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Great spring to see dolphins in Manx waters

It’s been a great spring for sightings of Risso’s dolphins in Manx waters.

There have already been 24 sightings of Risso’s this year, more than the rest of the British Isles combined.

The first sighting of the year was on March 17 and there has been a steady stream of sightings reported by the public ever since.

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

A large pod of the dolphins was spotted off Marine Drive last week.

And the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch group are urging people to report their sightings.

Risso’s dolphins (species name Grampus griseus) are one of the least commonly seen dolphin species in European waters.

This is due to their preference for deep seas, between 600 metres and 1,000 metres, which are often found far from land, in the continental shelf slope waters.

Manx waters themselves rarely exceed 100 metres depth, especially on the east side of the island, where the seas are rarely more than 40 metres deep.

So it is perhaps surprising then that Risso’s dolphins are the most commonly seen dolphin in Manx waters and the second most commonly seen cetacean (whale, dolphin or porpoise), after the harbour porpoise.

As has been the case in previous years (although not every year), all of the sightings have been on the east coast, between Groudle and Langness, particularly from Marine Drive, and have been so close to land that you can see their pale body underwater.

What is most exciting and unusual this year is that many of the groups reported have contained calves.

The calves have what are called foetal folds on their flanks (marks on the skin caused by birth), suggesting they were born over winter.

Risso’s dolphins are thought to give birth during the spring and summer, when there is more food around.

Perhaps, there is food at all times of year in Manx waters?

We urge the public to keep on reporting their sightings of this amazing and unusual species to us and of any other cetacean that is seen, either to our website (www.mwdw.net) or to our Facebook page (search for Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch).

Hopefully, it is a sign of a great summer for spotting whales, dolphins and porpoises in Manx waters.

Walk from Port Erin to Castletown

Walk from Port Erin to Castletown to raise money for good causes

This year’s Harbour 2 Harbour Sponsored Walk will take place on Sunday, May 10 2015.

The event, now in its second year, is organised by Southern Community Initiatives and raises money for a number of important local causes, including Southern Befrienders, Men in Sheds and SPort Erin.

A new route will be used, which will see walkers leave The Bay in Port Erin at 10.30am, heading along St Mary’s Road, up The Howe to Glen Chass before joining the coastal path to Castletown.

Roy Cottage offers Self Catering Accommodation in Castletown, Isle of Man. Conveniently located near the airport and perfect as a base for walking, sightseeing and train journeys. Roy Cottage – bringing news for the visitor to the Isle of Man.

Event co-ordinator Janet Bridle, said: ‘We are adding a cultural flavour to the finish area, with Manx bands, singers and dancers plus the chance to get involved with a southern community art project.

‘You can even get the train back to Port Erin afterwards!

‘We’ve scheduled the event to take place at the start of the annual Walking Festival and hope to attract participation from those visitors too.’

The walk is again being sponsored by Friends Provident International, which is based in Castletown.

General manager Caroline Cornish said: ‘We were so impressed by last year’s Harbour 2 Harbour walk and delighted by how much money was raised. We’re proud to be supporting the event again and will be offering our own staff incentives to get involved, in line with our commitment to support our local community.’

Former Parish Walk winner Robbie Collister said: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the inaugural Harbour 2 Harbour Walk.

‘I had a wonderful, relaxed day walking with old friends as well as meeting some new ones along the way. The organisers should be congratulated for organising a great day out for everybody.’

To enter or find out more about the event, email H2Hreg@hubclubsci.im or call Janet on 838180.

Phil Gawne MHK, chair of Southern Community Initiatives, added: ‘I’m pleased that we are working with other local charities to raise funds in this fun and healthy way.

‘The community support work, which our volunteers have been delivering in the south, is transforming many vulnerable and lonely people’s lives. =

‘Please come along to this major fund raising event – have fun, get fit and raise money for our valuable community work!’

Move date for ‘world’s oldest yacht’ in Isle of Man

Peggy was built for George Quayle, of Castletown, between 1789 and 1793

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

Archaeologists in the Isle of Man are preparing to move the “world’s oldest yacht” for the first time in 200 years.

