May
14
2015

Island Dive Safaris 2015

Preparing for a two day dive trip.

Preparing for a two day dive trip.

Our Dive Safari season is about to start, with 2 day excursions to Inishbofin, Inishturk, Clare Island and the Bills rocks through June, July and August.

 

Inishturk

Island Dive Safari to Inishturk

Stunning topography at Inishturk, one of our scheduled Islands for Safaris this season.

 

Photo by Daniel Mc Auley at the Bills Rocks.

Photo by Daniel Mc Auley at the Bills Rocks.

An explosion of colour at the Bills rocks on our first Island Dive Safari of the season last year, June 2014. We are looking forward to some very exciting diving again this year.

Photo by Sarah Tallon, taken at the Bills Rocks.

On Safari at The Bills Rocks. Photo by Sarah Tallon.

 

 

Inishturk

Island Dive Safari, west coast of Inishturk

Take in the stunning coastline of Inishboffin, Inishturk,Clare Island and the Bills Rocks.

Dolphins Spotted on Island Dive Safari, photo by Dave Drury

Dolphin escort on Island Dive Safari, photo by Dave Drury

Abundant marine life underwater and spectacular encounters.

Our Island dive Safaris depart from Scubadive West. We are taking bookings now for these very popular trips. We do have spaces available on our first Island Dive Safari on 6th & 7th June 2015.  So call us now to grab your places! 095 43922

Further information on our Island Dive Safari’s available on our dedicated Safari page at

http://www.scubadivewest.com/dive-trips-and-holidays/island-dive-safaris.html

More photos from our recent Island Dive Safari’s on our facebook page

 

May
9
2015

Into the Blue

From ‘Out of Thin Air’ to ‘Into the Blue’ , an update.

3 weeks to go

Just three weeks until departure!

You might be familiar with ‘Out of Thin Air’ by Daragh Muldowney, a fantastic book of stunning photographs from the Arctic wilderness. Daragh captured these otherworldly images on expedition to Greenland in 2013.

Acropolis by Daragh Muldowney

Acropolis by Daragh Muldowney

His book has just won the landscape category of the FEP European photo book of the year award. Congratulations! a well deserved win for a fantastic production of stunning Nature Art Photography.

FEP Photo Book Awards 2015

FEP Photo Book Awards 2015

While on expedition in 2013, Daragh was captivated by the icebergs, sweeping down into clear cold water. Nine tenths of these bergs are underwater, what do they look like down there? He vowed to find out and to capture underwater images from this unseen wilderness. The seed was sown for ‘Into the Blue’. This would require scuba diving in very cold water, wearing a dry suit and being proficient enough to handle an underwater camera as well as he handles a land based camera!

Daragh had some experience with diving, as in 1992 he took his PADI Open Water course in Florida and it was this experience of floating on another planet that inspired him to take up photography. He took his PADI Advanced Course in Honduras some 3 years later, a couple of dives in Ko PhI Phi in 1999 and that was about the sum of his experience, a novice diver effectively with very little cold water diving experience. He came to us for a Refresher Dive and to complete his PADI Dry suit Diver Course.

 

Daragh rolling in

Daragh rolling in.

 

We have a comprehensive stock of rental equipment from the best manufacturers, including our fleet of O’Three dry suits in the full range of sizes. So, combined with our top of the range thermals, it meant warm, dry diving for Daragh and the rest of the students on our PADI Drysuit Diver Course!

Boat dives with Daragh

Spectacular Boat Diving

Our high speed catamaran dive RIB ‘The Marlin’ gives us acces to exciting dive sites all year round. We visited Bird Rock, The Julia T, Thany Beg, Doonee Beacon and many more great dive locations.

 

 

Dry suit cert Daragh

Daragh receiving his Drysuit Diver Certification

 

Some quotes from Daragh Muldowney’s blog after his recent trips to Scubadive West.

