From Donegal’s Mulroy Bay to Egypt’s port of Hurghada for Sheephaven divers

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Sheephaven divers were in the water at Massmount on last Saturday where they conducted a shore dive of greater than 50 minutes duration.

This dive site is located at the upper part of the North Water section of Mulroy Bay and has always been considered to have colder water than elsewhere and last Saturday the temperature was down to 6.5 degrees Celsius.

A feature of this site is how quickly it drops off into very deep water, where the maximum depth is greater than 20 metres, a very serious hazard for the unwary should they venture far from the shoreline.

Effectively the site is a rock wall along which a diver can explore nooks and crannies, with a silt sea bed that is very fine in nature and will plume up around a diver if they are not careful with their buoyancy.

Fish life on site is very quiet at the moment, but the divers were still fortunate enough to encounter a Thornback Ray and later a Long-Spined Scorpion Fish, other than that the site is dominated by Sea Squirts of different varieties along with a number of different species of Sponges.

On Sunday morning Sheephaven divers were back in PortnaBlagh, where the in-water temperature was a little bit warmer at 9 degrees Celsius.

The water visibility was very good at over 10 metres and with the sea bed visible to the divers for a good part of the snorkel.

By way of contrast, the club members who have just returned from their dive trip to the Red Sea reported water temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius, with air temperature in the low twenties throughout the trip.

They departed from the Egyptian port of Hurghada and got to dive a number of the wrecks in the region, which is just of the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.

The list of the wrecks visited by the Sheephaven divers includes the Thistlegorm, Rosie Muller, Giannis D, Chrisola K, Carnatic, The Ulysses and the El Miniya – the Egyptian minesweeper that went down fighting off an Israeli air attack during the 6 days war in 1970.

As on previous trips to the Red Sea, the divers were the guests on board the MV Legend, which is a 28m live-aboard vessel, with a capacity for 22 passengers and a crew of 8.

Multimedia Sports Reporter from Derry currently repenting for my sins in Letterkenny. Recent journalism graduate. NUJ member.

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