Archive | Dive sites RSS feed for this section

Take the poll – what is your favourite divesite

19 Jan

Lochgarry bow swim through

18 May

Conger on William Mannell wreck

12 Jun

This was the second one we saw and he came within about 35 cm’s of my face before I actually saw him. He definitely made me flinch. Dive was fantastic, perfect conditions, no current, great viz, enjoyed by one and all, even James who apparently experienced narcosis for the first time ever and from the sounds of it will be taking another fix sometime soon!


1 Jun

A jaunt around the SS Castleeden. I like to post something every once in a while and unfortunately owing to other trips and weather and not having my camera there has been a lull in video and photos. So to try and redress the balance somewhat here is a wee dive from last summer. Enjoy!

Sponge life on Rathlin’s North Wall

22 Apr

There really is a great variety of non fish aquatic life on Rathlin. It was reported recently in various publications that there was something like 70 new species of sponge identified during a survey of the water surrounding Rathlin Island. Some of these can be seen on Waterworld a programme broadcast on BBC last Autumn. Not sure if this footage shows any or not. There is some Grey elephant sponge though

Safety stop on Lochgarry – Rathlin

17 Apr

Just wanted to add this video, to remind me how good the diving is going to get. We had a definate 20m+ when this was shot last year. Conditions are definately on the rise and the marine life is coming back. I spotted a shoal of over 100 pollack last weekend on this wreck. I have some video of the wreck so watch this space, I think I will add a post all about it soon

The Thesis, Oban

26 Mar

Just home form a 2 day dive trip to Oban, the Sound of Mull. Had 4 great dives including, the Hispania, The Shuna, The Thesis and the Breda. The Thesis was by far the best conditions, probably because it lies on a shingle bottom, so no silt. The highlight of the dive was swimming around inside the hull at the bow. There are large openings making it very safe for minor penetration. Technically it is an overhead environment, but as you are never more than a few fin kicks from the holes in the hull the risk is minimal. It is quiet surreal to watch people HID torches bouncing around inside the wreck when you are swimming outside or vice-versa. I can imagine it being even better with alot of fish life around. When do they all get back from their vacation??? anyone….

Found this video too on Youtube, enjoy

Scapa Flow – The Brummer

24 Nov

Video of dive on The Brummer

This video was originally shared on by waveneyavenue with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.

S.F.V William Manell

11 Sep

Another great wreck found off Glengad Head Culdaff Bay, Co.Donegall this fishing trawler served as an excort vessel in WWI and was converted into a minesweeper for WWII. She was named after a crewman who served onboard the Victory with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. Read all about the wreck here. Definately only diveable at slack water. We arrived just towards the end of slack and had a bit of a fight on our hands towards the end of the dive. However as we did a free ascent we did not have to impersonate a flag on the saety stop which is always a bonus. We had a bit of a wait, while “the dubs” did their extended deco stops, but when they travel so far you can’t give them too hard a time. The amount of live on the wreck is incredible and some of this can be seen on my little video available at youtube

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 If you don’t know the links by now, happy googling and or searching on respective sites!

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”

Did you know birds like to Dive

25 Jun

Another experience well worth an entry. Dive bombing Cormorrants Guillimots and/or Razorbills off the North Wall of Rathlin. This is a more familiar one, happening most dives around this site. On the safety stop the dive on the bubbles, mistaking them for fish activity. They get down to 10 metres and more and spend quite a while whizzing around, very gracefully. So for all you ‘land lubbers’ who wonder what the birds do when they dive into the water and then don’t come up again for ages. Heres the answer. There is also a wee video here.
Another thing just occured to me, the bird you see come up isn’t always the one you watched go down. It is like gridlock underwater!

Octopus sighting at Rathlin

25 Jun

First time I’ve seen one in the waters around here, so it has to be recorded. It was off the North Wall of Rathlin , East of the Arches but before the mini amphitheatres at around 20 metres, right out in the open. Didn’t like the torch being shone on him, well you wouldn’t would you?. Probably the first human he had ever encountered. Very graceful swimming

Well I make it out to be a big thing, no doubt they are very common, but in my 3 years diving its the first I’ve seen here.

The arches – Rathlin North Wall

27 Apr

This shot and others where taken last summer on the north wall of Rathlin Island. It is a fantastic dive incorporating underwater arches at 25m and 35m. I have a short video of the arches available at Follow the link to watch videos, then hold mouse over the images to see the locations before clicking on one to watch it.

  • Site Name: The Arches
  • Location: North west side of Rathlin (will try to get GPS)
  • Depth and profile: 20m to 100m+!, Start at 10m work down to 35m then gradually ascend wall to 20m back on to shelf for end of dive and saftety stops.
  • Points of Interest: the arches them selves and of course the abundance of live, including diving birds, lots of shoaling fish
  • Reasons why I like it: Usually good visability, and the chance to dive in the “deep blue”
  • Stories: blocked drysuit dump, nearly casued run away ascent, A wet chest saved the!
  • Things I have found: Wide variety or marine and avian life, diving birds is a highlight!
  • Tips: Follow the contour of the underwater ridge to arrive right on the arches, coming from the east. Must be good weather to avoid mental underwater currents, going all directions. Stay close to the wall, there are up and down currents.Occaisonally lobster pots and lines to look out for but the exception rather than the rule

Worldwide Dive sites

25 Apr

So basically I am going to start a series of posts if you like asking all you computer literate divers out there in the abyss what your favourite dive sites are. In this particular post I am looking for worldwide dive sites only. Anywhere around the world. Please add your favourites giving:

  • Name of site
  • Location (GPS if you know it)
  • Depth,Profile,Points of interest
  • Reasons why you like it
  • Maybe stories about exciting or eventful dives you have had
  • Things you have found
  • Any tips you may have about anything, finding the site, best time to dive, best route to take, things to look out for. etc.

If I get a decent list I will write them all up as specific posts which hopefully will act as resources for all us divers.

%d bloggers like this: