BSAC Diver Training Program. Tea Rooms, Loch Fyne, 9th February 2013

A small team went across to assist with February’s BSAC Diver Training Program at the Loch Fyne Tea Rooms. Steve, Paul and Chris were met there by Kim who was visiting in the area.

Grey overcast but not raining, result! Having got the administration out of the way we set off to deliver our lessons while Kim managed the slate.
Interesting as we were coming off high tide a little rip was apparent in the shallows on the outside of the reef. Once down a few meters is provided a pleasant drift and clearer the water during my lesson.

Today I did DO6 for Claire who turned out to be a confident and proficient trainee from Neptune SAC who demonstrated the achievement criteria with consummate ease. As with all lessons at this venue I always feel I learn as much as the students and today was no exception, what did I learn ? Well don’t make assumptions ! What we do and take for granted, is not necessarily what everyone else is taught and possibly for good reasons as there can be a spill over of technical or professional requirements into what for me is a recreational pastime. Example ? Well my student is required by HSE to always carried a yellow emergency DSMB but would not consider deployment during any training exercise.

Interestingly I once again I had to consider equipment configuration and question what a standard config is for training purposes and why it is important. Left cuff or right cuff dump valves, suit or jacket buoyancy and buckle and clip location as well as cross clipping “Alternate Air Supply” and pony regs into the chest or A-zone. We all do it but do we consider our buddies perspective ?

With the lesson over, Claire and I circumnavigated the reef as part of the exploratory dive part of the exercise. Several large female and berried crabs, some beautifully clean sealoch anemones and several species of blennies and gobbies, not to mention the two small dogfish that we annoyed while putting in our safety stop. Not a bad dive.

That was it for Claire who got rather wet from a cuff leak. After a debrief and a coffee I paired up for a second dive with Alistair from Dundee. This was a recreational dive with Alistair experimenting with the design of a device to encourage birds to swim near him so he could take some photos. Sort of an underwater bird feeder. Regardless of the efficacy of the device it was certainly a bit of fun and well worth the laugh.

strawberry wormYou can only have some much fun so while Alistair was fine tuning some of the engineering points I started rummaging in the rocks, collecting balls of fishing line. I came across this Strawberry worm looking rather pink and exposed. Food for the wrasse !

Having done thirty minutes of tinkering, Alistair decided his prototyping had achieved what was desired and we were able to continue with the dive.
But what to do ? We didn’t have enough air to complete the circumnavigation of the reef so we opted to swim North East towards the fish farm boom and spend a little time on relatively unexplored terrain. We were lucky enough to come across a swimming nudibranch and then a veritable stampede amongst the rocks

which is an upside down one of these: