Sheephaven dive Melmore Head

Aug 13 2013 Posted by Office Administraton

On Sunday Sheehaven SAC dived Melmore Head for the trainee dive. The two boat dive party was very well attended and the trainees, most of who are now onto their 20 meter dives got to experience the variety of this dive site, which includes abundant fish life and a wreck. The dive benefited from the presence of a dry coxswain, in the person of Brendan Proctor and while the second boat was anchored he was able to watch over the subsequent one-stick dive.

Water visibility was slightly reduced but still close to 10 meters while water temperature is perfect for the wet suited divers. A special mention here for Sheephavens’ newest club diver, Dominic Barr who passed his 2 Star Club Diver test last week and was present on the dive, well done Dominic.

This site produced the usual suspects of crabs, Pollock, Bib and shoals of fish larvae and juvenile Cod but two species observed were of particular note. The first was a Ling that was determined to be videoed, generally they are very shy and flee to safety under rocks but this one was sufficiently content to remain in the open while the camera was rolling, the results of which are up on the Sheephaven SAC Facebook page.

The second sighting was very important, that of a Sunfish, which was observed inside Melmore Headland. They are occasional visitors to our shores and always associated with fine weather and when observed they are on the sea surface with their tall dorsal fin lies flapping into the waves. In addition to their laid back behaviour, lounging around on the surface, they have the most outlandish appearance, being as nearly tall as they are long.

The Sunfish, with the wonderful scientific name of Mola Mola, is reported to be the heaviest known bony fish in the sea with an average adult weight of 1,000kg and nearly all of its apparent body is actually its head. They live on a diet of mainly jellyfish and must consume vast quantities of the nutritionally poor food source to maintain their large bulk. Sunfish have few natural predators, expect Orcas, Sea Lions and Sharks but the possibility of them mistaking plastic bags and balloons for jellyfish is very real, consequently the indiscriminate littering of the sea with rubbish could have a devastating effect on this very special visitor.

With the Annual John Mc Garvey Memorial Arranmore Finswim just around the corner at the end of the August all those intending to take part would need to get some snorkelling practice in from here on. It is always a great day out and the funds raised are to a great cause.

Finally all of the above water activities only take place because club members volunteer to fill boats with petrol, tow them and more often than naught dry coxs them as well, also the trainees rely entirely on their instructors and club divers to accompany and guide them in their qualifying dives. So to all those who volunteer to lend a hand, thank you very much indeed.