ronnie



2013.08.10 17:19:47

Yea, another one! My diving wish-boxes are so...... being ticked and fulfilled!

Wednesday evening was one, perhaps even better than most of the others. Funny thing this, every time I come in from even a half decent dive nowadays, I am so filled with exhilaration, joy and dare I say it, achievement, it's such a wonderful feeling!

An evening dive in my favourite location, Blue Pool or as my old buddies and I, (oh, to have had Mick Moriarty or Johnnie Ryan et al. aboard), knew it, Cameron Creek. This time, with new buddies, John, Mike, Noel, Dave and his two great boys Richie and Jack, now what could be better? Balmy summer's evening, sea flat as a pancake and for me, plenty of room to haul, with help, the old bones into my shrunken (sez he) wet suit, fins and tons of other diving gear.

Mike promised to lead us through this "Swim Through" I had been hearing about. Hey, what's a swim through? We never had those in my day, we'd have called it a cave even though, I know, it isn't one at all. Heck, you submerge through a hole and travel along through what I suppose is really just an eerie submerged passage between two walls, feels like a cave anyway. I loved it, it was great, comfortably led, as ever, by Mike and, as I was surrounded by photographers, the pace of the dive was nice and leisurely. Loads of life, glorious visibility, lazy ascent stop and easy "haul and flop" back into the boat, thanks for the help lads.

But that was not all. How much fun Noel and Richie had climbing up on the surrounding rocks while Dave and Jack, the other half of our back- to –back, went for their dive. This old guy looked dreamily around, thinking of times past, memories of old buddies gone to their eternal reward. Others, including myself, well on their way to the same place but all had shared in the delights of this idyllic location way back in those early days of our diving adventures. What would so many of them give or have given to be in my bootees at this time.

Time for a spot of mackerel fishing on the way home and landfall at Kilkee slipway, boat lights on, in the moonlight. Packed up and John even took my bottle away to fill for me. Time for a sausage and chip from Naughtons before heading back to Nora in our mobile home in Doonaha. Never was a man so contented and fulfilled.


  
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2012.06.20 13:43:27

This is by way of being a humble THANK YOU to the members of the Club for the wonderful, and so much appreciated, presentation and social night on the occasion of my 80th birthday. I recognize all the thought, effort and goodwill that went into the organisation of the night and the masterful selection and assembly of my precious inscribed brass porthole. I further wish to apologise to the membership for my crass, hugely embarrassing late arrival.

 

I have made this in the form of a trawl through some subjective early diving lifetime recollections, never before committed to paper, and offered here to the membership of our "Dearly Beloved" Limerick Sub Aqua Club.

 

Little could I have expected, when I drew my first amazing breath from the device known as an aqualung with its twin corrugated rubber hoses and huge mouthpiece mounted on an ex British War Department (aircraft) 20 cubic feet cylinder, known as a tadpole, that the journey would still be ongoing, some 52 years later, finishing up, (not yet, I hope), with so many of my treasured friends in "The Locke" last Friday evening! Like many of you people reading this (I hope), that journey started many years earlier with breath holding contests among pals, in my case, out in Corbally swimming baths and Dromore Lake. You know, I think that our summers were always sunnier and the Shannon waters were always warmer back then. I purchased my first mask snorkel and fins in 1958 but my first tentative steps or should I say fin strokes into the Atlantic were two years later, under the caring tutelage of my dear friend Mick Moriarty who had himself seen the light 2 years earlier when he and other Army buddies formed the Curragh Sub Aqua Club. My introduction to Mick was through my late and dearly beloved brother in law, and fitness fanatic, Fintan Mullowney, himself an Army officer.

