The best option is to take the motorway towards Limerick until you get to the Exit 26 for Nenagh (N52). Stay on teh N52 until teh 3rd round-a-about and take a left onto the N494 for Portroe. In Portroe, a left turn will bring you to the quarry.
Keep left through the gate as you go in, then park in the big area on your right.
Portroe is a dive center. There's a shop at the site office, and they do tea and coffee, and you can get your tags for air fills there too. Kit up near the carpark, and head down the slope to the water. The area around the entry point can be slightly crowded, so be respectful of other divers, and wait your turn.
Generally, unless you get there early enough in the day the vis can be affected by other divers. Bear this in mind, and stay off the bottom as much as you can. Silt gets stirred up easily here. The other thing to consider is that there is a rescue boat in the quarry, so it's not impossible that it will be on the water. Use an SMB if you're not coming up the sloping path.
Also worth bearing in mind, for those used to diving in the sea, the fresh water will require less weight, and will cause your computers to register a shallower depth than you are actually experiencing.
Take your pick! Basically this site has something for everyone, there's 12m to the left of the entry point, which is ideal for practicing assessments. In this area is an old muscle car, a canoe and a white ford van, which can be fun to examine. Keeping the wall on your left and heading South South East brings you to a slope to 15m, where there are a few shacks still visible. In this area, near the South Easterly wall, there's also a sunken boat, the Shamrock, sunk on St. Patrick's day 2011. Behind the boat there are occasionally large eels to be found resting among the rocks.
Continuing past the shacks and the boat in a WSW direction will bring you to the edge of a sheer cliff. The top is at around 17-20m, and the bottom is at over 40m, so don't go over the edge too quickly! If you turn right at that ledge and follow the wall down slowly to around 25m, you'll find the remains of an old winch. From here, there's a path to the ENE that leads to a mineshaft. The path slopes upward, and the shaft is at 25m depth, so it would be a good idea to see tis at the start of the dive, to keep a good profile.
When you're done, go back to the Southern tip of the 12m section, and you can join a path that slopes upward to the entry point. Following this means that there's no need for an SMB, and makes it easy to regulate your ascent rate. There's even a flat area at 5m for your safety stop!
More than enough here for one dive, so break it up among however many you plan on doing. Bear in mind that, while it may be the only diveable place on a winter's day, the water tends to be a lot colder than the ocean, as cold as 4 degrees, so it's not for those sensitive to the cold.
Seapoint - high tide 10:00
Sandycove - high tide 4:30ish
17th Seapoint - high tide 10:00
Snorkel Skerries - High Tide 5 pm
Sunday 5th June Snorkel 11:00 am Seapoint
Sunday 12th June Snorkel 11:00 am Sandycove
Monday 13th June Lecture 7:45 pm TBC Sportsco
“Decompression” and “Dive Tables”
Sunday 19th June Snorkel 11:00 am Seapoint
Sunday 26th June Snorkel 11:00 am Skerries
Sunday 3rd July Snorkel 11:00 am Seapoint
Diving in Dublin for June will be announced shortly
Weekend 2nd / 3rd July Diving Rathlin Island
It is a beautiful but shallow, 5m shore dive with crystal clear water, lots of life and sheltered in most weather. The stack in the middle is an interesting habitat for a wide variety of North Atlantic life – octopus, eel, shrimp and wrasse. It makes a world class night dive, easy access and control and teeming with life.
Small Bay at the entrance to Malinbeg Harbour is a beautiful 18m dive over white sand with large rocky outcrops. The light here is excellent for photography. There is a shallow cave at the back of the bay in the centre of which is a sandy hollow, a spawning ground for a variety of fish in the spring and early summer.
Shark Rock is a covering rock at the entrance to the harbour which offers beautiful dives through two rocky gullies. Enter the water just to the north of the rock and drop down into a large bowl, which because it is sheltered is always full of fish, swim SW into the corner which looks dark but opens out to an exciting overhanging swim-through at 20m. Passing through this swim east ascending to the 14m mark and following the rock round, you come into a 2m wide gully heading north. There is always a selection of lobster and cray in the holes in the rock walls (look, don’t touch!). You can finish out the dive by swimming north and entering Small Bay.
