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Displaying items by tag: west cork

Data from the M3 and M5 buoys off the South Coast is being recovered for analysis by the Marine Institute to ascertain whether it can explain the cause of a tidal drop of 70 cms reported at Union Hall and Courtmacsherry in West Cork last Saturday afternoon.

Local people described the tide level dropping in a few minutes and then flooding back in.

There have been further reports of similar happenings on the Wexford coast and in Wales.

As Afloat reported earlier, descriptions of what happened in the area of Glandore Harbour where Union Hall is located have varied, from some people describing water levels leaving boats temporarily touching bottom where they were moored, to others who claimed the tide “came in and out several times…” and another comment: “the tide was going the wrong way…”

A fishing boat in Glandore HarbourA fishing boat in Glandore Harbour

Amongst reports of seismological activity on Saturday were a 2.6 magnitude earthquake before noon near the Azores. That was logged at the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

Historical context records a 1755 earthquake off the coast of Portugal, which was reported to have caused damage on the Irish South Western coast.

Amongst suggestions for the cause is atmospheric pressure, northerly wind and known water actions at the areas involved. Oceanography sources have tended to discount the incidents in West Cork being associated with the seismic action off Portugal. “It would not be big enough to have that effect,” I was told. “Rare, unusual, possibly driven by a number of factors that may lead to an unusual event, but in this case the cause is so far not clear, so examining date from the buoys at sea may help to indicate it.”

No other Cork coastal areas have reported anything similar.

A Marine Institute statement said: "An unusual tidal event was observed on Saturday 18th June 2022 at Union Hall (West Cork) at 14.40 (UTC) with a low water of -2.629m measured by the Irish Tide Gauge Network.”

Published in West Cork
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Martin Lane’s Chatterbox won the May Cruiser League at Schull Harbour Sailing Club (SHSC) in West Cork.

Michael Murphy’s Shelly D was second and Frank O’Hara’s Samphire third.

The Summer Series begins at SHSC on Saturday, June 11th.

Published in West Cork

“There was a lot of work, hull planking, fitting the stem post, caulking, filling, fairing, sanding, priming and painting. We lost over two years on the project due to Covid and this old girl was in a worse condition than we initially realised. It was a big undertaking for us but we have got there.”

So say the members of Allihies Men’s Shed on the western tip of the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, who will launch the ‘Dursey Clipper’ this weekend.

It is a seine boat, sixty to seventy years old, which had lain unused for about eleven years on nearby Dursey Island. It was given to them by the oldest resident of the island, Jimmy Harrington, who will be 81 years old next month.

Dursey is the island which made headlines earlier this year when Ireland’s only cable car service there had to be halted for maintenance works. This led to controversy as the island had two permanent residents and farms owned by mainland residents. After discussion, the cable car was replaced by a State-funded ferry.

Allihies Men’s Shed is a strong part of the Beara community. From its maritime tradition, former fishermen are among its members.

Putting the final touches to the Dursey Clipper Seine Boat in the Allihies mens shed in West CorkPutting the final touches to the Dursey Clipper Seine Boat in the Allihies mens shed on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork

“We were looking for a project and the boat was given to us. We have members who are former fishermen and were delighted to get it,” David Dudley of the Shed told me on my maritime programme/podcast, Maritime Ireland. “Seine boats were used extensively around West Cork for netting, potting and other traditional fishing activities.

The boats would have been up to 27 feet long. This one is shorter at 18 feet. Inshore fishing was strong when they were in use. Herring and mackerel were caught.”

Historical records describe “huge shoals of pilchards that came to the comparatively warm, sheltered waters of West Cork islands during the summer months. There were curing stations in villages to prepare the fish for sale. There was a lot of employment in a vibrant fishing industry and there could be two boats using a seine net, such were the catches.”

Painted in blue with a topside broad, black line. the restored boat is impressive and will be launched this Sunday at 2 pm at a community gathering on Garnish Pier.

It took a bit of discussion to decide on the name!

“We pondered and mulled over the name for the past month and couldn't agree. Then we whittled it down to a shortlist and put it to a vote. ‘Dursey Clipper’ won out,” David Dudley told me. “All are welcome at the launch.”

Listen to him on the Podcast here.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide assistance to a yacht with four people on board that got into difficulty 52 miles off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork, yesterday (Sunday 5 June).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat just before 1 pm, following requests from the Irish Coast Guard and the UK Coastguard to go to the assistance of a 36-foot motor yacht, with four people on board, which had encountered difficulties and was 52 miles south of Baltimore.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 3.22 pm. After making sure all four people on board were okay, Coxswain Aidan Bushe assessed the situation and decided that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualties.

