Easter training weekend at Oban 6th to 10th April, 2012

This Easter, in traditional style, saw a cheery group of Club members gathering at Puffin Dive Centre, the majority of us at the 3 Anchorage caravans & B & B, but with Lynda, Tony, Lis & Stan in a caravan up at the Oban Caravan & Camping Park just along the road, John & Avril checking out the pleasures of “Glamping”,Neil & cousins moored in Puffin Harbour aboard “The Maestro”,  Izzy & Gary applying discretion by joining the party just for Easter Sunday, focusing on abandoned weight belt recovery operations. 

Kim & I plus friends Anne &Ian, formed an advanced guard arriving on Thursday evening to enjoy one of Anne’s 6 star Michelin Guide style dinners plus the odd glass of red wine …hic!!, hic!!, hic!!

Following a hearty breakfast & leaving Anne & Ian to check out the delights of a (slightly) damp Oban, Kim & I spent a busy morning working on buoyancy & trim in the harbour finishing just in time to see Tony & Lynda arrive with “Deep Dancer” and Lis & Stan too.

A quick launch for “Deep Dancer” & we were off to Gallanach Bay, where Kim & I had the luxury of Tony, Lynda & Lis to help us in & out of the water! Lis enjoyed her first drive of “Deep Dancer”, the day’s diving rounded off with Lis & I checking out the hermit crabs, starfish, sea urchins, squatties and other delights of the harbour reef.

Friday’s partygoers gathered at our caravan where we enjoyed some of Stan’s wide repertoire of music & brilliant banjo playing!

Saturday dawned dull but fair with only a light north westerly breeze to bring a slight ripple to the Sound of Kerrera.

Unfortunately, family health issues prevented David & Tam from joining us but Alan kindly allowed the Club to use “Am Feoladair” skillfully coxed by Tony & Lynda & joined by Maureen & Kim. Spike, Lis, Neil, Fred  & I manned “Deep Dancer”, both boats heading off in formation for a rather pretty dive at Ardmore Bay on the southern shores of the Isle of Kerrera.

After deco & a picnic lunch, Paul & Tara arrived, Paul joining the party for a wall dive at Ard-na-Cuille.

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Meantime, Karen had done a try dive with Puffin & returned grinning from ear to ear having observed more species in Puffin Harbour than ever get mentioned in a full programme by Monty Halls or Miranda Krestofnikof!! (sorry about the spelling, Miranda!)

Saturday evening Neil kindly brought his large BBQ which formed the focal point for our annual Easter BBQ party which I think it is safe to say, was enjoyed by all with lots to eat & even more to drink … hic, hic, hic…  !!

The party ended in Alan & Sue’s caravan, though I’m afraid I’d wilted by this time & hit the sack by midnight!

Following the lively Saturday evening (& it’s inevitable after effects!!) Sunday saw smaller groups out with Izzy & Gary joining Alan, Niel & I on “Am Feoladair” and Tony, Lynda, Spike, Maureen & Fred keeping “Deep Dancer” in action, first heading out to Maiden Island, then just “Am Feoladair” out to the wall at Heather Island after lunch.

In the absence of scallops, Izzy spotted something yellow sticking out of the sand, Gary applying his practical Royal Marine ingenuity by using his & Izzy’s DSMBs to raise a 32lb weight belt… Emma C., if you read this give us a shout!!

After a yummy Chinese takeaway for some of us Stan kicked off the music in our caravan before we moved to Spike & Carol’s … they’d been joined by retired Club stalwarts Charlie & Maureen Kennedy, Charlie having brought along his mandolin to work something of a joint act with Stan the banjo. Reports indicated the party there went on until after 4.00am!

A wild and stormy Sunday night followed by heavy rain on Monday morning had even the most enthusiastic divers sitting in Alan’s caravan drinking coffee & wondering whether construction of the Arc should begin …

However, in true west coast style the rain stopped by 11, the sun was shining out of a largely clear sky by 12, enabling Neil, Kim  I to enjoy a pleasant little dive around Maiden Island where we collected a few scallops & Alan kindly boat handled “Am Feoladair” in the (well, nearly!) flat calm conditions!

