Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Galway School Pupils' Mini-Boat Sets Sail in South Atlantic

23rd September 2022
Spiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) was built and decorated by students from Scoil Bhríde, Lackagh, in Co Galway
Spiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) was built and decorated by students from Scoil Bhríde, Lackagh, in Co Galway

A mini-boat named Spiorad na Gaillimhe has been deployed from the icebreaker R/V Polarstern on passage between Germany and South Africa this week.

Spiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) was built and decorated by students from Scoil Bhríde, Lackagh, in Co Galway.

It is one of four mini-boats – the others being from schools in Spain, Germany and South Africa - that were deployed from the Alfred-Wegener Institute’s ship into the South Atlantic.

These four new vessels will join 18 “educational passages” boats currently sailing around the world’s oceans.

The project was funded by the Nippon Foundation (NF) and POGO (Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean).

Students from Scoil Bhríde, Lackagh, in Co Galway with the completed Spiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) mini boatStudents from Scoil Bhríde, Lackagh, in Co Galway with the completed Spiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) mini boat

It has provided the students in Galway with an opportunity to learn more about oceanography and ocean technology, according to Professor Peter Croot and senior oceanography technician Sheena Fennell of the University of Galway.

“The students in Scoil Bhríde, Lackagh were responsible for constructing the boat, deciding on a name, decorating the sail and hull and, most importantly, had to decide what treasures to place in the hold for any lucky finder if it comes ashore,” Croot said.

Spiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) on passageSpiorad na Gaillimhe (Spirit of Galway) mini boat on passage

“Once Spiorad na Gaillimhe sets sail it will regularly send its GPS location and values of sea and air temperature. The students will be working to predict where it will sail in the ocean by looking at weather and ocean current maps, thereby learning about our oceans,” he said.

School principal Shane O’Connor and teacher Tomás Higgins supported the project, which Higgins described as “cross curricular in nature incorporating many skills and subjects such as science, maths, art and geography”.

It “ gave us the opportunity to bring the theme of the ocean and ocean literacy into the classroom in a fun and interesting way,”Higgins said, thanking Fennell, the POGO and Educational Passages programmes for their support.

Updates from Spioirad na Gallimhe can be found here 

To follow all four miniboats involved in this international NF-POGO project visit here

Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating