decision to terminate HSS Stena Explorer sailings between Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead this day last week follows fast-ferry Stena Lynx III's end-of-season Rosslare-Fishguard sailings earlier this month.
From next year, Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead sailings are to be seasonal-only and according to Stena Line they hope to resume fast-ferry sailings in April or May though no exact date has been set. Unlike the central corridor route which was entirely dependent on HSS operations, the Rosslare-Fishguard route remains operating year-round with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.
As a result of the discontinued fast-ferries, the HSS Stena Explorer is now spending a lay-up period in the Welsh port for the winter. The smaller Stena Lynx III is also 'wintering' but in on the opposite side of the Irish Sea in Dun Laoghaire, where the vessel has done so in previous years.
The lay-up of both fast-ferries in Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead is ironic considering that neither ports' are connected by the very craft that used to share sailing rosters in recent years. In addition the wintering of these catamaran craft is the first time that this has occurred since the pioneering Stena Sea Lynx fast-ferry launched such sailings in 1993.
This first 'Lynx' provided seasonal sailings on the route with conventional car-ferry Stena Hibernia, the former St. Columba, custom-built in 1977 for Sealink /British Rail. She was given a second name under Stena ownership, the Stena Adventurer and remained on the 57 nautical-mile route until replaced in 1996 by the year-round operated HSS Stena Explorer.
Apart from cross-channel fast-ferry services, the Isle of Man is served by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. Ltd's routes linking the islands capital Douglas with Belfast, Dublin, Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) in the winter. These routes include seasonal services which are operated by a combination of conventional tonnage using Ben-My-Chree and fast-ferry Manannan (1998/5,089grt), a former US Navy vessel, to read more click HERE. For sailing schedules, vessel type deployed on route and for fares click HERE.
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Storm force winds are expected across the country later on this evening and into tomorrow.
Met Éireann has warned of gale to storm force winds tonight with speeds of up to 130km/h, strongest in the northwest.
Extremely high waves are expected on southwest, west and north coasts.
Irish Ferries has cancelled a number of its Swift sailings between Dublin and Holyhead because of forecasts for the Irish Sea.
P&O's scheduled sailings between Larne and Cairnryan this afternoon have been cancelled, as have this evening's sailings between Larne and Troon.
Tonight's departure is for Holyhead, where the call to Anglesey also covers tours of Snowdonia, the impressive castles of Conwy, Caernarvon and Harlech and a stop to Bodnant. Following the Welsh call she is to visit Cobh. Other calls are to Bordeaux (overnight), Bibao, Gijon,Vigo and the final port of call is Lisbon on 7 September where passengers will remain in their cabins for an overnight stay. The next day there is a scheduled tour of the Gulbenkian Museum, the Jeronimos Monastery and Sintra.
On one-day the ship will spend the entire day at sea which will enable passengers to indulge further of the facilities such as the casino and entertainment in the theatre, for more click HERE. Fares for the Irish passengers of the 10-day cruise/11-day holiday started at €2,062 per person (cruise-only) based on the lowest grade twin cabin. After completion of the cruise in Lisbon they will take a flight to return to Dublin.
Azamara Journey formed part of the eight-strong series commissioned for Renaissance Cruises which collapsed a decade ago. They were built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St.Nazaire and were uninspiringly named as R One, R Two etc with the R Six now the re-named Azamara Journey.
As August and the high-season draws to a close that doesn't' stop the cruiseships calling as over twenty more are due in Dublin before the season closes. In total the port this year has handled some 90 cruiseships and 160,000 passengers. A further 65 callers so far are scheduled for 2012.
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A former mayor of Holyhead has sung the praises of Holyhead's coastguard station to Afloat.ie.
Commenting on our recent report on plans to close Liverpool's coastguard station, Cllr KR Roberts said it was "a victory for people power" that Holyhead in north Wales joins Bangor in Northern Ireland among those stations reprieved under revised proposals for the streamlining of Britain's coastguard network.
"Holyhead Coastguard covers a vast area of the Irish Sea in close proximity to the Irish coast, where it joins forces with their Irish Coast Guard colleagues to provide a service of maritime safety to both commercial vessels and leisure craft alike," said Cllr Roberts.
"Holyhead Coastguard also provide maritime safety cover to over 300 miles of Welsh coastline that welcomes a vast variety of leisure craft from Ireland.
"As a past mayor and local councillor in Holyhead I am proud to promote the long traditions of maritime connections between Wales and Ireland. However I am sorry to see the loss of any coastguard station - in this case Liverpool Coastguard, which provides maritime safety cover to the northwest coast of England and the Scottish borders around the Solway Firth."