 

Back to that first dive............ who will ever forget their first one? Mine was in a lovely rocky cove just outside Spanish Point in County Clare. I was kitted out with Mick's latex rubber dry suit and instructed how to breathe from the mouthpiece. This could be a tricky manoeuvre since the twin breathing hoses would fill with water, should you happen to let the mouthpiece out of your mouth. Your next breath would then be a fill of water instead of air. So, the trick was to first invert your head to the left and blow out all the water with all the air that you had left in your lungs, since the mouthpiece did not have the luxury of non return valves. Think about it! I was then attached to a rope tied to my wrist and launched into the deep blue yonder.. The dive (solo) lasted all of 10 glorious minutes to something like 10 meters. There and then myself and my buddies agreed to became country members of Mick's Club, within which we enjoyed many an exciting excursion to the depths of the Irish Sea and Atlantic Ocean. I also became an associate member of the then flourishing British Sub Aqua Club, I still have my log book and membership receipt signed by it's legendary diving administrator, Hume Wallace. We later went on to form our own club, known, initially as the Killaloe SAC. later becoming a branch of the Irish Sub aqua Club and finally morphing into or own LSAC.

 

About this time I had the good fortune to come upon a copy of Jacques Cousteau's wonderful book "The Silent World", a truly inspiring read for any neophyte diver. I later acquired a copy of his film of the same name. I still have these and have played the film on a few occasions on film nights in the Club. This was all before the advent of popular TV made home movies seem rather drab fare. Speaking of movies, there was a time, in those early days that Mick and myself were the only ones amongst the diving community who were actually filming stuff. Mick had an underwater housing and could claim to have been Ireland's first underwater photographer. My filming, on the other hand, was confined to the overwater. Nonetheless, I did manage to accumulate a decent variety of footage recording the outings and activities of Ireland's earliest divers. I have passed these spools of movie film, along with vintage family and other stuff that my Dad had taken, over to the National Film Archive for safe storage and use for posterity. I have already had positive feedback from groups, filmmakers and researchers who have tapped into this recource within the Archive .

 

I first dabbled in the business of Diving Equipment importation when I decided to undertake the bold step of buying my initial equipment from one of the prime manufacturers of diving gear in Great Britain at the time, Submarine Products, manufacturers of Sealion demand valves (regulators), slimline cylinders and distributors of the famous French Tarzan (in reality Beuchat) products. When some more of the lads decided to plunge into purchasing their own equipment, I agreed to tap into my contact with Commander Oswell, owner of Submarine Products and imported stuff for them as well. Heretofore diving equipment was being mainly purchased through a large sports shop in Dublin or in many cases, by guys picking up gear when travelling abroad. I found myself having all the strife and hassle of bringing in gear for others and getting nothing out of it, so I started bringing in gear, taking a commission and building up a stock. In 1962 I set up Atlantic Watersports and based it in Fintan and sister Betty's home where I was living at the time. The business involved importing gear from Britain, France and Italy and travelling to clubs etc and selling direct to divers around the country, very often selling the very gear off my back, anything to get the Brian O'Learys and Mike Orths of their clubs using my products. I also appointed a network of agents within clubs as far apart as Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway and Waterford to promote and sell my gear on a commission basis. In the meantime I had crossed over to selling wet suits and even skis to water ski, surfing and sailing people all over the country, again tapping in to the right people to act as agents for me. I could not possibly have done all of this without the sterling assistance of my sister Betty, who still found time while raising a young family herself to take care of so much of the hard slog in the business. This was all part-time with me. I managed to hold down a full time job in employment with Irish Cement. Eventually, some years later, an "offer which I couldn't refuse" came through from the full-time, Divers Supply Company in Dublin, to merge my business with theirs and take up a directorship in the new joint company. Many years later, 1980, to be precise, I was prevailed upon to step back into the diving business to fill a perceived need in the market.This time I was assisted by my worthy wife Nora, so, under the name of Aquasub, I plunged into the market again, tapped into some contacts and again involved myself in the importation, sales and distribution of diving gear to divers, general sports and diving shops, again on a part time basis. I operated this business for a period of some 8 years importing products from places as far apart as Switzerland (dive watches), Austria (suits). Finland (Suunto products),France, Italy and USA and Great Britain. I even brought stuff in from Japan but dealing with my first consignment of Tabata gear proved to be too tricky, so I didn't try that again.

