WARNING: This post is about diving so some may choose to avert their eyes and get back to putting the Internet to rights.
We have heard many tales of hardship and heroics in Ireland so we asked one of the locals to organise a trip and this was attended by a select group of TDF divers. Inclusion rules were no noisy bubbles and scooters preferred.
Various ferry options were selected and some travelled to Liverpool and took the long haul to Belfast whilst the more discerning risked the traffic in both Wales and Eire and travelled on the shorter Holyhead to Dublin ferry.
I am starting this report after the third day of diving so will include the logistics overview up front.
The centre hosting our trip is Mevagh Diving Centre in Carrigart, co. Donnegal.
We were quickly impressed by comprehensive services of the centre offering a comfortable, diver-friendly B&B, including salt-water pool, gas fills, drying room, shop and boat.
The boat is an excellently fitted Blythe catamaran with plenty of deckspace, lots over covered space, and a wide and fast lift on the back. The boat runs the lazy shot with trapeze convention with the pleasing addition of dropping down lines to enable off-loading of scooters and bottom bailouts, if preferred. Apparently, this is helpful in the challenging conditions alleged to occur in this area.
The crew are very friendly and competent and converge on any diver arriving at the top of the lift and quickly stripping them of stages, scooters, and fins.
To give a feel for the tough conditions we are enduring here is the boat coming in to pick us up from the quayside
and one of the more local wrecks available
and the excellent transport options being used underwater (hooligan race yet to take place)