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First Time Family Snorkel in Ireland

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This summer Mike and I were fortunate enough to have some family visiting, including our niece Norah, after not seeing each other since pre-pandemic times.  We were lucky to get some lovely weather and of course that meant heading to the coast!

Our niece is a good swimmer and would like to learn to scuba dive one day.  We mentioned that snorkeling was a really good start for getting used to using a mask and fins and also great fun.  Having gotten her equipment for the trip, Norah practised in the pool before her arrival and was excited to try things out in the ocean.

We live within a 90 minute drive of several lovely bits of shoreline on the west coast of Ireland, and chose to start off our adventures at Dunmoran Strand in County Sligo.  Here there is a sandy beach bordered by rocky shore, with shallow calm waters.  A great starting point for snorkeling in the sea for the first time! Norah kitted up remarkably quickly as I struggled into my wetsuit, but we were soon in the shallows ready to go.  We had an initial swim to get a feel of it and then gave Norah some tips on clearing her mask, snorkel and some finning techniques and we were off exploring the rocks.  Almost immediately we came across some large colourful jellyfish and swam carefully around to observe them without any contact.  After a good 45 minutes of seeing wrasse, crabs, sand eels and anemones we returned to the beach to dry off and warm up with huge smiles.

A few days later we headed out to the tidal swimming pool at Rosses Point, near Sligo.  Here by the yacht club is a man-made pool that opens out into the sea.  From the pool you can follow the coast and snorkel the rocks to the right side with an easy entry and exit at the pool.  Care must be taken NOT to swim out of the pool to the left, as the aptly named “Dead Man’s Point” has some fierce currents.  Arriving on a cooler, breezy day, we checked Norah was up for the challenge of snorkeling in a slight swell and we headed out right along the rocks.  Norah coped brilliantly with the slightly tougher conditions and was soon zooming around spotting crabs all over the place.  We even got to see a small dogfish dart out from between the rocks and out into the kelp.  We took care to watch the waves and make sure we turned round early to get back to the tidal pool before we got chilled or tired and spent a happy last few minutes jumping off the poolside at the deep end before heading home.

For our last trip we went to Old Head Beach in County Mayo, which has a Blueway Snorkel Trail. As depicted on an informative sign by the car park, the trail starts from the left side of the pier, following a rocky coastline in sheltered, shallow water away from local boat traffic.  On our visit the sun was out again and the waters were an inviting, almost tropical blue.  As we swam around and through the thick kelp we spotted plenty of wrasse, a couple of large compass jellyfish, a pipe fish and a flying gurnard.  Norah perfected her duck diving and we had an enjoyable time dropping our snorkels for her to retrieve from the sandy bottom.

We had some excellent snorkels and though sadly the family had to return home, it was a great visit.

After our adventures, we asked Norah a few questions to get her perspective:

What was your favourite thing?

Snorkeling with jellyfish and not getting stung!

What was the biggest challenge?

The salt stinging my eyes when the mask leaked a bit.

Where was your favourite snorkel spot?

Old Head had the most colourful water, Rosses Point had lots of crabs and we saw a tiny shark!

What new skill did you learn that you found most useful?

Putting toothpaste on a new mask to stop it fogging up.

What are you most proud of?

Snorkeling in the ocean for the first time and coping with waves and some current.

Do you want to go snorkeling again?

Yes!

Mike and I love the water and to be able to share this activity with our niece was brilliant. Ireland has a great system of established snorkel trails called The Blueway (https://diving.ie/blueway/).  These Blueway trails can be snorkeled or kayaked and are safe routes with maps and above water signage on the points of interest.  The west coast of Ireland really is a great place for some snorkel adventures!

