Diving off the coast of Northern Ireland – Ballycastle/Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland.
I have researched and conversed with a dive shop near my home town in County Antrim with a view to diving the Causeway Coast and Rathlin Island. There have been articles in “Scuba” magazine, most recently April 2018 which gives a flavour of the terrain. The diving can be challenging and the aspect is open to the Atlantic but there are sheltered options. The kind of diving would suit qualified sports divers and above with depth limited to suit. My proposal is as follows:-
Diving would be with “Aquaholics” dive centre on a day boat with accomodation in their bunk house located about 100m from the marina in Ballycastle. Their web site is easily accessible at, “www.aquaholics.co.uk” and their Facebook page equally so. The web site has details of dives, accomodation and pricing. Their Facebook page brings details of activities up to date. They will honour published 2017 prices until the start of October 2018 but will not necessarily hold booking dates until then.
I have focused on diving Sat 8- Sat 15 June (inclusive). It is possible to catch the night ferry from Liverpool at 10.30 PM on Friday evening (7th June) sleep on board overnight, arrive Belfast 07.30 Saturday and drive to Ballycastle for 08.30 then start a days diving! Similarly on the following Saturday you can depart after a day’s diving and catch the overnight ferry from Belfast at 22.30. This gives 8 days diving for 7 days accommodation.
Based on 4-9 divers, 7 nights accommodation and 6 days diving would cost £565 . You need to add two extra days diving (2x £60) to give a total of £685 for diving and accommodation. Diving charge includes cylinders and air. There is a rebate for groups of 10-12 divers.
The current published ferry price is £566 return for a car under 2 m tall with 4 passengers. This price includes one 4 bunk cabin, all on “Flexi” fare. Service is with Stena Line from Liverpool (Birkenhead) and the dive shop can procure a rebate of approx 10 percent if booked through them. Dive shop can also change cars, names etc without further charge up to 10 days before sailing if they book.
Note other costs for food car fuel, tolls ,etc are not addressed here. There is no guarantee or rebate to cover for bad weather or other cancellation of the proposed diving and /or accomodation package. You need to seek separate holiday insurance if you want to cover for cancellation. You should also read T&Cs for the accommodation on the Aquaholics web site.
Diving is within BSAC guidelines and open to qualified Sports divers and above or equivalent qualified divers.
Contact Dave Murphy at the club for further information and to reserve your space.