Why Join a Dive Club?
Being a member of a dive club has many advantages. For a small investment in club membership you get access to all the club has to offer including our dive boat, club compressor, 16 sessions in UL pool, CFT insurance, experienced officers and members of the club, local knowledge of dive sites etc… If you want to learn to Scuba Dive at your own pace, you can afford to invest in your own equipment and like to join a group of like-minded individuals then club-diving may be just the ticket. As a rule of thumb if you see yourself diving more than 10 – 15 times per year then its more cost effective to join a Club. Dive centres can charge up to €35 per dive and with the average club diver doing 20 dives per year this could equate to €700+
Do I need to be a great swimmer?
No, but like all diving organisations you are expected to have a minimum swimming ability, you are required to swim 200m freestyle or breaststroke, 100m on your back (any style) and 60 sec breath hold. This is all done on your own pace and generally Mr or Mrs. Average would have no difficulty. No one yet has failed to meet this standard.
Do I have to be super fit?
No. You would be required to undertake a medical from your doctor. Again, Mr./Mrs. Average will have no problem but again there are specific medical conditions that can prevent you from talking up diving. We have our own diving doctor and he would be delighted to advise you in confidence.
Are there age limits?
No. You have to be over the age of 16 to use an aqualung, but there is no maximum.
Is it expensive?
Well this depends very much on your approach. The basic equipment of mask, fins and snorkel can be purchased locally or online. The nearest dive shop is Oceanreef in Kilkee or Waterworld in Tralee. Others have used Ebay to gather their gear and some members cannot pass up a bargain there! As a trainee, there will be a lecture covering all the necessary dive equipment and the places to source it. We will help you out with some good advice and try and organize a deal with a local dive shop. Remember before you purchase tie in with the training officer or any of the Instructors they would be delighted to help.
The following are the fees for the 2017 dive season.
New trainees: 350
The fees for a new member consist of a full divers membership (300) plus the costs for training materials, logbook, and welcome pack (60). The cost of CFT Insurance is included. New trainees that join Limerick Sub Aqua Club are full members of the diving club and entitled to the use of all it’s facilities.
Diver membership: 350
Diver membership includes CFT insurance and entitles the member to the use of the pool during the 16 Snorkel Training sessions, the club boat and it’s two compressors, and are welcome (and encouraged!) to attend all events associated with the club.
Snorkeler membership: 150
Snorkeling membership entitles a member to full use of the 16 Snorkel training sessions in the pool during winter and to participate in all club activities.
Honorary member: 100
An honorary membership has the same benefits of a divers membership. It is only granted to members that have served the club for many years and been involved in committee activities. Honorary Membership may be granted at the AGM to those whom the Club wishes to honour.
Associated member (non-diving): 50
Open to all persons, subject to the Rules of the Club, who wish to be associated with the Club, but who do not wish to participate in the Club’s diving activities.
Family discount: 10%.
Can cylinders be filled locally?
Yes. The Limerick Sub Aqua Club has the use of two air compressors. You will be trained in the proper use of the fixed compressor and our mobile compressor. A charge of €2.50 per bottle filled will remain for compressor use when it is away for weekends and for Portmagee diving week. Any members that wish to use the mobile compressor must contact the person housing the mobile compressor in advance to arrange a time to use it, and to bring petrol for the compressor. A fill at the mobile compressor cannot be guaranteed if you do not bring fuel for it. All members must bring their logbooks when using the fixed compressor.
Can I get the bends?
Yes but this is very rare, however if you adhere to the standard diving practices you can enjoy an incident free diving career. Like all diving organisations and clubs, training and prevention are strictly monitored to insure best practices and safe diving for all members.
Are there any other dangers?
Yes. Each are fully covered by qualified instructors and examiners. All aspects of these must be fully understood while under training supervision.
Are there any wrecks?
Yes. We have the second biggest wreak in the world sitting in 40m of water off the Cork coast, The Kowloon Bridge floundered on the Stag rocks back in 1985 its spans the size of 6 football pitches. Not far from the Kowloon Bridge is a World War 1 submarine, she was scuttled and lies in 42m of water. Wreak diving is considered technical diving and requires further training than the basic Club diver training.
Describe an average diving day!
In the summer we dive in the sea – in the winter we dive in lakes and quarries and after a good weather spell, occasionally in the sea. Sea diving is usually on the west coast where the water is clearer and visibility of 100′ is sometimes possible.
Kilkee is a fantastic spot with a compressor in the town deep water nearby. We try and head off early on Sunday morning to launch the boats and dive before lunch. Going out to sea we would be looking for offshore reefs or cliffs. The best ones face to the South West where sunlight is strongest. We always dive in pairs, one to help the other, and usually arrange to dive in two groups, one staying in the boat while the other dives. Each pair check each others equipment. Hand signals are exchanged and we are off.
The perfect day plunges us into about 30′ of water with 6′ high seaweed swaying back and forth in the swell and the light reflecting the magnificent colours. A short way off we will see the cliff edge and the deep blue of the abyss. A final equipment check, another hand signal and we are away. We make for the seaweed on the other very edge of the cliff peering over to admire the abundance of growth and colour, brilliant and vivid. We see pollock like old gentlemen enjoying the sun, and mackerel darting back and forth like starlings in Autumn. Another hand signal and we push off and start to descend the cliff, like weightless spacemen we drop to 40′ then 50′ on the way we would probably see a few crayfish. A crustacean similar to a lobster but red in colour and very much bigger sitting on a ledge, he will stand up and try to look aggressive, at this stage he looks like a 3′ long red spider. Dotted around him will be sea urchins – a round shell animal – that is often seen processed in souveneir shops. Live they are pale pink and blue striped with millions of short tentacles and are quite beautiful.
At 50′ the vegetation will stop, the rock face will be naked and red green in colour with occasional yellow sponges and white dead mens fingers. There is not too much food down here so the fish life is not so plentiful. We drop on down untill we reach the sea bed at 100′. Down here it is very glomy and much colder. Around us there are sea snails, similar to the garden snail without his shell and about 15” long and 3” round. If we peer under the broken boulders we will probably see a black lobster. He comes out at night and hides during the day, he has vicious claws and is not too freindly.
We are using air very quickly at this depth, so another hand signal and we start up, we stop at the vegetation line and move across the cliff face exploring as we go. In too short a time our equipment will tell us that we are running out of air. Again, another hand signal and we head for the surface slowly, enjoying every last second. Being mindful that we are probably the first humans ever to explore and see this piece of another earth. We arrive at the surface where the boat is waiting. We move to a second area off the cliff. It is then the turn of the second party. When they are finished we tear back to Kilkee and the energetic ones arrange a refill of their cylinders for the afternoon. The sensible ones lie in the sun.
Courtesy of Mike Kerrison written in 1981 but still as relevant today. Updated by Ciaran Enright.