QE2 Leaving Cork

QE2 Leaving Cork

The Queen Elizabeth 2, or QE2, flagship of the Cunard Line, docked for the last time in Cobh yesterday and left this evening just after 6pm. Here she is after turning in Cork Harbour and seconds before she increased speed and left the harbour for good.

In 2009, she will become a floating hotel in Dubai. A fitting ending for a luxury ship that has plied the waters of the world for the last 39 years.

I took over 300 shots of the Queen Elizabeth 2 today and filled almost 4GB of space with RAW images. In hindsight, many of the images would have been fine as Jpeg files but I had the space, so I used it. I hope to upload a gallery of my favourite images tomorrow.

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

Tir na nOg ar Oilean Chleire

Tir na nOg ar Oilean Chleire

Tir na nOg is the house on the right of this photo. It’s a house that Colaiste Ciaran, an Irish summer school on the island, rents during the summer and where I spent a number of weeks years and years ago. The long, low building attached to the left is a canteen.

An Oige have a large hostel further down, near the stony beach. I remember looking with curiosity and longing at the kayaks in a nearby shed. Us students never got anything quite as exciting as those!

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

The cars of Cape Clear

The cars of Cape Clear

Cape Clear Island, or Oilean Chleire, is only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, but it’s only 40 minutes by ferry to the mainland so it’s fairly easy to bring out vehicles. In fact, I saw many more cars on the island than I did on my last trip.

As you may have guessed by the photo above, once the cars get here, they really don’t go anywhere else, and many of them are in a bad state of repair. On a previous trip, my father and I were driven up a very steep hill above the harbour in a multicoloured VW Beetle that was literally falling apart with rust. I’ll post a photo of the hill in a few days.

There also isn’t a police force on the island. I don’t think cars here are insured or taxed and you can forget the NCT ..

Apart from the two taxi vans sitting on the quay when we arrived, the newest car was a 1999 model. The oldest was a 1986 Renault. The taxis were had 2004 reg plates and in good condition.

I’d love to how or why the van in the far background got to the Island. It looks abandoned now.

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

Cape Clear North Harbour

Cape Clear North Harbour

The north harbour in Cape Clear is the main harbour on the island. There’s a south harbour as well but there’s only a small beach there, and a long quayside where the occasional small boat ties up.

To the left you can see the Club which is a small shop/cafe on the ground floor, while around the corner and upstairs is a pub. Last time I was in the pub was many years ago when I was at a book launch with my father. Up the hill is Cotter’s Bar. Never been in there, despite the fact we holidayed on the island so many times.
Finally, a new bungalow sits on a patch of land bordering the road. This wasn’t there the last time I stayed on the island for any length of time, about 15 years ago.

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 48mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Speeding Boat

Speeding Boat

A speedboat, at speed, races past the more sedate Naomh Ciaran II on our way to Oilean Cleire, or Cape Clear. You can see the island itself in the background!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 106mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/320s