Baltimore residents Rianne and Gerry Smith are owner-operators of one the area’s most interesting maritime-activities businesses. Established in 1997, aquaventures provides memorable diving and snorkeling trips for experienced and beginners alike. Rianne and Gerry cater to small groups; those who want guided tours; those who prefer to head off alone (with maps and advice from aquaventures of course). They can also provide introductory snorkeling classes for the over 55’s, and for young families. In short, they can, with a little prior notice, tailor-make packages to suit almost everyone, though in some cases (e.g. deep-sea diving/wreck visiting) log books/medical clearance will be requested (as per EU regulations).
Dutch-born Rianne is passionate about her business, in particular about the special relationship that can be fostered between children and the sea:
" They really love the snorkeling trips, and are far less likely to even notice the water temperature. It is wonderful to see them interacting with marine life. Sometimes, even the promise of hot chocolate is not enough to drag them out of the water… ’’
Experienced divers are also very well catered for. In fact, as Rianne argues, with considerable justification, the waters of West Cork provide such seasoned individuals with some of the most rewarding dive-sites in Ireland:
" Notwithstanding the quality and clarity of the water, or the abundant marine life which the Gulf Stream brings, in terms of wreck diving, the waters off Baltimore cannot be equaled. We have the wrecks of the U260 sub, and the extraordinary 900 foot long wreck of the infamous Kowloon Bridge. For experienced divers these sites are simply unrivalled…’’
Rianne does caution, however, that for those accustomed only to warm water diving, activities in the waters off Baltimore will be more strenuous, and a little bit more challenging. " However, in my view, ‘’ she says ‘’the rewards are greater…’’
Aquaventures provide wet and semi dry suits as well as all necessary safety aids and they also have a shop and B and B (please refer to their site for specific information). As with all local experts being recommended by the West Cork Hotel, their safety pedigree is flawless, and their esteem for the precious maritime environment is first-class.
" We leave nothing behind except bubbles, and we take nothing away except happy memories.’’
Contact Aquaventurers directly on 028 20511, or ask for information, and for discounts, at reception at the West Cork Hotel.
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