Friday 21 September 2018

Diving the Hook: Wexford's underwater wonderland

Divers leaving the water, Hook Peninsula
Divers leaving the water, Hook Peninsula
Liam and Carmel Donoghue snorkelling at the Hook
Diver Frank O'Brien explorers a reef at the Hook
Elaine Walsh and Victor Quirke on evening dive
Victor Quirke with a dogfish on an evening dive under Hook lighthouse
Diver Balazs Bauer about to photograph the underwater world at the Hook
Diver Balazs Bauer explorers a boat shaped reef at the Hook
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

You don't have to travel overseas to get beneath the waves, as Ivan Donoghue's fab photos off Wexford's Hook Peninsula reveal.

Since 1982, members of the Hook Sub Aqua Club have been exploring the underwater life off Wexford and, as Ivan Donoghue's photos show, that world can be surprisingly beautiful.

Dive sites around the southern peninsula include several wrecks close to the coast (including Girl Arlene, Harry's Wreck, The Lismore and The Arthur), scenic sites like Pollock Rock, Big Rock and Western Rock and shore diving at The Bath Tub, Churchtown and Tower Hole.

"The waters around the hook are full of life," says member Dearbhla Walsh.

"Dolphins, seals, dogfish, lobster, crayfish, spider crabs, cod, pollock, sole and conger eels are just some of the creatures we see on a regular basis out on our snorkels and dives."

Hook Sub Aqua Club is one of 80 Irish Underwater Council (CFT) affiliated clubs dotted around Ireland (Ivan Donoghue is a member of nearby Wexford Sub Aqua Club), and its dive season usually begins in March.

Weather depending, its 39 members dive right up to October and November.

During winter, they train in a pool and recruit new members. You can test the waters, so to speak, with a 'Try A Dive' campaign starting October 4th - a national campaign in which all Irish CFT clubs participate.

Next Sunday, September 28th, the club hosts its open day.

See www.hooksubaqua.com for more details.

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