Scuba Diving in Ireland

If you’re thinking about a scuba diving vacation then think about the land of the Irish. Situated on the continental shelf and off the western edge of Europe, Ireland is perfect for scuba divers. The Maharees Islands, The Brandon Cliff face and the Blasket Islands are listed as the best places to dive in Ireland and Jacques Cousteau himself listed the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula as one of the best diving spots in the world. Ireland’s dive season generally reaches from March to October with water temperatures during that period ranging from 45 – 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry suits are recommended but semi-dry suits work well also. And if you’re looking for variety and some amazing sites then you’re in for a treat. Variety is truly the spice of life in Ireland’s diving scene, you can explore wrecks, gullies, caverns, drifts and shore dives. The floor topography off of Ireland’s shores is as amazing as the above sea landscapes with inlets, pinnacles, and rock formations to thrill even the most experienced divers. If you hit a day with optimum conditions visibility can stretch to 100 feet and sometimes even deeper. The clear water draw schools of bright flashes as multitudes of wrasse, mackerel, pollack, and sunfish flit in and out of view. Crustaceans and kelp forests round out the live experience and fill your dive with a serenity that can only be discovered in the most beautiful waters of the world. If you’re in the Maharees you may even be lucky enough to enjoy a dive with the local dolphin pod. .

The waters off of Ireland are littered with shipwrecks and just as plentiful are the myths and urban legends attached to these wrecks. If you’re a history buff you’d be best served by doing your research before accepting local legends as fact. Unfortunately, winter storms can be quite fierce on the shores of Ireland and the wrecks closest to land are quite shattered. More experienced divers can head into deeper waters to find more intact ruins.

If you’re a new diver then a trip to Waterworld, http://www.waterworld.ie/diving_courses_pre.html, might be the perfect introduction to the deep. Waterworld is Ireland’s premiere diving, leisure and activity center and provides lessons and refresher courses for divers of every experience level. The centre is open year round so even on the off-season you can get a taste of the sea when the ocean itself isn’t too hospitable.

A little bit of warning, the tides and currents can be quite treacherous at times, a quick check with local dive offices can prevent any mishaps. The Irish Underwater Council offers scads of information for interested divers. Visit http://www.cft.ie/index.htm to learn about current events, hazards and news updates so you’re as informed as possible.
By: Anthony PattersonCC BY 2.0

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