We all headed home tired but happy – Alan, Sue, Sarah & Karen being the last to leave after their fish suppers watching the setting sun on Easter Monday!

Thanks to all who made such a good weekend!

Salen, Mull. Diving off the Peregrine , 16-18th March 2012

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.

Day 2.
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 !

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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.

Sunday dawned bright and frosty and the Sound of Mull was mirror calms as Malcolm arrived with the Peregrine.

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

Sunday 4th March, Loch Leven and The Slates

As Sunday approached various club member ruled themselves in and out of the weekend’s diving and it was very encouraging to see seven divers assembled at Burnbrae ready to depart at the appointed time.

The late season covering of snow made the Munro tops looked brilliantly clean in the crystal clear spring air as we drove across to Ballachulish to meet our guests at the Craft and Things Coffee shop as it opened at 09:30am. Today we were to be joined by Frank, Alistair, Robert and Paul, friends from the BSAC Southern Scotland regional training days. However with a total of seven cars, finding a site that had adequate parking was the first order on the agenda and it wasn’t a particularly difficult decision to select “The Slates” even though the Club had dived it the previous week.

With Fred, Maureen and Chris providing shore cover, the diving pairs quietly slipped into the loch to complete their plans. Some starting at the point, others in the bay depending on their requirements. Good life was reported on the point including dogfish and ling and a few scallops were spotted by Frank and Alistair as they explored the bay area. Gary and Izzy were first up quickly followed by Colin and John and once safely back at the cars took over shore cover.

The last team in started in the bay by the slate sheds and performed a simple profile that gave the opportunity for a good shake down and weight check. Maureen picked up a bit of mono-filament at one point which Chris wound around a stone before burying in a crack to stop it catching anything again. Returning the way we came, we surfaced in the bay with 45 minutes on the dial, not a bad shakedown dive by anyone standard.

Back at the entrance point the rest of the team waded in to rescue us and for once assistance was gratefully accepted as I wallowed in the shallows with a twinset. Back at the cars, the barbecue was going well with reports that a squall that had come through had caused the charring of the sausages as the charcoal burnt somewhat hot ! A likely story if ever I heard one, they will be telling us it was snowing as well! A very pleasant hour or so was spent nattering, enjoying the banter and getting to know our guests better but all to soon it was time to get back in the water for the second dive.

This second dip followed a similar schedule, with the first wave opting for a swim around the second smaller spit and Paul joining Frank and Alistair in the bay area as Robert had departed on official duties. Maureen decided to sit this one out so Fred and Chris went in last, this time off rightwards from the bay, finding more dogfish, scorpion fish and a small plaice as well as a couple of scallops. This was another enjoyable dive, once down past the sand, small reefs and large boulders supported a good deal of squiggy life. However brittlestars were in abundance, all in all very similar to Manse point.

Once everyone was safely out we headed back to the cafe for a final coffee and chat before heading off to various home locations after a very good and social days diving.

some more photos have been posted here by Colin

Sunday 26th, Shore diving Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven

Sunday diving, 7:00am at the Club hut, packing copious amounts of kit into groaning cars, all sounds a bit familiar really, but today there was a certain buzz about the affair as a group of enthusiastic divers converged at Burnbrae HQ for the trip across to the West coast. Five club divers and one guest made a good team and as soon as Harris had a bit of momentum we were on our way and with a short ‘coffee’ stop at the Green Wellie we arrived at the Picnic site on Loch Linnhe, just north of Corran Ferry to an over cast sky and a light drizzle, all part of the plan to encourage a quick change into drysuits…

The order of the day was a couple of shore dives to give folk a chance to have a shake down after the winter and the Picnic site offers a good venue with easy access in pleasant surroundings with some interesting life.

The obvious dive starts off the shingle beach onto sand and then gravel. A simple circuit of the rocky point can then be exited in the bay just to the south avoiding a scramble over slippy rocks. That was the plan and after retrieving an errant camera that decided to float off on its own, we descended into the depths where a carpet of multi-coloured brittlestars and the occasional scallop provided the majority of the life.