 

My travels, hawking diving gear about the place, introduced me to some wonderful people and divers often invited me to join them on many an exciting dive. Ah, the memories! Travels abroad introduced me to some true legends of early diving, most prominent, I suppose, being George Beuchat, friend and colleague of Cousteau (no, regretfully, I never did meet him). He came up with the original concept of the wet suit, the compensator mask, the jet fin, and the arbalete spear gun. I had the pleasure of spending a weekend in his company with his family, diving off their boat in Marseilles with his son Paul, himself a Moniteur Nationale and 2 beautiful daughters, (nicknamed Les Animals), I still have the photos and movies to prove it! I think that Paul may have been a wee bit apprehensive at first before taking this "unknown quanity" from Ireland diving but I am glad to say that we worked out to be good buddies, I greatly valued his compliments at the time. I was later introduced to the entire French national spear fishing team who were in the Beuchat factory, checking out some spear gun modifications.

 

 

From Drop Box
In Paris in 1966, having first paid an official courtesy visit on behalf of CFT to CMAS headquarters, I made it my business to visit the factory of the famous Fenzy, horse collar buoyancy aid (ABLJ), I met Mons. Fenzy. and we got on so well together that he agreed to give me solo distribution rights of Fenzy for Ireland. This proved to be a wonderful coup at the time. Some years later I met and got the same concession from the inventor of the American Sea Quest stabi jacket and direct feed system, Charlie Jehle. I had been following trends in the U.S. at the time, (subscription to Skin Diver magazine) and observed how popular the stabi. jacket was over there, I felt certain that divers in Europe would follow suit before very long but I met with huge consumer resistance when I imported some of these jackets which were not too different from today's units but since they eliminated the need for the mini cylinder, which was in universal use at the time, divers felt very insecure without their alternative air supply, not trusting the direct feed concept. For a while, I think that I was the only one in the country diving without the mini bottle.

 

 

1969 saw me in the Aeolian Isles in Sicily, as manager, (Mick Moriarty was skipper) of the Irish Spear fishing team at the World Championships (known as the Blue Olympics), the Italian team were staying in a nearby chalet in the Olympic Village, their star man Massimo Scarpati had become the World Champion, he posed for a picture for me, holding the trophy. Later his sponsors Mares, whose gear I was handling at the time, begged this picture off me at a diving trade fair in Munich and went on to use it for some of their promotional material. Then there was another time while on holidays with the Club Mediterrane in Spain, I met and dived with the famous, at the time, diving author Guy Poulet.

 

In 1981 I had been importing the internationally famous Dacor gear directly from the USA and experiencing considerable difficulty with customs, so Dacor suggested that I might care to operate through their British distributor at the time, Dacor G.B. I agreed to visit their factory in Padstoe in Cornwall in April of that year, only to find myself in the middle of a very delicate situation where, only that morning, the European Sales manager for Dacor, Jack Bohmrich and the owner of the company the legendry Sam Davidson had paid a surprise visit to the factory, in order to show the British manager the door, on account of some financial irregularities. However the two Americans brought me out to lunch and treated me very well but I can tell you that nerves were very much on edge and I learned some extraordinary things about the diving business that morning. As an aside, Sam Davidson himself explained to me how he had named the brand Dacor as a clincher for the Davidson Corporation, geddit? Da Cor.

 

The Aladin was diving's first computer and it also met with great scepticism when I unveiled it to Irish divers. I had been introduced, at a trade show in Cologne round about 1986, to it's inventor Karl Leeman by Beuchat, and secured the Irish distribution rights for UWATEC products, which was Aladin's mother company in Switzerland. I really had a big job in trying to persuade Irish divers to place their trust in this new- fangled instrument. I remember giving Pat McCoole, nationally prominent at the time and Terry Southgate in Cork, 2 Aladins and asking them to put them through their paces, evaluate them and write a report. They liked them and reviewed them favorably, I then secured a full two page spread for the reviews in Subsea. This helped considerably to boost divers confidence in the computer and now, who would dive without one?

