Midweek diving – Island Rocks at The May Island

Stephen our Training Officer organised a midweek Wednesday evening dive with Shadow Marine Charters Owned by Steve Haddow, based in the Forth, a great boat for several of our Ocean Diver Trainees to have their first experience of Hard Boat diving. “The Mako” is a purpose built Diving Hard boat with ample cabin (Tea & Coffee), head (toilet for landlubbers), plenty of space to kit up and most importantly a lift!

10 Perth BSAC Members departed on the Mako from Anstruther Harbour at 6:30pm heading out to the Isle of May, our plans were to dive the North East Side of the Island an area known as the Island Rocks due to the SS Island (Formerly the Danish Royal Yacht) which ran aground the May Island in Dense Fog on the 13th April 1937. Hayden and I dropped into 12 metres of water and descended onto Reef with kelp attached. between the rocks you could see the Debris field of broken plates, Spars and pipes probably from a mixture of wrecks. Most wrecks that run aground would be smashed to pieces during the winter storms and the North East Coast of the May Island is completely exposed to the North Sea Storms, as we headed North West at about 16 metres depth, from the wreck site we came across a Rock Covered in Dead mans Fingers (Anemones) and as we worked our way round it you can see the areas of broken shells and dark pebbles where the storms have scoured the sea bed.

In amongst the rocks we spotted several Velvet swimming crabs with their distinctive red eyes and a Butterfish hiding in a crevice, I like Blennies as there faces are always full of character. Hayden and I head back up over a sparse rocky reef covered in not much more than Barnacles and a couple of Velvet Swimming Crabs waiting to moult and reproduce.  We were starting to run low on Air so headed inshore to 10metres before I deployed my Delayed Surface Marker Buoy and we headed to the Surface.

Once we returned to the Surface Sue gave us a cup of Tea (Thank you) and as I de-kitted listened to Hamish and Colin who had found a Ling & 4 Nudibranch!  We headed back to Anstruther and I had Fish and Chips firmly in my mind and after we emptied the boat headed up to the Anstruther Fish Bar for a well deserved Haddock & Chips.