Cllr Roberts added that these areas would be taken over by Holyhead "with resilient support from Belfast and Milford Haven Coastguards".
A 'tough opener' is how Commodore Peter Ryan has described the first ISORA offshore sailing race of the season from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire yesterday. Inspite of the difficult conditions though there was little change at the top of the leader board. Skerries domination of Irish Sea racing continues with the Sigma 400 Raging Bull maintaining his winning form. It was a very hard race with usual flukey conditions trying to leave Dublin Bay at 8am on Saturday morning (Afloat.ie followed the fleet out of the bay on twitter). Strong winds followed for the beat to the M2 buoy before another long leg and a short beat to Holyhead. The sea conditions on the 60-mile course were trying for many crew who were out for the first time this season.
ISORA has formed three classes this season, the aim is to give better competitive sailing between similar boats. First race results below.
|Boat Name||Sail No.||Type||IRC Rating||Finish Time||Time elapsed||Corrected||Place||Place|
|English Mick||GBR4771R||Beneteau 47.7||1.130||19:18:26||40706||45997||2||8|
|GFT Adventurer||GBR23161||Beneteau 45||1.101||19:54:46||42886||47217||3||9|
|Quite Correct||IRL 5405||DS54||1.095||RET||-||-||-||-|
|African Challenge||IRL 2649||Fast 42||1.077||RET||-||-||-||-|
|Tsunami||IRL 4007||First 40.7||1.061||18:48:01||38881||41252||1||4|
|Lancastrian||GBR 7682T||Starlight 14.5m||1.059||20:27:00||44820||47464||4||10|
|Rebellion||IRL 6001||Nicholson 58||1.054||RET||-||-||-||-|
|Madam Wen||GBR1417L||Sweden 42||1.04||RET||-||-||-||-|
|Raging Bull||IRL 9666||Sigma 400||1.027||18:42:30||38550||39590||1||1|
|Miss Scarlett||IRL 4763||Sunfast 40.3||1.025||RET||-||-||-||-|
|Lula Belle||IRL 3607||First 36.7||1.019||19:35:55||41755||42548||5||6|
|First of September||IRL 8581||First 43.5||1.017||DNS||-||-||-||-|
|Dinah||IRL 3508||JOD 35||1.016||19:36:22||41782||42450||4||5|
|Adelie||FRA 9631||First 34.7||0.988||21:26:00||48360||47779||2||11|
|Mojito||GBR 4184||Bravaria 39||0.988||20:36:22||45382||44837||1||7|
|Mistral of St Helier||K 8337||Sigma 38||0.984||RET||-||-||-||-|
|Yahtzee||IRL 1068||Oceanis 411||0.983||02:23:00||66180||65054||3||12|
|Obsession||IRL 4513||Sigma 33||0.905||RET||-||-||-||-|
In January 2000 the keel of the worlds largest car ferry was laid at the Aker Finnyards in Rauma, Finland. The following year the €100m cruiseferry giant departed the shipyard on a four-day delivery voyage to Dublin Port. Upon Ulysses's arrival on 4th March she was presented with a traditional welcoming escort of saluting water-firing tugs.
The Ulysses was named at a ceremony in the port on 21st March by the 'golden godmother' Mairead Berry, Ireland's 25-year old Paralympic Games gold medallist. Four days later Ulysses made her commercial maiden voyage to Holyhead on 25th March.
Wih 12 decks the vessel has an extensive range of facilities and they are named with themes derived from James Joyce's famous novel 'Ulysses'. There is seating available for up to 1,938 passengers and there are 117 twin or single-cabins, accommodating up to 228 passengers.
Only two months into service the Ulysses won the prestigious 'Most Significant New Build - Ferry' category award in the Cruise & Ferry magazine 2001 Awards competition. Her Finnish builders are not only builders of large cruise-ferries for Baltic Sea operators and beyond but also are also renowned for the construction of very large cruiseships for international clients.
Ulysses was designed specifically to serve the central corridor route with a schedule of two round trips daily. She directly replaced the 1997 Dutch built 34,031 grt ro-pax Isle of Inishmore, which transferred to Rosslare-Pembroke Dock service.
In 2006 the Ulysses alongside her fleetmates were transferred from the Irish flag to the Cypriot flag in addition to a change of Irish crew with those outsourced from citizens mostly from the Baltic and Eastern European countries.
Due to the sheer size of the Ulysses, which has a length of 209m, a beam of nearly 32m and a 6.4m draught, she has not missed a single crossing due to bad weather conditions. The vessel has a 22 knot / 41kph service -speed on the 60-mile route which translates to a distance of over 182,000 kms a year.