 

At other times it was great to meet up with Ron and Valerie Taylor, world renowned diving filmakers and shark experts, when Pat McCoole brought them to Limerick for a CFT conference. Ditto, the equally renowned and glamorous Tanya Streeter, world record free diving champion, also a mega TV star in diving circles. Tanya was particularly charming and found loads of time to talk about snorkeling techniques to our big junior membership. Then there was Horace Dobbs, the internationally famous dolphin specialist through his books and TV programmes, he was another lovely personality whom we introduced to Limerick divers and indeed non diving audiences. I enjoyed a few dives in Kilkee with him.

 

Enough of the name dropping now!

 

In 1982, in company with Jimmy Connors and Fintan Mullowney we started the Limerick Snorkelling Centre, based in St. Enda's Sports Complex. This was a most interesting venture, totally different to operating within a sub aqua club. I suppose that it could be seen as a forerunner to our modern day dive centers but without the bottles. We attracted a surprising lot of busy business people who did not want to join a club although many did in fact see the light and subsequently joined LSAC. Funny story........... We were living in the outskirts of the city at the time and used to keep all the Centre's fins snorkels and masks in a couple of big rubbish bins, handy for transporting and rinsing out. Well, one particular week we, the family were going away for a few days and I asked our neighbour, the late Michael Reddan to put out our rubbish for collection. Yea, you guessed it, the wrong bins went out. In spite of frantic rubbish tip searches we never found our gear, so that was the end of the Snorkeling centre.

 

My Goodness, I have blathered on so much about my commercial diving activities that I seem to have digressed from the actual diving itself. Well, you see, this makes the very point which I should like to mention at this time, all this travelling, selling and even some little administration activity with CFT (I was honoured with the Presidency in 1969), left me with remarkably little time for association within my own club, there were times indeed, when I was spending more time outside it rather than within but I was always there for LSAC whenever I was needed. We had a great old club, (and still have, of course) in those early days. Some years our membership was running to 80 or 100 men women and children. We always had a great female membership, spearheaded by the late Joan Brislane. Joan, whose husband Duggie was our first Chairman, was everything in the club ,blessed with a wonderful orgnisational ability, she possessed quite a fiery temper and many's the row that she and I had. We were pals at the back of it all. She was in the water for the club's first official outing in Kilkee where, of course, we met up with Mr. Kilkee himself, Manuel DiLucia. He and I have been firm friends and close diving buddies ever since! A trawl through the Club's memorabilia will reveal a flavor of much of what went on in the Club in those early days. Talk of female club membership brings me to the present day and it is so great to see the likes of Emma,Theresa, Eimhear, Rose, Suzy and many more taking such an active part in the Club's diving activities. I mentioned children earlier, well this is an area of the Club where we seem to have fallen behind others but with the young Ryans, Orths and Enrights we must be headed in the right direction.

 

I sincerely hope that you, the readers of this blog will gain even half the pleasure which I have had in racking my old brains and not be too bored by the self indulgent recollections of this Grouchy Old Fart. I will finish by wishing you all, the Best of Good Diving for the rest of your active lives and hope and trust that you all will gain even half as much pleasure and treasured memories as I have been privileged to enjoy.

 

Go Raibh Maith Agaibh!

 

"Time it was and what a time it was,

A time of innocence, a time of confidences,

Long ago it must be, I have a photograph,

Preserve your memories, they're all that's left to you" Simon and Garfunkel, "Bookends"

 


  
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2010.03.31 13:49:56

From Drop Box

Published directly from an email from Ronnie:

 

Re. “The Quarry”

 

At this stage, with the exciting prospect of the commercial development of the Quarry in Portroe, it may be of some interest to place on record a little of the known origin of the area as a diving site.