In the gravel these Imperial anenomes gave spots of color while towards the point a superb little wall gave the impression of depth with a dark void below before we surfaced and snorkeled to exit in the bay to walk out over seaweed and cobbles.

With all divers retrieved we had a little time for a social natter. Out with the barbeque and after a minor concern trying to light the thing with damp matches (Yes Chris they get wet if you have wet hands…) we pretended it was Spring as we munched hotdogs. It was a little worrying that once the food had gone a tight knot developed around the coals and out stretched hands searched for warmth. Was there going to be a second dive ?

It was decided to move down to Loch Leven and the Slates for the second dive to put Bethan and Kay a little closer to Glasgow where they were heading to catch a train later in the afternoon and after there short trip the we arrived to a full carpack and diver soup. Still it’s a big site and we were able to find some space and after navigating through the silt trails we found some depth and better visibility.

There was some good fish life today with a dogfish providing interest and well as this rather large scorpion fish that played possum. A good sized ling was reported as well as the proverbial saithe patrolling the edge of the reef and a nursery of small poor code that glinted silver and gold as we swam through them.

As we turned I spotted this nudibanch (Cadlina laevis) and a cluster of arctic cowries. A great shore dive this, it always has a good variety of life on show.

Conscious of the time we did not hang around and Harris was packed and shot off to Glasgow while the rest of us made our way back to Crianlarich for refreshments before driving home after a grand day out.


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Training day 19th February 2012, Loch Fyne Tea Rooms

With a few keen stalwarts daring to try cold water winter diving a small team drove across to Loch Fyne to take advantage of the calm weather. When we arrived the loch was absolutely flat with only the occasional riffle breaking the mirror.

The plan today was to concentrate on weight, trim and buoyancy and possibly DSMB drills and give a couple of our newer members a chance to sort themselves out before the diving starts in earnest in Spring. As this was also the first dive with new kit for one member we decided it was appropriate to take it easy and opt for a sheltered, safe site with easy access where shore cover could be applied effectively should it be needed. The Tea Rooms was selected as the ideal venue. Although we seem to use it a lot it is a very good dive, interesting life, good topography and generally reasonable vis.

So with Paul and Kris going in first, on an ebb tide just half an hour after the turn, diving on the inner reef, John and I provided shore cover and spent a little time improving the access. Having complete a trip out past the point and back, Paul and Kris surfaced where they started and reported good vis until they reached the point here crud allegedly from the fish farm slightly spoilt things. The water temp at 9 degrees was positively balmy today!

John and I went in on the inner reef as well and after a few initial problems getting down and having added the proverbial few extra pounds we managed to see some of the life on the reef. A large ballan wrasse proving to be the highlight. Although a short dive, this was a good outcome as we had started lightly weighted and added just enough to complete the dive and still be capable of demonstrating neutral buoyancy at 70 bar.

Lunch in the Tea Rooms was as ever an enjoyable affair, lentil soup today though someone in our midst opted for chocolate soup with a side order of cake…..

Seconds out, round two. With the same pairings in the same order we now dived at low tide with the entire reef exposed. Paul kindly took my camera in and the dazed look on Kris’ face as he surface betrayed the number of snaps that had been taken. Kris had the opportunity to do his DSMB drill on the return which gave us something to watch.

note: these photos have been added in a video here but will get updated when we have had a chance to edit them.

John and I dived the inner reef again, this time without incident. John had his torch out and was busy searching for life under boulders as we swam out past the road cones and sea pens to the start of the gravel where we turned and retraced our steps past a new resident, the slightly enigmatic gnome that has now been installed. There were numerous large edible crabs today, one of which needed freeing from fishing line. I make a complete mess of demonstrating DSMB deployment, with the string wrapping around the reel handle as I inflated from my exhaust breaths, easily dislodged but not a good demonstration. Still this is why we practice…..

That was it, conscious of the time and not wanting to detain Frank, Paul had moved the cars outside the barriers by the time we made our ascent and we quickly changed, packed the cars and were off home.

A good day out with the club and a pleasure to see some new faces out diving with us.

BSAC Scotland South Regional training 14th January 2012

Maureen and Chris represented Perth-BSAC at the first BSAC South Scotland regional training session of the year at the Loch Fyne tea rooms at a very well attended event today.

Loch Fyne was flat calm and the weather was pleasantly mild. Conditions looked promising for diving.

Today we took the opportunity to have a check out dive for Maureen who hadn’t been in the water for a few months and we opted for a clockwise circuit of the reef. To add spice we had been asked to take some pictures of a gnome for a piece of work being done by a photographer. Unfortunately we didn’t find it, still it was fun looking. There were lots of big fish today, Ballan wrasse, Cuckoo wrasse, pollack , dogfish and a conger that seemed quite happy to come out of its lair to investigate us. Large spiny starfish and bootlace worms were in abundance today but the sea squirts were looking tired.

The house vegetable soup for lunch was excellent and a pleasant couple of hours surface interval was spent chatting.

The afternoon dive was another attempt to photograph the gnome that had been placed at the tip of the reef. Again we couldn’t find it, beaten to it this time by the retrieval party. We did however see many more of the large fish that were in residence today. For variation this time we opted to take a bearing back to the car park lawn from the reef and our navigation was spot on, exiting at the metal walkway. (Note: you need to be careful here as the walkway has some sharp rusty bits about it that can do serious damage to suit and skin!)

To reward ourselves we finished the day with an enormous slab of chocolate cake, a suitable end to a good day.

The illusive gnome was eventually photographed

Dogfish Reef, Loch Fyne, Furnace. 30th December 2011


Somebody had been eating too much Christmas turkey and was needing some exercise or perhaps new toys were to be proudly shown off to other club members, the phone started ringing, incessantly. Christmas pudding lassitude made finding the phone difficult but Paul’s enthusiasm soon saw an eager group assembling at the club hut at the socially acceptable time of 08:00am having been promised a Sunseeker charter boat, with heated cabins, diver lift and a most importantly, a full Christmas lunch. I should have seen it as a sales pitch but those mince pies had done a number on me and the reality, a rain drenched car park somewhere on the West coast hit home hard. Still we had bought the bill of goods and were now committed so might as well make the best of it.

Opportunistic diving with a short weather window is a skill that requires careful planning if you are to get it right. Phone calls to the Coastguard, weather and tide reports all suggested that bright weather in the morning would be followed by afternoon showers so the idea was to dive in the morning and then find somewhere with a real fire to enjoy a couple of hours socially before returning home at a reasonable hour. The site today was the outer reef at Furnace Quarry, sometimes called Dog Fish Reef and always an enjoyable dive, suitably close to The George‘ at Inveraray

All very logical but the rain came through early as we walked the site, agreed a plan and changed in rain, heavy rain that had left a film of water on my inner suit before I had it zipped away. Paul and Spike were paired and were waiting at the water edge as Steve and I joined them. Buddy checks all round saw us entering the water together with surface cover being provided by Angus, Mollie, Hamish and Tara, the water was surprisingly warm. The plan was that Paul would check out his ears having recently recovered from a ear infection and while he was doing this Steve and I would stay close by so that if he had to bail out, Spike would join us and we would dive as a threesome. As it turned out all proved to be OK and Paul and Spike moved South where they reported good life on a sand and gravel slope including Snakelock anemonies and then the usual inhabitants of a sand/mud loch bed.


Steve and I descended the sunken concrete pontoon and briefly headed out onto the sand where numerous juvenile flat fish and a large scorpion fish were found as well as squat lobsters and hermit crabs. The interesting life on this site is however on the reef itself so we turned round and made our way back discovering dogfish city with over a dozen dogfish concentrated in one location in the bottom rocks.

This site is excellent for trying to photograph Sealoch anemonies and as Steve was poking his torch into nooks and crannies I spent a little time trying to capture one of these beautiful creatures.



Traversing the reef we came across a cushion star that due to the light conditions and when hit by the torch beam, appeared to actually glow red and orange. Clearly this was a case of festive narcosis.



Another unusual echinoderm drew our attention. This multi-armed sun star is the first I’ve seen on this site.



