The arrival of the Dutch Tall Ship, the "Morgenster", to Cork on 9th June as part of the Ocean to Sea - Cork Harbour Festival was a photo opportunity not to be missed by our members.
The "Morgenster" is a brig, a two masted, filly square rigged sailing ship. Her rigging is based on the American clippers from the Eighteenth Century. She is a stunning and elegant ship and has been sailing as a clipperbrik since 2008 when her restoration was finished. Its mission is to preserve a historical heritage of seafaring and to help further develop all persons on board. During Tall Ship races she can always be found in the leading group and is always a feared competitor. Her rigging is said to be dated to 1840. As a training ship she is allowed to sail around the world with up to 36 trainees and a crew of 10. Her young apprentices take sail training voyages supported by the Cork Sail Training Bursary Scheme.
Shipping type - Brig
Built in 1919 and restored in 2008
Crew 6 - 10
Length: 48m, Beam: 6.64m, Draught: 2.40m, Sail: 600 m2, Mast Height: 29m, Engine Capacity: 430hp, Speed under sail: 12 knots, Speed under engine: 9 knots.
We photographed the ship while it was docked on Albert Quay, when passing Blackrock Castle on her way to Cobh and also on the Quayside in Cobh.
In order to capture photos of her from a different angle Kevin kindly volunteered his services and that of his boat for members who wanted to try out their sea legs. With Kevin as Captain and Fergus as First Mate, only two crew members, Finbarr and I, jumped aboard in Cobh at 5pm and our adventure began.
We managed to capture some great shots of the ship with Cobh as a backdrop before we sped off up the Harbour for a quick salute to Haulbowline before we headed off on our mystery tour.
We passed by the Irish Lights vessel, ILV Granuaile, anchored securely in the Harbour. She stood majestically above us as we ventured close to her. Her size would have been no match for us had she decided to move!!
We then passed beside the iconic Spitbank Lighthouse located to the south of Cobh set at the end of the long mud bank, marking a 90 degree turn in the shipping channel. It marks the boundary of compulsory pilotage for large vessels entering the Port of Cork. Its peculiar form and design make it a striking addition to our maritime heritage as it differs from the more traditional stone built lighthouses along the coast. The Platform was designed by Alexander
Mitchell, inspired by the domestic corkscrew - a cast iron support system that enabled construction in deep water on mud and sandbanks. The Lighthouse itself was designed by George Halpin and was first lit in 1853 and remains a working light to this day. It has a focal plane of 10 metres and white and red lenses depending on direction of approach.
It was then time for Finbarr and me to hold on as Kevin turned up the throttle and we sped in the direction of Crosshaven. We passed beneath Camden Fort Meagher looking out protectively across the Harbour. We then slowed again as we were now entering into the Owenabue Estuary and the Sunday daytrippers were out in their boats. Crosshaven is home to The Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest Yacht Club in the world. We cruised by the magnificent yachts, standing stately on the still waters. We went up the estuary towards Curabinny Wood and then turned back again. The day was very overcast and unfortunately the sky was not lending itself to showing any colour at all. It would definitely be a place to revisit with a blue sky overhead.
We then decided to head for East Ferry. White knuckled, Finbarr and I held on as we sped off. As we neared East Ferry, looking east across the Owenacurra River to the mainland we could see the Bell Tower of the Holy Trinity Church. It was built in 1867 of red brick and limestone banding and its Bell Tower stands 75ft high. We slowed as we neared the church sitting at the foot of a wooded hill. This was a rare opportunity to photograph this church in such a tranquil setting. Only the noise of the cameras clicking could be heard over the peace and quiet of the birds singing in the evening.
Leaving the Marlogue Woods on the south east edge of the Great Island behind us we decided that it was time to head for home as the evening was not going to lend itself to a sunset shoot this time so, with Fergus at the wheel, we headed back for Cobh just before the rain started. A great day was had by all despite the grey skies and some beautiful photographs were taken. A special thanks to Kevin for giving of his time and providing his boat for the evening.
Click here to see a full gallery of images from the shoot. Enjoy!
- Eileen Upton