Ireland (Jul 2009)

Ireland (Jul 2009)

Mevagh Dive Centre, Carrigart, Ireland

11 divers and 3 none diving wives embarked upon a long week end in Northern Ireland. Carrigart and the surrounding area is truly beautiful, picturesque with the bays and beeches and the smart, neat and tidy houses dotted around the countryside.

Les girls did the turisty bit i.e. sightseeing and enjoyed cream scones at cafe's more like private homes. Arlene and Joanne sought out relatives of Arlene for the family tree and Linda our bird enthusiast pursued her sport.

The first evening at Mevagh Dive Centre was used to settle and relax after more than 11 hours in transit. We were greeted by our lovely landlady who was eager to cater for our every need. The hotel nearby served excellent food so everyone was happy. Tony being a growing lad had his 'top up feed' from his dad back at the digs and also enjoyed extra bacon and even beans at breakfasts.

The first days diving was a wreck - Frenchman/scenic dive. The sea was bouncing and some even enjoyed their second taste of breakfast. Once under the water the vis. was excellent and the life was abundant. Saith, pollock, dogfish, wrasse, crabs, sea slugs dead mans fingers and plumrose anenomies. No wreck was located, but hey who cares when there is so much to see.

SMB's were deployed throughout the weekend, in such conditions it was a 'must'. Paul was well chuffed at his first successful attempt. The boys with the rebreathers enjoyed a dive 'early doors' on the S.S.Lorentic, a 550foot long passenger liner.

All 11 divers did a second scenic dive at Sheep Shag Bay, a drop off launching from the Downings. Rough seas again, however we found a sheltered spot.. We took photos of the dog fish which were quite docile.

Day 2 was bright and sunny again with shifting winds and a big swell and 3 to 4 meter Atlantic waves. The first dive site was called off as our 8.5 meter rib with twin 75 motors had had enough. Instead we had a fantastic adventurous cave dive, not for the faint hearted, total dive time was 51 mins.. First one in was Scott, Carl and Pam in middle followed by Nige behind. What an experience! The cave was broad approx. 13 meters deep, dark for a period, twists and turns then into another one where the surface was visible above us looking very pretty. We were swayed from side to side and back and forth with the surge, the last cave had a blind end. Several seals were located.

The second dive group entered the cave in a similar sequence i.e. Rebreather first and last which was reassuring for those of us who were not used to cave dives. The last dive was kelp and kelp again and the rebreather boys had another shot at a cave dive.

End of our diving so time to celebrate with yet another delicious meal and a few well earned bevvys.

The dive centre was ideal with plenty of facilities to cater for washing and drying our dive gear. The hospitality was 'spot on'. Thanks to Kev for organising the holiday. Some photos were snapped so happy viewing.