independent

Monday 10 December 2018

Oh buoy, what a discovery!

Fethard kayaker finds buoy from Nova Scotia and makes international headlines

Graham Doyle with the buoy
Graham Doyle with the buoy

David Looby

A Fethard-on-Sea businessman made a remarkable discovery while out kayaking in caves, finding a buoy from Nova Scotia.

Graham Doyle, who runs the Irish experience kayak centre, said the buoy departed Yarmouth, Nova Scotia's coastal waters en route to Wexford several years ago. Graham found the big white balloon bearing Yarmouth fisherman's name David Poole while kayaking the sea caves of Hook Peninsula.

'I knew right enough it wasn't a local fisherman's buoy,' Graham said. 'It could have been three years ago, maybe even seven,' buoy owner David said. Graham had never heard of a Poole resident in the area.

He said: 'I found it while out on tour with a group. They thought I was mad putting it in the back of my kayak. But I knew there was a story behind it. I love that kind of stuff. There is a story behind everything and every person!'

Fisheries and Oceans Canada oceanographer David Brinkman said the buoy could have travelled the Gulf Stream across the Atlantic Ocean in as little as two months.

Doyle was determined to find David Poole. Besides bearing Poole's name, the buoy also had his phone number on it and the name of the boat he sold two years ago so Graham called the number, which was no longer in service. Resolved to get to the heart of the story, he authored a Facebook post with a picture of his find. 'Shout out to David Poole, owner of the Canadian vessel "Lady Delilah,"' the post read. 'We have found your buoy, which has crossed the North Atlantic ocean and found its way into a cave on the Hook Peninsula, Ireland! We are happy to send it back across for you if we can find you.'

The post had shared its way to Poole's Facebook within a few days. Though amazed by the discovery, he didn't want his buoy back. He said so, responding directly to Doyle's post. 'Glad to see that it travelled well, you're more than welcome to keep it,' wrote Poole. 'It was pretty amazing and he would have done a bit of research to find out just where it was from. Pretty interesting that he would devote that much time to finding me but I guess it's like picking up a bottle with a message in it,' Poole added.

'I'm not going to pick up the buoy but I'd love to meet the fella if I'm ever in Ireland. That was very nice of him.'

Brinkman said the buoy would have wandered into the Gulf Stream running through the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. 'It's completely interesting but not unheard of that it would end up in the west coast of Ireland. What could typically drive a floating object into the Gulf Stream region are surface winds taking a floating object more directly from Yarmouth across the ocean shelf and out into the Gulf Stream. Or, less likely is that it floated around the coastline of the Gulf of Maine, potentially past Cape Cod and out down to the Eastern seaboard. But that's not a direct connection to the Gulf Stream.'

The story made headlines in Nova Scotia, drawing positive attention to the Hook Peninsula. Graham said he is more than happy to hang on to the buoy and a fun memory. 'It's the people who found the owner,' Graham said Doyle. 'Social media is a powerful tool. Many a man, woman and child left these shores for Canada during hard times, harder times than we can ever imagine. Nova Scotia benefited from some great Irishmen. The connection between our two countries is strong. Now, Canada is repaying us with buoy!'

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