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  IWDG Courses and Whale-watching Weekends, 2010

The IWDG are running a range of courses during 2010, including the ever popular whale-watching weekend courses on Cape Clear Island, Co Cork (details below) IWDG Weekend Whale Watching Courses, Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork, Summer 2010 The IWDG is running three weekend whale-watching courses in summer 2010 on Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork on June 18-20th, July 16-18th, & September 10-12th. These will be led by Pádraig Whooley, IWDG Sightings co-ordinator who can be contacted at the details below for enquiries or bookings. The weekends are open to IWDG members and non-members alike. To ensure attention to detail, places will be limited to 20 people per course, on a first come first served basis. To ensure places are available to those who would benefit most from the experience, we do not accept block bookings of more than five people. These courses cater for adults and may not be suitable for children under 12 years. As Cape’s terrain is hilly, you will need to be in reasonable condition to enjoy the two or three, 30-minute hikes up to the cliff-top vantage points. As these courses are extremely popular and accommodation is limited on Cape Clear in high summer, you should book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment. Our courses cater for the wildlife enthusiast, keen to learn more about cetaceans and how to observe, record and identify them. We expect participants to attend the workshops and field-trips during the weekend. The weekends will be a mix of outdoor cliff and boat-based whale watches, supplemented by indoor workshops covering a range of topics. The mix on any given weekend will be determined by the weather. However, we will try to maximise your time outdoors, which will necessitate our being flexible with the itinerary which will be emailed to you on the Wednesday evening before your chosen course. This will give us a good idea of what you can expect, and how the weather may behave. Please note these are Whale Watching courses, as against Whale-Watching weekends. Courses proceed even when the weather is not ideal. The only grounds for our cancelling a course would be if the weather was so poor, as to force the Island ferry to be cancelled, but this has not happened in the eight years we’ve been running them. If we need to cancel a course, your deposits will of course be refunded. If you can’t attend at short notice, you will unfortunately lose your deposit. IWDG are a conservation charity, and the revenue generated from these courses is important for our continued success. Participants must be on the Island on the Friday, as the course starts that evening at 21:00 with registration and the first presentation. During this first session you will receive your resource packs. Remember, there is no fast way of getting to Baltimore…..from anywhere! So please allow sufficient time to enjoy the journey down. The cost of these courses remains unchanged from previous years at €70 p/p for IWDG members and €90 to non-members (which includes one year membership to IWDG). These prices do not include your ferry, accommodation, food or the price of any pelagic boat-trip. Non-refundable deposits of €25 p/p are required on booking to secure places, and should be paid by cheque or postal order (please, no cash) to the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group and posted to the address below. The balance of the course fee can be paid on Cape during registration. We’d encourage participants to book accommodation once your place is confirmed, as Cape Clear is a very popular summer destination, with limited bed spaces. For the course you will need to book two nights (Fri. & Sat). The course ends around mid-day Sunday, allowing ample time for people with long journeys home. Please note our list of providers below is not exhaustive, and we are not responsible for your accommodation. The link provides general information and accommodation options on Cape. You should ensure you are within easy walking distance of the main village and harbour area, as this is where presentations and socialising take place. We also encourage participants to book the BirdWatch Ireland run Cape Clear Bird Observatory, as this self-catering accommodation has an experienced warden in Steve Wing, contains an extensive natural history library and supports another good cause (Birdwatch Ireland). The cost is €22 p/n. Book early as it only accommodates seven, in two dorm rooms, which are on a first come first served basis. Please also note these rooms are "mixed", so we can't guarantee it will be either all "lads" or all "lassies"! Bookings through Declan Murphy, Tel: 01-2819878, full details below. At a minimum, participants must bring binoculars, better again if you have a spotting scope. The better your optics, the more likely you are to see cetaceans and see them well. You should dress for field conditions, with waterproof clothing, sturdy boots and sun hats. Sun- screen, insect repellent and a water container should be packed. Something soft to sit on (a mat or blow up cushion) is invaluable when spending long hours sitting on a rocky or damp cliff top. The land, seascapes and wildlife of Cape Clear Island offers stunning photo opportunities, so bring your cameras and don’t forget your spare battery! Bookings, enquiries and payments (payable to IWDG) should be sent to: Pádraig Whooley IWDG, Dereen, Rossmore, Clonakilty, Co. Cork Email: Ph. 00-353-23-8838761

email:   telephone: 028 41923