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Cork - What a fantastic cruising ground!

 I have always felt very lucky to be living on the shores of Cork Harbour- what an amazing place - a cruising ground in it's own right! If I exit Cork Harbour I have Oysterhaven only 10 miles away with Kinsale 3 miles further. It's only an 11 miles hop to scenic Courtmacsherry with Glandore Harbour 20 miles away. The lovely Castlwtownsend is just 4 miles further and the mecca of Baltimore some 10 miles down the coast. Schull, Cape Clear and at least a dozen of Carbery's Hundred Isles are all within 7 miles and only 12 miles to Crookhaven - gateway to the Mizen and points further west! We are spoilt for choice - I'm hoping to get to some of these fantastic ports of call on the June Bank Holiday Cruise aboard Holy Grounder

Old Head of Kinsale

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Summer is here - at last!

This week saw a major change in our weather. We have just experienced one of the coldest winters in ages followed by a very cold spring. Temperatures struggled to get into the teens after Easter  and it is really only this week that some places saw 15 or more - Today (Thur 20 May) many places in Ireland experienced 25 degrees whilst others struggled to get to 15 - why the difference? Click the more button below to find out some weather facts.

Sunshine sailing

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Volcanoes, Planes and Antigua

One of the most famous regattas in the world is Antigua sailing week held every year in late April. This year racing has been postponed for a day and begins Sunday 26 - to allow European crews the opportunity to make it if they are delayed due to the flight disruption caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption. I am one of the lucky ones - flights from Ireland to the UK resumed on Wed 21 allowing me to get to Gatwick in time to fly to Antigua to sail as navigator aboard Richard Matthews' Oystercatcher XXVI.
English Harbour Antigua

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Underwater cable Aghada to Cuskinny

 One Thursday evening at the very start of February a group of seafarers decended on my local, “The Roaring Donkey”, in Cobh and lashed into copious quantities of gin and tonic. As the conversations began to flow it transpired that they were the crew of the Norwegian vessel, “Elektron”, docked at Cork Dockyard in Rushbrooke. Not just any ordinary ship but a specialist vessel for cable laying – she was here to lay the cable from Aghada Power Station to Cuskinny on the Great Island in Cork Harbour.

Cable laying ship


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Lightships off the Irish Coast

 Just a year ago this month Ireland's last lightship was withdrawn from service at South Rock off Co. Down. Whereas there were no lightships off the north coast or the west coast and only 3 on the south coast there were up to nine lightships stationed off our east coast. In this blog we look at the history of lightships in Ireland from 1735 when the first ship went on station at the entrance to Dublin as a "light float"

Daunt lightship

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SailCork Caribbean Sunshine Cruise BVI’s 2010

 The time has come at last - we have departed the cold shores of Ireland and are enjoying superb sailing conditions with calm to moderate seas, SE winds 10-23 kn, sunshine and 27 degrees. The best ever Sunshine cruise! We are only half ways through - I am sitting in the world famous Foxy's Bar in Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke enjoying a rum after a brilliant day afloat- Click below to find out more and dont forget to come back tomorrow for more news from the Caribbean!Sailing BVI's Caribbean

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Patrick’s Bridge stands up straight, The River Lee flows underneath!

St. Partick's Bridge is one of Cork City's main landmarks. Today I spent a lot of the day underneath it - with a dive crew who were inspecting it. Read on to see about it's history and see some interesting stories from when - "The smell from the River Lee is wicked, How do Father Matthew stick it?"
Patrick's Bridge Cork

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The Celtic- world’s biggest liner and the chair in our back hall.

 One of my fathers earliest boyhood memories of the bounties of the sea was a crop of apples floating ashore at his home on East Beach in Cobh - that was back in 1928  - and the apples came from the wreck of the liner Celtic which had gone aground on Roches Point at the entrance to Cork Harbour.

White Star Liner Sails from (Queenstown) Cobh in Cork Ireland to New York

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November gales, my stamp album and sailing in the sun!

Todays awful weather is not unusual during our Irish winter....... sadly it is due to continue for the week - and probably longer!  When it gets downright bad here my mind wanders to sunnier climes ! I believe in escapism! I am lucky enough to have sailed in Croatia, the Canaries, the Pacific, Morocco, Australia, the US, Spain and other sunny places but, to me, the real escape is to the Caribbean.

Beach in Antigua (Pidgeon) 

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The Kish Lighthouse

Winter League RCYC

Ireland has over 100 lighthouses around our coastline - but the most innovative has to be the Kish lighthouse on the eastern fringe of Dublin Bay. It was difficult to maintain a light ship in this exposed location and impossible to build a conventional lighthouse on sand under the water! But the Commissioners of Irish Lights, with the help of Scandinavian designers and builders came up with a brilliant solution which now stands proudly on the Kish bank.  

Kish Lighthouse

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