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In this section you will find articles on pleasure dives that have taken place with the Blackwater Sub Aqua Unit. 

Other Archives Items can be found in the downloads section accessible here.

Finbarr Mulcahy leading the way for Blackwater Sub Aqua Club

Congratulations to Finbarr Mulcahy who last week achieved the prestigious grade of leading diver in Smerwick in County Kerry after almost 12 months of hard work. This grade allows a diver to act as a dive leader and to take responsibility for large groups of divers and has a vast number of disciplines examined during the test. Just some of the competencies include boat handling, First Aid, CPR, dive leadership, diving officer organisational ability, air compressor knowledge as well as a large number of knowledge examinations on physics, physiology, dive tables, regulators and dive equipment, seamanship and charts/ weather and tides and rescue procedures. Well done to Finbarr again who attained very good marks during the weekend.

At the leading diver last weekend in Smerwick Keith Barry, Finbarr Murphy, Finbarr Mulcahy and Lorcan Kinirons


Club Open Day

Just a reminder to everyone that we will be holding an open day on the 21st September 2013     from 13:00 to 17:00 with a vast amount of events that are family orientated and all are free of charge. Just some of the all day events include boat spins to the viaduct with two club launches and an Sporaid Naomh John Mahon for anyone with limited mobility or disability. All the clubs Search and Recovery Equipment will be on display including the search units side scan sonar, there will be a Marine life aquarium and Open air DJ music provided by Timmy Flynn. There will also be face painting and a bouncy castle, a big thanks to Fermoy Business Action group for their support of the event.

Just some of the other events on the schedule on are

13:00 Opening of event

14:00 Introduction to scuba diving lecture by Stéphane Portait

14:45 Demonstrations of how to correctly throw a lifebuoy and lifebuoy throwing competition in conjunction with Irish Water Safety- Cork branch

15:00 Irish Coastguard rescue helicopter fly over

15:15 Combined river rescue dramatization in conjunction with Fermoy Fire Brigade and North Cork Civil Defence unit

16:00 Family slideshow on water safety presented by Pop O Hara of Irish Water Safety – Cork branch

16:45 Presentation of Water Safety art competition prizes

17:00 Event close

A big thanks to all the club members who have been helping with this over the past few weeks, a big push is needed in the next few days to ensure the area is in pristine condition for the event.

Billy Carr giving children an introduction to marine life at the last open day , this will again be held on September 21st












 Left : The majestic looking Astrid on the rocks near Oysterhavenlast week. Right: Matt Culloty practising extended range diving techniques last weekend off Capel Island 

Blackwater Divers Take Kerry by Storm

The West Coast of County Kerry faces headlong into the powerful Atlantic Ocean. Kerry has a varied and heavily indented coastline that lends itself admirably to a feast of temperate water diving. The rugged coastlines of Kerry are mirrored underwater; think sheer rock faces and stunning topography result in steep drop offs and colourful walls. Blackwater divers would base themselves in Ballyferriter, 10 K west of Dingle, were they would get shelter from the forecasted force 5 winds resulting in 6meter sea swells.  The harbor offers dives to 25 meters and should the winds abate, just outside on either side depths to 45 meters are easily achieved. 

The water temperature off the coast of Kerry is moderated by the warming Gulf Stream, while nutrient rich water is ideal for a profusion of marine life. A myriad of marine life abound,  Lobsters, crayfish and conger eels will passively observe from under their rocks, while curious cuckoo wrasse, pipefish and oversized Pollack swim about. Last weekend while hundreds looked on one dolphin in Dingle, we were treated to a pod of 20 plus swimming in our vicinity.
Here is what Jacques Cousteau said about the Kerry dive sites: "Some of the best diving in the world is at the northern side of the Dingle Peninsula where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Brandon mountains" ... in a landscape of exceptional beauty.