Crew members from the lifeboat passed a tow to the yacht and the lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway by 3.30 pm. The lifeboat then proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port, and secured the casualty vessel at the pontoon at 10.14pm. The lifeboat then returned to the station, arriving at 10.25 pm.

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Micheal Cottrell and crew members Pat Collins, David Ryan, Colin Whooley and Jim Griffiths. Conditions at sea during the call were choppy with an easterly force 3-4 wind, a 1.1m sea swell and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘It was a long callout for our volunteer lifeboat crew who spent over 9 hours at sea, but the occupants of the yacht did the right thing in requesting assistance. We wish them well with the rest of their journey. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Funds to help regions 'adjust' to Brexit will be used to fund major improvements at 14 harbours across West Cork it was announced earlier this week.

As Afloat reported earlier, the grant is the largest ever funding announcement of its kind for local authority marine infrastructure for piers and harbours right around Ireland's coast.

As a result, many West Cork piers, slipways and pontoons are set to undergo major improvements with 14 out of 15 projects submitted getting green-lit for funds from the Brexit Adjustment Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023.

The funding will go into marine amenities in Kinsale, Courtmacsherry, Glengarriff, Baltimore and some other areas too.

 Glandore Pier - safety improvement works and repairs to the existing slipway are to be carried out(Above and below) Glandore Pier - safety improvement works and repairs to the existing slipway are to be carried out Photos: Bob Bateman

(Above and below) Glandore Pier - safety improvement works and repairs to the existing slipway are to be carried out Photo: Bob Bateman

Minister Charlie McConalogue T.D.announced the approval of €32.7m in funding for 110 projects around the Irish coast (see table below) which will fund projects worth over €40m in total. The scheme is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

Cork South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan said it was a very welcome boost for the harbours that will see investment that will benefit all who use them. "I’ve consistently said west Cork’s potential in terms of marine activities is completely untapped," Deputy O’Sullivan told media.

"A way of accessing that is by funding and improving our small piers and harbours, the provision of extra pontoons and more. This will benefit the inshore fishing sector and marine activities such as boat tours, whale watching and kayaking", he said. 

Brexit Adjustment: West Cork's Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023

  • Kinsale - Fisherman's pontoon €1,291,492
  • Courtmacsherry - dredging for the reinstallation of the pontoon. €552,000
  • Baltimore - Safety improvement works €170,000
  • Laheratanvally pier - €202,000
  • Turk Head pier - remedial works to pier deck €82,429
  • Kinsale Slipways - improvement to various slips €179,254
  • Glengarriff - dredging works €212,500
  • Cunnamore pier - various works including storage area, handrails, signage, line marking - €90,607
  • Glandore Pier - safety improvement works - €84,487, repair to the existing slipway, a new concrete section at toe €68,406

Baltimore Harbour - Safety improvement works to the value of €170,000 will be carried out(Above and below) Baltimore Harbour - Safety improvement works to the value of €170,000 will be carried out Photos: Bob Bateman

Download the full Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023 here

Published in West Cork
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Union Hall RNLI in West Cork launched to a speedboat in difficulty in Glandore Harbour on Saturday, March 2th.

The 16-foot speedboat with three persons on board had lost power between Adam and Eve at the entrance to Glandore harbour.

The Atlantic 85 Christine and Raymond Fielding under helm Michael Limrick with crew Darren Collins, Liam Limrick and Sean Walsh launched in South East force 5 moderate to rough sea conditions,

Within a few minutes of the pagers being activated, and were on scene where the vessel was drifting ashore. A tow was established and the vessel was escorted to the safety of the pier in Union Hall.

Following the call out, John Kelleher, Union Hall RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘With the unprecedented fine weather we are experiencing currently, remember the following; wear a life jacket and carry a means of communication.

Union Hall RNLI also welcomed new volunteer Niamh Collins on her first call out as shore crew.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Schull Harbour Sailing Club is already preparing for Calves Week in August and has issued the Notice of Race for the West Cork major annual event.

“After all the uncertainty which the pandemic created for the past few years, we want to get our arrangements across with certainty to everyone for this season, providing the planning for the year ahead which, we hope, will be a much better one for sailing than the difficulties the sport had to overcome for the past few years,” says Schull Commodore Sean Norris.

