Sheephaven SAC First Dive of 2015

Jan 06 2015 Posted by Office Administraton

Sheephaven divers had a cracking dive on Saturday morning for the first dive of 2015 at Campbell’s Bed in Mulroy Bay. Out to sea; the effects of the recent north winds were still clearly evident, with a strong swell still pounding the Downings shoreline, setting up a plume of spray that was drifting inland on the morning sunshine. With the diving conditions out at sea unacceptable the divers launched from Mevagh slipway and from there travelled upstream to Broad Water in Mulroy Bay.

Here weather conditions were ideal with no wind, clear skies and a flat calm sea, allowing the winter sun to set sharp reflections across the clear waters of the bay..Maximum depth achieved was 27 meters, with surface to surface dives times of 50 minutes being achieved. While air temperature was near freezing, in-water the minimum temperature recorded was 6 degrees Celsius.

During the dive the divers observed a number of Shrimps in one location, along with Brown Crabs and Lobsters. In-water visibility varied with depth, starting at a reasonable 5 meters or better near the surface to near dark at 27 meters. It was a great dive on a brilliant January morning and a wonderful start to 2015 diving.

On Sunday morning Sheephaven snorkelers were in the water for the first club snorkel of 2015. Once again weather conditions were near perfect with only a slight southerly wind, although air temperature was down to 1 degree Celsius, all of which generated a slight wind chill during the kitting up process on the pier.  Thankfully the sun briefly came though the overcast sky to shine for a while on Horn Head, giving the snorkelers some degree of comfort before getting into the water.

The 30 minute snorkel was in water temperatures of around 8 degrees Celsius, while water visibility in the bay still remains very poor. All in all a great start for Sheephaven SAC in 2015, this bodes well for the diving season ahead. With that in mind Sheephaven SAC diving activities commences with the 2015 Class of Trainees continuing with their lectures and pool work under the leadership of Club Training Officer Joe Neely.  As the year progresses the trainees will get into the open water by Easter, with their first open water dive which take them to 5 meters and from there to the 1 Star qualification.

Once the trainees have qualified as a 1 Star diver they can progress on to their Club Diver programme, which will take them through a progression of deeper dives until they have completed three 30 meters, after which they will be examined in their diving theory and in-water diving ability.

For the qualified club divers; before diving commences each club member must complete a series of annual qualifying criteria, these include their annual club subscription which covers their CFT insurance, hold a currant dive medical clearance, make a self-assessment declaration on line and complete their water fitness test. The minimum water fitness test includes a 200 meter snorkel, a 3 meter free dive and a 50 meter simulated casualty tow. Once all these criteria have been met the diver will be authorised to commence diving for 2015.

Ensuring that a diver has completed their annual diving qualifications is particularly important for Search and Recovery divers, as they could be called upon at any stage to assist in a search and completing the qualification criteria takes time, so the sooner the process is completed the better for the divers involved.

Over the next few months the Sheephaven SAC Sunday morning diving activities will be led by series of club divers. The Diver Officer of the Day rota is currently posted on the club Facebook page, Sheephaven SAC and will be also be posted in hard copy in the club house in Downings.

Finally just a word of good wishes to our diving colleague Robin Law who was not feeling the best lately, we hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery to good health and we will see him back in the water very soon.

2015-01-04 Sheephaven Sunday Morning Snorkelers,   PortnaBlagh, Co. Donegal. 2014-01-03 Campbells Bed Saturday Morning Dive Party