Day 1: The team and guest eventually arrived at the 5 star accommodation at Salen Pier House in Mull having traveled either via Oban or Lochaline to improving weather. One team coming via Lochaline took a short detour to have a shore dive in Loch Sunart at Laudale Pier before making the crossing to Mull and jumping in again at Salen Pier as the rest of the team arrived and set about the serious business of getting the barbecue going.
David brought the Peregrine up to Salen Pier House to pick us up and then we tootled up the Sound of Mull to Tobermory to dive the Calve Island Wall. Alistair (guest) who had driven all the way up from Wolverhampton to join us was on board, a cracking show if ever there was one. Four groups jumped in and traversed the wall at various depths all reporting excellent vis, varied life and surfacing with large smiles. Steve had done us proud with the weather !
After a couple of hours in Tobermory harbour tied up next to Cornelia, a project that will run cruises up loch Sunart by next year, we motored down the sound to the Hispania, where the MV Halton and Swift Charters were loitering, waiting for the tide. It was amusing to see the dive boats circle the buoy, nipping in to drop off a diver pair then joining the circle again. Going on to Springs, David judged it perfectly and we jumped in with an almost imperceptible current and were soon down on the wreck. It is clear to see why this is so popular and I won’t bore you with description of rusting super structures covers in life. I did get a real shock though at the bow. I was looking intently at something small and squiggy when a large ballan wrasse swam between me and the plates, nearly jumped out of my dry suit! With all divers retrieved we spent a leisurely hour and a half before jumping in for a scallop hunt on the West side of the Sound opposite Sgeir Dubh off the Wishing Stone. Not a particularly scenic dive (very obviously dredged!) and certainly not one to repeat though some people did better than others when it came to scallops.
That was the days diving and having been decanted back at Salen Pier House most folk enjoyed a meal at the Mediterranean restaurant in Salen before a relatively early night.
The first dive was the Rondo, a short trip across to the islands. Again four pairs in the water each selecting their own dive profiles. Initially the dive seemed much darker than yesterday and it took a little time to work out that we were diving in the shade !
Ascending the starboard side there was much more light and indeed the life at the stern was quite remarkable. Having picked up a decompression penalty we spent a little time on the reef looking at the smaller life, the nudibranchs and cowries providing interested before waiting to ascend the shot as a party off the Halton jumped in and scattered into the wreck.
The afternoon dive was the Thesis which being only a short hop away required a leisurely lunch watching the wildlife to get a reasonable surface interval. The Thesis is a lovely little wreck and I for one thoroughly enjoyed the dive. The way the light gets in through the spares makes for some really atmospheric diving.
All that is left to say is a big thank you to Steve for organising the trip and doing all the donkey work. We certainly landed on our feet being blessed with terrific weather and being very lucky to find the Salen Pier House for accommodation. Here’s hoping for a return trip !
Colin has loaded some photo’s here
A few more photos from Chris here and some of Paul’s below
|Perth BSAC Sound of Mull Trip March 2012 Paul’s Photos|