Sheephaven SAC celebrated their 40th anniversary as a dive club affiliated to the Irish Underwater Council last weekend with a series of dives worthy of the occasion.
Last Saturdays activities were organised entirely by Alison Burke, as well as leading the dives Alison also put on two meals that sustained the divers through-out the day.
The dives were conducted on the Frenchmans Rock in sea conditions that were just a bit challenging, with a bit of a swell kicked up by a freshening westerly breeze. But nonetheless the site was deemed diveable and thanks to the presence of Paddy Mc Gowan at the helm of Dive Boat Ciara the overall time at the location was kept to minimum.
At the maximum depth on-site of 28metres there were near perfect in-water conditions, with a balmy temperature of 16 degrees and horizontal visibility of well over ten metres it was a near perfect dive for all involved.
Maximum surface to surface times of up to 40 minutes were recorded, allowing apple time to explore the remains of the 1950’s wreck of the Gallic that litters the sea bed at this location.
Marine life was both abundant and diverse, with a large Thornback Ray observed along with Pollock and Wrasse in the deeper parts of the site, while in the upper reaches of the water column there were various kelps, hydroids and Anemones present.
Alison took everyone back to the Frenchman for the second dive of the day, just getting the most of the occasion before the weather broke and the rain and wind came in from the west.
Back in the club house a special 40th anniversary cake, again provided by Alison Bourke, was cut by one of the founding members of Sheephaven SAC, Noel Brennan, who is still diving and setting an example to anyone who might consider letting age get in the way of physical activity.
On Sunday morning another founding member of the club, Willie Sheridan, led the snorkelers out from PortnaBlagh harbour in conditions that again were worthy of the occasion.
In-water there was clear water through-out the snorkel, with at least 20 metres of horizontal visibility, which gave a panoramic view that would be envy of any foreign dive location.
While diving equipment and practices along with exotic foreign destinations may have changed over the last 40 years the desire to get in a have a look at what is under surface has not changed and bearing that in mind the current club members are always conscious of the work and vision of the original club members who built up what we have to enjoy today.
Finally with a look to the future as a new generation takes to centre stage Sheephaven SAC send their congratulations to Ciara Corcoran who has just qualified as BSAC Dive Leader with Dublin University SAC.