I was amazed to see how large this facility actually is. The sheer scale of what BSAC has accomplished in the abandoned quarry can only be appreciated when you read more about the history of the area and what's below the water line. According to their website diving started on the site around 1960 and grew from there. The lake itself is big enough to cater for 2 ribs on the water and yet not too big to do a single dive.
Stoney Cove has a wide range of facilities to cater to all levels of diver. The lake is filled with everything from buses to ships to planes; there is even a tank!! For the post-dive meet, there is a bar where divers can go to relax and also a very comprehensive dive store with all sorts of brands such as Beuchat, Mares, Scubapro, and Fourth Element for divers looking to upgrade their equipment or start their dive journey. The store is also very reasonably priced so it might be a good idea to go in with a set budget in mind and only have the Revolut loaded to that amount.
Snorkelling Diver training
The BSAC snorkeling diver course is 2 days in duration which is a combination of both pool and theory work. The theory section is mostly broken up into small segments that come together to a deliverable class by the participants. We even got some homework to do, which was done over a meal in the local hotel.
The next day all the theory was put into practice with pool sessions and a classroom scenario. At this point, I have to give a shout-out to the 2 trainers, Alan and Geoff, who made the training both informative and entertaining (at times), well done lads. If you are reading this I hope to see you on the west coast soon. While snorkeling has always been an integral part of diving, it's great to see professional bodies such as BESAC and others take on dedicated training courses for both divers and non-divers alike.
This summer Snorkelling Ireland in conjunction with Ocean Awareness Sligo is launching an exciting new water training center based in the Strandhill area. The center, while primarily focused on surfing, supping, etc will also cater to a wide range of other water-based courses. We are really looking forward to getting out into the sea with groups and introducing people to the world of the ocean through snorkelling.