Deireadh an Fhómhair Linn

Is soiléir fén dtaca so go bhfuil an samhradh imthithe slán uainn. Ní’l aon amharc ar na fáinleoga anso i Mainistir Fhear Maí, cé go dtuigtear dom go bhfuil roinnt díobh fós le feiscint thiar i gCiarraí. Le cúpla lá anuas, tá gálaí gaoithe is ceathanna uafásacha istoíche agus gan ach fo-radharc ar an ngréin isló. Tá na tráthnónta ag éirí níos giorra de réir a chéile agus beidh an oíche níos sia ná an lá gan ró-mhoill. Tá an geimhreadh ag teacht, ní’l aon dabht fén spéir faoi!

Dá bharr san, táim thar n-ais ins an linn snámha don chuid is mó agus ní’l fonn dá laghad orm bheith istigh ins an Abhainn Mhóir nó ins an lochán ar Chnoc an Aonaigh nó ins an bhfairrge fiú. Ag an am gcéanna, táim thar n-ais ag an ollscoil ag tosnú mo thríú bliana ann ag déanamh céim san eiceolaíocht. Maidin Chéadaoin, bíonn sé de nós agam dul isteach chuig an linn snámha ins an Muirdíg agus bualadh le Lisa Cummins i gcomhair caife i ndiaidh san – comhartha maith go bhfuil sé ‘na gheimhreadh againn! An tseachtain seo, do tháinig aoi speisialta im’ theannta: Tara Diversi ón Astráil… Do bhí maidin (is tráthnóinín) ana-dheas ag an dtriúir againn ag ráiméis fé gach aon tsaghas ruda a bhaineann leis an snámh fén aer. Bail ó Dhia ar bhuachaill-chara Tara go raibh air éisteacht linn!

Sin é an scéal mar atá sé fén dtráth so. Ní’l mórán eile le rá agam, i ndá ríribh, ach go bhfuil an-chuid obair le déanamh agam maidir le cúrsaí oideachais! Táimíd ag tnúth le rás deireanach an tséasúir ó Inis Earcáin go Dún na Séad an deireadh seachtaine seo chugainn agus go mór mhór le Comhdháil Dhomhanda an tSnámha fén Aer a bheidh á reachtáil i gCorcaigh an deireadh seachtaine dar gcionn. Sin é go fóillín…

Ailt Bhainteacha:

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Cork swimmers ready for MIMS 2013

With Lisa Cummins already stateside, it’s only Liam Maher and Carol Cashell left to send off to the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2013. Last Saturday, there was a send-off swim at Sandycove Island for the two seasoned marathoners before they leave…

Photograph – Owen O'Keefe

Some of the swimmers get ready to start the send-off swim…

The weather was great so there was a good crowd present to join Liam and Carol for their last lap of the island before the big swim. Before we arrived however, there were already four swimmers in the water – Donal Buckley, Ciarán Byrne, Finbarr Hedderman and Rob “The Bull” Bohane – finishing their third lap that morning!

Photograph – Owen O'Keefe

And they’re off, maybe just fix the goggles first!

After getting out, the four dived back in for another two laps of the island! Why? There has been a recent escalation in competition between a few of the old guard at Sandycove to reach a thousand lifetime laps and so join the informal “M Club” of Sandycove – these five laps were the last  five before the thousand for “The Bull” so he has beaten Ned Denison to it! It’s amazing the motivation that many of us get to beat Ned…

Photograph – Owen O'Keefe

Liam & Carol at the second corner.

The water was very calm and the air was mild – this is unusual for Sandycove this year! Temperatures in the water had risen also – it was about 11ºC on the day. This allowed us to stop for a chat and a few photographs at the far corner of the island.

Photograph – Owen O'Keefe

Off again for the second half of the lap…

I was happy enough to finish after one lap but a few made it worth their while getting wet and went around a second time. The sea is warming up now so I will be doing multiple laps from now on. This was a social swim, though, so there was no need to push myself.

Photograph – Owen O'Keefe

Carol finished, more ready to head off.

After the swim, there was a great BBQ and spread put on by Liam and Kaye and many others contributed also. There was a great atmosphere afterwards and it was a great way of sending off our swimmers. Best of luck, Liam and Carol!

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Circumnavigation of Cape Clear: Introduction

At the beginning of July last year, I swam from Baltimore in West Cork to the slipway in Comillane on Cape Clear, a distance of 8.0 km, with Ned Denison. It was a very pleasant summer’s day and we both had a very enjoyable swim, even though the water was no warmer than 12ºC! We had some swell while swimming along the southern shore of Sherkin Island and crossing the Gascanane Sound, but yet, we had the entire 8.0 km put behind us just inside of two hours. Having done this swim, I really wanted to a lot more swimming in this part of the world…

Grianghraf – Owen O'Keefe

The Beacon or Lot’s Wife, Baltimore looking out at Sherkin, Cape behind.

After a failed attempt at swimming around Heir Island with Steven Black and David Merriman, I thought that it would be a nice idea to try to swim around all of the Carbery Isles! At the end of August, I swam around Sherkin, with Lisa Cummins on the support boat, and the day after, Gábor Molnár and I swam around Heir Island. No one had ever swum around those two islands before! Towards the end of the summer, I swam around Spanish Island with Steven Black and Severin McCullagh, as well as a few seals… I now had three islands done before the end of 2011 and had two more in mind for 2012. Cape Clear was the first of those.