 

In 1980, yours truly, as a diving equipment trader and member of a small diving archeological research group from within the L.S.A.C. heard about a firm based in Pallasgreen called “Location Technology Ltd” which was manufacturing underwater metal detectors. I called to see them and they told me of a spot where they were doing their product testing in a quarry beside the Tubex factory near Portroe. I went out to have a look, (can’t remember who was with me), and remember being awestruck by the amazing blue tinged visibility of the water. As I recall, Diving Officer Andrew Hendrick and Mike Kerrison, were first to dive it. This was truly an adventure because they had no foretaste of the awesome depths into which they were venturing. Accessibility and togging out arrangements were horrendous, as it was then mid winter. Believe me, it was worth it, as anybody who has dived there will testify! I remember Andrew being really adventurous in thoroughly exploring other diving locations within the quarry area.

 

I can find reference in official Club records to at least 3 Club dives in the Quarry during season 1980/81 and some water sampling undertaken by member Ute O’Gorman.

 

 In November 1999, Dr. Tom (McDonnell) undertook some further water sampling, assisted by Brian Kearney with Michael Hogan of Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club. This testing was written up by Dr. Tom in the Spring ’99 issue of “Subsea”, see copy attached. 

 

Finally, since there may very well be some further substantiated early references to The Quarry as a diving site, I would love to hear of them but that’s it, as far as this correspondent is concerned.       


  
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2009.12.28 16:40:48

GODS: Red Sea Beach Safari Marsa Shagra
Red Sea Beach Safari with the GODS- Marsa Shagra- Dec. 2009

“OK, Phil and Tom, you two, Tent no. 3. Tony and Paula, you’re for Tent 5. Louise and Tony, you’ll be in Lodge number 35. Ronnie, you have no Manuel this time, you have Lodge 30 all to yourself…………” and so on it went, with Shane and Ollie consigning us to our various beachside accommodations. Having experienced the pleasures and discomforts of tent life, set right on the water’s edge, on our previous trip to the Sinai, Manuel and I had decided to treat ourselves to the comforts of the lodge this time around i.e. real beds, air conditioning and en- suite with even a patio, as against the cane bunks and “furniture”, open tent flap, communal showering and toilet facilities, with many night and early morning treks across the soft sand, answering calls of nature. I know that most of you reading this, would have found all that most exciting but for Manuel and me…. “Think we’ll upgrade ourselves to a spot of luxury this time”……… Unfortunately, the Godfather threw a wobbler just days before departure and being hospitalized had to miss out on the trip!

All 22 of us were relieved to reach our destination of the Eco- diving village of Marsa Shagra, just north of the town of Marsa Alam, on the Southern Red Sea coastline on the Gulf of Aquaba. One hour into our 5½ hour flight, the captain announced that he had to return the plane to Gatwick due to some engine malfunction! However, after an hour’s delay at Gatwick we were up and away in a fresh plane. All’s well that ends well.
This is a diving holiday with a difference, arranged for us GODS, as ever, by Shane Gray in conjunction with the excellent Oonasdivers organization, (thank you Lydia), away from the flesh- pots (I love- em) and diving mayhem of Sharm and Hurgada. Here, you may very well have your chosen dive site to yourself and your buddies.
Early breakfast, 6.30 onwards, including my own personal favorite, pancakes with chocolate sauce, pour it yourself (long day ahead, you know), ready up for the dive, then back in time for lunch al fresco. Sun bathe or perhaps a truck dive in the afternoon, back in time for tea and cake. Some hardy ones may very well prepare for an evening/night dive off the beach before the nightly pre dinner gatherings in the bar or in one another’s quarters, this being a great time to produce the duty free hooch acquired in Gatwick. Onwards to dinner then, indulging in a huge choice from the ample buffet and afterwards repair to the bar, sure Bob’s your Uncle! The food is really good and once you get the hang of eating Egyptian food sensibly, i.e. being wary of salads, avoiding ice in drinks, washing fruit and brushing teeth with bottled water etc, you shouldn’t have any problems with the Pharaoh’s revenge, (not too comfortable, I can assure you, in a communal toilet block!)

Food, accommodation and all local diving is prepaid, no cash required, just sign for your Stella beers or whatever. Soft drinks, bottled water, tea and coffee are available free, round the clock!

Local diving on the house fringe reefs is very much go as you please and unlimited, although you sign yourself on and off on the big blackboard in the dive centre for all dives. Alternatively, you can take one of the so called “truck dives”. For these your gear is loaded up on trucks and is there waiting for you when you alight from the accompanying coach to your pre selected dive site up or down the coast. You can do this morning and/or afternoon any day.  Special dives, for a small charge can be arranged (we did) to dive on the wrecked Russian freighter at Abu Ghusoon, enjoying lunch on the beach between dives, this one involved a 7am start. Alternatively, one can go for the big one and undertake a very early morning, long and usually uncomfortable rib trip to Elphinstone Reef with a reasonable chance of spotting some pelagic life and a most spectacular dive thrown in. Some did, I didn’t!

Your typical house reef dive, might involve a rib dropping you off some distance out along the reef face, then “saunter” at perhaps 10, 15, or 20 meters depth, back to base, taking anything from 60 to 80 minutes underwater! You will see the most gorgeous foliage, multi colored coral, beautiful giant blue clams and a selection of fish that even Nemo himself would be proud to show off! I am talking about Turtles, Butterfly fish, stately Emperor Angel fish, Parrot and Puffer fish, Blue Spotted Ray,  Crocodile, Lion, Stonefish and so many more, too numerous for me to identify or mention….. all this with me wearing only a Lidl shorty suit. However, I did wear a hood and also rented hard sole bootees, a necessity for wading through beaches, at a cost of €3 per day, cheaper than the cost of Michael O’Leary’s excess baggage! Anything else you might need to rent is available locally at a reasonable cost. Many divers chose to wear their full suits. For the diver who likes to stretch the limits, rest assured that the on site Hyperbaric Medical Centre/ Recompression Chamber is well equipped and manned around the clock! As for the people working in the eco village and dive centre, I cannot speak highly enough of their 100% helpful and friendly service and dedication towards making our visit as memorable as possible.

Our group was made up of old friends from previous trips and a large contingent from the powerful Naas Club. I think that we all gelled very well and had a great time really. On our final night, the Naas gang all showed up for dinner wearing their red polo shirts which they had specially commissioned for the trip, watch out for yours truly wearing his Naas shirt, gifted to him by good old Phil Brady! Thank you also to Ray and Teresa for the Safari tee shirt, these guys were very good to me. Photos were taken of the youngest diver in the group, newly qualified 16 year old Dylan Haughney and the oldest, nah, you’d never guess! At the sing song which rounded off our last night, Shane’s old pal Denzil told some very funny stories, Ollie sang and Margaret sang, Diane dressed up in her Santa outfit and even old Ronnie did his party piece by trying to sing (which he can’t), a ditty which he composed while stuck in a hospital bed last year. I promised some of the Naas’ers that I would put the silly words up on our blog, so here goes, God forgive me!

“Lament of the Wild Diver”:  (To the air of “the Wild Rover”)
I’ve played the wild diver for many a year
And I’ve spent all my money on black rubber gear.
Now my bottle is empty, my bum it is sore
And I’ll play the wild diver, no, never, no more.
(Chorus):

And it’s no, nay, never,
No, nay, never no more,
Will I play the wild diver,
No, never, no more.

I went to the dive shop that I used to frequent
And I told Willie Siddall, my demand valve was bent.
I asked for another, he answered me “No,
Your demand valve’s a Dacor, we sell Scubapro”.

And it’s, no, nay, never etc.

So out I did pull my long diving knife,
While Willie, he trembled in fear for his life.
But boldly he cried “I don’t care what you do”,
I said “Ta very much, I’ll just take one or two.

And it’s, no, nay, never etc.

Then out I went diving from old Kilkee pier
And thought to myself,
“There’s naught doing out here”
But at 22 metres I looked up to see,
Three bloody big lobsters were coming at me.

And it’s, no, nay, never etc.

So, now as I lie on my hospital bed,
While bandaged from arms right up to my head,
I think of my life and my unruly ways
And I mourn the passing of my diving days.

And it’s, no, nay, never etc.

  
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2009.11.02 17:03:39

GODS: El Hierro

Reporting back from our GODS (Golden Oldies Diving Society) Centenary diving trip (i.e. Shane Gray's 100th organised trip) to El Hierro...