Manx National Heritage (MNH) said the Peggy will be moved from the Nautical Museum in Castletown on 28 January.

The vessel was built between 1789 and 1793 and is thought to be the earliest surviving example of a British yacht.

An MNH spokesman said the Peggy is one of the most important historic artefacts in the British Isles.

“Peggy requires urgent conservation work,” he said.

“We are looking to conserve her, create a suitable environment in which to house her and to tell her story for future generations.”

The boat will be lifted by cradle and then crane before being transported from the south of the island to a climate-controlled facility in Douglas.

It is believed Mr Quayle built his own private dock underneath his Castletown home

Once there, Peggy, which was built for Castletown politician and bank owner George Quayle, will be stabilised, examined and conserved.

“The humidity of the new surroundings has to be lowered carefully in order to retard the corrosion of her iron fittings without damaging her timbers,” added the spokesman.

“At the same time preservation work on her painted surfaces will also commence.”

After Mr Quayle’s death, the boat was locked away for almost 120 years, until she was rediscovered in 1935.

The conservation work, which is expected to take about five years, will involve a team of specialist archaeological contractors from England.

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World Tin Bath Championship action in Castletown

tin bath paddlers

The 43rd World Tin Bath Championships will take place in the middle harbour, Castletown, tomorrow (Saturday), starting at 3pm.

The event is run by the Castletown Ale Drinkers’ Society and sponsored by Jameson Whiskey, Heron and Brearley, Capital International, The Vineyard, Tower Insurance, 3FM and Poker Stars.

It has attracted an entry of more than 86 competitors from around the world.

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

Lee Cain returns to defend his title but with Nick Cain back it should prove to be a close race.

Also taking part is Rory Harding from Luxembourg, Hikmet Babayev the Azerbaijan champion, Joe Knappim, Michael Foster and Mal West from the UK.

Again there are 20 veterans (over 40s) taking part in the races, Holmes Blackburn and Dave Collister making their 43rd attempt to win.

Is Tin Bath racing all part of your mid life crisis?

The team event should prove another win for the Cains but watch out for the UK team, Sponge Bob, Action Bath with two teams lead by Tom Cringle, Tintanic, team S Chris and the Castle Crusaders.

In the ladies’ race 15-times winner Erika Cowen will be out to win again (the John McGuinness of Tin Bath racing) but could face a close race from Louise and Suzanne Saltor and from English trio of Eleanor Dobson, Iona McNeil and Camilla West. More than 34 ladies will take part this year.

Team Race will see Eastern Young Farmers out for a win but look out for the Lambs Navy Rum team and Lucy Parkington, Laxey Miners and the Isle of Man Bank.

The other races taking place is the Manx International Snake Race Championships. Last year’s winners Southern Young Farmers return, but watch out Eastern, Northern and Central.

Isle of Man Newspapers’ ‘Newsflashers’ will report first hand and watch out for the Laxey Circus and the Blue Nuns.

During the afternoon Birdmen and women (and we need more) will make attempts at man powered flight along with the CADS with more new stunts this year.

Compère for the day will be Trevor Taubman, just back from the Games in Glasgow, Castletown Band will play from 2pm to 3pm (Handel’s water music would be nice), Port St Mary Lifeboat will also be on hand if baths sink.

So come along to the World Tin Bath Championships at the Tin Bath Racing capital of the world, Castletown, and enjoy two hours of slapstick stunts and family entertainment.

All proceeds go to the local charities, so help us to help others. Go on, bring your soap, bring your bath, come and watch and have a laugh, use your Loofah, you know it makes sense.

Contact Dave Collister on 823996(H) 341852 (M) or any CADS member for details.

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Canoeist shocked by 10ft basking sharks as they surface right in front of him

 

Kayaker with basking sharks John Keggin was out kayaking with friends when he came across the plankton-eating monsters, which weigh around five tons and are often seen between May and July John Keggin was astounded when a 10ft basking shark surfaced right in front of him off Port Erin, Isle of Man.