"Abundant marine life - shoals of mackerel and Pollack; feeding wrasse and playful seals; lobster, crawfish and crabs; sunfish and basking sharks; schools of dolphins and pilot whales; while the reefs themselves are lit up by different varieties of sponges and anemones." If it’s good enough for Jacques Cousteau, well it was good enough for Dive Officer for the weekend Matt Culloty.

Unfortunately the strong westerly wind didn’t abate and allow diving of the “3 sisters” , having dived this location just 3 weeks prior, Matt was eager to bring his team to see the spectacular ravens , which would show the amazing walls and bountiful fish which adorn . Fortunately just on the western side of the harbor a cave dive would allow divers explore much of the beauty of  a wall dive, with lobster and even a seal making the odd appearance. Other dives along the west side would host huge Pollack, in outstanding visibility.  The weekend was an outstanding success, with some excellent diving by our trainees.

The leading diver exam is being held this weekend, in Smerwick. Blackwater Sub Aqua, have just one candidate this year. Leading diver is the highest and much sought after, diving grade of our governing body (C.F.T).  A tremendous amount of preparation has already gone in by those taking place, best of luck to Finbarr Mulcahy.


Below Left, Peter Whelan                             Right Top: Maurice Carrroll    Right Bottom: Matt Culloty

Old Fenian clay pipe emerges from the river Blackwater

On a recent search and recovery training dive in the river Blackwater; Timmy Carey found an old clay pipe deeply encased in hardened mud and after slowly cleaning it underwater it revealed some writing which was
impossible to read underwater. After surfacing and with some careful cleaning with a toothbrush revealed the symbol of a harp on one side with the words "Harp or ERIN " and the image of a beret with two hands shaking hands on the other with the words "Cap or Liberty". Both of these symbols were old Fenian symbols of resistance to British rule with the harp being a symbol of Ireland since ancient times. The harp was first used in christian stone crosses and ancient manuscripts since the 8th and 9th centuries and it was not until July 1642 that a yellow harp on a green background became popular as a symbol of Irish resistance when used by Eoghan Rua O Neill when returning from Spain to lead the Ulster armies in the 1641 rebellion against English rule. An old Fenian clay pipe recovered from the river Blackwater in the past few weeks.
This symbol remained as a symbol or Irish freedom right up until the Easter 1916 rising, with the tricolour emerging in the period 1916-1919 and later becoming the national flag for the free state.
The cap of liberty symbol was also quite interesting as the idea of this was that the cap of liberty would replace the imperial crown and this symbol is used throughout classical art as a freedom motif and
was used during the French and American revolution; with the cap symbol coming from Roman times when freed slaves received a cap of freedom.
While it will be impossible to definitively date the pipe, pipes such as this very common in the late 19th century during the land wars, when up to 80% of adults used to smoke before cigarettes became common place in the early 20th century. As usual the Blackwater never seems to throw up surprises with links to local history and this small find gave a great insight into a time when Irish people could only ever dream of owning their own property and living in an independent country. It would also make you wonder
what people of the period who would have suffered so much hardship for an impossible dream would have made of the Irish leaders throughout society of the early 21st century who would trade national sovereignty
due to abject greed !!!.
Nena the clubs only Colombian diver ! exploring the riverbed of the Blackwater while preparing for her diver one star exam

Blackwater Triathlon: A big thanks to everyone who assisted with the dives last Wednesday night to ensure that the exit point of the river was clear to ensure safe egress for the swimmers from the river; thanks to Judith for organising the dive. Thanks to everyone who provided safety cover on the day also

Judith O Brien and Noel Hayes diving the Blackwater last
week to remove any sharp tree branches or other objects from the exit of the river for the triathlon
        Fenian clay pipe recovered from the river Blackwater    in the past few weeks

Blackwater Swim : well done to Owen O Keffee on yet another amazing swim; the athleticism , discipline and psychological strength to swim 60 kilometers of the river Blackwater is an inspirational feat. Well
done Owen from everyone associated with the club.