 

There were 20 of us, from all parts of the country, including current and former members of L.S.A.C.; Maeve Callanan, John Mullins, Tom McDonnell, Colm O'Shea, Manuel Di Lucia and yours truly. We were later joined by Pat Hehir from outside Ennis, who just happened to be over there on his own. Most of the party had been on Shane's first ever trip way back in 2001, so it was to prove to be a pretty nostalgic return!

 

After flying out of Dublin, overnighting in Tenerife and speeding out by luxurious high speed ferry in a 2 hour run, we reached El Hierro, the most westerly island in Europe. The ferry docked at the Island's capital Valverde, whence we undertook the one hour trip in 3 vehicle convoy, to our destination, the small fishing and diving village of La Restinga. Too late for a dive we chilled out in the 20 degree evening sunshine, gathering in Shane and Ollie's apartment, as we did every evening, for Happy Hour drinks and a surprise presentation of lovely commemorative polo shirts. Onwards then and every night, to local restaurants for grub, usually finishing up in "El Bar", wearing only pants and tee shirt, at whatever hour of the night or morning took our fancy.



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2009.08.05 10:19:18

Cameron Creek, Kilkee

Recent comment on our web site, about the Blue Pool, put me in mind of Cameron Creek, named by us, after Roddie, a member of the original scouting party who first discovered the location and a dear friend and colleague of many of the Limerick Divers.

It is important to bear in mind that we had no boat at that time and were strictly limited to shore diving, hence the search for adventurous new locations. Stories from fishermen of deep waters off the Blue Pool in Baltard Bay, brought us to the area and we were not to be disappointed. A long (approx. 15 minute) trek, across fields and flat-rock beach, carrying full gear, brought us to our destination.

Our very first dive off the perfect rocky entry point took place on June 17th 1962 with fellow divers Johnnie Ryan, Dougie Brislane and Cyril Foster. My dive log of that day records the following:  "Hit the century today for the first time, great dive, wonderful spot. Poor weather gave us disappointing conditions and visibility. No trouble at all getting to 100 ft. Johnnie and self got gorgonian, Dougie and I spotted it at the same time, I was nearer, so I collected it. I picked up a 3 lb. crawfish and missed another. I must abandon my gaff, it's too awkward. Very funny today, we sat at 80ft. flooding and clearing our face masks. Very cold at 100ft."  It was a 25 min dive.

We continued to enjoy many more dives and experience some rather hairy adventures in the Creek for the next two years or so, until boat diving became available and long site treks became rather less of a necessity.
However, to this day there are many intrepid shore divers within our club (I see you, John Allen, Mike Hynes, Liam O'Connell, Brian Crowe, Victor Brown et al.) who would not be averse to undertaking long hauls saddled up with full diving gear, so with that in mind, in company with, or should I say minded by, Marcus McMahon of the Kilkee Oceanlife Dive Centre, I recently explored the accessibility of the location.



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2009.07.29 15:48:49

This being my initial toe-dip into the wonderful world of Dive Blogs, I will necessarily be brief.

 

I can no longer resist the need to comment to the www about the happenings in our glorious Club and Web Site, so very much to admire in both at the moment. I recognise the huge amount of work and dedication that goes into making these a success, well done to you all!

 

This web site is like an Aladdin's cave of Diving Goodies. Only today, I discovered the hilarious biogs. of our illustrious committee. I laughed out loud at some of the accreditations. Who wrote this stuff? Has to be anonymous, I suppose, for fear of litigation!

 

Regarding Peter Walsh's "Better Breathing for Divers" workshop in Kilkee, last Saturday, it was brilliant and so well researched and presented. However, I failed to put what I thought I had learned into practice when I dived later in the day! My two fellow GODS, Manuel and Billy went off bubbling with enthusiasm about what they had learned, Billy is determined to suggest a similar workshop for his own Club!

 

I said at the outset that I would be brief, so that's it for now, well done to all concerned and do keep up the good work.


  
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