Diving Cathedral Cave, Kilkee 17th August 2011

Cathedral Cave Kilkee

It was worth the mid week rush from Limerick for a post work dive at Middle Rock in Kilkee.  It was worth braving the queasy bobbing boat waiting for the first stick of divers to resurface while Mike Orth optimistically tempted reluctant mackerel from a choppy sea with old feathers and one and a half rusty hooks.  This dive was something special.   

Our diving group comprised me and Mike, Brian O’Leary and Richie Ryan.  After a customary ritual battle of torch superiority from our tribe elders Mike and Brian with accompanying obscene gestures we proceeded along with the shelf on our left heading south.  The local sea life was obviously impressed with the lads display of torch one-upmanship because they turned out in force to greet us.  It was beautiful, an illuminated wall of red with endless pockets of life among the endless sea caves and under the rocks, the air bubbles congealing under each rock shelf overhead like liquid silver mirrors glinting back at us.  I lost count after three types of wrasse, four types of Blenny, squat lobsters, shrimp, conger eels (including one out in the open) Pollock and Mackerel. (That was €13 well spent on John Breen’s Sea Search wildlife book last week) 

Thanks to Brian’s navigation we found the elusive Cathedral Cave rock formation. It comprises an almost circular hole in the shelf with an impressive arch at the entrance, again with loads of life and a massive conger eel in residence. I didn’t know this was a rare occasion until I saw Mike and Brian doing a giddy dance of joy in the middle of it.  That alone was worth the trip.  Today was the day Richie Ryan got his Leaving Cert results, he probably brought us good luck.  The setting sun met us at the surface, looked like an orange spotlight from the underneath.  We marked the location from the boat instruments on GPS so hopefully there’s a return to follow.  I’m new at this but I reckon it doesn’t get much better than that, how much fun can you pack into a 40 mintues training dive?   

Here’s the video, the light lets it down but we’ll just have to go back in the full daylight to see it again.  Little Lens needs lots of light but the picture is only a shadow of the memories.