well this Sunday Paul, Hamish and I were joined by Diarmuid from Edinburgh and had a very enjoyable trip up to dive the HMS Port Napier.
A slightly earlier start than usual saw us loading the boat in the dark and ambling up to Kyle of Lochalsh where we found a pleasant little tea shop by the old ferry terminal at Kyleakin. With the boat in the water a short trip in choppy conditions found us searching for the wreck which emerged with the dropping tide like a sharks fin searing through the water. We moored on the wreck marker just off the bow, a short painter keeping us off the plates.
The first dive was a bow to stern and back again profile with 21m on the dial at high tide. Good vis and bright light saw some great shadow effects and an awesome amount of fish swimming between the plates which probably explains the cormorants bobbing about. A quick look into the wreck saw banks of silt just waiting to spring to life so we didn’t try anything technical but you don’t need to as there are many places where the removal of the plates gives a clear surface dive even in the middle of the wreck. Both parties returned to the boat without having to leave the mooring. For me the stern is the high point of the dive as it really looks like a ship , not twisted metal, with the good vis we had you got a good impression of size.
Second dive was suppose to be similar but the allure of a few scallops saw a slightly scenic route being taken back to the wreck. I managed to drop a weight pocket which saw me picking up rocks (again…) but we had a very interesting dive.
Couple of highlights from me where a beautiful little nudibranch Favorinus blianus and a 4 foot ling Molva molva and of course the scallops.
Life though has its ups and down , certainly my weight belt pocket went down ( yes again…….) and fin straps broke and the engine didn’t want to start, and the trailer frame decided to fracture but we all had a couple of very enjoyable dives and got home safely, if rather late. Thanks Paul for driving the organisation for this one and thanks you Hamish for keeping me awake on the drive home and of course it was a pleasure meeting Diarmuid who hopefully we will see again.
Paul’s photos are here