Skinny-dippers spotted off George’s Head

From Free-Dive day off Georges

We never expected to get such an enormous response to our skin-diving event this week – but clearly there are some scuba divers out there unafraid to frolic in the water uninhibited. A group made up of divers from Aughinish, Ennis, Burren and Limerick SAC headed out to Georges Head in Kilkee this weekend without the usual dive gear. You might have thought this was some form of naked protest against the recession (the event was free after all), but actually it was all about free-diving.

The group met at Myles Creek Pub at 10am for a lecture on “Better Breathing for Divers” by Peter Walsh, assistant training officer from Limerick SAC. Peter is very knowledgeable on the subject of apnea and is a passionate free-diver. The lecture Peter designed covered the vital part CO2 plays when breathing efficiently. The highlight of the lecture was the state-of-the-art software he used on 3 lucky volunteers to test their breathing before and after they put his new techniques into practice.

We were honoured by legendary skin divers Manuel DiLucia, Billy Nott and our very own Ronnie Hurley. These chaps were avid spear-fisherman back in the day representing Ireland in several tournaments both here and abroad.  The lads gave Peter their stamp of approval after noting that many of the new techniques were quite different to what was done during their pioneering days under water. We aren’t too sure why the boys didn’t join us in the water…someone thought it was because we did’nt plan to dive deep enough and someone else thought they were put off becuase we wern’t going in our birthday suits.  Check out our history section for more pictures from the good old days.

After the lecture we hit the water in a full dive boat. It was quite strange to be heading out without a tank – but everyone was up for it. We started with some pull downs on the shot line, making sure to clear ears safely. Later we worked on our duck-dives and buddy diving all the while safely returning up the shotline. Everyone achieved more than they had thought they could do – and I even heard some say they would like to try a bit more depth.

It was a real pleasure to be joined by divers from the different clubs. I don’t think anyone is jacking in the scuba tanks just yet, but I think everyone would probably have another go at free-diving. We’d like to make it an annual event if possible – maybe tie it into the requirements for Leading diver 10m snorkels earlier in the season. Keep an eye out – we will be sure to give people plenty of notice for next years event. For anyone that missed out on the lecture – Peter has offered to hold it again in the wet room in UL before snorkel training this autumn. We will send out the details after the new 2010 training season gets underway.

Thanks to Johnny Hassett and Dave Ryan for getting the boat launched during the lecture and to Brian, Emma and the lads for setting up a pair of shot lines.