The Fog: Doolin Bones Bay re visited

Sea conditions allowed for diving and while burren got the head start out of the block, donal volunteered to cox the boat while a few of us took advantage of the few dive numbers and headed for Limerick Bones Bay for a dive. Visibility had decreased from last week, condition were “boiling”, but we managed to have some great diving. I was amazed by the sheer volume of pouting in the area, seen a number of baby congers and 2 pair of Crawfish. Tompots were a dime a dozen.  

Unfortunately, I have to commiserate with Paul, Martin and Miriam who packed up after the 1st dive, While the 2nd dive was on Sallys, slighly deeper, it was a great dive. Again, the pouting was all over the over hangs, in fact, I had fun squeezing my way under some of the overhangs so I could get a better view of what was hifing away in the recesses of them. One or 2 of the local Spider crab residents were none too happy with my invasion of their terrority and jumped me from behind 🙂

The highlight of the dive was the immense shoal of Coley which passed our way. I would estimate a shoal of at least 200 to 400 at least. Myself, Brian & Emma were trying to avoid keep our torches off so as not to frighten tham and pause our exhalations also. Amazing, thanks to Suzy who was patient enough to await our return after 40minutes.

Anyway, Doolin does not disappoint, weather is looking a bit dodgy with westerly f3-f4 throughout the week, so fingers crossed, we can dive Aran next week.

Pink Caves Kilkee

Pink Cave Kilkee

THe GODS were with us in Kilkee on Saturday and that was Ronnie and Manuel, They were our tour guides for the day and they were out to impress. We started out with a safe pass through the rocks at Myles’s Creek and headed over past the crabs back on towards Bishops Island, we came to what the locals call “polenascutter” which was an interesting landmark which consisted of a large pipe pumping sewage into the sea. On towards the Sailors Grave and Crean island and Slate Island and Lion Rock ( hope I remembered the names correctly) but the highlight of the afternoon had to be the “Pink Cave” past Bishops Island. Manuel assured me that this was an ideal oppertunity to enter with the boat though I was very reluctant I finally gave in to his trust and WOW it was amazing. Apparently conditions have to be perfect and only arise every 3-4 years. Normally its the type of thing one sees on a sun holiday boat trip, It was flat calm in the cave which is rare and even Ronnie had never been in there before. The lights on the boat help illuminate the walls and it was really a site to belold. Thanks to Ronnie and Manuel for a great expeditious afternoon learning all the landmarks around Kilkee.

Seasearch course :- Now, I know why I love diving !

Took a side step out of my usual routine to attend the seasearch course over weekend. So the weekend was directed by Tadhg O’ Brien Burren SAC and John Breen from Limsac 🙂  I have learned a lot from john over the years of diving, but, still, this allowed me to focus my diving particularly on what I can actually see and identify in the course of the diving activity. 

Funnily enough, I was allowed to change my dive profile, normally I am focused on the diving of my trainee Dive buddy, and while I survey the terrority off the dive area, I often don’t really get a chance to actually really look at the dive life and vegetation around me. So, with Emma as my buddy, we wandered off into the depths of Bones Bay(Ennis/Burren site as opposed to the Limerick Bones bay site). That’s another story!!

So, now I was able to really investigate the dive area. What can I say, I must miss a heck of alot on my other routine dives. I seen baby congers, I inspected Dead man’s finger, Elephant Ear Sponges, seen a Sea cumcumber take a “dump” , A female cuckoo Wrasse was pre occupied with her reflection in my Dive mask. I really noticed Devonshire cup Corals, bib, understand difference between Coley and Pollock and really seen a few Nudibrach’s for the 1st time, spotted flounder, and seen a wide variety of Crawfish, lobster and Crab. I was so relaxed and stayed mostly in the same area such that my breating rate dropped under 10LPM for the 1st time this year, so used less 110bar for a 45min dive. 

The sea eninemies were amazing in the realm of the 2nd dive Chinaman’s hole dive. However, Emma reminded me that I while I was making the effort to show Miriam the sea Cucumbers, Eninimies, and the lobster on the Chinman’s hole dive, I failed to spot the Congers above myself and Miriam looking down at us trying to tease it out so we could get a better view of it. All I need now is to bring my dive slate and maybe someone can get me a camera with a nice housing to get some photo’s. Anyone, want to oblige the D.O. with one???  🙂

 

A busy, long, but throughly enjoyable dives as well as rest of Club coming out to dive Sally’s Alley and the Limerick Bones bay. Great to get back to dive Doolin, It never ceases to amaze me with the variety of life. I manage to pick up dinner for last night also, a fine big pollock fished off the boat while I was cox’n for the internal club dives. Oven baked in tinfoil, with garlic and herbs…. delicious 😀

Thanks to Matt and Mike who did Dry Cox. Really helped speed up getting through the 4 dive trips. Well done to Eimhear and Miriam who are progressing nicely in their dive training.  Also, good training for the Club divers. Can’t wait to get back to Doolin for diving.

 

So Dive Aran on the lead up to Bank Holiday weekend… Any takers??  🙂

 

40 Shades of Green

You probably think this blog is about one of our trainees feeling very sick on the dive last night. It’s not. It’s nothing to do with the viz either. Its a blog about Johnny Cash. Cheesy? Yeah it probably is, but I’m a yank and that’s how we roll.

