South East Dive Rally

It’s that time of year again, so pack up the gear, find a buddy and head to the beautiful sunny south east!!! The South East Dive Rally will take place on the 20th, 21st and 23rd of July 2017. The Hook Sub Aqua club are already looking forward to welcoming divers from all over the country to take part in the annual rally, this its 6th year! The members are hard at work planning BBQs, table quizzes, photography competitions, raffle prizes, and most importantly, diving!

The focal point for this event is Slade, the main harbour on the Hook peninsula.  For those of you who are not familiar with this area, the Hook offers a selection of dive sites from shore dives to wrecks and drift dives of various depths. Over the rally weekend, we will endeavour to facilitate divers of all grades. This year promises to big the biggest and best yet with over 200 dives expected!

Diving

The diving day will begin for early birds on Friday 20th and continue throughout the weekend.

Tower Hole is a fantastic 10m dive nestled just underneath the light house. Once you enter the water, a gully takes you right along the base of the rocks under the lighthouse. On your way you will find a small swim through that is always teeming with Squat Lobsters, Harbour Crabs and Shrimp. Further along there is a deep crack into the rock that is home to several Lobsters and Blennys. As you continue south away from the Light House the gully opens up into a stony bottom littered with Spider Crabs and for those of you with eagle eyes, Flat Fish. Further on there is a sandy bottom, an excellent place to search for Sand Eels especially at night. Tower Hole is also a good place to spot an Octopus or two although usually on a night dive.

The Bathtub or Anchor Cave is the second shore dive in the shadow of the light house. This dive is particularly special as the entry point is only accessible at high tide in calm conditions. The entry point is a blow hole (Bath tub) that opens out onto the far side of the rocks in front of the light house. The colour and life on this side of the rocks is truly breath taking but the highlight of this dive is the large anchor that sits at the mouth if a gully. If you pass over this and head up the gully there is a large cave, though it can get very cramped near the end. If you are very lucky you might even meet the resident seal!

Away from the light house back up the road towards Slade Harbour there is an absolute hidden gem of a shore dive. Churchtown not only has its own wreck and caves but the most magnificent blowhole swim-through in the South East. In order to get to this magical spot, it requires a little bit of cross country walking but it is all worth it. Under the calm waters of the cove at Churchtown lies the wreck of the Schlesin. Much of the wreck is destroyed but its winch system remains along with part of the hull and the impressive propeller. Leaving the cove, and following the sandy bottom there is a series of gullies filled with Wrasse and Jewel Anemones. These gullies lead to a very large swim through cave with blow holes in the roof. This is the most spectacular part of the dive, with the light shining through the roof of the cave onto the stony bottom. Following on through the gullies you finally come to a smaller cave with plenty of life hidden between the rocks. Churchtown is a beautiful dive and well worth the trek!

Dives will range from wreck dives such as the Girl Arleen, Harrys Wreck and The Lismore to scenic dives on the breath-taking Big and Western Rocks and fantastic shore dives at the Tower Hole, The Bathtub and Churchtown.

Dive schedules to be announced. (several per day over the weekend)

The dives will include wreck dives, scenic dives and drift dives. Depths will range from 20m to 40m depending on dive site. There will also be snorkels and shore dives throughout the day, although these will depend on water and weather conditions along the coast.

We would like to encourage as may clubs as possible bring boats. The Hook tractor can launch and recover your boat at no matter what the tide (Slade Harbour is tidal, so at times it is completely dry). There is loads of room at our club house to park your boat for the weekend.

If your club is not bringing a boat, we will do our best to facilitate you on another clubs boat.

A dive on an organising clubs boat is 10euro.

The Hook Club have a built in compressor and can fill bottles in about 5mins. Air fills cost 5euro.

We encourage divers from all grades to attend the rally but we would strongly advise that trainee (1*) divers be accompanied by a club diver of higher qualification as we cannot guarantee them suitably qualified dive buddies for the weekend.

Registration

Registration will take place all weekend at the Hook Sub Aqua Clubs club house, just around the corner from Slade Harbour. Registration is 10 euro. This will cover the use of the clubs facilities for the weekend. All rally participant are welcome to use the changing rooms (with hot showers!), kitchen and gear washing facilities over the weekend. The fee will also cover fuel for the tractor to launch boats.

There will also be a facility to register on COMS so watch this space!

NOTE: Only active divers can participate in dives and log books must be presented.

Photo Competition

We would especially like to invite all photographers to the participate in the South East Dive Rallys Photo Competition.

There are several catagories, even one for above water (more details to follow).

All photos have to be taken during the weekend.

Accommodation

There is loads of accommodation in the Hook area. This includes self catering houses and B&Bs. For a full list of accommodation contact

www.hooktourism.com

If people are interested in camping they are welcome to camp at the clubhouse for FREE, there is loads of room! The Hook club house has a kitchen, changing rooms, areas to wash boats and gear and best of all hot showers!!!!

Fun for all

On Saturday night get your dancing shoes and thinking caps on as the South East Dive Rally quiz is returning to Templers Inn. The table quiz is open to all divers and non-divers!

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For non divers there is plenty of entertainment. The Hook Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in Europe and has tours daily and a coffee shop.

Loftus Hall (the house that reportedly had the devil playing cards!!) has a spooky ghost tour for all ages running regularly.

We would like to extend an invitation to you and your club to join us for this diving extravaganza!

Do please join us and make it an event to remember.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Liz-  087 1743488

Noel – 086 158 4423

Martin -087 9292706

Find us on Facebook & Instagram

lizmodonoghue@gmail.com

noelly87@yahoo.co.uk