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Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

Tackling the new tree-top challenge

You need a head for heights for the Isle of Man’s latest outdoor adventure experience.

And the man behind Ape Mann Adventure Park, at South Barrule plantation, says that only a week after the opening of its high ropes course it’s already proving a big hit with residents and visitors alike.

Steve Salter invited a team from Isle of Man Newspapers’ newsroom to try out the course for themselves.

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

Unlike at Go Ape sites, the rope course has been built using a continuous lifeline system, which means there’s no need to clip on and off as you reach the different obstacles.

After being kitted up with a helmet and harness, and paying full attention to the safety talk, it was time to head to the tree tops.

Ape Mann Isle of Man, girl on a rope in harness At its highest point, the course is set eight metres above ground.

From the start, the course is a test of good balance, co-ordination, and looking where you are going without looking down.

The first obstacle involves negotiating a series of suspended wooden poles. This is followed by narrow wooden beams and a see-saw, before the first zipwire.

For many the highlight of the course was another zipwire which involves jumping off a wooden platform on to a giant rubber ball.

Crawling upwards through a tunnel slowed some members of our team down as did traversing a tyre net.

This is followed by more wooden bridges and beams, before it is time to take a deep breath for the last challenge – a leap on to the 300 foot zipwire that takes you back down to the ground.

It took only a hot drink to ready ourselves for the next challenge that is part of the package for everyone who tries the high ropes course.

At 17 metres up in a tree, the bell you ring to show you’ve climbed to the top is barely visible from the ground.

Attached by a belay system to Steve, we knew we were in safe hands, but nonetheless, it is a long way to the top!

The way down is easier than going up, abseiling back down the tree.

Work started on the high ropes course at the end of October, and was juggled around customers enjoying the low ropes course and tree climb/abseil.

Steve said: ‘It’s been a real team effort to achieve what we have.

‘Now what we are hoping for is a reasonably decent summer weather-wise.’

Steve and the team have even bigger plans in the pipeline for the site.

As well as extending the high ropes course, they are also looking into developing the quarry for an outdoor climbing area.

‘Hopefully if DEFA continue to support our plans, because of the lease we have got, we would be more than happy to further invest in the area and develop it to its full potential,’ he said.

‘A lot of that will depend on what support we get from government.’

The high ropes experience (£18 for adults, £14 for children) lasts two hours and is open to people aged 10 and over.

For those new to Ape Mann there’s the chance to go on the low ropes course first to get to grips with the equipment and kind of obstacles you’ll face, before completing two laps of the high ropes course.

Hot drinks and a tree climb/abseil are also included.

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Castletown festival’s Picnic in the Park

The annual Picnic in the Park and Sports Day, organised by Castletown Festival committee, returns to Poulsom Park on Sunday, May 18.

The event begins at 1pm and this is a community afternoon with lots of attractions such as ‘Tootie the Tank Engine’ for children to ride on, plus a sports programme with 40 events.

There are refreshments including fish and chips, car boot stalls, classic cars and more.

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band.

The selection of this year’s Castletown Festival Queen takes place.

The winner receives a Steam Packet travel voucher for a return trip for a car and two people plus £50, a sash and a trophy (all prizes will be presented to the winner on festival day).

Entrants must permanently live in Castletown or Derbyhaven and be aged between 13 to 18.

Turn up at the stage in the park from 2pm.

The winner will be crowned in Castletown Square on festival day, Saturday, August 2 (and must be available all festival day and for all rehearsals).

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Enter now for Sunday’s Harbour2Harbour walk

There is still time to register for the inaugural Harbour2Harbour walk from Castletown to Port Erin this Sunday, May 11.

People of all walking abilities are invited to participate in the event which is being sponsored by Friends Provident and will raise funds for Southern Communities Initiatives, Southern Befrienders and Sport Erin. The walk starts at 10am and follows a coastal route to Port Erin, through Pooil Vaaish, Gansey, Port St Mary and Cregneash. At the finish, at the former marine laboratory, there will be a hog roast, bouncy castle, tea, beer tents, ice-cream van and live music (the entire length of the breakwater will be closed to traffic between 9.30am and 6pm).

Participants between the ages of 10 and 18 first in their age group over the finish line will win an Up and Running goody bag. For details visit www.facebook.com/harbour2harbour

Entrance is £10, £5 for under 18s, from.hubclubsci.im, by email on H2Hreg@hubclubsci.im, at some shops in Port Erin, or call Janet Bridle on 838180.

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'World's oldest yacht' excavated from island cellar

peggy worlds oldest yacht

Peggy was built for George Quayle, of Castletown, between 1789 and 1793

An archaeological dig is under way to free what is believed to be the world’s oldest yacht from a cellar in the Isle of Man.

The vessel, Peggy, was built for Castletown politician and bank owner George Quayle between 1789 and 1793.

After Mr Quayle’s death, the boat was locked away for almost 120 years, until it was rediscovered in 1935.

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

Edmund Southworth, of Manx National Heritage (MNH), said it was a “Manx treasure which needed rescuing.”

He said: “Internationally, Peggy is quite simply one of the oldest boats to survive”.

It is believed Mr Quayle built his own private dock underneath his Castletown home

peggy boat house castletown isle of man  

MNH is currently embarking on a five-year programme to remove, conserve and study the vessel.

A team of specialist archaeological contractors from England are currently working to excavate the boat from the cellar of Mr Quayle’s former home.

Caroline Raynor, of Oxford Archaeology North, said her team had faced a “number of challenges”.

She said: “To remove the boat we have to move more than 50 tonnes of 19th Century landfill which then fills up with water.”

George Quayle was a politician and bank owner on the Isle of Man in the 1700s

Other finds made by the team include an 18th Century leather pistol holster, boat-building materials and perfume bottles.

Most of the finds are being stored in seawater tanks to preserve them.

Mr Southworth said: “Mr Quayle was a bank owner and an MHK. He was a very wealthy man.

“Internationally, Peggy is certainly one of the world’s oldest surviving boats which has never been restored.

“It is an absolutely fascinating project.”

It is thought the boat was used by Mr Quayle for leisure purposes and to carry important mail to Liverpool.

Once removed, the boat will be dried naturally and restored, a process that could take up to seven years.

Since the project began the team have made a number of significant finds .

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Archaeologists Start Work at the Nautical Museum

Archaeologists will today start work at the Nautical Museum in Castletown, home of the world’s oldest yacht, the 200-year old Peggy.

Roy Cottage is a Self Catering Manx holiday cottage, situated on the sea front, in Castletown, the ancient capital of the Isle of Man. Bringing news to the visitor of the Isle of Man.

Specialist archaeological contractors, Oxford Archaeology North, have been commissioned by Manx National Heritage to undertake the project. In preparation for the excavation, Manx National Heritage has worked with local building contractors to complete some minor structural alterations to the building.

Chris Weeks, Conservator for Manx National Heritage said:

“In recent years, Manx National Heritage has been studying Peggy and the environment in which she sits. The next phase of this project is to carefully excavate the boatyard at the Nautical Museum, where we are expecting to find a slipway leading from the building to Castletown Harbour.”

Starting today, the work is expected to take approximately six weeks to complete. Following the excavation, Oxford Archaeology North will produce a report on their discoveries for Manx National Heritage in summer 2014.

 

The Nautical Museum in Castletown is home to the impressive boat – the Peggy – which was found in 1935 concealed in a boat cellar. The Peggy had lain undisturbed for 100 years after her owner, Captain George Quayle, died. Captain Quayle was a man of great ingenuity and the boathouse he erected has many curious features including trap doors, secret panels and a replica ship’s cabin. In recent years, Manx National Heritage has been studying Peggy and the environment in which she sits with the help of Cardiff University and conservation consultants Eura Conservation Ltd of Telford. The exceptional importance of the vessel has been recognised by her inclusion, alongside ships such as HMS Victory, within the National Historic Fleet, the maritime equivalent of Grade One listing maintained by the National Historic Ships Register.

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