Last night myself and Dave were in search of “The Cathedral” in Kilkee near Middle Rock.  Brian dropped us off at a 13m dropoff near Middle Rock and we followed this reef around to the SouthWest. Our first drop landed us at the mouth of a huge cave. This alone would have made it a great dive. Dave loosing his fin was also a highlight for me. He stubbornly tried to get it back on, but in the end accepted my help. It was funny watching him go in circles for a while.

As we followed the reef away from the cave to the SouthWest, Dave motioned to me. He made a sign for the arch and my heart leapt, that was exactly what we were after! It is a gorgeous natural formation and as beautiful as the picture on the left suggests. The picture is taken by Martin Kiely from Aughinish. He gave me permission to link to his album, you should take a look he is one good photographer! Check it out HERE.

When you swim through the arch you come across an enclosed area that resemples an auditorium. Kind of like something you might see in Athens, with bench’s (reef walls) at the sides for spectators and an open air stage (sea floor) in the center. At the back of this room you have several holes that go back into the rock that are home to lobsters, Tom Pots, Wrasse, Spotted Gobi, crabs and other fish. The room seemed to house a lot of life, and all of it larger than normal size. WE did a tour of the room and came across a lobster bigger than any I had ever seen before. One claw from this lobby was much larger then my own hand, not that I got that close mind you, he looked like he could snip my air supply in one pinch.

We looked at each other after doing the first tour to see would we move on. After spending several dives this summer trying to find this spot, there was no swimming away from it. While we were there I counted a half dozen very large white sea fans and watched the starfish gorging on the mussles on the sea floor. I recon there was no life on the floor itself as that big lobster had cleared the place.

Now getting back to the Johnny Cash reference. It must have been country hour on the way home cause that was the tune on RTE1. Mid Week diving has to be my favorite time to dive. First of all its having to ditch work a little early to make the slip on time. Then its the dusk falling on the horizon as you finish up diving back to back, making everything more special to look at.  The trip home is usually different as you are trying to make it back before everyone at home is in bed…and maybe a light meal when you arrive starving.  I must have had a bit too much Nitrox in my mix cause I was singing Johnny Cash’s song as I past through Lissycasey. If you ever get a chance to join us Mid Week – you won’t regret it!

In Recovery: – Golden Jubilee Dinner Dance

Wow, What a great night! Thanks to all those who attended. Fantastic venue and food, from the staff at Savoy hotel, Great Music. Thanks to all those who attended and sent best wishes and congratulations on the night. Celebrations of the Golden Jubilee carried on until the wee small hours.

Thanks Martin & Aude from Aughinish, Brian Donnelly RDO from Lough Derg, along with Barry Lemasanine and his wife. Oisin Osborne from Galway SAC.

Mike put a slide show together which certainly re kindled some memories of the people throughout the years who contributed to Club operations.  

Thanks to Teresa, Emma, Mike Hynes, Dr. Tom, Brian Kearney, Suzy Kennedy & Maeve Callanan for working in the background to organize the night and encourage past members and friends of Limerick Sub Aqua to attend.

We remebered those who were unable to attend on the night, we remember all those who have passed on in life and we thanks all those who have passed through the doors of Limerick Sub Aqua Club and contributed to the Club in any way through the years.

A special thanks to Flagship scuba…..  Rory Golden…

Ronnie received some Memorabilia from the trip to the Titanic from Rory Golden of Flagship Scuba. A  Polystyrene cup, postcard and letter to Limerick Sub which is much coveted by the it’s members. It was deeply appreciated to be received by Ronnie.

A special mention also to Stephie Kennedy who sang most beautifully on the night. The dance floor was kept busy with Natalie, Theresa, kelly and Denise, Emma, Mick Moriarty, Maeve, Dave, Mark a& Louise and so many more… 

 

Thanks to all members of the Diving community who sent in their best wishes and congratulations, Aughinish, Lough Derg, Kilkee, Ennis, Burren, Galway, Waterford and Longford and so many more clubs and members of the Diving community.

The Club’s dinner dance had some distinguished attendees that have held various roles e.g. former RDO’s,members of the Executive, TC and general Officers of CFT for years (Brian, Bob, Mike & Tom& Colm), Mick Moriarty Curragh SAC – Archivast of CFT, and not forgetting Jimmy Connors from Limerick Marine S&R. 

Thankfully, the Clubs latest member held off her arrival until after the Dinner dance.  Rose boogied on the dance floor and maybe that encouraged her daughter to make an appearance yesterday afternoon at 2pm. Congratulations to Paul & Rose and the birth of their new daughter Baby Doherty to keep Luke company 🙂

 

Next event up is the Children of Chernoybl BBQ on Thursday evening at 2 mile Gate.  See you there!! 

 

 

Freedive Update

Thanks to our Chairman freediving has resumed in the Quarry, This evening Thurs 8th July we tested out our most recent attachment, our own custom made sled. This was its first test run and after some fine tuning we got it going smoothly, it still needs some slight modifications. Variable Weight Freediving involves using the assistance of a weighted device to reach greater depths and one returns to the surface under their own steam ie, finning or pulling up the rope. Some youtube clips will follow to give some idea how it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFkJ3qANO94
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGQxd-UUnSo
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjCamQT_hLE

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!!