Inclement weather in late May did not keep Sheephaven SAC from enjoying a full week of diving.
The weekly trainee dive was led by Joe Neely from Burtonport, with divers making their way to Poolawaddy pier at Arranmore Island under the coxswain of Eileen Coll and Timmy Boyle. Divers can get anywhere from 10 to 20 metres here, ideal for trainees and more experienced divers.
Visibility was down to five metres or less in some spots, but there was abundant sea life, with large specimens of wrasse and pollock darting through the kelp. Once the boat was back at Burtonport, divers enjoyed a leisurely debrief in the Lobster Pot.
Saturday morning’s dive avoided the north-easterly kicking up on the more exposed parts of the coast by travelling down Mulroy Bay to conduct a 30-metre dive at Pan Rock. The Kevin Boylan-led dive was conducted in one stick thanks to Doug Fox, who provided dry coxswain duties.
The 40-minute dive was conducted to a depth of 30 metres in good conditions. Marine life was in full swing, with loads of nudibracks or sea slugs of different species, and significant numbers of emerging moon jellyfish.
Sunday morning’s trainee dive was led by Dive Officer of the Day Anne Boyle and conducted in conjunction with visitors form Leitrim SAC, who were part of a two-boat dive party that travelled from Downings to the ever-popular trainee dive site at Pat McGee’s. The visitors included coxswain test candidate, Gerry Gilroy, who was examined by Timmy Boyle and passed his practical and technical knowledge of boatmanship test.
Newer trainees were able to complete their 10-metre dives in the comfort of inside the headland, where they also practiced training drills of buoyancy, buddy breathing and mask clearance. Meanwhile, more experienced trainees and other divers went in at the headland and successfully completed a 20-metre dive for over 30 minutes.
Over the summer, Sheephaven SAC intends to conduct a trip to Mayo in July and to Clare in September. These trips are being organised by John Joe Rowland, who is taking bookings. This is in addition to the annual John McGravey Memorial Fin Swim from Burtonport to Arranmore, Saturday, June 21st. Anyone interested should contact Hugo McFadden for the swim and Anne Boyle to book accommodation.