Scubadive West in the National and International Media
SCUBAPRO Days 2010 at Scubadive West
Sport Diver Magazine Spring 2010
Mark Evans, Editor of 'Sport Diver' magazine has become a devotee of diving off the coast of Connemara. In this feature, Mark details his road trip to Scubadive West, which took place in May 2009. Mark's buddy Paul was a willing travel companion. The road trip was featured in two parts, one in the March edition of Sport Diver, and part two in the April edition.
Please be advised that the file size is very large and may take some time to download.
Part 1:Happy reading! courtesy of 'Sport Diver' magazine.
The 'Julia T' Named as one of the "100 Essential Wreck Dives" by the Ultimate Dive Destinations team!
Scubadive West is delighted to report that one of our most popular dive sites, the wreck of the 'Julia T' has been named as one of the world's essential wreck dives. This is in no small part due to the proliferation of marine life and plumose anenomes, which call this wreck home!
Click Julia T for a copy of this review.
2009 Photo Competition Winner Lands the cover of Sport Diver Magazine
Darragh Norton's photo of a monkfish off Inis Boffin won First Prize in the Wide-Angle category of our 2009 Photo Competition. So impressed was our judge; Mark Evans, Editor of Sport Diver Magazine; that he chose Darragh's photo for his November magazine cover. A pretty huge achievement. All at Scubadive West are delighted for Darragh and wish him well for the future. We will of course be running our hugely popular photo competition in 2010. Don't forget to enter and you too could feature on the cover of Sport Diver.
Sport Diver October 2009
Streamstown Drift Dive Feature
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Sport Diver UK April 2009
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The Irish Times Go Saturday March 14th 2009
<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->Cillian Gray: "Diving attracts people from all walks of life"
In conversation with Sandra O’Connell
CILLIAN GRAY describes a his day
I RUN SCUBADIVE WEST diving school with my brother Breffni. Our parents set it up decades ago and chose Renvyle because of the quality of the diving; there is exceptional water clarity and amazing underwater topography.
Each morning I commute 50 yards from the house to the dive centre and check the schedule for the day. Divers start arriving at 9am. Diving attracts people from all walks of life. What they have in common is that they tend to be nice. I think it’s because there’s no competitive element to it.
If it’s a beginners’ group, we get the paperwork sorted and do a 20-minute presentation about the basics before introducing them to the equipment. Then we take them to some shallow waters to get used to it.
After doing more skilled practice at standing depth, we move them to depths of between six and eight metres to get a fuller experience. Novice divers always say the same thing: they thought it would be cold and dark. They are amazed that it’s colourful and warm.
For more advanced divers we run full-day boat trips. We’re about 40 minutes away from some amazing dive sites where the underwater scenery is spectacular. If you can imagine being suspended from a cliff edge and being able to see any part of the mountainside you want, that’s what it’s like to dive off the west coast. There are plenty of gullies and caves to explore, too.
We dock at either Inishbofin or Inishturk for lunch, where a local BB owner gives us soup and sandwiches, and we relax for an hour or so before getting back on the boat for the afternoon’s diving. The divers get back on shore in time for dinner and a few pints.
I’ll still have work to do, though, refilling air bottles, refuelling the boats and rinsing and storing 25 sets of equipment. Then there is the Padi paperwork to go through, as well as any administration work left over from the morning.
Once a month the staff all go diving together, to find new spots and so that I can indulge my interest in underwater photography. We run courses in that, too.
One of the most popular things we offer, and which is particularly good with spring tides when the currents are strong, is drift-diving. With it, you are taken out in a boat
and dropped off to go with the flow for up to four kilometres before being picked up. It’s brilliant.
Another thing about diving is that, apart from the normal fatigue that comes from physical exertion, it has a particular physiological effect on you, which means you sleep like a baby afterwards.
Scubadive West, Renvyle, Co Galway, 095-43922, www.scubadivewest.com
Galway Independent Making Waves 9th January 2008
Me and The Sea Breffni Gray
Breffni Gray is a director and founder of Scubadive West. Originally from Dublin, he and his family relocated to Connemara in 1992 and opened Scubadive West.
Having grown up by the sea in Dalkey, where his family has run a dive school since 1975, scuba is only one of Breffni's marine hobbies. He also sails, windsurfs and fishes, all of which he says he learned while waiting to reach 16, so he could qualify at scuba.
Breffni has vivid memories of his first attempt at scuba diving, at the age of seven. "My father used to take us scuba diving in the swimming pool, and it was fine. The cylinder is weightless in the water, so I managed it fine, but I fell straight back in when I tried to climb out of the pool."
After studying engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Bolton Street, Breffni worked as an engineer for a period and then returned to his first love, diving. However, he says, even now the engineering training comes in useful with the technical equipment involved in the diving school.
When the school began operating in Connemara in 1992, the market was mainly for tourists, particularly those coming from the UK and other parts of Ireland. These days, however, "the Irish market has grown considerably", and Irish people have developed a much greater interest in watersports.
While scuba diving is his work, Breffni also sails, with the Clifden Boat Club. He has dived in some of the world's most exotic locations, such as the Red Sea, where he saw sharks and dolphins, and "the water was so clear you could see for miles." He has also dived off El Hierro, one of the lesser-known Canary Islands, which he says is "super diving, only a four hour flight away."
Scubadive West operates all year round, only closing for "a couple of weeks" at Christmas. Relocating to Connemara was obviously a good choice for the school. "The water is so clear off the West coast, and the marine life is better than Dublin. The clarity is just great, and people are increasingly diving off the West coast. I like the country life too," says Breffni, who has three children who have been born and bred in Connemara.
See www.scubadivewest.com for further information.