|Cameron Creek, Kilkee|
Recent comment on our web site, about the Blue Pool, put me in mind of Cameron Creek, named by us, after Roddie, a member of the original scouting party who first discovered the location and a dear friend and colleague of many of the Limerick Divers.
It is important to bear in mind that we had no boat at that time and were strictly limited to shore diving, hence the search for adventurous new locations. Stories from fishermen of deep waters off the Blue Pool in Baltard Bay, brought us to the area and we were not to be disappointed. A long (approx. 15 minute) trek, across fields and flat-rock beach, carrying full gear, brought us to our destination.
Our very first dive off the perfect rocky entry point took place on June 17th 1962 with fellow divers Johnnie Ryan, Dougie Brislane and Cyril Foster. My dive log of that day records the following:Â “Hit the century today for the first time, great dive, wonderful spot. Poor weather gave us disappointing conditions and visibility. No trouble at all getting to 100 ft. Johnnie and self got gorgonian, Dougie and I spotted it at the same time, I was nearer, so I collected it. I picked up a 3 lb. crawfish and missed another. I must abandon my gaff, it’s too awkward. Very funny today, we sat at 80ft. flooding and clearing our face masks. Very cold at 100ft.”Â It was a 25 min dive.
We continued to enjoy many more dives and experience some rather hairy adventures in the Creek for the next two years or so, until boat diving became available and long site treks became rather less of a necessity.
However, to this day there are many intrepid shore divers within our club (I see you, John Allen, Mike Hynes, Liam O’Connell, Brian Crowe, Victor Brown et al.) who would not be averse to undertaking long hauls saddled up with full diving gear, so with that in mind, in company with, or should I say minded by, Marcus McMahon of the Kilkee Oceanlife Dive Centre, I recently explored the accessibility of the location.
Head off on the Doonbeg road out of Kilkee, take the second turn left after Belaha Church (the road for the White Strand). Proceed approximately 1 kilometer as far as Baltard National School. Head straight through this small crossroad, for less than a kilometer. Inside the wooden fence you will see a small private road, (not there in our day), through a field leading down to the sea. Having accessed this road through a gate and later, another gate, the road runs out in the field. Having made friends with the bulls and heifers, haul yourself and your gear across the field and flat-rock beach to the dive site.
|From Cameron Creek, Kilkee|
Entry is quite simple, egress similarly so, but do be aware of the potential of the sea hereabouts to turn from quite calm to boiling. It has happened to us, but that’s a story for another day! From entry, turning right, snorkel through the large pool area as far as the sheer wall off the small island on your left ahead! Here we go now, submerge in whatever your style is, to find a glorious deep wall dive vista opening out before you! Your dive can bring you to an open sea face, which can make returning to base quite difficult if there happens to be any kind of sea running against you through the creek through which you exited the Pool. Alternatively and perhaps more desirably, you should cross the sound and return via the right side rock face back to the safe waters of the (open) Pool.
I have not dived here since the early 60’s, so my recall may be subject to dispute but for sure, it must have been something special to have stayed in my mind for so very long.
Reillys Surfing Wave
Cameron Creek is also an ideal and in most sea conditions, fabulous and safe snorkeling site.
Nearby, across the wide expanding flat-rock, you may see the newly discovered and widely acclaimed Reilly’s surfing wave. Not for the inexperienced or faint- hearted, is this one!
(see photo). If your interest is in any way inclined towards the expanding sport of surfing, you might care to log on to the web site: Magicseaweed.com/powersofthree, and view the movie which features some awesome footage taken in the area. (Thanks for this Dave).
I have made contact with the friendly farmer, Mr. Hayes who owns this land and has constructed a small roadway. He is agreeable to have divers visit, provided they keep the gates closed and respect the security of his horses and cattle!
Of course, in “our day”, there was no such roadway, so our trek involved a much longer haul through many fields and fences (see photo) but of course, the divers of those days were much tougher men and women!!!!!
Let’s see who will be the first of our present “Hardies” to brave the odds in search of a magical dive.