Sheephaven Divers were able to conduct a full schedule of club activities last weekend with a boat dive on Saturday morning, followed by the regular snorkel on Sunday morning.
With Storm Gareth eventually giving way to better weather, after what seemed to be a full week of stormy weather, sea conditions were starting to moderate sufficiently by Saturday morning to allow for a boat dive from Mevagh slipway to the nearby Dunloan Rock.
This dive site is on the First Narrows into Mulroy Bay and requires perfect timing to catch slack water and avoid the fierce currents that rip through the location on either side.
On the best of conditions, a diver can enjoy a 25-metre dive for up to 40 minutes and observe some great examples of Lobsters, Conger Eels, Butterfish, and various crab species, along with Hydroids, Sponges and Anemones.
But once the tide begins to flow the diver must go with it and then they can catch a drift dive that will take them along the bay at quite a pace.
Last Saturday the divers were watched over by Kieran Doherty, who was able to follow them in the newly refurbished Dive Boat Ciara, in order to ensure their safe recovery at the end of their dive.
The prolonged storm water run-off into the Mulroy Bay system has reduced the in-water visibility, while the water temperature at this location at 7.5 degrees Celsius is noticeably colder than out to sea, where it could be expected to be one or two degrees warmer.
The Sunday morning snorkel in PortnaBlagh harbour was restricted by the remnants of the swell that had built up due to Storm Gareth and the divers stayed close to the pier as a result.
Nonetheless, it was an opportunity for some returning divers to successfully complete their mandatory in-water dive fitness test, which includes a timed 400-metre snorkel, 3 meters free dive and 50 meters simulated casualty tow.
Hopefully, we can expect better weather from here on that will allow for a return to the more exposed dive sites for which this region is renowned.Tags: