What’s the first thing you think of when you think of Ireland? Probably not scuba diving. But what most Irish folk, apart from the fisherman, don’t know, is that the waters around Ireland are teeming with life. Scuba diving has become invariably associated with coral reefs, but the truth is that there is incredible diving to be had in other marine ecosystems as well. Just off the southwest coast of Ireland you can spot dolphins, whales, seals, basking sharks, rays, sunfish, and many other marine creatures. Leatherback turtles are also visitors of the Irish coast, in search of their favourite food, jellyfish. To top it off, all the dive sites are surrounded by dramatic landscapes and landmarks, each with an eventful history that the locals would only be too happy to tell you about.
Dingle itself has the world famous resident dolphin named Fungi, who is sometimes nice enough to escort us to the dive site. Outside of Dingle Bay are the Blasket Islands, which are home to grey seal colonies, and Atlantic puffin colonies in the summer. A traditional Irish village once lived on Great Blasket Island, which was only Gaelic speaking, and depended primarily on the sea for sustenance. It is these islands that offer some of the best diving in the area. As you descend you will see sponges and anemones of all colours of the spectrum, and, if you’re lucky, a curious seal may come along for the ride!
Just remember that the ocean is a big place and to only dive reefs is to only dive a small part of our ocean, so if you want to dive outside the box, come to Dingle!