Grianghraf – Lisa Cummins

Swimming around Sherkin in August last year…

Cape is a beautiful island. It is situated 8 km out to sea from Baltimore and is 5 km long and 2 km wide. There is a permanent population of just over 100 people on the island and it is an official Gaeltacht area, that means that Irish, specifically Munster Irish, is the primary language of the Islanders. Starting and finishing at the slipway in Comillane on the eastern side of the Island, the shortest possible circumnavigation is 13.2 km. While that doesn’t seem so bad, it can be hard to quantify the challenge by the distance in this bit of water due to tidal streams, winds and so on – the whole thing depends on the weather, just like everything else in Ireland!

Grianghraf – Owen O'Keefe

On board the Amy-K just before leaving the mainland for Cape.

On 4th July, however, an improvement came with regard to the weather and John Kearney, the man who has Baltimore Diving Centre, gave me the chance to swim around Cape. We me on the pier in Baltimore early that morning. Tom McCarthy from the Myrtleville Swimmers came with us as crew. Tom completed a relay crossing of the English Channel this year as part of the oldest relay team ever to have completed the crossing! As well as John and Tom, a few of John’s friends from Penzance in Cornwall were on the boat too. We had a great chat as I have an uncle living in Cornwall, not far from Penzance, and Tom would knew a lot of people from the area from his days in the Naval Service. With our nattering finished, we set off from the quayside in the direction of Cape Clear…

Snámh Timpeall ar Oileán Chléire: Réamhrá

I dtosach mhí Iúil anuraidh, do dheineas turas snámha ó Dhún na Séad i n-Iarrthar Chorcaí go dtí an fánán i gComalán ar Oileán Chléire, 8.0 km sa tslí, i dteannta le Ned Denison. Lá breá samhraidh a bhí ann is do bhí turas an-taitneamhach ag an mbeirt againn, cé ná raibh an t-uisce ní ba theo ná 12ºC! Do bhí fairrgí breátha móra linn agus sinn ag gabháil thar bráid Inis Earcáin agus ag trasnáil Shúnta an Ghaisceanáin, ach fós féinig, do bhí an 8.0 km i n-iomlán curtha ‘n-ár ndiaidh againn díreach laistigh de 2 h-uaire a’ chloig. Tar éis an snámha san ‘bheith déanta agam, do theastaigh uaim abhfad níos mó snámha ‘dhéanamh ins an gceantar áirithe sin…

Grianghraf – Owen O'Keefe

Bean Lót, Dún na Séad ag féachaint amach ar Inis Earcáin, Cléire taobh thiar di.

Tar éis iarracht teipthe ar snámh timpeall ar Inis Uí Dhrisceoil le Steven Black agus David Merriman, do cheapas gur shmaoineamh deas dob ea é snámh timpeall ar Oileáin Chairbre go léir! Ag deireadh mhí Lúnasa, do dheineas snámh timpeall ar Inis Earcáin, le Lisa Cummins ar an mbád tacaíochta, agus an lá ‘n-a dhiaidh do dheineas-sa ‘gus Gábor Molnár snámh timpeall ar Inis Uí Dhrisceoil. Níor shnámh éinne timpeall ar an dá oileán san riamh roimis sin! Agus an samhradh ag dul uainn, do shnámhas timpeall ar Inis Píc le Steven Black agus Severin McCullagh chomh maith le cúpla rón… Do bhí trí oileán déanta agam roimh dheireadh an bhliain 2011 is do bhí dhá oileán eile breactha síos agam i gcomhair 2012. Oileán Chléire dob ea an chéad cheann acu.

Grianghraf – Lisa Cummins

Ag snámh timpeall ar Inis Earcáin i mí Lúnasa anuraidh…

Oileán álainn is ea Cléire. Tá sí suite 8 km amach ó Dhún na Séad agus tá sí 5 km ar fhad is 2 km ar leithead. Tá thart ar chéad duine ag maireachtaint go buan uirthi agus ceantar Gaeltachta oifigiúil is ea í, ciallaíonn sé sin gurb í an Ghaelainn príomhtheanga mhuintir an Oileáin. Ag tosnú agus ag críochnú ag an bhfánán i gComalán ar an dtaobh thoir den Oileán, tá 13.2 km sa turas timpeall uirthi. Ní dealraíonn an fad san ró-olc, ach is deacair an dubhshlán a mheas go díreach de réir an fhaid ins an bpíosa fairrge áirithe sin de bharr sruthanna taoide, gaoithe agus mar sin de – braitheann an rud go léir ar an aimsir, mar aon le gach aon rud eile i n-Éirinn!

Grianghraf – Owen O'Keefe

Ar bhord an Amy-K roimis ár bhfágaint na mórthíre chun Chléire.

Ar 4ú Iúil, ámhthach, ‘sea do tháinig feabhas éigin ar chúrsaí aimsire na tíre seo i mbliana is do thug John Kearney, an fear go bhfuil Ionad Tumadóireachta Dhún na Séad aige, seans dom snámh timpeall ar Chléire. Do bhuaileamair ar an gcé i nDún na Séad go luath an mhaidin sin. Do tháining Tom McCarthy ó Shnámhaithibh Bhaile an Chuainín linn mar chriú. Do dhein Tom snámh sealaíochta trasna an Mhuir n-Iocht i mbliana mar pháirt den fhoireann sealaíochta is sine chun an Mhuir n-Iocht do thrasnáil! Chomh maith le John agus Tom do bheith ar an mbád tacaíochta, do bhí roinnt cara le John ó Penzance i gCorn na Breataine air. Do bhí an-chomhrá eadrainn-ne mar tá uncail liom-sa ag cur faoi i gCorn na Breataine, ní fada ó Penzance, is do bhí aithne ag Tom ar go leor daoine ón áit sin ó n-a laethanta sa tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh. Tar éis an chomhrá san do bheith againn, do scaoileamair seol i dtreo Chléire…