200 Metre walls, Lost in a storm and Sun Sets over Islay

After picking Steve up from Larne Harbour at 10:30pm we headed west chasing the sunset via the Antrim Coast watching it casting its golden, reddish rays diffraction through thicker atmosphere that surrounds the earth and provides us with the precious air we need to survive.

Upon reaching the cliff tops near the Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge we stopped briefly to watch the light sky in the North and the Shadows of the Islands of Islay and Jura 20+ miles away with the Light houses on Rathlin periodically flashing to warn ships navigating to and from the Atlantic into the Irish Sea.

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After a good nights sleep and cooked breakfast Steve and I headed across to Ballycastle to meet the dive boat run by Richard Lafferty Owner of Aquaholics, an experienced Skipper familiar with the unusual currents and eddies that run around Rathlin Island. Our first dive was the Arches on the back wall of Rathlin Island. When diving this site you drop down onto kelp which due to the good visibility varies between 17-20 meters deep then descend a slab covered in dead mans fingers to about 26 meters and head west looking for the arches. There are three arches but I have only found one at ~ 25 meters. After this you can move across onto the Wall which drops to about 45 meters and then work your way across heading up to the Kelp when you are finished.

Our Second dive was the Pinnacle the top of which starts at 2-3 meters below the surface, covered with kelp which extended down 17-20 meters, with the wall dropping vertically to 200 meters a dive not for the faint hearted!

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After finishing diving at 2pm we headed across to the walk across the Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge built originally by Salmon Fishermen who would entrap migrating Salmon into net traps.

The Second days diving was back at Rathlin and the Sea mist had descended but we had a clear run to the Lochgarry wreck and then were planning to dive the back wall of Rathlin again, unfortunately the Fog had come in and you couldn’t see the Cliffs which were only 100 Metres away, So we headed back to Ballycastle Marina and dived the Templemore Wreck a shallow wreck with lots of life on it including Congers, Ballan Wrasse and juvenile Crawfish. I’ve included a brief video of the Back Wall of Rathlin and Templemore Wreck.

After finishing up Diving we headed down to Belfast and visited the Titanic Experience a chance to do a 3800 metre wreck dive but without getting wet!

On the last days diving we stayed local to Portrush and Portstewart diving the Large Skerries a Reef / Set of small islands that stretches a mile or so near Portrush and then a second dive on the foul ground near the headland at Portstewart which is covered in lots of small life, dog fish and a good hunting ground for Octopus I have been told.

 

 

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