For more information on water activities in Ireland check out: www.discoverireland.ie/things-to-do/on-the-water

CJ and Mike are dive instructors who have travelled all over the world pursuing their passion for the underwater world. CJ is a PADI MI and DSAT Trimix instructor with a degree in Conservation biology and ecology, who has been diving for 15 years. She loves looking for critters and pointing them out for Mike to photograph. Mike is a PADI MSDT who got back into diving in 2010. He enjoys practicing underwater photography and exploring new and exciting dive locales, occasionally with more than one tank. Follow more of their diving adventures at www.facebook.com/bimbleintheblue.

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Dive into Egypt in 2024 with Sea to Sky

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dive into egypt

Is Egypt part of your travel plans for 2024 and beyond, with scuba diving, Liveaboard adventures, Freediving trips, or Diving courses in mind?

Look no further, as we have some fantastic packages and handpicked destinations that we believe are the best. We’re passionate about what we do, and we’re confident you’ll love our destinations, as well as our trusted suppliers who are dedicated to ensuring you have the perfect experience.

dive into egypt

All our suppliers are listed on our website, but keep an eye on our social media pages for updates.

The Sea to Sky team are fluent in Italian, English, and French, and we’re available most of the time to answer any questions you may have (unless we’re underwater, of course!).

Learn to dive with Jeremy: We offer PADI and SSI courses up to professional levels in Egypt. Jeremy has a wealth of experience and a deep passion for teaching.

dive into egypt

Liveaboard diving in the Red Sea: Our partner is one of the most reputable operators in the Red Sea, and we have numerous dates available for 2024.

Red Sea Diving Safari: Experience scuba diving and freediving with unlimited house reef diving, providing the ultimate eco-diving experience. With three resort options, you’re spoiled for choice.

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Aziab Seafaris: Ever dreamed of freediving with hundreds of dolphins at Sataya Reef or disconnecting from daily life for a few days? Now’s your chance to sail and freedive the Red Sea and experience the incredible.

Dive Dahab: Explore Dahab with various accommodation options to suit your budget. Dive sites include the famous Blue Hole, Gabr El Bint, and numerous shore dives. Alternatively, simply unwind and relax in Dahab style with our amazing package.

dive into egypt

Camel Dive in Sharm El Sheikh: Camel Dive has a reputation for affordability and professionalism, choose from on of our Dive and Stay Packages and experience Ras Mohamed and the captivating Coral life

These are just a few of our incredible experiences. Don’t hesitate to send us a direct message or call us anytime. We love to chat about anything and everything.

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Contact us on:

Email: hello@mysetaosky.co.uk

WhatsApp: + 39 379 236 7138

Website: www.myseatosky.co.uk

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Master Liveaboards announce new boat for Indonesia

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Master Liveaboards are excited to announce a new vessel in Indonesia. Indo Master is a traditional phinisi style liveaboard, built from teak and ironwood. Launched in 2022, she is
the very definition of a modern Indonesian phinisi.

indo master

Indo Master offers 9 cabins for a maximum of 18 guests. Below decks there are 4
traditional Classic cabins, with a choice of twin or double layouts. There is also a larger
Premium cabin with two double beds for those who prefer to spread out on their trips.

Moving above, there are two Premium twin cabins with ocean views and Juliette balconies.
Finally, there are two glorious Superior double cabins that come complete with their own
private exterior balconies. It may go without saying, but it’s worth mentioning that all
cabins come with their own individual air conditioning and private ensuite bathrooms.

indo master

Modern comfort from top to bottom

On the main deck there is a spacious bar, restaurant, and lounge area, commanding bright
ocean views. And of course a dive deck with plenty of space for everyone and, towards the
bow, a shaded outdoor lounge area. Finally, up top, there is a huge sun deck, complete
with comfortable seating for those between dive snoozes.

indo master

Indo Master will offer a series of itineraries from 7 to 13 nights in Komodo, Raja Ampat,
and almost everything in between, showcasing the best Indonesia has to offer. Master
Liveaboards are now taking bookings and have a series of launch offers that you can see,
and book with secure payment options, on their website.

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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