Gloster Rocks offer several dives. Enter the water to the east of the rocks and swim through the gap between the rocks and then turn either north or south and follow the rock, or again entering to the east swim south into deeper water (up to 35m).
Candles Rock is an excellent dive where you can swim right round the rock or head SW into deep water (40m). Inside (NE) the depth is 8–14m and offers lots of broken rock. Leading away to the NW is a ledge at 18–20m.
Bullock Rock (Thor Lee Bullig) is a submerged reef which breaks in a heavy swell. The top is about 4m and the bottom is about 27m with shear drops and deep cuts in the rock. The inside (north side) is the most interesting but it is just possible to swim all round it. Excellent life and colours.
Slieve League Cliffs
The cliffs at Slieve League are the tallest sea cliffs in Europe with a height of 600m. They tower above some of the most beautiful dive sites in Ireland. Silver Strand to Carrigan Head is a distance of about 8km. Dives range from drop offs to shallow reefs, small coves and caves big enough to take the boat into. For the non-diver there is a very good viewing point from the car park on Carrigan Head but the drive up there is something else, not for the learner driver or the faint hearted.
60th Anniversary Snorkel: This anniversary event is taking place at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday 22nd May.
Please meet at Windsurfers Pier in Dun Laoighaire (Back of West Pier - plenty of parking, space and freedom to snorkel) (GPS Co-ordinates: 53.296008, -6.149848) followed afterwards by coffees, teas and eats in a local establishment.
This is a lovely calm piece of water used all year round, hail or sunshine. Although primarily a sandy bottom there are plenty of rocky clumps to explore with an abundance of pollack, green crabs and wrasse to be seen.
If you want to be nostalgic you can brave Dublin Bay in the garb of 60 years ago, others can wear wetsuits or even dry suits. Skinny Dipping is optional, if you don’t mind a bit of slagging.
"Best for Dublin Beach Culture: Seapoint
Arrive early enough at Seapoint and you may just spot a regular — still in dressing gown and slippers — shuffling down for a morning dip. Or you may witness the amusing but not uncommon scene of dainty ladies in togs and bathing caps chatting about the lovely temperatures while less hearty souls stroll by in wool caps and overcoats.
Ask these hardliners about their strange habit of jumping in the sea and they’ll even describe it as an addiction, a fix they need to get them through the day. Odder yet, they prefer to do it in the colder weather, before the jellyfish arrive.
On sunnier days, the crowd around Seapoint’s Martello Tower swells with other regulars — some remarkably tanned — reading papers, sharing sandwiches, flasks of tea and a bit of gossip. Find your place in the sun and join them.
For one of Dublin’s best seaside walks, follow the DART line from Seapoint to the base of Dun Laoghaire’s West Pier, and then out to the tip and back. After your taste of Dublin beach culture Seapoint style, try the Purty Kitchen in Monkstown for good food and a pint. Seapoint is best reached by DART, either to Seapoint or Monkstown. Limited parking is available at Monkstown station."
Away Weekend of diving and snorkeling in Mullaghmore
Mullaghmore – the Gullies. ‘The Present is the Key to the Past
Uniformitarianism. The principle that geological processes that operated in the past continue to operate in the present. This principle was first enunciated in the late 18th century by James Hutton, developed by John Playfair and popularised by Charles Lyell in Principles of Geology in 1830. The practical implication of the principle is that by studying how processes operate now, when you see evidence of the same processes in rocks from the past, you can make reasonably valid assumptions about the type of environment that prevailed.
So what? Compare tthe following two photos.
The first is of ripples in sandstone rock of Carboniferous age in Mullaghmore that are about 290 million years old. The one on the left is from Mullaghmore at present in about 6 metres of water and can be seen from a shore dive at the Gullies. The ones from the Carboniferous are about 500 metres from the ones underwater. I am not particularly religious but I do have a sneaking regard for Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
In this instance, and because of the principle of Uniformitarianism, the ripples in the sandstone rock suggest that they were formed in relatively shallow water in the sea thus allowing interpretation of the environment in which the rocks were formed.