…”Next up was the diving gear and the diving itself. I had no gear and no drysuit diving experience………Enter Scubadive West (Cavalry Bugle Sound), an incredible dive centre located in the most pristine areas of Ireland in Connemara nestled just south of Killary Harbour. Run by brothers Breffni and Cillian Gray, between them they have a wealth of diving knowledge and experience and they came onboard as my go to dive centre with the guarantee that if I couldn’t get any dive gear they would supply me with all my diving gear needs. Ciaran Lennon does work for Scubadive West and Killary Adventure Centre and he agreed to be my back up diver in Greenland. An incredible guy with huge diving experience. Great to have him onboard.”…

 

….”So, from Good Friday until Easter Monday I managed 10 dives at Scubadive West. 7 boat dives and 3 shore dives. Wonderful locations, great tuition, amazing gear from O’Three and Scubapro and by Monday I was leading dives. A steep learning curve for sure. Thanks so much to Scubadive West. I even have my drysuit diver cert now! Roll on the delivery of the new dive gear, camera housing and lenses. I am itching to start playing with it all.”… Daragh.

 

Just 3 weeks until they set sail from Killary Fjord, bound for Greenland, good luck guys!

 

Scubadive West 00353 (0)95 43922

info@scubadivewest.com

www.scubadivewest.com

www.facebook.com/ScubaDiveWest

http://blog.scubadivewest.com/

www.scubadivewest.com/padi-dive-courses/speciality-courses/drysuit-diver.html

Apr
26
2015

Awesome in April!

Sean marlin slipway

Sean marlin slipway

We have enjoyed spectacular weather and great diving conditions throughout April here in Connemara, with abundant marine life. The pollock and wrasse have returned to shallow coastal waters from their deep time in winter. Visibility 10 metres plus at Julia T and Doonee Beacon today.

Julia T, Sunday 14th February (photo by Cillian Gray)

Julia T. Photo by Cillian Gray

Mar
9
2015

And the Winners are…

We said that we would bring you the results of our Fantastic Raffle on Monday morning and so here they are!

Thanks to the members of Lough Derg SAC for Hosting a Great Dive Ireland Weekend and for independently hosting our big raffle.

 

First Prize is an El Hierro Dive Holiday for Two with Shane Gray Diving & Walking Holidays! This Diving Holiday for two divers, to the magical Island of El Hierro includes all transfers, ferry crossings, diving and self catering accommodation included, ex flights to Tenerife. (value €650 per diver), so a total prize worth €1,300!

And the Winner is Fergal Mc Grath. Congratulations to Fergal, clear warm water diving and spectacular hill walking for two people in El Hierro in the Canary Islands!

First Prize, Winner Fergal Mc Grath!

First Prize, Winner Fergal Mc Grath!

 

 

 

Second Prize is a Diving Weekend for Two with Scubadive West, including a boat diving package of 4 dives and 3 airfills (value €130 each), AND two nights B&B in the luxurious Maol Reidh Hotel with one evening meal (value €105 each) .. for TWO divers, so a total prize worth €470!

And the Winner is Aiofe Mooney, Congratulations to Aoife! A diving weekend for two at the best dive centre in Ireland and a luxurious hotel with delicious food!

Winner 2nd Prize, Aoife Mooney!

Winner 2nd Prize, Aoife Mooney!

 

Third Prize is the fabulous ‘Out of Thin Air’ A book of stunning images by renowned Photographer Daragh Muldowney. In 2013 Daragh sailed from the shelter of Killary Harbour to Greenland on a three month long Expedition to capture images of the breathtaking scenery.

And the winner is Paul Donnelly, a spectacular book that will transport you to the wilderness of Greenland’s Glaciers and Icebergs.Read more about Greenland 2015  below.

Winner 3rd Prize, Paul Donnelly.

Winner 3rd Prize, Paul Donnelly.

 

A huge thank you to the Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club for hosting a great Dive Ireland Show and thanks in particular to Tom Shaw for picking the winning tickets, John Dunne for holding that big bowl of tickets and to Fiona Ryan for taking the photos and sending them on to us!

