Sheephaven SAC held its Christmas Party last Saturday, once again hosted by The Singing Pub in Downings.
It is a feature of Sheephaven SAC that on any given Sunday club members meet in PortnaBlagh for a snorkel, or if conditions permit a dive in the vicinity of the pier.
This allows for the social element of club to strengthen the bonds that have kept Sheephaven vibrant over the last few years and these contacts are important to all involved.
Taking this into account the Christmas Party is therefore one of the main events in the club’s annual social calendar and in addition to the good food there is an opportunity to catch up on all the current gossip, as well as talking about all that has happened over the past year.
Club Entertainments Officer, Caroline Mc Gee, organised for a wide selection of Spot Prizes, which were raffled off during the party and she has asked that all those who sponsored or provided the prizes be thanked for their generosity, in particular the wonderful hamper that was donated as First Prize.
Unfortunately the weather on Saturday morning was not conducive to diving, but Sunday was much better and the snorkelers were able to take to water once again for a decent run out across the bay at PortnaBlagh.
Sadly the in-water visibility has been reduced to a minimum at the moment, but no doubt will return to its pristine best when the weather begins to settle down after the recent run of Atlantic depressions, gales and storms,
Meanwhile water temperature now at 9 degrees Celsius is getting ever closer to its lowest, with the coldest at this location generally around 8 degrees Celsius, although from time to time it will momentarily drop lower in the upper reaches of the water column.
Nonetheless Sheephaven divers will keep water fit and be ready to dive if and when the situation arises, but to do this in the New Year all involved must be certified to do so by the Irish Underwater Council.
This certification involves demonstrating water fitness to the satisfaction of the Club Diving Officer, having a current Medical Certificate and by a further online Self-Declaration of Medical Fitness since the diver’s last medical.
Finally a club member must be paid up and in doing so pays for the Insurance, which covers any Third Party Indemnity in the event of an accident.
As the Christmas administration break approaches any diver who wants to be certified for the New Year should consider paying their Annual Subscription now, to ensure that there is no lag in the first days of 2019.
This is of particular relevance to Search and Recovery Divers, who may be called upon at any time to assist in an underwater search, as they will not be authorised to dive unless they have been cleared to do so by the Irish Underwater Council.
The Sheephaven SAC annual subscription is €410, which in addition to the dive insurance mentioned above covers all air fills and boat costs, subscriptions should be paid to the Club Treasurer, who will ensure the matter is administrated after that.