An Irishman has gained a social media following thanks to the weather reports he broadcasts from his hometown of Cork.
Eddie English runs SailCork, a sailing and powerboat training school located at East Ferry, three miles from the historic town of Cobh. He takes to his Facebook page every day to present a weather bulletin for followers from all over the world.
Eddie has been teaching sailing for 50 years, and tells Lonely Planet that he has always had to keep a very close eye on weather forecasts. He looks at the official forecasts daily and uses his local knowledge to complement them. "There are a number of people that I have always needed to share this information with, including my staff and the crew working with me, friends involved in sailing and racing, and people on the navigation courses that we run," he explains.
As Eddie became somewhat of a local expert, people in Cork began consulting him to get his opinion on the weather. It was when Facebook came along that Eddie realised that it was the perfect vehicle to disseminate the information more easily. He began the broadcasts around ten years ago and a huge amount of people tune in to his daily forecasts. He started off by getting his son to film him, but has now progressed to a selfie stick.
What surprised Eddie is when he began receiving messages from all over the world about his broadcasts. They come from sailing fraternity living in other countries, former residents of Cork who have now emigrated, and people who have sailed with Eddie and his school. "The funniest thing is getting approached by people in airports abroad," he laughs. "They recognise me from Facebook and ask me what the weather is like?"
Aside from regular training courses and bringing people on trips along the Wild Atlantic Way, Eddie also runs sailing trips abroad four times per year. His next trip is to Grenada and St Vincent this month, and he will bring a group along to enjoy the good weather while improving their sailing skills. He jokes that the only drawback is that people battling the cold weather at home are not as impressed when he comes on to do his weather reports in front of a tropical, sunny background.