Loch Etive, MV Chana and Loch Creran, Saturday 20th July

With most of the club divers either on the Summer Lewis trip or unable to dive on Saturdays, Kim and I found ourselves joining a few friends loosely associated with Fyne divers or the Regional training attendees.

Meeting everyone in the Green Welly at Tyndrum at 09:00am gave us a leisurely drive across, getting through Loch Earnhead before their highland games started and arriving in plently of time for coffee. We were soon joined by the rest of the team and made our way down to Taynuilt and the first site.

I had dived this site before and was confident that I could find the little wreck again but unfortunately a few of the buoys had been moved and we were left wondering which one gave the start point for finding the wreck. The plan was two waves with the last team providing shore cover. The first team would locate the wreck and mark it with a DSMB, no DSMB no wreck.

And so it was that Kim and I slowily swam out to the buoy and having got our breath back descended the life encrusted chain to the bottom where I almost landed on a large skate. Beautiful fish ! We lined off in a NE direction and found the wreck. Interestingly enough while we could not see the wreck from the chain, the chain was readily apparent from the wreck!

Swimming a couple of time around the wreck, firstly at the level of the sea bed, then at deck level where we deployed and fixed the DSMB and poked our heads into the cabin. We spend a very pleasant 30 minutes enjoying what was a shallow dive at an amazing 15 degrees C, possitively balmy.

Yes ok, there was an initial hickup with my navigation as we swam back to shore on the bottom, picking up the odd pebble (would that be ‘with rough barnacles heavily encrusting a sinking stone’ Ed — hum!) as we did so but when we surfaced we saw our DSMB signal had been received and the other team of divers in the first wave were already on the wreck. The second wave went in as we stripped out of our boil in the bag costumes.

With the divers coming out on cue, we decided to move up to Loch Creran for the second dive via a coffee shop to avail ourselves of icecream, tea and of course the facilities. So we had a leisurely surface interval before moving around to ‘the Steps’ where we had another interesting dive with an amazing variety of loch life including Scorpion fish, ling and the usual gobies and juvenile flat fish and of course one or two Queen scallops.

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