Friday, 10.30 - 11pm

Seascapes Friday 15th April 2011

Hello and welcome aboard this weeks edition of Seascapes
This week the new Sail Training initiative ; our monthly Angling report from Paul Bourke ; Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group on the donation of the Haughey yacht “Celtic Mist” ; an Irish rower sets off across the Indian Ocean to raise funds for charity first to the seaside town of Skerries …………Our coastal communities have over the years experienced many tragedies with fishermen lost at sea, the recent experience for Skerries maritime community was brought home to David Diebold who was moved by the expression of solidarity with the loss of two local fishermen Ronan Browne and David Gilsenan off the coast of Skerries.
“ TENDER bunches of daffodils might seem odd in hands more used to
hauling nets and ropes but not today. The flowers are passed hand
over hand and placed in a heap on top of the fishing boat's
wheelhouse. As we turn out from Skerries harbour the seas are calm,
the sun is big and bright and low, diffused by morning mist. It's
early but not that early.”
“ A little over five hours before, Ronan and David were found together
by a fishing boat and we're going out to pay our respects.
"It's a victory run," says one of the eleven men up top, crew of the
Gadus and some friends and other fishermen, all with a strong
connection to the sea, and all whom helped in the search for Ronan
and David,. and we're now ploughing through towards Rockabill lighthouse.
"I can't stop lookin'," says one crewman. "I keep looking out and
sayin' what's that bobbin' about over there!" He shakes his head
“ There are ballads playing now on stereo speakers placed outside the
wheelhouse windows. They're loud, jubilant. This feels right. There's
a real sense of relief in this fresh morning sea air and some of the
men quietly joke, easy in each others' company. This feels right too.
"This should be a joyful day," says one. "It IS a joyful day."
But everyone is deeply sad. It shows. Many say nothing at all, they
just look out with hard eyes across the calm.
"I saw Ronan just before he went out that day," says another man. "He
was crossing the road. We spoke to each other. I said I'd see him at
the weekend for a pint. That was it, that was the last I saw him. I
can't believe it. It's unbelievable." His eyes are wet. He's not the
only man allowing their emotions to show on this boat today. And it's
fine. These men can look each other in the face and let a sadness
pass between them and it's honest.”
“Conversations drift in and out over the ballads. Now it's Black Gold,
performed by the Jolly Beggars. "The north sea wind..." Tea is passed
around, a few people light up.”
"It's brilliant they were found together, we couldn't have asked for
a better result," says another man as the lighthouse looms large now
dead ahead. "If just the one of them had been found, imagine . . ."
Then we're rounding Rockabill and seabirds wheel over the abandoned keeper's quarters.”
“The boat soon slows. The music is turned off. We're at the buoys
which mark the area where Ronan and David would lay their pots.
Someone starts to tidy up the tea mugs and papers on top of the
wheelhouse then the daffodils are passed around and one by one, each man in silence saying whatever they wish to say behind their eyes and to themselves or saying nothing, each to his own, and the bright flowers are thrown by the bunch to scatter in the air onto the sea, another and another lot until a yellow slick of petals dips and bobs in the gentle swell.And some men wipe their eyes with their sleeves and some men bitterly spit into the waves. And a goose takes off across the surface by one of the islands and it's the only sound.”
“The flowers stay together in the remnants of our wake, seeming not to want to part each other's company.Then we disassemble once more, each to his rail, or arms folded over the radio housing or leaned against the wheelhouse and the engine coughs itself awake and back to a throaty gurgle and the ballads are back and we're not looking back behind us anymore but towards home, to harbour.” "I'm proud to be from Skerries," says a young man to no one in particular, eyes like shards of blue glass. "Proud," he says again.
David Diebold -
In Howth for Tim Magennis’s talk on “The Riddle of the Asgard and Erskine Childers “ A few weeks ago I met up with a retired Radio Officer Who now resides in Malahide , Jack Lynch , Jack was born and raised in Cobh and recently published his memoirs titled “Beyond the Sea” he told me about his first posting…..“Beyond The Sea” is published by Original writing and available by visiting .

A female humpback whale breaches, leaping acrobatically out of the water in Frederick Sound, Alaska. Scientists are unsure why the mammals exhibit this kind of behaviour . Photographer: Jon Cornforth/ Barcroft Media

This week the news emerged that the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group are to accept the gift of the late Charlie Haughey’s yacht “Celtic Mist” a 52ft ketch , Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group explained how this came about and how they propose to use the yacht.

