Rathlin is an L-shaped island off the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. It has some great diving, but can be wildly tidal – be warned!
2018: Eoin Kearney, Paul Hickey
Ian Marnane organised a trip here in Easter 2010
Launch at the ferry terminal in Ballycastle, where there’s a great, wide slip. Drive to Rathlin, and moor in the harbour there, where there’s a pontoon.
There are some worthwhile wrecks, and many scenic sites to be dived in the area. See the following:
She started out as the Vulture, built in Glasgow in 1898. In 1929 she was re-named as “Lairdstock”. In 1937 she was finally re-named “Lochgarry”. During WWII she was converted to a Government Transport ship and was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation. In 1942 on a trip from Glasgow to Oban to collect a group of soldiers bound for the Faroes she struck rocks off the Mull of Kintyre. Drifting helplessly she finally went down off the East coast of Rathlin Island.
- Divernet article (Includes sketch of dive site)
- Irish Wrecks Online
- Board of Trade wreck report
The North-West cliffs
There are huge drop-offs around the island, with depths of 200m not far from shore. At the north-west corner of the island, there are steep cliffs that continue under water. Tides running into the cliffs can generate strong up and down-currents, so back off from the rock if you’re getting swirled around.
Tides, tides, tides.
Aquaholics – www.aquaholics.org
Shops, Pub – Rathlin
In Church Bay, there’s a small shop that has very limited opening hours. Check the sign in the window for times.
There’s a pub with an ATM. It’s open on Good Fridays if you’re planning an Easter trip.
Holiday houses can be rented on the island itself.
- inyourfootsteps.com has a great page on tides, the harbour, the island, etc.
Put Dublin -> Ballycastle, Moyle into the AA route planner, and it’ll tell you all you want to know. The Rathlin ferry website is at www.rathlinballycastleferry.com.