We’ll be travelling down to West Cork next month for the annual trainee weekend. We’ll be staying in Baltimore and snorkelling and diving in Lough Hyne, Ireland’s first marine reserve and a site of major scientific interest. Attendance isn’t compulsory, but it’s highly recommended to make it down if you can, especially for trainees and new club members. Logging some snorkels in open water is a mandatory part of diver training, and Lough Hyne is an excellent place to do so. It’s always a fun weekend, too: Lough Hyne is beautiful, the Murphy’s in Baltimore is excellent, and making the trip is a great way of getting to know the people you’ll be diving with over the next few years. Details (lots of details) below; please read carefully.
We’ll start by getting ready on the evening of Thursday 7 November: we’ll meet to sort out equipment and load up the jeep for travel. Most people will head down to Baltimore in the afternoon or evening of Friday 8 November; we’ll be returning to Cork on Sunday evening. You must be able to commit to help out with loading and unloading the jeep. You don’t have to come down for both days: if you can just make the Saturday, or the Sunday, that’s no problem.
New trainees will be get a chance to log their three mandatory snorkels over the weekend. The snorkelling in Lough Hyne can be excellent, and it’s less weather-dependent than the local spots near Cork city. You don’t need a permit to snorkel in Lough Hyne; you just need yourself and your snorkelling gear.
For certified divers
Because Lough Hyne is a marine reserve, diving requires a permit. The permit is free, but we have to apply by Wednesday 23 October at the absolute latest, to allow time for processing. (This deadline is set by the Heritage Service, not by us, and we can’t extend it.) The permit is free, and you lose nothing by applying for a permit even if you aren’t 100% sure you can make it.
Start by downloading the form. Applications must be submitted electronically; the form is a Microsoft Word document that you can open and edit yourself. You can also print it out, fill it in by hand, and scan it back in, if that’s easier for you.
You need to fill out the following:
- Sections 1–3: your personal details
- Sections 8–9: your scuba certification (e.g. CMAS, PADI) and your certification (e.g., Open Water)
- Section 12: the name and address of the doctor who performed your medical assessment, and the date until which it is valid. Your first medical assessment is valid until your 35th birthday.
- Section 13: the dates are 09/11/2013 — 10/11/2013; 09.00–17.00
- You also need to provide your signature and the date in two places: once on page 2 and once on page 3. You can scan your signature (there is a scanner at the PE Office you can use), or take a photo with a webcam, or draw it using MS Paint.
Email your completed forms to me (email@example.com).
We keep the cost of the weekend as low as humanly possible. Here’s how it should break down:
- Accommodation: €20 per night.
- Food: €10 per day. This will cover all your meals. I need to know if you are a vegetarian.
- Dives: €10 per dive. This covers the cost of cylinder fills and petrol for the boat.
If there’s any change in cost (there shouldn’t be, but it’s not impossible), I’ll make sure to let people know.
There are usually enough people with cars to get everyone down. We will try to book the university’s minibus as well. If you (a) will need a lift from Cork to Baltimore or (b) are intending to drive and have room to bring people, please get in touch with me and I will try to sort out lifts. There are a couple of buses a day from Cork to Baltimore via Skibbereen (timetable) but I wouldn’t personally recommend trying to get there by public transport.
How to sign up
Places are limited, and fill up quickly. Get in touch with me (again: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want your name to go on the list.