 

 

095 43922

info@scubadivewest.com

www.scubadivewest.com

 

Mar
8
2015

From ‘Out of Thin Air’ to ‘Into The Blue’

Daragh capturing 'Jewelry Box' images

Daragh capturing ‘Jewellery Box’

Daragh Muldowney will set sail from Killary Fjord in May 2015, bound for Greenland. He will be a crew member on the North of Disko II Expedition 2015.

Daragh’s  Project  ‘Into The Blue’  will see him Scuba diving to explore and photograph the icebergs and marine life of this extraordinary wilderness.

Daragh’s interest in photography originally developed when he completed a Scuba Diving course in 1992, where he was awe struck by the experience of being under water. Life under the sea seemed like another world, where he made an instant connection with the elements.

Since then he has become a very well known professional land based photographer, with many stunning wilderness projects from the western part of the Sahara in Morocco to the Vatnajokull ice cap in Iceland.

 

Dawn of Contrast by Daragh Muldowney

Dawn of Contrast by Daragh Muldowney

 

 

The Missing Stone by Daragh Muldowney

The Missing Stone by Daragh Muldowney

 

Out of Thin Air, Greenland 2013. Photo by Daragh Muldowney.

Out of Thin Air, Greenland 2013. Photo by Daragh Muldowney.

 

This latest project ‘Into The Blue’ was born while on Expedition to capture ‘Out of Thin Air’  –  getting up close and personal with floating icebergs from a small boat, left him mesmerised by the clear water and the lure of the ice dropping away vertically underwater. The notion that he was only capturing the tip of the iceberg rang true. He made a pact to return in 2015 in order to discover this untouched underwater wilderness. He had learnt to dive over 20 years ago, but had only logged a few dives and had not scuba dived since then. Would he need to train again from the start? What gear would he need? how cold would it be? How different would underwater photography be from land based photography? where could he get the correct training and advice? ….

‘Potential divers’ arrive at Scubadive West regularly with these questions and we are always ready to help, with our full range of courses and boat diving adventures.  Daragh’s situation was fascinating, an accomplished professional photographer, but a novice diver.  Would he be ready in just a few months for the challenges that lay ahead, Scuba diving unsupported in the wilderness of Greenland to produce his world class Nature Art Photography?

He completed his Refresher dive with us here and that naturally led on to completing his PADI Drysuit diver training. By this stage we were so enthralled by his previous works and so anxious that he succeed in his endeavours that we decided to sponsor him!

Scubadive West are proud to be one of the sponsors of ‘Into The Blue’,  providing Daragh with all of this Scuba diving equipment and training for this adventure.  Another very important ingredient for success is a dive buddy, not just any buddy would do, so we are sending one of our excellent PADI Instructors, Ciaran Lennon as his Safety Diver, buddy and Guide.

The team are immersed in training with us here and we did manage to replicate Greenland Diving conditions briefly in February during his PADI Drysuit Diver Course!

It's like Greenland out Here!.

It’s like Greenland out Here!.

 

As divers and lovers of marine life, one of our favourite of Daragh’s projects is ‘Jewellery Box – Ireland’s Hidden Gems’,  an exploration of Ireland’s rock pools which led to the production of a spectacular book and the offer of an exhibition in New York at the Irish Embassy in September 2012.  Jewellery Box is on a world tour as an outdoor Art Exhibition, currently on display in Mexico City.

Spaghetti buttons Daragh Muldowney

Spaghetti Buttons, Glassillaun Beach. (Jewellery Box) Photo by Daragh Muldowney

 

You can see more of Daragh Muldowney’s images here

Ciaran Lennon and Daragh Muldowney are diving regularly here at Scubadive West and are more than happy to talk about their training and preparations, maybe they will be sitting beside you on your next boat dive!

