The Harbour
 - Episode 1
 - Episode 2
 - Episode 3
 - Episode 4
 - About the Show
 
For more information on the series visit: www.theharbour.tv
 
Episode 2: 'Tragedy and Triumph'

On the morning of April 11, 1912, Cobh entered maritime history for all the wrong reasons. Just outside the harbour mouth, at Ringabella bay, the Titanic dropped anchor to pick up passengers for its maiden voyage to New York. It was to be the last port of call for the most famous liner in history.

Our opening story traces the Titanic's continuing fascination for visitors to Cork, as the Titanic Trail tour retraces the steps of its doomed passengers around Cobh.

Built in Belfast, the Titanic is without doubt the most famous ship to have emerged from Ireland, but the boat building industry in Cork Harbour has also produced its fair share of world beaters.

The St Brendan, the Gipsy Moth IV and the Moonduster are among the boats built at Crosshaven in the Sixties and Seventies. But those boat building skills have begun to decline, as one of the last surviving shipwrights in the area explains.

For most Irish adults, the harbour's rich boatbuilding tradition is synonymous with one place in particular - the old Verholme Dockyard.

Shipbuilding here ended in 1984, but the site - now known as Cork Dockyard - still provides considerable employment in the ship repair and engineering business. There's also a thriving art business underneath one of the old slipways.

The artist, Philip Gray, has a unique insight into the subject he paints most - water. As a navy diver, he spent many hours underneath the waterline in the harbour, and around the Irish coastline.

Titanic
The diving unit is one of the most respected in the Navy. On call from the naval base at Haulbowline 24 hours a day, they respond to marine emergencies, and to search and recovery operations, right around the country.

The Naval base also provides a unique view of the interest other countries have in Irish waters. In a room at the base, the Vessel Monitoring System shows the identity and location of all fishing trawlers off the Irish coast.

But you don't have to be on a trawler to enjoy the fishing. Every year, hundreds of tourists arrive in the harbour in search of a catch. The Whispering Pines guesthouse specialises in fishing holidays, and the programme joins its three boats as they head out for the day.

Across the harbour in Cobh, the fishing is very different. Here, smaller boats and pots are used to land shrimp, which is later shipped to hotels across Ireland and the Continent.

The fishing is good, possibly because the harbour's waters have improved, thanks in part to a new water treatment works for Cork city. The programme ends with a look at how the treatment works have improved harbour users' enjoyment of the water.