Cast Off in Bantry

Cast Off in Bantry

A small ferry casts off and heads out of Bantry Harbour with lots of hunting dogs and their owners. This was last February and I watched with interest wondering where they were going.

More QE2 photos to come, when I have time to work on them!

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

Flying the Irish Tricolour on the QE2

Flying the Irish Tricolour on the QE2

The Queen Elizabeth 2 is a British ship, and it’s likely that many of the passengers were British too. I spotted one large Union Jack flag draped over a railing and people on the ship waved mini Union Jack flags too. That sort of gets under the skin of many Irish people.

A huge crowd had gathered on the quayside at Cobh. A band was playing and people cheered and waved as the ship departed. The atmosphere was great but when the Irish Tricolour appeared on the roof of the ship, being waved by a young man, the crowd let out a huge cheer, and whistled and clapped in appreciation.
They were still waving the Irish flag as the ship left the harbour. I spotted them after she turned!

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 88mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

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

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

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

Naomh Ciaran II

Naomh Ciaran II

Naomh Ciaran II, the Cape Clear Ferry for many a year is still going strong. Here she is tied up at the pier in Baltimore, Co Cork, Ireland. The last time I boarded her (probably 15 years ago) and travelled to Oilean Cleire she was painted green and white, but it seems she has had an eventful history since then.

Traditionally, for many years up to 2001, the provision of a ferry service to Cape Clear Island was handled directly by the State. The State (The Department of the Gaeltacht) owned the vessels that were in use – Oileán na nÉan and the Naomh Ciarán II. The service was managed by a committee that comprised representatives of Cape Clear Island and the Department of the Gaeltacht.
In 2001, a decision was made to transfer the service to a private company – Naomh Ciarán II Oileán Chléire Teo – that had been established by the skipper of the service. A contract was agreed with this company and, as part of that contract, it was agreed that the State (The Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands) would lease the vessel, the Naomh Ciarán II, to the company and pay an annual subsidy of €104,126 for a period of 5 years, from June 2001 to June 2006.
As part of that arrangement, and under the terms of the contract agreed, the State made redundancy payments of €190,691 to the four crew members who were employed by the company before the transfer.
Unfortunately, the new company’s principal, who was skipper of the ferry service, died suddenly during the term of the contract. Comharchumann Chlére bought the company and continued to run the ferry service under the contract that was in effect

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s