One the of the characteristic beasties of this type of topography in the lochs is this worm. These tubes grow quite long and the beasties tend to be nocturnal so the best time to see them is on a night dive. As we neared the end of the dive we came across the large Ballan wrasse that lives under the concrete pontoon but he was having none of it today and swam off quite briskly as Steve and I slowly ascended from our safety stop though cold oily water to surface a couple of minutes after Paul and Spike.

A cracking dive and having quickly packed up (it was a longish rain shower), toasted the last dive of the year and the task of finding somewhere to warm up and have lunch was at hand. Luckily the George where Beef stew and Fish and Chips was the order of the day, solved the problem and indeed had they not shouted last orders (afternoon closing !) we would have been there still.

All that was left was for the designated drivers to drive home safely with heavy rain turning to snow with roads covered in slush over Glen Ogle. Another great day out with the club, thanks to Paul for organising it.

Chili dip and salsa, 18th December 2011

Cold and clear, a day for skiing, Glühwein or staring at a roaring fire. As thoughts go, this one seemed constant as icy roads led west to a rendezvous at ‘The Green Welly‘. Todays plan had been somewhat last minute as Christmas had taken it’s toll. Usually stalwart scubapros had slipped away to do their christmas shopping and things were getting so desperate that I had thought of golf!

The roads were partly snow covered and while additional care was required the drive was spectacular today. Snowy mountains, frosted pink in the early morning sun, Lochan na h-Aclaise frozen and Rannoch, a sea of white. Not surprisingly Glen Coe was busy with skiers and mountaineers. We arrived at Ballachulish with blue skies and turned into the car parking to find the place to ourselves.

Dive site today was ‘The Slates’, chosen for easy of access and while nothing in diving should be assumed, the site is usually a sure bet for conditions. The site provides a straightforward dive that can be extended to satisfy any recreational diving requirement. As far a shore diving goes, it certainly has a lot to offer.

Kitting up in the cold and then carrying the equipment across to the entry point had it’s own dangers today as sheet ice covered the car park and shore line, but with our buddy checks done we were off, to amongst other things test Gary’s new suit. Dropping into crystal clear fresh water we hit the halocline at 2m and descended into 3m vis and warm water and moved West to find the steepest part of the boulder slope.

The rocks today were covered in sea squirts, peacock worms and sea loch anenomies and all that was needed was a little light to make a very colorful dive, today however the low sun did little for us and at 10m we were in darkness.
There is so much to see at this site, a particularly large fish hiding in the rocks proved additional interest today, it looked like a large poor cod or a haddock with spots. This encrusting sponge took my eye, takes a little time to work out what is going on but the sponge has grown around a Sepulid worm tube.


After a relatively short surface interval the second dive went around the smaller spit. Surface water temperature of 3 degrees warmed up with depth and with Izzy picking up a couple of scallops as we descended into the blackness. Some very interesting life on this dive, a dragonette and a large scorpion fish that lay motionless as we passed. This Arctic Cowrie proved a challenge.

To avoid a walk back along the icy track we turned around after 30 mins having used up our bottom time and retraced our steps somewhat shallower and taking advantage of a good long safety stop. Within the bay the life is much poorer, due no doubt to the more brackish nature of the water, horse muscles appear here. As we were about to surface we found a small flatfish and watched it propel itself forwards using its skirt. We surfaced as it started snowing!

That was it, another day off the rocks and all that was left was to pack up and head for home. A quick stop in the Crianlariach Hotel to warm up in front of the fire before rushing off back to Perth before it got dark and the snows really started and the roads got blocked.

and that’s all folks!

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BSAC Regional training. Loch Fyne Tea Rooms. 10th December 2011

A quick update from Saturdays dive at the Tea Rooms loch Fyne where six trainees from the BSAC South Scotland Region who were looking for Ocean, Sport and Dive leader skills had varying degrees of success.

A very interesting drive over with snow down to the road after St Fillans and all the way to the shore at the tea rooms. Wet slushy snow, the kind that wets everything, not that pleasant changing.

