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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.

Going up a mountain to jump in a lake

(Taken from corkman.ie to show possibilities)

Timmy Carey and Matt Cullotty from the Fermoy based Blackwater Sub Aqua Club prepare to become the first divers ever to explore Lough Curra deep in the heart of the Galtee Mountains.

Timmy Carey and Matt Cullotty from the Fermoy based Blackwater Sub Aqua Club prepare to become the first divers ever to explore Lough Curra deep in the heart of the Galtee Mountains.

MEMBERS the Blackwater Sub Aqua Club have become the first in Ireland to dive one of the country's highest mountain lakes.

The intrepid adventurers last weekend travelled deep into the Galtee Mountains, Ireland's highest inland mountain range, to dive Lough Curra. 

To the uninitiated it may sound unusual for a club that normally operates below sea level to climb hundreds of metres to dive. However, the Galtees have five large pre glacial hollows, which are now occupied by five mountain lakes: Lough's Curra, Diheen, Borheen, Muskey and Farbreaga.

These lough's have remained largely unexplored, due in no small measure to their inaccessibility, and it is not even clear how deep they are. Club spokesman Matt Culloty said that the members faced a huge set of challenges just to get to the shores of Lough Curra.

"To say this would not be a typical Sunday dive for us would be something of a huge understatement," laughed Matt.

"At 574 metres Curra is the highest of the Galtee lakes, which meant that we had to an uphill walk of almost nine kilometres to get there."

Matt pointed out that the weight of equipment typically required for a dive can be in excess of 40kgs per diver. However, the long trek to the Lough meant that this had to be stripped down to the bare essentials.

"We took two full sets of five gear between four divers, which meant that the team had to carry 23kgs of equipment each. When you are facing an uphill climb over rough terrain while being battered by wind and rain, that is quite a challenge," said Matt.

Undaunted, the team soldiered on, eventually reaching the Lough after an energy sapping twohour climb. On arrival it first appeared as though their efforts might be in vain as fog had enveloped the lake.

By the time the first two divers, Matt and Timmy Carey had kitted up it had cleared, allowing the pair to undertake a 20-minute dive the Lough, the first to ever do so.

Two other divers, Gearoid O'Looney and Eamon O'Herlihy also took the plunge, while another member of the team Stéphane Portrait chose to snorkel across the lake in order to find out how deep it was.

"The water was clear and there was even some evidence of fish life. Stephanie located a depth of 35 metres and it is envisaged that we will return to the lakes over the winter to obtain more information," said Matt.

"The journey back down was the most perilous bit of the day and in true biblical fashion I did manage to fall down three times," grinned Matt. "However, other than a few bruises and one deflated ego we did managed to return to base safely," he added.

For more information about the club visit www.blackwatersubaqua.com.

- BILL BROWNE