Dublin City Radio
My second week in Ireland was crazy! I started out my week by recording for a spot on Dublin City Radio, kind of like NPR, to talk about Coastwatch. I was super nervous, but I think it went pretty well, despite the fact I still really didn’t know what I was doing! The goal of this radio spot was to get people to book survey units around Dublin. I never had a chance to hear our segment, but I’m sure it is floating around on the internet somewhere.
The next day I observed an EU fisheries conference at Dublin Castle, where they were discussing the state of the fisheries around Ireland and the plans for the fisheries in the future. Some of the things they spoke about were using multi-species and multi-annual approaches and MSY (maximum sustainable yields) and FMSY (fisheries maximum sustainable yields). It was very interesting to sit in on this conference as there were 3 different languages being spoken. Thankfully, we had headsets that were used to play a translators voice. There was some opposition to plans of sustainable fishing from representatives of fisherman unions who thought that they should be able to take as much as they want. This reminded me of our lecture on the Tragedy of the Commons.
Dublin City Council
The next day we manned a Coastwatch booth at the Dublin City Council where we were supposed to be getting people to enroll in the Coastwatch survey. Most people seemed to be too busy to stop and talk but we did have a few interested people.
The following day we went back to trinity college and did a lot more emails and mailing of nitrate test kits.
Road Trip to Lahinch, County Clare
That Friday, I rented a car, and Christine and I headed out to Lahinch, County Clare on the west coast (a gorgeous 3 hour drive from Dublin). The purpose of this trip was to encourage participation in an area where we have had little coverage. Thankfully an old friend of mine from Tampa married an Irish lad that lives in Lahinch so we had a free place to stay! It was great catching up with her and getting to experience her new life in Ireland! While we were there we had the chance to go to a community garden cook-up, participate in a beach clean-up, I helped my friend prepare for a surf contest, and I got to finally surf (it had been three weeks and I was going through withdrawals)!
If you are under 25 renting a car can be expensive. Since I’m an old man it wasn’t too bad, €120 for 4 days not including petrol, which is around € 5 to 6 a gallon. thankfully this car got 65 miles to the gallon!
Moy Hill Community Garden
We arrived just in time for the weekly Friday Cook-up. I was so happy to be eating fresh vegetables! The vegetables here are all organic and everything is done on the honor system, just put in a donation and grab what you like. The Garden was started by Fergal Smith, a legendary Irish Big-wave surfer. Here is one of his videos
After years of traveling to score waves he grew concerned about the impact of his air travel on climate change and pollution and decided to stay put in Ireland (which has plenty of big waves on offer) and created the Moy Hill Community Garden. Fergal actually introduced Lexi to her husband Robin while she was there woofing! (WWOOF or world wide opportunities on organic farms)
Lahinch Beach clean-up
The morning of the beach clean-up my friend Lexi made us a brilliant breakfast of coffee and tea, blackberry pancakes (from blackberries we found in the yard), brown bread, and oranges. It was great fuel for the beach clean-up.
The beach clean-up went really well and there were around 20 volunteers participating. Christine and I got our picture taken for the local paper and we talked about Coastwatch with everyone we met. The majority of stuff we found on the beach was litter such as plastic bottles, plastic bags, and old fishing gear that had been washed up onto the rocks.
Cliffs of Moher
After the beach clean-up we decided to go check out the Cliffs of Moher. Christine had already been there on a previous trip, but his was the first time she walked in from the south. I guess this path has much less people which was very nice. We didn’t know it , but previous rains had made the cliffs unstable and the previous day big sections were falling down below. Coastal erosion at work!
Surfing on Sunday
That Sunday I helped Lexi get ready for a local surf contest. I was her caddy. This involved helping her with strategy and carrying her board down the slippery rocks to the water. After her heat we ate some food and then I got a chance to finally surf! The waves were so fun and I can’t wait to go back. After my surf we did three survey units on Lahinch Beach, then got some chowder from a pub, and called it a night. Monday morning we packed up early and headed back down for another surf. I was so happy to see my old friend and to share a surf with her and her husband. To top it off we were the only ones out! After our surf we got in the car and drove back to Dublin.