SS Breda and Lismore Lighthouse, 2nd October 2011

If it hadn’t been for a pair of lucky shorts we would have had the same dreich weather that we left in Perth, luckily someone was suitably attired and the rain and cloud stayed off and with an exceptionally calm sea, the sunscreen came out, on October 2nd!

First dive was the SS Breda, a site we had all done many times before. Today we decided to launch from Gallanach Sands and take the short boat trip across the bay. It transpired that the most recent experience of the site was with our newest member who had dived it within the last year. Personally I hadn’t done this site since 22nd June 1987 when I dived it with one Charles Bennett, a very competent diver who was training with Dundee University (had to look it up!). The plan was that Paul and I would go in first and stir it up, I mean use our twins to maximum effect, closely followed by Bethan “I don’t use any air” and Steve Incredible who were doing a planned decompression training dive, while Deep-Dancer, the club rhib, was minded by the remaining pair.

Paul and I descended onto the bridge area and swam to the stern where we had a look at the rudder post before continuing along the port side to find a fracture line in the hull, which gave us access to the aft holds and a couple of swim throughs. Swimming forwards we had a look at the bow before finding the forward shot line where we met Bethan and Steve and another team from a separate boat. We spent a few last minutes here in better vis watching large pollack as we burned of a little deco time before finishing our stops on the line at 3m.

Surfacing by the boat we swam and clambered back in to set the remaining pair off on their planned dive.

With everyone recovered and having sacrifice the ceremonial torch to the Gods of the Breda we headed off with Bethan at the helm, to lunch at the cars and swap tanks over for the afternoon dive across on Lismore Island.

Going in in the same order we experienced a very pleasant drift along a wall picking up the occasional scallop and taking photos. A forest of feather stars gave way to a carpet of brittle stars with the odd sun star thrown in for good luck.

A spectacular tidal race around the lighthouse point with ‘wind against tide’ provided Steve with some additional challenges before turning back towards Oban and speeding back to Gallanach bay where the boat was quickly recovered with the expedient use of a long rope!

A fancy survey of the wreck has been posted on Youtube here

Some of Paul’s photos here