Merchant Seafaring Have Left A Rich Wreck Heritage
Fauna Ranging From Tiny Seahorses To Gigantic Basking Sharks
Although the United Kingdom and Ireland might not immediately spring to mind when thinking of exotic dive destinations, the waters surrounding these ancient nations are something of a revelation. Hundreds of years of merchant seafaring have left a rich wreck heritage, the huge tidal ranges have to be seen to be appreciated, and fauna ranging from tiny seahorses to gigantic basking sharks all mean the underwater realm here is rich with surprises. The United Kingdom and Ireland effectively occupy two large islands off northwestern continental Europe. England, Scotland and Wales share one, while the island of Ireland sits just to the west, home to Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. There are almost 24,000 kilometres/15,000 miles of coastline notable for their variety: sandy and shingle beaches, crags, rocks, and cliffs abound. There is an excellent infrastructure of well-equipped PADI Dive Centers and Resorts and an equally large fleet of dive boats, many of which accommodate technical divers. The waters are cool or cold most of the year, so good exposure protection is the order of the day. For those properly equipped, however, these waters serve up some truly memorable dives.
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Visibility – Depending on the dive site and conditions, visibility can range from 3-50 meters/10-160 feet.
Water Temperature – Always cool, water temperatures range from 4°C/39°F in February to 14°C/57°F in September.
Weather – Mild wet winters and warm summers. Seemingly endless midsummer days at these latitudes where the sun hardly seems to go down. Air temperature ranges from 15-19°C/59-66°F in the summer to 5-6°C/41-43°F in winter.
Featured Creatures – Basking sharks, grey seals, common seals, wrasse, conger eels, jellyfish, crabs, sea urchins, brittle stars, starfish, kelp and sponges.
Recommended Training – The PADI Wreck Diver, PADI Deep Diver and PADI Boat Diver courses are natural choices for enjoying offshore diving in the UK. The PADI Dry Suit Diver course is a good idea. Look into PADI TecRec courses, including the PADI Rebreather Diver course, if interested.
Language – English
Currency – Euro in Ireland and Pound Sterling in the United Kingdom. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
Major Airports – Heathrow and Gatwick Airports are busy international hubs that service London. Dublin Airport is the main entry into Ireland.
Electricity and Internet – Electricity is 220V 50 Hz. Internet service is widely available.
Topside Attractions – From the wilds of the west of Ireland to the splendor of London’s Buckingham Palace, you’ll find both the United Kingdom and Ireland steeped in heritage and welcoming to visitors. Check locally for specific things to do based on your dive location of choice.
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