Posts by Roger Noonan

So You WANNADIVE in Tenerife??

Tenerife

I´ve had the pleasure of spending the last 4 weeks in tenerife, during which time i´ve logged up quiet a few dives with a fantastic dive center called “wannadive” .Those of you who know Majeic will recall that he came to Wannadive and completed his Padi Divemaster internship with them. I came with the same intention but quickly realised that while I like diving, I don´t like it that much!

Anyway, The diving here is very good. With the water a balmy 24 degrees in November and visability usually around 20 metres well who would complain?. During my dives here, i have had the pleasure of seeing stingrays, groupers, lizard fish, glass-eye fish, blenny, wrasse,scorpion fish, puffer fish, trumpet fish, angel shark, sea turtle, black moray eel, and the most beautiful of all in my opinion, the fangtooth moray.  The shop has a selection of over 20 dive sites to choose from, and the great thing is, the majority of them are only 10 minutes via rib from the beach. Depths of the sites vary from 10 metres to 40 metres, but the great thing about the shallowest site?…its where you have a better than even chance of swimming with a sea turtle! There are 3 turtles at this site, thankfully everyone has enough sense not to chase these guys, so generally when they see you diving, they will come over for a closer inspection

Wannadive run a very smooth, efficent and safe operation. The shop is owned and run by Marc and Ramona, and they make sure that everyone is well looked after and comfortable. There is an endless supply of tea and coffee (well its the small things that make the difference!), a dive shop that is the best i´ve seen with everything from whistles to BCD´s to semi-drys for sale, and all at decent prices, a lot better than we´re used to in Ireland at any rate! There is a large wet room where all the dive gear is stored and you can kit up for the dive. A wide assortment of semi drys and bcds are available to suit all sizes, a plentiful selection of 12 litre and 15 litre bottles, and an in-house compressor to cater for both air and nitrox fills. The wet room also incorporates a small pool for trainees. Generally there are 3 dives per day. Once you´re kitted up in the wet room, its a quick 2 minute walk to the beach where the rib is moored.

So in summary, if any of you guys decide to venture away from the snow and ice, and catch a cheap flight to Tenerife, I would highly recommend you call in to Marc and Ramona, you will not be disappointed! Check out their excellent website at www.wannadivingtenerife.com

BALLAD TO BALTIMORE!!

On a sunny Friday afternoon, drawn by history and lore,

12 LSAC divers struck for sunny Baltimore,

to view the sunken Kowloon Bridge, with its cargo of iron ore,

and to dive a german submarine, sitting forlornly on the ocean floor.

 

The Kowloon Bridge sought shelter in 1986,

to effect repairs to deck cracks, they knew they had to fix.

But steerage lost she bagan to drift and finally ran amok,

and found her final docking station, upon the jagged Stag rock.

 

The U260 submarine is a sight to behold,

within its presence you feel that history unfolds.

48 german crewmen, all rescued and brought to land,

secret documents found floating, of use to the allied hand.

 

Much talk and anticipation prior to the submarine dive,

dive tables were produced, dug out from the archives!

Bottom times, decompression times, expressions never used before,

never was a plan so important upon heading to the ocean floor.

 

“Safety is paramount, shot line at 90 bar,

don’t mind this decompression craic thats taking it too far!

Ah lads i’m heavy on air, 100 bar is a safer bet,”

Johnny Hassett had heard enough, he went for a cigarette!

 

Mike Orth was drinking cough syrup like it was going out of fashion,

but remember Mike raised the quarry bar, he is a man of passion!

He arose from his sick bed to make the journey south,

his biggest fear was a fit of coughing that would blow the 2nd stage out!

 

Johnny Hassett took ill, Matt was called to assist,

Matt said “hold on there Johnny while I go for a piss!”

As part of Matts training, Brian was checking on his facts,

he just hadn’t anticipated, Matts need to use the jacks!

 

Davy Ryans sea legs were left at Limerick side,

as he hurled his breakfast overboard, and wounded his manly pride.

but he needn’t have worried as we awaited, in excited anticipation,

Brian & Matt surfacing, a half mile from the decompression station!

 

From Baltimore U260 and Kowloon Bridge

Mission Impossible??

Summer in Portroe Quarry

Saturday morning was like any other morning to me as I prepared my gear for a dive in Portroe quarry. Little did I know that far away in a leafy suburb in Newport…a plan was being hatched…a plan unlike any other…Yes Mike Orth was planning, scheming, (and yes, even selective recruiting!) to be the man to find the missing bar.

