November 21, 2006

Rusheen Bay

Moonrise over Rusheen Bay at the start of the month.

There's a bit of a kerfuffle over the wind-surfing centre at Rusheen Bay. The bay is the sheltered stretch of water behind the cliff at Silver Strand - it's ideal for windsurfing since the water is usually relatively calm, and it's impossible to be washed out to sea (always a useful quality for watersports). Anyway, the centre consists of a few metal cargo containers along the shoreline which act as the 'office'/storage sheds for the windsurfing gear. However, there was no planning permission for the containers, and the City Council has ordered their removal. According to the Galway Independent, an objection to the structures came from a bird-watcher, and one from outside the parish at that.

Apparently, the birdwatcher claimed that windsurfing was endangering the bird population, and that some of the surfers were urinating into the water. Hmmm. The night I took the picture above, there was a heron standing about 20 yards away, and a couple of curlews feeding just out of sight - they weren't in the least bit worried about me, the dog splashing about and fetching sticks from the water nearby , or the cider-drinking youngsters in the field beside the shore. And the birds are just as unperturbed by the pony-trekkers who patrol the shoreline in the summer or, for that matter, any of the windsurfers I ever saw using the bay. anyway, the best time to watch the birds is early in the morning or sunset, and the surfers are such a bunch of stoners that they don't hit the water 'til after lunch at the earliest [just kidding, lads]. As for the , ahem, urine, the whole city was dumping into the water until the Mutton Island treatment plant opened , and the birds did just fine. And , while one doesn't want to dwell on such matters, waste pipes actually attract some birds.

There's surely some room for compromise. The windsurfing centre won't be the first amenity to set up first, and look for planning permission afterwards, and it won't be the last. The surfers tend to use the left side of the bay, and the birds naturally favour the right, where there are more mudflats [and where the bird observation point is located]. Failing that, the owner will just have get more windsurfers in bikinis out on the bay, and make it a tourist attraction. He might need to get some of the lads to wax first, mind.

Camera= 5D, lens=24-105@105, ISO=125, aperture=f11, speed=1/2 sec, filter = (0.3 + 0.6 + 0.9 Lee soft grad grey - yes, that's 6 stops), tripod.


Posted by Monasette at November 21, 2006 09:18 PM

Nice pic and lovely colours!

Posted by: CS at November 22, 2006 10:11 PM