Sheephaven SAC Update from 13th/14th Dec

Dec 22 2014 Posted by Office Administraton

Sheephaven SAC activities continued last weekend despite experiencing the ongoing effects of the Black Wednesday storm, which caused some damage to the area. Saturday mornings dive was to the Dunloan Rock on the First Narrows into Mulroy Bay,While weather conditions were calm the recent rain after the night’s frost had made the roads to Downings quite treacherous and the air was still quite chilly as dive boat Deirdre put out for the short journey to Dunloan Rock.The first divers into the water encountered the considerable effects of the still flooding spring tide, but despite the current they negotiated their way to the seabed in very poor visibility of no greater than 1 meter in the lower reaches of the dive column. The divers very quickly lost contact with the reef and consequently proceeded to conduct an exciting drift dive up Mulroy Bay over the Church Bank and on towards the starboard marker outside Fannys Bay and Mevagh slipway.

The dive was conducted in over 30 minutes during while a distance of over 500 meters was covered with depths varying from 25 meters at the beginning of the dive to around 5 meters at the end of the dive. In addition to the poor visibility the water temperature had also dramatically reduced over the week, with the lowest temperature recorded at a distinctly chilly 7 degrees Celsius, undoubtedly as a consequence of the very cold storm water running of the land and into Mulroy Bay.

The second stick had an easier time of it as the tide had reached high water slack and they were able to stay on the reef, where the observed the resident Lobsters and Conger Eels that remain there through-out the year.

Sunday morning’s Sheephaven snorkel was from PortnaBlagh Pier, where the effects of Wednesday storm was clear to see. On the pier a wall that protected a fuel tank had been burst apart by the storm, while on the car park surface were large rocks and slabs of broken concrete which are evidence of the damage that the storm did to the structure of the pier. It should be pointed out that standing near to these terrific waves leaves a person at risk of not just being knocked down by the wave and possibly been pulled out to sea but also being struck by the debris carried by the breaking waves, the consequences of which would certainly be very serious indeed.

The wind had picked up overnight and in addition to the swell still running from Wednesday there was a cross chop that made for a challenging snorkel. The snorkel party stayed out of the worst of the waves that were starting to break once again on the outer pier wall. As always once everyone was back safe and sound the snorkelers had their Sunday morning debrief in the comfort of Lizzies diner in Dunfanaghy, finishing off a weekend of water activities that might have looked out of the question earlier in the week.2014-12-13 Saturday Morning Dunlaon Rock Dive Party, 2014-12-13 Kiaran Fox and Simon Henderson, Saturday Morning Dive, Dunloan Rock, Co. Donegal.