‘The Gullies’ refers to that part of Mullaghmore Head where a series of roughly north west-south east gullies provide both boat and shore diving opportunities. At low tide the Gullies are particularly obvious as seen here with the ‘gullies’ in the middle distance approached by a short walk over gently shelving rocks, a short snorkel followed by heaven on earth (and I said I was not particularly religious).
This shore dive is really easy peasy. Park at Mullaghmore Head whereever the view in the above picture appears. Kit up and walk down the rocks to the shore (watch out for slippery sea weed at low tide). Enter the water and snorkel out until you are about 10 to 20 metres from the reef facing you in the middle distance. Submerge, hang a left and fin along the wall following it until it opens out into a gully that descends to about 25 metres. If you have a large bottle or small lungs you can head north east and pick up the next gully and return to the sheltered water in the middle distance. If not head back the way you came and when the gully peters out head roughly south east until you have to surface.
Allthe best ofwest of Ireland diving is found here, shellfish, anemones, hydroids and lots more. On a recent dive two buddies and I were played with by dolphins on a safety stop.
As you enjoy the dive spare a thought for the recent tragic history of Mullaghmore that includes the assassination of Lord Mountbatten and tragic drownings in the mid 1990s when youngsters on the forshore were overcome by large waves. The bench near where you have changed is a reminder of their plight. The shore dive starts at 54.472531,-8.456604.
TRY A DIVE
Snorkel details later (Easter / Roads Closed)
Snorkel Bull Wall 11am
Dalkey Island Snorkel - Options available. Details will be provided later.
Practical workshop: “How to service your diving gear” – Mick O’Rourke 8:00 p.m.
Post Snorkel walk: Sandymount to Poolbeg Lighthouse. Meeting Sandymount Beach Martello Tower 1pm.
Snorkel 11 am Sandycove followed by walk: Sandymount to Poolbeg Lighthouse. Meeting Sandymount Beach Martello Tower 1pm.
Snorkel in Grand Canal (Between Leeson Street Bridge and Baggot Street Bridge) – Meeting 10:00 a.m. Leeson St Bridge.
Meeting of all divers and snorkelers to agree dives and snorkels for season – 8:30 pm Sportsco. If necessary the meeting will be continued after the pool in the Bath.
Snorkel at Skerries
Snorkel along the Bull Wall
Snorkel at Sandycove
Lecture: “Our Armada Heritage” – Cormac Lowth 8:00 p.m.
March 17th – Dalkey Island Swim
March 21st – Fitness to Dive Snorkel in Sandycove
April 10th/11th – Cox’n Course and Boat Launch – we will be looking for volunteers to assist with prepping boats in advance of this
April 19th – First Dive Northside, Lambay Island
April 26th – First Dive Southside, Muglins
May 2-4th – Possible Day trip (or longer depending on interest) to St. John’s point/Mullaghmore (Bank Holiday weekend)
May 15th-17th – Weekend Away Cahirciveen (Regional South West Weekend)
June 27th - Dive to Leinster shipwreck
July 3rd/4th/5th – Southeast Regional Dive Rally
July 18th/19th – West Regional Weekend (Killala)
August 21st – 23rd – Dublin Regional Dive Weekend
September – Weekend Away Inishboffin/Cleggan
IRISH SUBAQUA CLUB “Try a Dive”
EXCITING ADVENTURE FOR 2015
You could be a qualified SCUBA Diver, with an internationally recognised qualification, by autumn 2015.
Irish Sub Aqua Club, Ireland's first scubadiving and snorkelling club, has an excellent membership and training record, is seeking new members to join us next year. We will be offering “Try-a-Dives in the Sportsco pool, St Lotts Road, Ringsend (see map) on Monday 26th January.
Following the Try-a-Dive potential members will have the opportunity to complete the swimming test for membership.
A full programme of training, both practical and theoretical, is organised commencing with pool training on the following Monday, 2nd February for seven Monday evenings (9 to 10 pm) with a lecture programme (details to be announced)
Open water (sea) training, snorkels and SCUBA dives will commence in early March. Scuba equipment will be provided for the pool training.
Why not give it a try. More information is available from Kate McDermott or Irishsubaqua@gmail.com
Brian Mc Keon will lead a walk around Howth possibly Sunday 18th January. Stay tuned!!