Quinton Nelson, the pilot who changed the North Channel.

Finbarr Hedderman and the North Channel – IV – Just Eight Laps of Sandycove

For the early hours of the swim, Finbarr was positioned and feeding (including a third of a Turkish Delight) on the port side, while one of the SeaCat fast ferries to Belfast was rapidly approaching about a kilometre south on the starboard side. This threw a large wake which reached Fin a few minutes after his feed, bringing the…

A Further Shore – IV – The Town

Subconsciously, I’d pulled the goggles from my face, feeling the familiar discomfort around my eyes as the suction released. They dangled weightless from my fingers. Above the seafront buildings rose a hill and a town. A road led through the near buildings to disappear into tiered houses that fronted a low hill. I was stunned.…

Burke's Island & reefs, Kilfarassey

A Further Shore – I – The Arch

Winter reduces my range. I swim at the Guillamenes, along the cliffs and shore of Tramore Bay.  Maybe, just maybe, I might get down to Sandycove for a lap. Days pass when I see no-one, arriving, swimming and leaving without a soul. Spring comes with almost imperceptibly warming water and air and increase in the number…

The Atlantic – II

This is the second part of a three-part series of a pictorial exploration of the Atlantic Ocean as I know it, primarily on Ireland’s south and south-east coasts. As with the last time, these images are best viewed individually at a larger size. All will be added at full resolution to my Flickr account. Atlantic…

The Atlantic – I

The Atlantic Ocean is in me. For almost 20 years since it got its hook into me, I’ve been haunting, (in a moderate non-weird way), the Irish Atlantic coast, primarily the west, south and my own Copper Coast in the south-east. For many years, in the depths of grim nights, I have stared into the…

Eagle island lighthouse-ireland_6787_600x450

Exploring freak waves

We’ve all heard (at least in Ireland) the unfortunate announcements of people losing their lives at the coast due to “freak waves”. Freak waves and rogue waves are the same thing, and are generally not what take unsuspecting people at the coast, since those are more generally set waves, which I’ve written about before, and…

Lewis Pugh

Introducing a precise open water swimming temperature scale

I get asked various questions related to cold because I like to write about it. Those questions often inspire further writing ideas. One thing I realised was there was no good agreement on cold water. A poll of open water gave the following results. Under 5ºC (41ºF) – 0% Under 10ºC (50ºF) – 7% Under 12.5°C (54.5°F)…

The Sea and the coast, it’s about waiting.

Some weeks ago I had an idea for a series of posts that led me to taking more video (with Dee´s video camera). The idea hasn´t worked but I ended up with a lot of video clips as a consequence. At the start I was trying to capture some specifics, and I would talk as…

Irish place names briefly explained

A lot of Irish places names have been appearing in my Project Copper posts and I said I’d do a brief overview. Disclaimer: I’m not a native Irish speaker, but I have a few words like many people. If you are from overseas, we don’t call it Gaelic, by the way, but there’s a commonality…

How To: Swimming a new location – 1

This is the first post about exploring some new or lesser swum areas along the South East coast. Whiting Bay is on the Dungarvan side, just around the headland from Ferrypoint in Youghal Bay, in Cork. Capel Island is visible in the west, beyond Youghal. Mairead Ní Eidhean swam from there into Youghal some years back, swimming…

Landlocked Ireland

This is Tipperary town (about six kilometers out) and environ’s on yesterday’s hazy May afternoon, the town I’m from originally (yes, just like the song). The panorama was taken at a place called Bull Rock (Rock an Tarbh,  52°23’50.63″N,   8° 9’33.85″W) in the Galtee Mountains foothills, facing north-north-west toward Tipperary Town. Tipperary is Ireland’s largest…

Home

From NASA. Click for bigger, as usual. “It is easy to see from this true-color image why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle. Intense green vegetation, primarily grassland, covers most of the country except for the exposed rock on mountaintops. Ireland owes its greenness to moderate temperatures and moist air. The Atlantic Ocean, particularly the…