Next up for Daragh is our Digital Underwater Photography Course which will be interesting, given that he teaches photography workshops! – but it goes to show that the underwater world is a completely different world and maybe that’s why we are so drawn to it!

 

 

Check in to our blog and facebook page regularly for further information.

095 43922

info@scubadivewest.com

www.scubadivewest.com

 

 

 

 

Mar
6
2015

Dive Ireland 2015

The Scubadive West Booth at Dive Ireland in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary was buzzing with activity! Our Brand New Stand was unveiled with it’s crisp images and smart layout. It had everyone ‘Pining for the Fjords!’  How about you?

Dive for Fun!

Dive for Fun

 

As Winter is gradually gave way to Spring, all present were excited about the season ahead and planning out their diving in 2015 with us. We had a great response to our Fantastic Free Raffle- many said it was the best raffle at the show, with Three fantastic prizes representing some of the diving activities that we are passionate about.

For those of you that attended the Dive Ireland Show last weekend, we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did.  Breffni, Ciaran, Daragh and Shane were delighted to meet everyone and they were kept busy with bookings for Dive Weeekends at Scubadive West, Island Dive Safaris and Diving and Walking Holidays to the magical little Island of El Hierro. We still have places available but do book your Dive Holiday in Connemara or El Hierro Now!

Email Scubadive West     Email Shane Gray ElHierro

PADI’s Regional Manager for Europe Middle East and Africa flew in to meet all of the PADI Dive Centres exhibiting and to present Scubadive West with our 20 years Dive Centre Membership Award, thanks Terry!

 

Breffni and Shane receiving the 20 year membership Award from PADI Regional Manager Terry Johnson.

Breffni and Shane receiving the 20 year membership Award from PADI Regional Manager Terry Johnson.

 

While we were just talking about diving in landlocked Nenagh, Cillian was busy at Scubadive West, with our scheduled boat dives at 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday as usual.

Sheltered waters, exciting diving, hot drinks, Happy Divers!Happy diver

Sheltered waters, exciting diving, hot drinks, Happy Divers!

 

Back at the Dive Ireland Show there was a constant buzz around Daragh Muldowney’s Nature Art Photography book ‘Out of Thin Air’ from his Greenland Expedition in 2013 and many questions about his next undertaking ‘Into The Blue’, a return trip to Greenland in May 2015, this time to explore and photograph icebergs from underwater. Scubadive West are proud sponsors, providing Daragh with all of his Scuba Diving equipment and training. We will keep you posted and can’t wait to see the images!

 

Out of Thin Air, Greenland 2013. Photo by Daragh Muldowney.

Out of Thin Air, Greenland 2013. Photo by Daragh Muldowney.

 

We will be announcing the winners of our Raffle on Monday 9th March 2015, so enjoy the weekend and check your inbox for the results!

First Prize is an El Hierro Dive Holiday for Two with Shane Gray Diving & Walking Holidays! This Diving Holiday for two divers, to the magical Island of El Hierro includes all transfers, ferry crossings, diving and self catering accommodation included, ex flights to Tenerife. (value €650 per diver), so a total prize worth €1,300!.

Second Prize is a Diving Weekend for Two with Scubadive West, including a boat diving package of 4 dives and 3 airfills (value €130 each), AND two nights B&B in the luxurious Maol Reidh Hotel with one evening meal (value €105 each) .. for TWO divers, so a total prize worth €470!.

Third Prize is the fabulous ‘Out of Thin Air’ A book of stunning images by renowned Photographer Daragh Muldowney. In 2013 Daragh sailed from the shelter of Killary Harbour to Greenland on a three month long Expedition to capture images of the breathtaking scenery.

Daragh Muldowney Photography read more>>

 

Book your diving now 09543922

Feb
5
2015

More to see at this time of year!

Lumpsucker

The Lumpsucker has a very stocky body and its head is very large. It is protected by bony plates which form rows of bumps running along the length of it’s body, and it does not have scales. As its appearance may suggest it isn’t the best of swimmers, nor is it the prettiest fish out there!

