Perth-BSAC diving the Slates, 18th September 2011

Sometimes you just can’t get a big team together especially when special occasions, holidays or being unwell crosses you off the availability list. However a couple of folk got out with an invited guest and had a day of surprisingly pleasant weather across in Ballachulish diving the Slates.

First dive was from the end of the main jetty around into the bay deliberately exiting for the shortest possible walk back to the car. Today also gave me a chance to use my new toy after the disappointments of Bonawe quarry and was suitably impressed.

Loads of fish today, both big and small. Several highly colourful wrasse (Corkwing) as well as large Ballan wrasse and Goldshinnies, even shoals of small Pollack and lots of Poor Cod in amongst the rocks. Leopard spotted gobbies and a common ling with a few flat fish thrown in for good luck. Lots of colour too! This was a very good dive partly because we had decided to stick to about the 20m mark which was today where the life was.

At the gravel slope we ascended to 5m and completed the traverse back to the bay surfacing just on the hour.

Back at the car, a pack of sausages was brought out and a small barbecue sourced in the Glen Coe filling station was cranked up and we watched hot dogs burn as we degassed.

For the second dive we entered where we had previously exited and swam across the floor of the bay and around the smaller jetty. Arguably there was even better life on this dive or perhaps we just had better light. The highlight for me was a large dogfish and a couple of nudibranchs, one certainly the sea lemon Pleurobranchus membranaceus and the other probably Cadlina laevis both common locally. Reaching the end of our outward gas we turned and made our way back just below the kelp line, crossed the bay and hit the stone jetty where we found a log riddled with shipwork, a sculpture of Damien Hurst perspective.

Thoughts of a freshwater dive on the way home were put on hold as I had experienced a leaky neck seal and with water down to my knees was stoically enjoying wetsuit diving again. Well you can’t show any weakness in front of these guys or you’ll get hit by a shovel! The Orchy pools were set aside for another day.

A good day enjoyed by all

A small photo video here, haven’t worked out how to change the music so bear with me.