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    Hurricane Force 12?

    9 March 2008

    I have never seen such a warning, from UK Met Office Shipping Forecast this afternoon:

    Shipping Forecast

    Here is the Marine Institute’s M6 buoy, well west of Galway:

    M6 Buoy

    Here is the UK buoy K2, well to the SW of Kerry:


    The display graphic is UK data converted by US NOAA with barometric pressure indicated in inches of mercury. One inch of mercury = 33.86 hectoPascals. So, the top of the chart is 998 hPa and the bottom is 972 hPa, a drop of 26 in nine hours.

    Bad enough in Cork and Kerry tonight, but I would not wish to be anywhere near the Isles of Scilly!

    Topics: Miscellany | Comments Off on Hurricane Force 12?

    About to feel the pinch…

    8 March 2008

    It’s gonna be windy! Sandymount and Clontarf threatened with flooding Sunday night, high tide and big onshore winds.

    Monday winds

    from Passage Weather.

    That depression looks to be deeper than 956 hPa.

    Here is what Met Central has to offer:

    Monday Met Central

    Interesting explanation of this “bomb” is here. 

    In this image, from German Met Office, note the centre of the low is 945!!!!!!

    Monday German

    Dublin High Tide on Monday is 1256.  Yikes!

    Topics: Miscellany | Comments Off on About to feel the pinch…

    Fab Frostbiting…

    2 March 2008

    Another beautiful afternoon of sailing in Dun Laoghaire, Force 4 – 5.

    What’s happening here?
    neil and margaret 1

    There were roll gybes by Noel and Joe…
    noel and joe

    and roll tacks by Louise and Owen…
    Louise and Owen

    and acrobatics by Neil and Margaret…
    neil and margaret 2

    Gotta love Sunday sailing!

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Fab Frostbiting…

    Mother of All Wine Runs

    27 February 2008

    The French barque Belem is en route to Dublin with 60,000 bottles of wine in her hold. The 112 year old tall ship was originally launched to carry chocolate from Brazil to France.

    French barque Belem

    MONTPELLIER, France, 24 February (AFP) — The first cargo of wine shipped from France by sail since the late 1800s will arrive in Ireland from the southern Languedoc region next month, saving an estimated 140 grams (4.9 ounces) of carbon per bottle, compared to a regular shipment.

    “My idea at the beginning was to do something for the planet and something for the wines of Languedoc,” said Frederic Albert, founder of the shipping company, Compagnie de Transport Maritime a la Voile, CTMV.

    “One of my grandfathers was a winemaker and one was a sailor,” said Albert who worked in a wine shop in Dublin for four years before moving back to the Languedoc to put his ideas in place.

    Fifty Languedoc wine producers have now been chosen to supply wines, and Albert says he has a waiting list of about 200 others. “We chose the best wine in the area, but it must also be made in a sustainable way, using as many natural products as possible,” he said.

    The ship itself, the first of seven planned to be working by 2013, is the 52-metre (170-feet) three-masted barque Belem, the last French merchant sailing vessel to be built.

    Launched in 1896, its job was to bring chocolate from Belem, in Brazil, to France.

    The wines will be delivered to Bordeaux by barge using the Canal du Midi and Canal du Garonne that run across southern France from Sete in the east, via Beziers in the Languedoc, where the wines will be collected.

    The first shipment planned for Dublin currently amounts to about 60,000 bottles, and each bottle carries a label with a stylised ship logo and the slogan, “Carried by sailing ship, a better deal for the planet”.

    Retail prices will range from seven to 20 euros, a “normal” price range for French wines, said Albert. “I realised working in Dublin in the wine shop that French wine was very badly represented, and that it is always sold more expensively than other wines so we are losing out on volume.”

    CTMVs second boat, which cost six million euros (8.4 million dollars) to build and is as yet unnamed, will also be launched in March this year. It will measure 52 metres and have 1,000 square metres of sails and a top speed of 14 knots.

    Estimated delivery time to Ireland is four days, says Albert. “We had someone who studied a century of weather conditions to work that out.”

    With a total of seven ships the investment in the project looks set to be about 40 to 50 million euros. Albert would not confirm the exact investment figure, but said he now has seven private investors and the financing is 70 percent private capital and 30 percent bank loans.

    “There is a lot of interest in green investments in France,” he said.

    The greenness of the project does not stop with the delivery of the wines.

    The ship will bring back to France an equivalent tonnage of crushed glass for recycling into wine bottles at two factories, one in Bordeaux and one in Beziers.

