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World | Ireland | Diving Baltimore:

Baltimore overview


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Baltimore, County Cork dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland, Europe


Water temperature:

Ranges from 7°C (45°F) in winter warming up in early spring to a maximum of about 15°C (59°F) in August and September

Suit:

A drysuit is recommended, although a 7mm semi dry can also be worn

Visibility:

On the Atlantic coast visibility ranges from about 5 to 30 metres (15 - 100 feet) but it can fall below this in the Irish Sea

Type of diving:

Wrecks, gullies, drifts, kelp forests

Marine life:

There are the slightly rarer opportunities for sighting dolphins, porpoises and minke whales down to the more common sightings of seals, dogfish, jellyfish, conger eels, pollack, wrasse, sea urchin, anemones etc

When to go:

The dive season generally starts around March and ends around October due to adverse weather and sea conditions. May to September offer the most pleasant conditions, although July and August are busy with holiday makers meaning prices increase for travel and accommodation

How to get there:

From the UK - Ferries run from Swnasea to Cork and take about 12 hours or Ryanair fly to Cork from Stansted and EasyJet fly there from Gatwick taking just over an hour. Whilst budget flights are cheaper than the ferry, you will have to get a taxi to Baltimore from the airport which is about an hour and a half drive or alternatively hire a car. The advantage of taking the ferry is that you don't have to worry about transport the other end and you don't have a weight limit on your luggage. Our advice is go with whatever will be easiest for you as we have found there is little difference in price once all costs are accounted for


Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland, Europe

Baltimore is a small town about an hour and a half drive from Cork. It is one of the most southerly places in Ireland and its coast is exposed to hundreds of miles of Atlantic Ocean in nearly all directions. This combined with stunning scenery make it a popular place with sailors as well as divers so tourists are a common sight in the summer months. There is one small shop in Baltimore and a number of restaurants and three pubs. If you are in Baltimore for a week without any transport you will have all you need at your doorstep, but if you are in self catering accommodation and want to save some money by cooking in the evening you might want to go to the nearest town of Skibbereen to get supplies as the shops stocks are limited.

Baltimore Beacon, County Cork, Ireland, Europe

The diving in the area is generally very good, with lots of kelp and a large number of wrecks often in good visibility (ranging from 5 to 15 metres). The coastline is very exposed so many of the wrecks are very broken up leaving only the boilers and other more resistant parts for divers to explore, especially as many of the wrecks sank around the turn of the last century. It becomes familiar to hear that you are doing another boiler as your second dive of the day over the course of the week. There are some intact wrecks however such as the U-260 and others that are below the 40 metre mark where they are less exposed to severe weather. As well as wrecks, there are many scenic dives on offer with the opportunity of seeing a large amount of marine life from dolphins and seals to big lobsters and lots of pollack, wrasse and starfish. Kelp grows anywhere it can so if you are above 15 metres all the dive sites are likely to be thick with it. Below this depth the craggy rocks that define the diving are decorated with spectacular displays of jewel anemones and dead men's fingers.

The major disadvantage of visiting Baltimore on a diving holiday is that it will not be cheap. It would be easy to get a cheap Red Sea liveaboard for the same money by the time you have paid for food, drink, boat charter, accommodation and transport. Having said this I am of the opinion that there are only so many Red Sea trips you want to do in a lifetime and there is are some superb sites on the Cork coast that easily challenge some of the better warm water wrecks in terms of marine life, size or interest. The U-260 is a dive site that really should be seen by any aspiring wreck diver and it is worth the trip alone.


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