Archive | July, 2006

Diving Skellig Michael – Co.Kerry

19 Jul

Definately one of the best dives I have ever done, despite average conditions for the site (only 20 metres viz). We had a very pleasant trip out to the rock courtesy of Captain Joe and his dog Winkle. We were on a 30 footer hard bottom vessel, the standard boat type for the excursions out to the rock.

We were accompanied by our non diving woman folk some of whom waited on the rock and some of whom stayed on baord for the duration of the dive. As it turned out we made a 45min one tank dive consisting of a gentle drift along a wall covered in the most magnificantly coloured jewel anemomes along to a similarly decorated pinnacle about 30 metres in diameter and dropping down to 100+m. Crays and lobster were rife, as were the multitude of fish species many of which remaining unidentified.

The site comprised of a series of walls, shelves and gullies and would have been perfect for divers with less experience than us bottoming out at just over 30 metres apart from the pinnacle. With DSMB deployed we carried out a saftey stop after a rather lengthy off gasing spell at about 12metres while exploring the pinnacle.

De-kitting was an interesting experience, using a mixture of stretching reaches and ropes to get all our bits and pieces backm onto the boat and preserve the integrety of the ladder (we were forbidden from climbing it fully kitted, not to save our legs but to safe the ladder from being “ripped off the feckin boat”) – Sorry Joe!

So after the most perfect dive, couldn’t be matched in many remote dive resorts worldwide, we were treated to an amazing site which is little Skellig, home to hundreds of thousands of birds, Gannets, Gillamots, Razorbills, Fulmars, Kittywakes to name but a few.

I will definately be back! As usual there are photos on Flickr and videos at usual spots on my blog and on http://www.youtube.com. If you don’t know the links by now, happy googling and or searching on respective sites!

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Surface swim at SS Castle Eden

7 Jul

This has got to be one of the best dives this year!. We dived the SS Castle Eden Wednesday evening with perfect slack (neaps I think). Having got my mask clip all fixed up (Thanks Liam) I was good to go and we set off from Portstewart. Took about 35mins to get there. Everyone was scanning the water for any sign of basking sharks as there had been a pod (is that the correct collective noun?) spotted in the area recently. It was actually filmed and should be televised on TV this winter.

The dive was great, marine life unbelievable. As usual I have a wee video treat for you all its the eigth one in the list. Apologies in advance for the Darth Vader sound track! there are few more photos of the dive and afterwards while waiting for the two deadly deco divers! usual place, click the image above to be taken through to my flickr.

Its quite a big wreck, but with viz surpassing 25m we were able to take quiet a lot in, travelling form the boilers to the bow and back again. The last time I dived the wreck was with John Liddiard earlier in the year, or rather he was diving it at the same time as me from the same boat! He managed to sketch the entire wreck on one dive, fair enough he was on a rebreather and stayed on the wreck for an extra 10-15 mins, but it was good going.

The fact that I had the camera and the sheer enjoyment of the dive and great conditions resulted in me losing track of the shot line, hence the free ascent and surface swim. Still they say “every day is a learning day”

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