    This should mean cheaper bottles and better supply given the current problems some producers are having trying to get enough bottles. Another plan, to collect the used bottles, may also emerge, but at the moment the logistics are complicated, Albert said.

    The ships will further serve as a promotional tool in the ports they serve. “We will do tastings on board, the ship can hold about 100 guests, to help the importers promote the wines.”

    Future ports of call, with Bordeaux as the regular departure point, will include Bristol or Manchester in England, Gothenburg in Sweden, Copenhagen in Denmark, and other towns in Scandinavia.

    The next delivery after Dublin, however, is Canada. “The Canadians came to my stand yesterday and they want us to come there in June,” said Albert, speaking at Vinisud, the Montpellier-based wine trade fair for southern France being held this week.

    “They have already ordered 20,000 bottles, but I think there will be more by the end of the show,” Albert said.

    Belem’s website, Interesting fansite, Belem in Dublin in July 2007:

    Belem in Dublin

    Topics: Sailing | 4 Comments »

    Ben’s Board

    23 February 2008

    A quick repair job, four hours over two days, from this:
    Laser daggerboard before

    to this:
    Laser daggerboard finished

    Step by step details of the project are available here.

    Remember, when recovering from a capsize, NEVER climb onto the trailing edge of the board, it will break. ALWAYS climb up onto the leading edge.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Ben’s Board

    Look what’s coming to Cork!

    4 February 2008

    Blondie - King 40

    Eamon Rohan’s new Blondie, a gorgeous Mark Mills design, known as a “King 40.”

    Built in Argentina by King Marine.

    More pictures are here. 

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Look what’s coming to Cork!

    Yesterday’s Frostbite

    28 January 2008

    A beautiful day in Dublin Bay yesterday and the DMYC Frostbite race was held outside the harbour. Forecast called for 10 – 12 knots of breeze, but, as the Lasers approached the windward mark on the first of their five laps, a big, bad, black cloud arrived with a few minutes of 25 knots. Much swimming followed.

    27 Jan 1

    27 Jan 2

    27 Jan 3

    27 Jan 4

    27 Jan 5

    Here Noel and Seamus, whose Fireball started five minutes after the Lasers, set off on the first reach.

    27 Jan 6

    I had to pull a couple of people out of the water and tow a damaged Laser home. Brilliant day on the water.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Yesterday’s Frostbite

    Baltimore Winners

    14 January 2008

    Congratulations to Baltimore Lifeboat crew Eoin Ryan and his wife Sheelagh Broderick who are winners in the RNLI Pentax photography competition.

    Now in its second year, the RNLI Pentax Photographer of the Year competition was developed to document the rescue work of the lifesaving charity. All 233 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland are equipped with digital waterproof cameras from Pentax’s Optio WP range to enable appropriate real-time, high quality images of their life-saving activities to be captured. Entries in the 2007 competition were submitted by both RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew members and lifeguards, who also have access to digital Pentax cameras.

    The Baltimore couple have collected two of the six top prizes.

    Eoin’s photo of an air-sea excercise:

    Eoin Ryan, Baltimore RNLI

    And Sheelagh’s picture of a shout launch in July 2007.

    Sheelagh Broderick Baltimore RNLI

    Topics: Miscellany | Comments Off on Baltimore Winners

    When I Win the Lotto…

    8 January 2008

    Hot Water

    Topics: Miscellany | Comments Off on When I Win the Lotto…

    Volvo Dun Laoghaire makes Christmas TV line-up

    11 December 2007

    Volvo Dun Laoghaire makes Christmas TV line-up on RTE 1 Saturday, December 22
    at 4.20pm

    Competitors at this year’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta will get a chance to
    re-live the action this Christmas, as RTE broadcasts a half-hour documentary
    feature on the event.

    The production, entitled The Regatta, was shot over four days during an
    event that attracted over 500 boats from 11 nations. It takes viewers both on
    board the competing craft, and behind the scenes, to examine the challenges
    thrown up by organising such a large-scale event on the bay.

    Involving over 3,000 competitors, and 25 different classes, the Volvo
    Regatta was one of the largest participant sports events held in Ireland this year.

    Made by Baily Films, the company behind earlier critically-acclaimed
    water-based documentaries The Bay, The Harbour, The Estuary and The Navy.

    The Regatta will be broadcast on RTE 1 on Saturday, December 22, at 4.20pm.

    Topics: Sailing | Comments Off on Volvo Dun Laoghaire makes Christmas TV line-up

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