In a weeks time , Keith Whelan will attempt to become the youngest man, and first Irishman, to row solo across the Indian Ocean. He will row the 6000km alone and unassisted from Western Australia to Mauritius, just off the East coast of Africa.
Keith is taking on on this challenge in the Woodvale Solo Class Rowing Boat …..
The boat is approximately 7m in length and a mere 6 feet wide. There is a cabin in the stern 6ft long and 3 feet at its highest point for sleeping and storing gear with a smaller cabin in the bow for storing the remainder of equipment and food.
Keith is rowing to raise funds for the charity –“ Keep A Child Alive” dedicated to providing life-saving anti-retroviral treatment, care and support services to children and families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. Find out more on

Now to the HQ of Inland Fisheries Ireland and our regular monthly angling report from Paul Bourke of Inland Fisheries Ireland –
What a great month of April for anglers. In all my years reporting angling, I can really say that it has been an exceptional month for freshwater anglers in particular and even sea anglers have enjoyed very good sport. The trout rivers and loughs have fished very well with good hatches of flies over the past few weeks. Trout anglers are predicting early mayfly fishing by easter on some loughs. Some mayflies have already been seen in small numbers, which is the earliest I have heard about in years. Some incredible big trout have been recorded in Lough Corrib again this year by Polish anglers in recent days and weeks. The biggest so far was a fish of over 20 lbs. taken by polish journalist, Merek Symanski fishing with angling guide Jack Gorny. The fish was put back alive after a quick photo and wins our catch of the month for March. Salmon anglers have had a good few week’ sport nationwide and last week, Clonmel angler, Philip Maher caught and released a fine specimen salmon of 22 lbs., while fishing the Owenduff River in Co. Mayo on fly. As usual, Lough Currane produced some good fishing and the first specimen sea trout of the year was recorded by an English visitor, Mark Knowles on fly last week. Coarse anglers are enjoying sport on most coarse loughs, canals and rivers but recently the River Barrow has produced some wonderful sport for Roach, Bream and Dace in the Carlow area. Recent angling reports to me indicate that many coarse fish are going to spawn in the next week or two which is nearly a month earlier than normal. Pike anglers have enjoyed good sport also and last week at a championship qualifier, 65 anglers caught and released nearly 400 pike while fishing the Dromore River and lakes near Ballybay in Co. Monaghan. The Pike world cup is being held on Lough Ree this week and I wish all competitors from home and abroad good sport over the next few days. Bass fishing is going well for shore anglers around the coast from Laytown in Co. Meath and at Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry and Co Clare. Bait, spinning and fly are all producing nice fish in favourable conditions. Red Bay in Co. Antrim is still fishing well for huge skate in particular with some specimens weighing nearly 200 lbs. Finally, please be safe out there while fishing afloat and please wear a life jacket or an approved buoyancy aid. You can read up to date angling reports on all types of fishing on our website at
Paul Bourke

The newly established Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development (STIYD) was officially launched by Nigel Rowe, President and Chairman of Sail Training International at a ceremony in Dublin Port this week. Following the sinking of the Asgard II and the decision to wind up Coiste An Asgard, the future of sail training in Ireland had been uncertain but STIYD will now ensure the continuation of the long standing Irish maritime tradition.
At the launch Nigel Rowe also announced that Sail Training International had awarded STIYD with a bursary of €10,000 to help fund the participation of young Irish trainees in The Tall Ships Races 2011. Mr. Rowe remarked “It is wonderful to see Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development emerge from all the uncertainties and anxieties that followed the demise of Coiste an Asgard. The commitment and enthusiasm of the people who have made this happen will ensure its success, and they will have the full support of the international sail training community. With Waterford as a host port for this year’s Tall Ships Races we have already committed more than €10,000 to help fund the participation of young Irish trainees.”

Martin Shanahan is a man who understands our bountiful seas and the need for marine stewardship of our fisheries A distinguished chef he runs Fishy Fishy in Kinsale he returned to our television screens this week with a new series titled “Martin’s Still Mad About Fish” so what can we expect from the new series -
“Martins Still Mad About Fish” is on Thursday nights on
RTE One Television @ half past eight…….

This new series is sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara

You can win a copy of Michael Smith’s “Great Endeavour –
Ireland’s Antarctic Explorers “ by answering this weeks question - can you name the village in West Cork closest to where Robert Forde was born. Answers by email to and by postcard to Seascapes competition , RTE Radio 1, Fr Mathew Street, Cork .



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Presenter/Producer: Fergal Keane


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