Archive for the 'Diving News' Category
Well, 2013 has turned out to be a real “back to normal” year for diving off north Donegal. Water temperature just over 16 degrees. Vis as a usual in the 15 – 25 metre range. Plankton cleared allowing lots of ambient light on the bottom. Weather reasonably settled interspersed with a day or 2 occasionally hitting beaufort 6/7.
Some great diving including – RMS Amazon, HMS Viknor, SS Englishman, HMS Transylvania, Cargo, U89, U1003, a first Type XXIII Deadlight and not to forget the classics, HMS Audacious, SS Empire Heritage, HMS Laurentic, SS Justicia, SS Roscommon. Few more days before the year finishes.
All in all, happy days.
Nice YouTube video taken by some of Rosguill’s Irish & US divers : -
July 2013 and the main diving season is about to kick-off.
Water temperature is, if anything, a little higher than normal @ around 13.5/14 degrees centigrade.
Vis – at present the vis is anything from 10 to 20 metres on differing wrecks with reasonable/expected ambient light.
All in all a normal season – great.
U-boat off Malin Head had less than 2 metres vis – my personal view is that the weather has been mixing the bottom up and that was the problem. Next day on the Viknor the vis was 15m, so pretty normal for this time of year. Temp at surface 10 degrees.
HMS Audacious was the target for a group of Irish divers who took advantage of a break in the weather. Vis 15m and temp on the surface of almost 10 degrees. Nice comfortable start to 2013.
What the rest of 2013 holds is, as always, a mystery – everyone hopes for no more Red Tide – but there is no doubt that there will be some great dives done – Watch This Space!!!
Check out – http://forum.technicaldiving.ie/index.php?topic=4036.msg25710;topicseen#msg25710
2012 ended with a dive on the Laurentic – 20m vis and reasonable light. Back to normal practically. Link here to a video taken by one of the divers – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OHg-kSw13w&sns=em
This year will never be forgotten in the minds of many divers who experienced the Red Tide – the wrecks of north Donegal had gone from hero to zero in a season.
However, there were as always, some notable highs. Empress of Britain @ 160m was a real biggy. 5 dives on HMS Hurst Castle another great. Assyria at 140m another achievement. U 1003 was the first WW2 war loss u-boat which I had dived. Carinthia dived twice.
The other insideous happening was the ubiquitous use of video cameras, brought about by the GoPro and its housing & aided by Cathx lighting.
2013……………………………..who knows, but there are great wrecks & great dives awaiting.
Stewart Andrews has released on Vimeo, the video he took on the epic (for Irish sports divers) dive on RMS Empress of Britain.
Nice photo taken by Barry McGill of the squid launcher on HMS Hurst Castle.
First dive by a group of Irish divers on the largest merchantman ever sunk by a U-boat. Lying far to the west of Tory Island in 160m, this leviathan was over 42k tons, 237m long. Other info on wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Empress_of_Britain_(1931)
Congratulations to the dive team headed up by Barry McGill and including Stewart Andrews, Paul Tierney & Rez Soheil. Support by Stephen McMullan and Kevin McShane.
The wreck was shotted on the bow within a few metres of the anchor, enabling the team to examine the whole bow area. Stewart also videod the dive.
Check out this super diver – amazing video where he not only finds and lifts a bell but videos himself doing so.
To any young aspiring diver watching this – please do not be disheartened – if you work really hard and get lots of luck, you may be able to attain up to 90% of the skills of this super duper diver.
Loyal watcher was on Justicia – back to normal – great vis & loads of ambient light
See YouTube video – vis not as good as you would expect.
Later in July the vis on the offshore wrecks has been generally 8 – 10m but very dark. Milky water down to 25/30m
NEWSW RELEASE FROM MARINE INSTITUDE – http://www.marine.ie/home/aboutus/newsroom/pressreleases/UpdateonNorthWestAlgalBloom.htm
Update on North West Algal Bloom
Mr Joe Silke of the Marine Institute stated today “The bloom that reported by the Marine Institute in the North West over the past two weeks, has shown some signs of increase along the west coast in the past few days. We started to detect low levels of it in the water from late May, but in the past two weeks it developed into a dense bloom in parts of the north-western counties from the Mayo to Donegal area.
In the past week high levels have been detected in Galway Bay, but no mortalities have so far been reported in this region. In Donegal the bloom was so dense that there were many reports of discoloured red or brown water in some areas and several areas have reported dead marine life washing up on the shoreline requiring Local Authorities to close certain beaches.”
This is a one of several microscopic algae that occur naturally in coastal waters, this particular one is called Karenia mikimotoi. Dead fish on Rossnowlagh Beach Photo:Paddy Ennis While the algae is not harmful to humans it did result in large numbers of dead fish including turbot, flounder, scorpion fish and shore rockling in Inner Donegal Bay. Other dead species were worm pipefish, lesser weavers, grey gurnard, shanny, sand goby, pollock, sole, plaice, flounder and dabs which have been washing up on Rossnowlagh and Murvagh beaches and earlier this week red flags were raised. The Local Authorities took the decision to close both beaches in response to large numbers of dead fish but these restrictions have been lifted on Tuesday. The situation is being closely monitored by the Marine Institute and Donegal County Council who are both keeping the public informed as the situation progresses on their websites. Mortalities of marine organisms have also been reported from the Sligo and Mayo coastal regions.
Local sea anglers have reported low fish catches along the Donegal coast, and in some areas a complete absence of any fish. This is due to the bloom which fish will avoid when they can. Lobster and Prawn fishermen have also reported very poor catches in the Donegal area. Oyster farms in Donegal also were reported to have suffered losses of up to 80% of stocks in some areas.
Mr Silke explained “The bloom affects species that live on or near the sea bed so we are seeing flatfish, lugworms and some shellfish getting washed up on the beaches. It is a natural bloom which we have seen it to occur in several places over the years. It is believed that it originates offshore as a natural part of its summer life cycle, and gets concentrated up against the coast with tidal and coastal currents.”
Some indications that the bloom may be moving back out to sea were observed in the latest satellite images and modelling data, however cell counts of samples analysed in the Marine Institute today show that the bloom is still of the same density in the Donegal and Sligo regions as it was last week, but increased levels were reported in Galway Bay.
The Marine Institute’s monitoring programme will continue to sample and monitor the bloom and post updates on our website at marine.ie and on local radio.
Vis on the Laurentic – 38m – today was around 10m with some ambient light. Perhaps this is the start of normality returning?