Family Fun with snorkelling or skin-diving outings

 

 

 

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Boat Trip

The hardboat is called "Wave Chieftain", an offshore 125 with huge deck space, seating and hydraulic lift plus indoor cabin and toilet on board. Our eco tours take you off around offshore islands or headlands where you have a good chance of seeing seals and other marine life, flora & fauna.

 

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Lough Hyne
Europe's oldest Nature Reserve this salt water lake is a place of peaceful serenity, steeped in local folklore and home to a unique eco system which sustains a huge variety of marine plants and animals. It is connected to the sea via a narrow tidal channel, known as the Rapids, and a great place to go for bird & seal watching or even to wander leisurely along the western shore towards Barloge Creek or the more challenging climb up Mount Knockomagh Hill, from where you'll have stunning panoramic views.

 

 

 

 

An ideal family or group or couples outing - Snorkelling in West Cork.Lough Hyne Rapids Snorkellers

Our staff will take you through the stage of selecting the rental equipment, which is all included in the fee. You will be wearing a full wetsuit, hood, mask, fins & snorkel, booties and snorkelling vest or buoyancy aid with gloves optional. You will learn how to ensure a good fit of all the equipment, in particular the mask and snorkel - there are small sizes specially for children. The wetsuits are thicker than those used for windsurfing but if you have your own, you might prefer to wear that with perhaps an additional wetsuit top or jacket for extra warmth provided by us.

 

We provide you with details / copy map, tidal information and weather to help you plan your outing. A full set consists of a wetsuit, hood, mask, fins & snorkel, booties and snorkelling vest or buoyancy aid with gloves optional. We do not rent out weightbelts so you can only float in/on the water rather than engage in free-diving as that is more risky and would require special training and qualification. We also have wetsuits to fit children from the age of 6 upwards.

 

Prerequisites are swimming ability, feeling comfortable in the water and general good health, with a minimum age for children of 6 yrs. We will be happy to plan your location taking into account the weather (wind direction) and tides. It is best to book your rental in advance. Youngsters must be accompanied by an adult / guardian or parent.

 

Rental Only (Go it Alone) Prices

  • Half day "go it alone" full snorkel equipment rental pp 30.00 (2 to 3 hours)
  • Full day "go it alone" full snorkel equipment rental pp 40.00 (3 to 6 hours)
  • Children under 12 (primary school age) get a 10% discount but must be accompanied by an adult

Snorkelling is not strenuous and without a weight belt all you can do is float and move on top of the water. The best months for snorkelling in West Cork are mid-May to end-September when the water temperature can be between 14 and 17 degrees and the visibility and fish life are at their best.

 

The snorkelling can take place either in a nearby nature reserve called "Lough Hyne" or similar beach / cove location with easy access to shallow water or a ferry trip first to a nearby island such as Sherkin or Cape Clear. The choice depends on weather conditions and tides on a given day. The coastal waters of Ireland were declared a whale & dolphin sanctuary in the 1990's and West Cork is the feeding ground for some large species such as fin, humpback and minke whales. We also have sightings of dolphins, harbour porpoises, sunfish, basking sharks and leatherback turtles during boat journeys out and an opportunity to swim with seals possibly in Lough Hyne or Barlogue.

 

Sea life at shallow depths that can be enjoyed by snorkellers include sea weeds and kelp, anemones, shellfish, crustaceans

and fish such as blennies, dogfish, starfish, squid, pollack, sand eels, pipefish, scorpion fish and different varieties of wrasse. snorkellers with seal

 

Snorkel Locations: Coves, Beaches & Inlets

Whether you choose to go snorkeling independantly off a sandy beach or rocky inlet - wind direction, wave height and tides will sometimes point you to the most suitable location and we gladly help you plan it. There are plenty of lovely rocky beaches and inlets to enter the water safely.

Although sandy beached might appeal to the geneal public, for close up encounters with marine life, the rocky walls and bottoms are much more interesting to a snorkeller as these provide the habitats of small fish, plant life and different colours and textures. Lough Hyne for instance is one such place with a history of marine research for decades by world-renowned biologists. Other locations nearby include Trafraska, Tranabo, Tragumna and Murphy's Cove all facing south or southwest.

Seal with her pup

 

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See pictures in our photo gallery (album "snorkelling").