For the mornings dive, I was to be the casualty for a CBL but due to an ill fitting (borrowed) dry suit that filled with very cold fresh water as we were putting fins on my rescuer had to pull out. This left me and another student with the opportunity to have a pleasure dive along the inside of the reef. Reasonable vis once below the fresh water and a few fish, corkwing wrasse and leopard gobbies and a very large poor code in the boulders. All the tunicates seem to have gone and the few spiny starfish seemed enormous. Water temp at 10 degrees was comfortable but the 2m surface layers at 4 degrees was bracing !

The afternoon dive was a rerun of the morning lesson with CBL’s. This time we completed the drills and then had a bimble round the reef. An enormous cork wing wrasse and a good sized flat fish were the highlights of the dive. This was a very enjoyable dip.

Debrief, coffee and the drive home through the snow. Not the best day of the year but always good to dive with a new people as you always learn new things.

Alan’s reef, Kerrera Sound. Sunday 4th December 2011

It was Steve’s turn to drive today and I got to ride in his suped up Subaru, pre-warmed on the chilliest start of the year. That was the plan anyway but having dropped the exhaust just before Lix Toll and having to wait for the very nice RAC man to come and provide a running repair we found ourselves frantically trying to contact Alan whom we were due to meet at Puffin Dive center to advise him of our delay and suggest we would join him in the afternoon. Four and a half hours after leaving Perth, we rolled into Puffin as Alan, Dave and Tam were returning from their morning dive off Maiden Island.

Alan reported 1-2m vis and Tam reported a squall that had come through whipping the bay into wall to wall white horses. Dave and Alan had been blissfully unaware of this as they enjoyed a rather productive dive. Tam’s plight sounded only slightly more fun than watching the snow flurries at the Lix Toll garage.

Lunch in the Crew room saw everyone warm up as general diving banter was hurled around and all too quickly it was time to venture out and load Alan’s boat for the afternoon trip. The plan was to dive a reef that Alan had found previously where a broken wall reached 45m some 20m off the shore. Located on the southern of two little points just south of Ardantrive Bay, east of Mount Pleasant farm and identified by a metal spike sunk into the rocks, Steve and I rolled off the boat into a layer of cold, fresh water. Final OK’s and we quickly sank to find warmer water.

The dive was dark but some light penetrated down to 15m but beyond that a torch was essential. The broken wall was silty grey and had a scarce smattering of encrusting life but turned out not to be as dramatic as some of the walls in the area. At the bottom we found twisted wreckage, possibly a gantry and set about picking up the odd scallop. I managed to drop my torch head (it’s an umbilical) and everything went black for an instant as the head came to rest in mud. As an exercise it was quite interesting as I fumbled with a goody bag, feeling lucky I hadn’t grabbed a crab! Looking around we had about 4m vis as I watched Steve illuminated by his torch, scarring the wildlife.

Conscious of the depth I was keen to ascend to eke out the air in shallower water, so we slowly ascended steep sand and gravel where we came across a pipe fish that was determined to play dead. Further up we found an enormous concrete cube, artistic in it’s architectural rococo style, clearly a mooring block of sorts but unattached and age unknown. Possible associated with the flying boats but who knows.


Interesting life continued to find us as we climbed the slope, small scallops and flat fish and a large Scorpion fish that was determined to avoid being photographed as it deliberately stirred up sand around itself. Further up the slope we reached coarse sand and contoured back towards our start point trying to stay just below the halocline in the warmer water. Finding a few more pieces of wreckage, rusting iron and discarded bottles, we eventually surfaced as the cold fresh water took it’s toll. Tam expertly recovered us from the water and that was it, not a bad dive and much better than weather of late would have suggested. Alan and Dave surfaced shortly afterwards having completed a similar dive and recovering another bag of scallops for Christmas.


Retrieval of the boat followed a well worn procedure and having washed it off and secured it all that was left was to have a quick trip to the dive shop for a natter, square up and head for home.  A big thank you to Alan for the days diving and Steve for organising.

Steve and I decided to say hello to the Badger and have a quick chat with Andy at the Crianlarich hotel. I am pleased to report that the quality of the Colonsay Ale is still excellent.

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