Within a few hours of the NOR being issued, entries had started to arrive. The event will run from Tuesday, August 2 to Friday, August 5.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to Schull in the first week of August where old friendships can be renewed and new ones made,” says Commodore Norris who is my guest on this week’s Podcast where we discuss the success of the West Cork club’s efforts to popularise sailing in both cruisers and dinghies.

Club cruiser racing will begin in May and Saturday morning dinghy racing and tuition in June.

Podcast below

Notice of Race document downloadable below

Published in Calves Week
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A young reader from West Cork has contacted Afloat.ie to appeal for information about a coconut he discovered washed up on a local beach. Michael Kearney (14) writes:

Recently I got very excited when I found a coconut washed up on Owenahincha Beach (in Rosscarbery, West Cork) on a Scouts trip…

It weighs 2.5kg, it is 23 centimetres long and about 17 centimetres wide at its widest point. I found a 4/5 millimetre goose barnacle in one of the coconuts holes (the hole is caved in).

[The coconut] is very hairy and it smells like the sea —salty with a tiny hint of rot. I found it in the big belt of seaweed and washed-up things that have been left by the tide.

I was hoping you could suggest where it may have come from, or whether coconuts are washed up on Irish beaches often.

It’s possible Michael’s coconut find coukd be flotsam or jetsam from a passing vessel. It might possibly even be a so-called ‘drift seed’ from distant tropical waters.

If any Afloat.ie readers can help shed light on the mystery, have your say in the comments below. You can also share your thoughts on the Afloat Magazine Facebook page.

The washed-up coconut, which appears to have been at sea for some time, weighs a little over 2.5kg | Credit: Michael KearneyThe washed-up coconut, which appears to have been at sea for some time, weighs a little over 2.5kg | Credit: Michael Kearney

Published in West Cork
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Four Cork divers put a full year of training and preparation to the test as they embarked on an expedition to the wreck of the Lusitania off the Old Head of Kinsale last week.

As Cork Beo reports, Timmy Carey — who had previously explored the wreck five times — was joined by three novices in the first ever all-Cork dive to the final resting place of the RMS Lusitania, the Cunard liner which was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the First World War.

For many years the wreck was owned by US businessman Gregg Bemis, who supported numerous dives to the site to learn more about its fate — which has sparked numerous theories about its demise and its cargo. Some of these were tackled in a somewhat controversial documentary by National Geographic in 2012.

Bemis signed over ownership of the shipwreck to the Old Head of Kinsale Lusitania Museum a year before his death at the age of 91 in May 2020.

Considered the “Mount Everest of dives”, the Lusitania is a challenging dive at almost 100 metres below the surface in total darkness.

But Ronan Barry, Brendan Desmond and Dick Vaughan, fellow members of the Blackwater Sub Aqua Club along with Carey, proved their mettle as they had the rare opportunity to get up close with the wreck for nearly half an hour.

Cork Beo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Diving
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Researchers from Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences were in West Cork earlier this month to tag some of the many basking sharks that have been frequenting our shores — and learn more about the second largest fish in the world’s oceans.

Funded by the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland, Assistant Professor Nicholas Payne and PhD candidate Haley Dolton spent a week on the water with West Cork Charters in which they managed to apply tags to four basking sharks.

These electronic tags will accumulate data about the sharks’ behaviour and physiology as they move around the coast feeding on plankton.

The goal, the researchers say, is to learn more about the anatomy and physiology of these gentle giants and hopefully guide conservation efforts for this endangered marine wildlife species.

“Basking sharks are a difficult species to study because they are not very abundant and they only grace our shores for a brief period each year, from April to August, so I am delighted we were able to learn so much about them this past week,” said Dr Payne.

Sadly the first phase of the pair’s work involved dissecting the remains of two basking sharks that washed up on the West Cork coast at the end of April, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

“We would rather not have have had the opportunity to examine the two sharks that died prematurely before we took to the sea, but these sad events did at least help us learn more about them,” Dr Payne explained.

“Basking sharks are an endangered species and at risk of death from fishing bycatch and from getting struck by boats, so the more we know about them — especially their behaviour and physiology — the better chance we have of protecting them.

“The experience we had of observing live sharks in all their glory really emphasises that we should do our best to protect these incredible animals.”

Dolton added: “The amount of data we managed to collect throughout the whole week was phenomenal and beyond what I’d hoped for. We are currently analysing all the results and look forward to sharing our findings with everyone later in the year.”

Published in West Cork
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