Diving Malin Head – June 2017

I can not remember the first time I got to hear about the wrecks of Malin Head but I do remember that I first booked to dive them in 2013. The Aug 2013 trip to Malin Head (see blog post here) was a great success but we didn’t dive the wrecks of Malin Head! The weather was not favourable and ended up diving the Irish Sea around the Isle of Man.

A group of very good friends (Andris, Nick, Aileen, Laura & Geoff) went back to Malin Head in 2016, sadly I could not join them because I had signed up for a 26 mile walk (wearing a kilt !!!).

The before photo!!!

Having had great time Andris decided to go back exactly the same week a year later and of course I signed up as soon I was invited (was not going to miss out on diving for walking – again!!!)

The trip was organised by Barry McGill’s InDepthTechnical out of the Donnald Cullen’s Mevagh Dive Centre. Accommodation was booked by Barry at Mevagh House B&B.

The trip started on Friday 02/06/2017 with me travelling to Cairnryan near Stranraer to get the ferry to Belfast.

Screenshot from 2017-07-15 21-31-39.png

The big advantage of driving (opposed to flying) to a diving destination is that it is much easier to load all you need to the car without the stress of complying with airlines weight / volume limitations and I love it!!!

The ferry to Belfast was busy but a very pleasant journey and after a few more hours of driving I made it to Mevagh dive Centre in Carrigaart where after checking in with Donald I got into preparing my gear for diving.

Shortly after that I got to meet the rest of the group who were already there and just like me (very excited) were making ready for a week of diving.

Admittedly I was more excited as this was my first time and going by last years reports and past years photos the expectations were high!

Not before long, by mate Andris and Matt with Danni arrived.
I was so excited that I would get to dive with my regular diving buddies Andris and Matt once again since I 2013!!!.
Saturday morning we made our way to the marina and boarded the Laura Dean.
The Laura Dean is a pretty awesome boat with loads of space and quite quickly we settled in our stations that we would keep for the rest of the week

The first dive of the trip was the U-89 (see links in Wikipedia, U-Boat Net and Wrecksite).
This was my first dive in Malin Head and excited as I was nothing had prepared me for the awesomeness of that dive. Visibility was great (albeit a bit dark) and she was very much ship shape (or submarine shape I should say).
Although I did spent most of my time around the conning tower did managed to visit the bows and the stern.

Photo of U-89 courtesy of Barry McGill

The next dive was on the wreck of the SS Justicia one of the Malin Head Celebrity wrecks and one I have been looking forward to dive.

Photo of SS Justicia’s Anchor courtesy of Rick Ayrton

The next dive was one of the most famous of the Malin Head Classics because it is one of the most photogenic wrecks that I know of.

Photo of American Sherman Tanks of SS Empire Heritage courtesy of Rick Ayrton

The wreck of the SS Empire Heritage is known because of the American Sherman Tanks that was carrying when attacked and sunk by U-482.

Having started our diving week with epic wrecks like that the expectations were high and indeed Malin Head did not let us down. Monday we set out to dive the HMS Audacious.

Photo of the legendary guns of HMS Audacious courtesy of Rick Ayrton

I made an attempt to head to the stern but proved to far and decided to leave it for another day!!! Had to go back!

At this point I was a very happy bunny because I had achieved the main objective of my trip which was to dive the Malin Head Classics and from now on anything would be a bonus!!!

The SS Rosscommon was a cargo ship torpedoed by SM U-53 and sunk. The cargo was crockery and made for a very impressive dive!!!

Photo of the SS Rosscommon Cargo courtesy of Rick Ayrton

And finally the last dive of the trip was a return visit to the wreck of the stern section of the HMS Audacious.

Photo of the stern of HMS Audacious including the Prop and two rudders courtesy of Rick Ayrton

Although the photos are pretty amazing seeing these wrecks in person was absolutely awesome and I loved every minute of it.

Overall we did 6 dives and about 12 hrs in the water which was pretty impressive considering that the weather out there can (and does) get wild!!!

Other than diving Donald was absolutely amazing looking after us from preparing breakfast to filling cylinders at the end of the day for the next dive to dropping and recovering the shot line and trapeze and making tea for us on the boat, NOT to mention the George Foreman Sandwich Toaster aboard the Laura – Dean!!! (Which should be included as a mandatory bit of kit an ALL UK Diving boats!!!)

Apart from diving we had the chance to go for walks around Carrigart and enjoy the stunning scenery and a number of pubs / restaurants to have dinner (including Carigaart Hotel and the Singing Pub) out of which, I have to say, my favourite was the Logue’s Bar with the epic Black n Blue pizza!!!

Black n Blue Pizza – Not to miss!!!

Overall an absolutely great trip organised by Barry and Delivered by Donald. Really looking forward to go back and do it all over again next year!!!

Happy Malin Head Classics Divers!!!

Many thanks to the team for being excellent company throughout the trip

  • Martin Timoney
  • CM Ó Braonáin
  • Brian Kelly
  • Ron Hucker
  • Rick Ayrton

My buddies for looking after me

  • Andris Nestors
  • Matt Speed

and of course

  • Barry McGill for organising it and
  • Donald Cullen and Dean Cullen for making it happen