Ireland Week 3

Returning from Lahinch

Upon arriving in Dublin from Lahinch, Christine and I rushed to Trinity University in order to pick up Coastwatch marketing materials for delivery to the Dublin area libraries. Anybody who’s been to Dublin will know that traffic here can be insane (especially with the amount of road construction that is taking place), but we actually got to Trinity fairly quickly. I dropped Christine off at Dame st. (the main road leading to the gates of Trinity) so she could run to our office and grab the supplies. I proceeded to circle around until she came out to hand off the supplies. I then drove to the main library (which would have been an hour walk) and dropped them off.

That evening, we decided to take some of our roommates to Howth to enjoy the world-famous chowder at the Brass Monkey. If you are ever in Howth you’ve got to try it! it is similar to clam chowder however it also has Salmon, muscles, scallops, and prawns (shrimp). It was amazing!

The next morning I returned the rental car : (

Tuesday was filled with more office work and preparation for the ploughing championship

Port Laoise Ploughing Championships

The Following day I headed out to the middle of Ireland for the annual Port Laoise Ploughing Championships. This is an event that is similar to a county fair, but on a much bigger scale. There must have been 100k people in attendance. We were there to represent Coastwatch in the Environmental Pillar tent. The Ploughing championships were originally started as a way for farmers to compete against each other in ploughing, but has now morphed into a giant agricultural trade show. It seemed a bit odd to be talking to people about the coasts so far inland, but we definitely had some interested people and Integrated coastal zone management makes the case that your coasts actually start at the beginning of your watersheds.

Sheep on display.
Sheep on display.
Cows on Display
Cows on Display
A sea of people.
A sea of people.

IMG_4439

Cfram Flood conference and Sandymount training

On Thursday I attended a conference about the state of the flood protection and impacts of Dublin. My main purpose for being there was to ask if they had looked at the possible impacts of a dredging scheme for Dublin harbour that could potentially lead to increased wave action pushing more water into the city center during storm events. This was something that they had not modeled. They responded by saying that they could only model current conditions, but it seems that planned projects should be taken into account. This takes me back to the precautionary principle,  “No technology or material can be used unless it is proven environmentally harmless.”

After the conference I caught a bus back towards Dublin so I could meet Christine for a training for college students at Sandymount (a suburb just south of Dublin).

The students we met for the training were all part of the UCD SCUBA club and were studying zoology. They were a great bunch of students!

Christine going over the survey form with the UCD students
Christine going over the survey form with the UCD students
A retro Dunnes christmas shopping bag found in the intertidal zone.
A retro Dunnes christmas shopping bag found in the intertidal zone.
UCD students and I with our collection of shells from the training.
UCD students and I with our collection of shells from the training.

On Friday, Christine and I just did more office work. Not too much to talk about here.

Weekend trip to Strandhill, County Sligo with Stint

Over the weekend Stint (our internship organizers) planned a trip to Strandhill, County Sligo on the west coast. We woke up and boarded a bus to Strandhill which took about 3 hours. As soon as we arrived I rushed down to the promenade to have a look at the waves. As soon as I got down to the beach I knew it was on and I ran back to our hostel threw on my wetsuit, grabbed my board, and ran back down to the beach for a surf! Everyone else was weary from waking up early (not early by my standards) and hung out at the hostel. I spent about 2 and a half hours in the water trading waves with local surfers and when I got out the girls were on the beach and snapped a picture of me.

Me after another surf in Ireland.
Me after another surf in Ireland.

After I surfed the girls decided that they would get a surf lesson, so I stayed in my wetsuit and drank some tea to warm up while they got ready. I ended up going back down to the beach and helping out with their surf lesson by pushing them into waves and giving them tips. I think I was more excited to see the girls surf than they were to actually surf. All I had been talking about with Christine was surfing and I was happy that she finally got a chance to experience the activity I get so much joy out of. As it turns out, the girls’ surf instructor was also an environmental scientist who had previously worked with Karin at Coastwatch!

That evening we ate at the pub across the road from our hostel and called it a night. The next day I checked the waves, but it had gone flat. So, we climbed up the large dune at the beach took some pictures and went home to Dublin.

Promenade at Strandhill, County Sligo.
Promenade at Strandhill, County Sligo.
The girls climbing the dune.
The girls climbing the dune.
Me at the peak.
Me at the peak.

Leave a Reply