Spotted

Spotted

Females may grow up to 60cm and males up to 50cm.

They are extremely well camouflaged and there is a powerful sucker on the underside, just behind the chin, which is used for clinging onto rock surfaces.

www.shaunkillenphotography.com

www.shaunkillenphotography.com

They spend a lot of their time in deep water, but in the Springtime they emerge from the depths to shallower waters where the female lays her eggs. She immediately returns to deeper water. The male, however, stays to take care of the eggs for one or two months until they hatch. The only thing he eats during this time are the few eggs that may become rotten.

His main priority is to keep the eggs oxygenated by fanning over them with his fins or by pushing his head into the pile.

Guarding those precious eggs!

Guarding those precious eggs!

This time of year is ideal to see one of these extraordinary fish while diving.

Contact us now at:

095 43922

info@scubadivewest.com

Feb
3
2015

Spring is in the Air… And in the Water!

At this time of year people ask “What is there to see underwater?”

 

Snoozing in the shallows

Snoozing in the shallows

 

Our answer is: plenty!

At night time, Dogfish feed on crabs, whelks and bottom-living fish, whereas in the daytime they can often be seen “snoozing” on the seabed. They can be seen weaving their way through the kelp, looking for a suitable place for their offspring.

The female comes inshore at this time of year to lay her distinctive egg capsules known as “Mermaid’s Purses”. These have long tendrils which attach onto some form of anchorage, such as seaweed.

 

Mermaid's Purse

Mermaid’s Purse

The egg case is about 7cm long, but the fish can grow to about 80cm.

 

These are not the only things to be seen at this time of year, you can also see Snakelocks Anemones.

Photo by Ivan Donoghue

Photo by Ivan Donoghue

These beautifully vibrant anemones prefer brightly lit shallow water, rather than the deeper, darker waters that many other species of anemones thrive in.

The tentacles contain large populations of symbiotic algae, which gain protection and carbon dioxide from the anemone, and in turn the anemone gains organic compounds synthesised by the algae.

 fdfgdc

Snakelocks Symbiosis

The water temperature in the West of Ireland varies from 7°C in Winter to 16°C in late Summer.

Photo from www.seatemperature.org

Photo from www.seatemperature.org

We recommend Drysuit diving when the water temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius ( It is 7°C at the moment!).

We are the Irish agents for the top Drysuit brands including O’Three and BARE drysuits. We are Ireland’s Fourth Element Test Centre, which means that we have the full range of toasty thermals for you too!

Warm and dry!

Warm and dry!

At Scubadive West we run the PADI Drysuit Diver Course regularly, Sign up now!

095 43922

info@scubadivewest.com

 

Nov
14
2014

NEW! SeaLife Micro HD

 

sealife-micro

sealife-micro, no leak camera!

 

The first permanently sealed underwater camera

Capture the tranquil beauty of the undersea world with the first permanently sealed, flood-proof underwater camera. The Micro HD has no doors or openings that could possibly leak. With 16GB of onboard memory and a high capacity internal battery, there’s no need for memory cards, batteries, O-rings, or maintenance.

Packed with features

Small and ergonomic, the Micro HD camera is easy to handle underwater, operating with three wide “Piano Key” controls. With colourful 13MP still images, full 1080p HD video and a built-in 140-degree Fisheye Lens, the Micro HD provides everything needed to capture and share your underwater encounters down to 200 feet/60 meters.

 

 

dragon

Sea Dragon Lights

Easy to expand

An Easy Setup Guide provides a fast and intuitive way to select a colour correction mode for your diving environment. Get even more colour out of your shots by easily expanding the Micro HD camera with one or two Sea Dragon Lights and Flex-Connect Trays, Grips, Arms and accessories.

 

Large Piano Key Controls

Large Piano Key Controls

The camera’s ergonomic grip and three wide piano key controls make it easy to handle underwater, even while using dive gloves.

