What is a Photo Rally?

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The Annual Photo Rally at Scubadive West is great opportunity to improve your underwater photography skills and meet like minded divers participating in a fun competition.

Join us for this years event:

Scubadive West Photo Rally 23rd to 25th October 2015.


Aurelia on her Advanced Course at Mast of Julia T

Wide Angle photography on boat dives.


The competition is free to enter and only photos taken during the event can be submitted. Scubadive West offer a special package for registered participants, unlimited shore diving, one boat dive and all of your air fills during the event for just €40 per person!

There are three categories: Wide Angle Photography,  Macro Photography and Compact Camera Photography.

Our Shore Dive is bursting with marine life and offers unlimited opportunities for Macro photography. Scallops, Spider Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Pollock, Wrasse and all manner of Blenny are photogenic, and usually willing to have their photo taken!


Dogfish often 'snooze' on the seabed during the daytime

Chilled out Super Models on the shore dive


There are plenty of opportunites to get that winning Wide Angle photograph at the shore too. With the ’60 Footer’ ship wreck lying in 13 metres depth at the shore here and the Guinness Record Dive tower nearby, it is easy to find good composition for that wide angle shot.



Weightless wonderland

Get your buddy to come along.



Abundant Marine Life

Abundant Marine Life at the shore


Participants that would prefer to boat dive all weekend can avail of the Scubadive West Special Boat Diving Package,  4 boat dives and 3 air fills for just €130.


Jullia T by Sarah Tallon

Julia T. Winning photo, by Sarah Tallon.


Jewel Anemones on the Julia T

Jewel Anemones. Winning Photo by Maja Stankovski



We even have a compact camera category, so you can get involved even if you don’t have a high end camera or years of underwater photography experience!

In fact it is a great opportunity to learn tips and techniques from other divers.

Here are just some of the winning photographs from the Compact Camera Category in Scubadive West Photo Rally 2014.


Orange Lips by Martin Flood

Orange Lips by Martin Flood


Well done to Martin Flood, winner of 3rd Prize in our Compact Camera Category with his photo ‘Orange Lips’. Martin won the nifty SeaLife Aquapod for his colourful photograph of Sandalled Anemones. Thanks to Scubapro for this great prize.


Blenny by Eoghan Leahy

Blenny by Eoghan Leahy


Congratulations to Eoghan Leahy, winner of 2nd Prize in our Compact Camera Category with his photo ‘Blenny’. Eoghan wins the SeaLife Sea Dragon Mini Video Light for his photograph of a Tompot Blenny peering out from the Guinnes Record Dive tower. Thanks to Scubapro for this great prize.


The Eye by Nicky Jackson

The Eye by Nicky Jackson


Well done to Nicky Jackson, winner of 3rd Prize in our Macro Category with his photo ‘The Eye’. Nicky won the SUUNTO rucksack full of goodies for his extreme close up of a Dogfish’s Eye.
Thanks to SUUNTO for this great Prize!


November's Cover Shot

November’s Cover Shot

Daragh Norton’s winning shot in a previous Scubadive West photo competition, (taken while boat diving with us at Inishbofin)  made it onto the cover of Sport Diver magazine, so you never now where your hobby might take you!

Register for Scubadive West Photo Rally 2015 via our dedicated Competitions Website at


Call us at 095 438922

or contact us by email


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Suunto & Fourth Element Test Event 20th & 21st June 2015

The Scubadive West 2015 Test Weekend is on 20th & 21st June …. it’s just weeks away!   We have a super line up of Scuba Diving Equipment and activities for you to try.

On location

On location


In 2012 we hosted our inaugural SUUNTO Fourth Element Test weekend, it was such a great success that we had them back in 2013 for another great Event. In 2014 they sent us some of their newest FINN LIGHT and FINN FLY kit to try out on our first Island Dive Safari of the season. It went down a treat with the divers as we explored deep walls and underwater canyons around Inishturk, Inishbofin and the Bills Rocks!

We are delighted to announce that for 2015 the SUUNTO guys are coming over again for a full Event at Scubadive West. They are so excited about their new range of high end dive lights, harnesses, backplates, wings and side mount systems that they want you try it all out for free! Celebrate mid-summer with us at this great event on 20th and 21st June 2015.

Each year divers travel from all over the country to try out the very best scuba diving equipment with us. You can look forward to enjoyable shore diving with abundant marine life and good visibility. Explore the 60 footer wreck, with it’s purpose built, cool Suunto deco station. There will be exciting boat dives on offer all weekend, visiting our ever popular dive sites including Bird Rock, Thany Beg, Doonee Beacon and The Julia T,  and of course loads of cool Scuba Equipment to try out for free!

Hanging out

Hanging out

Kick start the season while you test dive all of the latest dive lights from FINNLIGHT, the FINNSUB wings, harnesses, backplates, side mount systems from FINNSUB and of course the great range of SUUNTO dive computers!




The FINNSUB Fly 13D Rescue is just one of the many systems offered by the SUUNTO guys, it’s possibly the coolest looking one, although I would say that as I bought one of these for myself and dive with it all the time.



The eagerly awaited SUUNTO EON Steel has arrived on the market and will be available for test dives. The SUUNTO guys are bringing loads of these units for you to try out on your boat dives and shore dives with us over the weekend. Also available in great quantities will be their HEL O2, VYPER, VYPER Air and the best selling ZOOP!

Fantastic diving at The Bills Rocks, testing out the SUUNTO Vyper Air. A very nice computer with air integration, gas switching and a tidy digital compass built in

Fantastic diving at The Bills Rocks, during the test dives last year, testing out the SUUNTO Vyper Air. A very nice computer with air integration, gas switching and a tidy digital compass built in.


Sv air black

SUUNTO Yyper Air in  black


All SUUNTO Dive Computers will come with a 5 year warranty, which you only get when you buy from SUUNTO agents like Scubadive West. Just fill out the form with us when you make your purchase.

There will be a great offer of a free wireless transmitter with selected dive computer models.




These new high efficiency LED lights are spectacular, they provide cool white light for 10,00 hours of usage. The beautifully machined aluminium alloy body has a hard eloxal coating to resist damage from impacts. Choose from 750, 1,400 or even 3,00 Lumens of stunning white illumination.

Finn Light 3000 Strong Soft Handle.

Finn Light 3000 Strong Soft Handle.







Finnlight 750





We will have the guys from SUUNTO here again with their full line up of wrist mounted dive computers available to try out on a dive. Last year all the models were popular, from the great value ZOOP to the High Spec. Hel O2, with many people buying their own unit over the weekend here.

Soo many to try out!


Hel O2, Vyper Air and Zoop computers

Fourth Element will be here again this year with their Xerotherm and Arctic range of Thermals for you to try out. Also they will have the amazingly flexible Proteus wetsuits, ideal for some snorkelling and Scuba Diving in our private sheltered cove.

Book your places now. just call us at 09543922 or drop us a quick email to info@scubadivewest.com



Analox Ltd is  a world leader in the design and manufacture of gas sensors and analysers for all branches of the diving industry from sport to military applications. We are very proud to announce that we are agents for Analox Gas Analysers and they will be attending for the test weekend too! They will have their very popular O2EII Nitrox Analyser and Portable O2 Analyser models available here to try out,  also we are looking forward to trying out their new O2EII PRO SCUBA Nitrox Analyser. They will be giving demonstrations, helping with technical questions and they’ll also have a free competition, so you may be going home with one of these!

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Island Dive Safaris 2015

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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.



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.




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


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

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Into the Blue

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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






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Awesome in April!

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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

And the Winners are…

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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




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







Dive Ireland 2015

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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 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

More to see at this time of year!

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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!



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.



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


Spring is in the Air… And in the Water!

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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.


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