Alan and crew were out again on Sunday and a very good and varied trip it was too. From Puffin we headed south to Insh Island on light seas and had it not been for a slight headwind they would have been flat calm.
The first dive of the day was on the NW of Insh Island where we dropped onto kelp and sand in 12m before venturing out onto a gravel bottom to 25m where a good bag of large scallops was collected. No dredging is allowed around this area so the bottom is not disturbed. Visibility at 20 m was very good but there was a significant oiliness to the top few meters of the water which we crept into as we ascended boulders and sand at the end of the dive.
For lunch we cruised around Insh Island and made for Easdale where we met Tony and his Wife (former members) who invited us across to the island for a coffee, a natter and few of the local stories. A great opportunity to have a walk round and check out the pub and coffee shop as well as the amazing harbour carved into the middle of the island by the quarry men.
The second dive was superb, probably one of the best dives in the area. Heading back toward Puffin on the NE side of Insh and under Dave, the island owners home, the small skerry of Sgeir Bheul na h-Uaimaidh sits on one side of a small channel that gives an energetic drift under the small cliffs. We were dropped on the outside of this and the initial shingle and kelp gave way to rock and then a wall that was covered in sponges including the snow drop sponge, yellow fingery sponges, grey perforated sponge, cup sponges , vase sponges and a hundreds more. We did not however see the Northern Sea Fan at this site. Jewel anenomies of fluorescent green, sandaled anenomies and the ubiquitous deadman’s fingers all over. Looking closer, top shells and even a small nudibranch could be found. Finally, bottom time ran out so we ascended onto the shingle and kelp to put in a safety stop before ascending. The second wave went in where we came out and worked their way back, reporting another good dive and another bag of scallops
The journey back to was swift with Alan at the helm and dolphin sighted. A great day with at least one top class dive.