 

Built in fish-eye lens

Built in fish-eye lens

The wide, 140 degree fish-eye lens helps stabilise video and capture large scenes at close distances.

 

16GB version €399

32GB version includes Wi-Fi €449

Contact Scubadive West for further information and to order in time for Christmas!

Nov
4
2014

Winter Sale

 

We have a fantastic winter sale with up to 40% off selected items. see below.

Hunter Pro VSN TEK  €750

40%  off, now just €450

 

 

Hunter Pro VSN TEK

Hunter Pro VSN TEK

Details : Male,  Size medium, boot size UK 8. VSN 1100 material, 2 large cargo pockets and reflectors on wrists.

Includes hood, inflation hose, APEX inflation valve and APEX shoulder dump valve.

Sale price €450

 

 

Includes hood and inflation hose.

Includes hood and inflation hose.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Fourth Element Proteus wetsuit €380

30%  off, now just €266

Ideal for winter snorkelling and that warm water dive trip. When summer rolls around again you’ll be diving in style in this 7mm super comfy semi-dry!

 

Superior comfort, 3mm 5mm or 7mm

Superior comfort, 3mm 5mm or 7mm

Details : Ladies Size 12.    7mm thick. Sale price €266

 

 


 

SCUBAPRO Everdry 4 Drysuit €799

40%  off, now just €479

 

Everdry 4mm Neoprene DrysuitFemale suit, size XL  (12) . Soft sock neoprene boots, size 6-7.

Includes hood, inflation hose, SI-TECH inflation valve and SI-TECH shoulder dump valve.

Sale price €450

 


 

 

SCUBAPRO Nova Scotia 6.5mm semi-Dry  €465

30%  off, now just €325

 

Novascotia65

 

Ladies, Size Large (10)

6.5mm Everflex neoprene thickness, fleece lined. Double skin glideskin dry seal neck, wrists and ankles.

Drysuit zip.

Sale price €325

 


 

 

SCUBAPRO PROFILE 7mm Steamer   €255

30%  off, now just €180

 

Profile 7mm Semi-Dry

Profile 7mm Semi-Dry

7mm Neoprene semi-dry suit with zippered wrists and ankles and inverting dryseals at wrists and ankles.

Stock available at sale price Mens Large and Mens Extra Large.

Sale price €180

 

 

 

 

SCUBAPRO PROFILE 7mm Steamer  €255

30%  off, now just €180

 

Profile 7mm Semi Dry

Profile 7mm Semi-Dry

 

7mm Neoprene semi-dry suit with zippered wrists and ankles and inverting dryseals at wrists and ankles.

Stock available at sale price Ladies Small and Ladies Medium

Sale price €180

 

 

SCUBAPRO PROFILE 5mm Overvest, Ladies  €125

30%  off, now just €88

Ladies Overvest 5mm Neoprene

Ladies Overvest 5mm Neoprene

 

 

5mm Neoprene semi-dry Overvest, ideal for combining with Profile steamer to give 12mm thickness on torso. Perfect for Irish diving conditions in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Stock available at sale price Ladies Small, Ladies Large and Ladies Extra Large.

Sale price €88

 


 

 

 

SCUBAPRO EVERFLEX 7mm Steamer  €333

30%  off, now just €233

Everflex Mens 7mm.

Everflex Mens 7mm.

 

7mm Stretch Neoprene semi-dry suit with dryseals at wrists and ankles.

Stock available at sale price Mens Large.

Sale price €233

 

 

SCUBAPRO EVERFLEX Overvest

 5mm Neoprene  €157

30%  off, now just €109

Everflex Overvest 5mm Stretch Neoprene

Everflex Overvest 5mm Stretch Neoprene

 

 

5mm Stretch Neoprene overvest, ideal for combining with Everflex steamer to give 12mm thickness on torso. Perfect for Irish diving conditions in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Stock available at sale price Mens Large.

Sale price €109