Drift and Wall diving the sound of Luing

With Blue Skies and Calm weather forecast Chris and I had an last minute opportunity for a midweek dive with David Ainsley on his boat the Porpoise II based on the Island of Esdale.  David has been involved the campaign to keep the Firth of Lorn free of Scallop Dredgers and has been recording the recovery of the reefs and Sea bed over the last 7 years since the ban was enforced.

So we were treated to diving on a high energy dive site in the Sound of Luing and a group of three Bottle nosed dolphins who came to greet us as we jumped into the water  – Amazing!  The Slack window on this site was very brief and we descended quickly to 28 metres to find a Reef Covered in Elephants Ear Sponges, Oatan Pipes,  Branched Hydroids, Jewel anemones and Pink variations of the Elegant anemones not seen closer to shore.

After spending a 7 minutes a depth we worked our way back up to the top of the Reef, keeping close to reduce the effect of the 2-3 knot currents and doing a horizontal rock technique not a dive for the inexperienced or faint hearted!  Ducking Behind a large bolder we took a few moments to get some photos before deploying our shot and starting a drift dive, just a pity that the Visibility was only 4-5 metres otherwise this would be an excellent drift dive.

Thansk again to David and Jean for inviting us on this dive trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midweek Evening Dive on the Blae Rock near Burntisland

With a few days of calm weather and high water slack just two hours away eight divers arrived at the Dive Bunker just after 6pm after setting up our kit on Mark’s newest Boat (Every time I visit him he has a bigger Rib this one with a wheel house, music and heating! after walking across to the slip we jumped into the Boat and headed out to the Blae Rock which stretches for about 1 mile North to South between Inchkeith Island and Burntisland. the Top of the Rock is about 9 metres and slopes gently to the East and there are 50 metre walls to the west for the more adventurous.

I have dived the Blae rock several times over the years, the visibility can vary from 2 metres to 6 metres and I hoped the Works with the new Forth Road Bridge hadn’t impacted on the visibility, with the flood tide we hopefully would get clean water from the North Sea.  After a briefing from Mark and dropping into the water just up from the shot we headed down to the Rock heading north west west Colin and I floated over the beds of Brittle Stars dispersed with the occasional Edible Crab hiding in a Patch of Sand or standing defiantly on the top of a rock.  The shear density of the life on this rock is quite unique I haven’t seen anything similar,  the main attraction is the variety and colours of Anemones is amazing I have included some photos below, as we were diving the current started to change and we found several 1-2 metre reefs which took us round to the scree Slope Mark had described and moving away from the rock the currents started to kick in and we started to drift onto the flat bottom. We decided to swim back to the rock and head back up from 20 metres to the top of the rock.

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After deploying a delayed Surface Marker Buoy we head to the surface for a final surprise – Sunset over Burntisland – Awesome!  After chatting on the the boat enjoying the last rays of the setting sun we head back to port. Thanks to Mark and his team for an enjoyable nights diving.