Scuba Diving in County Kerry
Way back in the early 1970’s we used to holiday every year with the local scuba diving team, a holiday which usually involved getting on a ferry and heading over to County Kerry in Southern Ireland, a place I have very fond memories of despite every Summer being a mix of high winds and rain, with the occasional patch of brilliant sunshine.
To this day I’m captivated by the beauty of the Dingle peninsular in County Kerry, which seems to resonate with film makers as well, with the mix of Hollywood block busters that have been filmed there! It’s great to hear that the film industry is continuing this trend as the latest Star Wars saga, Episode 7 and 8 being filmed on Skellig Michael, just off the coast of Kerry.
One of my first trips out with the dive team was off the Blasket Islands just off the Dingle peninsular. As was usual for the Irish sea, the weather was a bit choppy, which meant the inflatable tender we were using was being tossed about quite a bit. As I was just 10 years old at the time, I also had a hard time actually staying on board!
When the time came to get in the water, I had to admit I was a bit scared – at that time regulations were much laxer than they are now, so it wasn’t seen as unusual for someone who hadn’t even reached teenager status to be donning a wetsuit and flippers, let alone a tank and weights belt!
Dropping off the boat and into the cold water was a bit of a shock, but soon I was amazed at the clarity of the water. I’d been in the water around Cornwall and assumed that Irish water would be just as cloudy, but this was just like diving in the Mediterranean (except for being around 15 degrees cooler!)
As I was a novice diver, I couldn’t go too deep, but the haul of Lobster that day was amazing, with enough to fill a chest freezer back at the lodgings we were staying in. Best of all, this first trip cemented my life-long love of the water, with diving and fishing being two of my favorite sports. I’d have to say I’m still not a fan of inflatable boats though!