Little did his two partners know as they awaited his arrival at 11am. Emer had being recruited earler for her archaeological backround (yes, nothing was being left to chance.) while I was the brawn for the operation (well it is obvious isn’t it?). Mike arrived and told us his plan. It was discussed with Peter, who runs operations in the quarry.  All options as to the bars possible location were discussed including points of launch, trajectories, water behaviour, even the weight and colour of the bar. All that was missing was a powerpoint presentation, cigar smoke and flak jackets.

The plan was devised to do a sweep of the shallows. We kitted up. The plan was changed. A voice of dissent was heard to say ” what happened to plan the dive and dive the f*****g plan?” but this voice of revolt was quickly quashed and he (oops!) was brought back into line.

As with any great mission there were technical problems. Once I got in the water my BCD refused to stop inflating due to a worn o-ring. I wished my buddies well and aborted my dive. Do I still get my cut of the reward monies remains to be seen!

On descent Mike quickly spotted the bar over Emers shoulder. He powered ahead and tied a SMB to it for later retrieval. However as he finned away, he recalled the well-known motto of the deep…Finders Keepers Losers Weepers. (or something like that) He knew there were foreign search and recovery personnel in the water (a few polish lads) and he was determined that they would not steal the glory. Finning back, he inflated the SMB and guided the priceless artefact…sorry bar to the surface.

On the surface Peter was anxiously awaiting developments. He hopped from foot to foot on the pontoon like an anxious mother awaiting her teenage daughter home after a night out with a dodgy boyfriend. Ah but his wait was worth it, as Mike brought the bar to the surface and handed it over to Pete. It’s fair to say that Pete is still smiling, and maybe even Mike!

I have to say, a very entertaining dive. Every dive in the quarry will seem boring after this search and recovery mission. Maybe a few objects should be deliberately planted at the bottom for divers to go and seek out and retrieve?. It can only improve navigation skills, observational skills, and a bit of craic and banter as well.

Portmagee Dive Week:

Portmagee 2010

A great weeks diving and craic was had by all in Portmagee. The weather was good and the diving even better, with some cracking diving around Puffin, Diamon Rock, The Sound, and Glin Pier. When a good days diving is followed by good grub and a few beers, well life doesn’t get much better!

Thinking back over the week, the things that stick out in my mind would be:

 

Brians keyfob is waterproof to approx 3m depth…Them Sorentos are some job!

That Richard Ryan can duckdive to 3m in a semi-dry without a weight belt…Thanks Rich!

That Pollack tastes every bit as nice as Mackeral when barbecued at Mike and Shirleys…Thanks Guys!

Dr Toms impromptu lecture on the finer points of Nitrox diving…definately a few candidates lined up now for the next course i’d say.

That when the coxain says that there is “a bit of a rip” around Diamond rock, you’d better listen up!!

That there is no point sending Dave Ryan to the shop as he only comes back with non-essential items like bread and milk, while forgetting the all-essential jellybabies, vital to sustain a divers sugar levels.

That it is still possible to get away with wearing a Cookie Monster Cycling jersey when in your late fifties!!

Until next year!!

 

Seal Island, Quilty

I was lucky enough last Sunday to do my club test at Seal Island, Quilty. What a dive site!..It certainly lived up to its name, as we were greeted by about 10 seals bobbing in the water checking us out when we arrived. Rolling off the boat, a fantastic descent into a 30m deep channel, with sheer cliff wall up one side. This wall was teeming with life, mainly lobsters and crabs. I have never seen so many lobsters, both in the wall and out in the open, practically tripping over them!. Also very easy site to navigate, simply keeping the wall on your left side, and follow it around before returning the same way. Then on our ascent, more seals to keep us company. Definately a site that the we should try and get to before the year is out, weather permitting of course!

Desperate divers take action!

Mike Orth and I decided a few weeks ago to take matters into our own hands regarding our diving progress, as the weather Gods are not being compliant to say the least…This decision found us both slipping out of work early, and heading to Kilkee last evening with a bootful of diving gear and grim determination. This determination was dented somewhat when we got to Doctors rock and Mike was heard to use such expressions as “boiling”..”washing machine out there”…and finishing off with “No Fxxxxxg way am I going out there!”..However not to be outdone, we soon located Newfee, and once we got over the urge to use the diveboards, we proceeded to kit up. Visability was fantastic, max depth of 9.2m meant a lovely extended chilled out dive, spotted a few lobsters, plaice, bleenys, top marks to Mike for the excellent navigation skills getting us back to the ladder 1st time, (even if I did assist!) and Brian for acting as our shore marshal.