To celebrate Ulysses 10th year in service, Irish Ferries has enhanced the Club Class option to passengers which includes free-Wifi, which enables a constant connection and an array of other benefits during the 3-hour 15 minute crossing.
For a virtual tour of the Ulysses with views taken from the top deck as the cruiseferry departs Holyhead and the mountains of Snowdonia setting as a backdrop plus interior tours of the vessel click here.
According to Stena Line over 70% of its passengers business is carried by the HSS Stena Explorer in the high season. It is felt that the 1996 Finnish built fast-craft is better suited for the service due to a loyal customer base which was reflected by repeat bookings and their preference of the HSS craft on the 120 minute (2 hour) route.
A daily single round trip is scheduled with sailings from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead departing at 13:15hrs. The corresponding sailing from the Anglesey port departs at 10.00hrs and arrives at the Irish port at 12 noon. Sailings will operate through the summer until 13 September.
From there on Stena will make a decision as to its continuing schedule, though it is widely believed that the prospects of the fuel-thirsty, expensive to run HSS fast-craft service are likely to be at an end of an era.
Last month negotiations over the core issue of harbour fees were held between Stena Line and Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company. It is understood that the annual fee of €6.5m was dropped to €2m. The board of the harbour company has given a 'conditional green light' of a new ferry contract to Stena Line to run the service for the next two years with an option of a third year.
The service closed for its seasonal break earlier this year on 5 January with the 'Lynx' going into temporary lay-up at Holyhead's inner harbour to join the HSS Stena Explorer. The HSS had been 'wintering' at the port since September sailings were taken over by the Lynx.
Earlier this month the Stena Lynx III came to Dun Laoghaire to continue her lay-up period. The 1996 Tasmanian built craft will stay there before resuming seasonal sailings between Rosslare-Fishguard in tandem with the conventional ferry Stena Europe.
In the meantime the craft is berthed at the harbour's two-berth ferry terminal at St. Michaels Wharf. The HSS berth is only designed for this type of fast-craft whereas the other berth now occupied by the Lynx was built originally for conventional ferries but was re-configured last year to suit the fast-craft.
Forty entries are already in for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, a fixture widely expected to be the biggest in Ireland this season when it sets sail on Dublin Bay in July.
Organisers are expecting up to 500 boats to keep it on a par with the 2009 event. The early entries, 11 weeks ahead of the entry deadline, is being taken as a thumbs up by competitors for the fun and vlaue theme of this year's VDLR.
So far 22 different clubs have entered from six countries. The bulk of the fleet is Irish but there are early entries from France, Isle of Man, UK, Wales and Northern Ireland. Another good turnout is exepcted from Liverpool and Holyhead for boats competing in the IRC Lyver Cup Race across the Irish Sea. Ten boats from the Clyde will also compete on the Bay.
Cork's Conor Phelan the skipper of Jump Juice is one of the first Royal Cork boats confirmed.
Two handed IRC racing makes its debut in July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have also confirmed. Click HERE.
On the dinghy front, the Fireball class has confirmed it will be running an'Open Championship' within the regatta, an event that follows the class world championships in Sligo in June.
In the case of Irish Ferries, their Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route vessel, Isle of Inishmore arrived on the Mersey yesterday at the Cammell Laird dry-dock facility in Birkenhead.
The 1997 Dutch-built Isle of Inishmore had relieved the 50,938 tonnes 'flagship' Ulysses from the Dublin-Holyhead route which too had gone to Birkenhead for maintenance since January 4th.
The Ulysses is now back on service and the company's French routes cruiseferry, Oscar Wilde is covering the Isle of Inishmore's absence from Rosslare-Pembroke Dock sailings.
Continental services to France on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route will resume on February 16th when the Oscar Wilde returns from her overall. The Bahamas flagged vessel will re-open seasonal Rosslare-Roscoff sailings starting on May 13th.
In addition to conventional tonnage Irish Ferries also operate the fast-craft catamaran Jonathan Swift in tandem with Ulysses on the Dublin-Holyhead route. The Ulysses takes 3 hours 25 minutes while the 39-knot catamaran craft marketed as the Dublin 'Swift' is advertised with a scheduled passage time of 1 hour and 49 minutes.
The Australian-built catamaran was taken off the central corridor route yesterday to be drydocked also in Birkenhead until January 18th. Dublin Swift sailings return to the Dublin-Holyhead route on February 19th with the first crossing to depart at 14.30 hours from the capital port.
For the latest information on ferry sailings and reservations click: www.irishferries.com