Eagle island is a small island off the Mullet peninsula in Co. Mayo. The club took a trip there on the June bank holiday 2014 (contact Orla or John K for details). Unfortunately due to plankton bloom the visibility wasn’t fantastic when we were there but it looks like there are some great sites and it is worth another visit.
It’s a pretty long trip to Belmullet so this site is really only suitable for a long weekend. There is a slip at th RNLI station in Ballyglass that is suitable for launching and retrieving at all times of the tide but is reasonably steep so a 4WD is preferable. If you wish to use this slip make sure you check if there is anyone in the RNLI station and that you have their permission to use it. Also, make sure you don’t leave any vehicles in their way. On the chart there appears to be another slip in Frenchport but it is not usable (except perhaps at high tide on massive springs!). It may be possible to launch and retrieve at high tide at a small beach about half way down Frenchport Bay on the North side. We launched and retrieved at Ballyglass and anchored the boats overnight in Scotchport Bay which is very sheltered. Eagle island is about 10 nm from Ballyglass slip.
Eagle island: Most of the sites around Eagle island are in the 25 – 45 m range. We dived both the NE and NW (under the lighthouse) side of the island. There is a lovely wall on the NW end with lots of jewel anemones. There is also a large cave at the NW end which is clearly visible on the surface. The NE side of the island is shallower, sloping more gradually. There are also some nice boulders with lots of life knocking around.
Cone island: In strong westerlies or southwesterlies it is possible to find good sheltered sites on the east side of Erris Head. We dived Cone island which is very sheltered and has a nice drop off from 18 – 35 m. Lots to see, lobster, congers etc.
Weather and Tides
Blacksod quay is Galway +00.30
Sea area forecast broadcast on VHF at 01.03, 04.03, 07.03, 10.03, 13.03, 16.06, 19.03, 22.03 local time
Gale warnings are broadcast on receipt and at 00.33, 06.33, 12.33, 18.33 local time
You need the usual safety items, lifejackets, O2, safety boxes, flares, mobile phone, VHF, GPS etc.
There is an RNLI station at Ballyglass.
Also make note of the following:
Malin Head radio staion: VHF ch 16 (emergency) 67, 83 DSC 70.
Emergency services: 112/999
There is a dive charter in Blacksod who may be able to do fills
Dive West Ireland – Belmullet Dive Centre, Surgeveiw, Blacksod Ph: 086 8365983.
We stayed in 2 houses in Tipp, overlooking Blind Habour about 10 minutes from Belmullet. One house slept 10, the other 4 or 5. The houses are about 5 minutes drive from Ballyglass slip and 15-20 minutes from Scotchport Bay. Contact Padraig Moore Ph: 086 2528284.