Sheephaven SAC Diving Roundup

Sep 28 2014 Posted by Office Administraton

Last weekend Sheephaven SAC welcomed a dive party from Dublin. Diving commenced early on Saturday morning from Downing’s pier with a short run across the bay to Pat Mc Gee’s,

This dive site can be conducted along a submerged reef that runs in a generally east-west direction and provides good habitats for a variety of marine species. Such species include abundant levels of kelp, fish life that includes Pollock, Bib and Ling, loads of Sea Urchins that graze on the seaweeds, algae’s and hydroids and also good numbers of lobsters of all age groups.

In the afternoon, the visitors were brought back out from Downings to the Black Rock. Again the visitors were able to observe good marine life at a pristine Donegal dive site. A feature of the Black Rock site is the numbers of lobsters that can be observed, which is testament to the husbandry of the local fishermen as they conserve stocks in a sustainable manner.

Sunday mornings dive was in near perfect weather conditions out from Mevagh, where a one boat dive party conducted a one stick dive on the Frenchmans Rock, the site of the wreck of the auxiliary schooner the Gaelic. The dive party was a mixture of Dublin visitors and club members. Generally the best approach to diving the Frenchmans is to drop into the water between the main large exposed rock and a smaller rock on its southern side. From there the divers can follow the rock down to a gully at 25 metres and continue after that in a westerly direction to the maximum depth on site of 30 metres.

At the end of the gully the divers will find the remains of the Gaelic, which consists of its auxiliary diesel engine and propeller shaft, the remainder of the wreck having been dispersed by the sea over the years. This is all is left of the small wooden ship since she struck the Frenchmans in the 1950’s while on route to Liverpool from Ards Pier with a load of sand quarried from nearby Muckish Mountain that overlooks the dive site.

This finished off the visitors diving in Co. Donegal and as they made their way back to Dublin they left with promise to host Sheephaven divers to dive on some of the wrecks in Dublin Bay. These away trips have proven to be a feature of Sheephaven’s diving in recent years and we look forward to a chance to experience a bit of east coast diving in the not too distant future. Once again thanks to John Joe Rowland and all the club members who organised the weekend, helmed, fuelled and towed the boats, without whose help these weekends just would not happen.