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Hi there :

I would be interested if anyone here has dived the Corryvreckan whirlpool on the west coast of Scotland? (obviousley at slack water.)

It is something i would quite fancy doing, so i would love to hear some storoes from people who have done it, how they found the dive, and any "top tips." I saw it being dived on a programme called "Twister," which was shown on both BBC and Sky TV, in this case the guys were diving off Dave Ainslie's boat, and from memory they threw a heavily weighted dummy over board, and then were suprised when it hit the bottom! (alledgedly it was the twister that dragged it down.)

Any information would be gratefully recieved,

Cheers,

Bob
 

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Yup.

I posted this on the last day or so on the BSAC Fora in answer to R.Bear's request for any info, so please excuse the cut and paste.

Cheers

Simon Nash

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve dived Corryvreckan (August 1987 in fact) but it does remain one of the highlights of the dives I’ve done. We did it from a club squidgy as opposed to a hard boat

It was on a trip to celebrate graduation from Edinburgh Uni and included dives such as Cuan Sound, the Falls of Lora, the Marble Madness (aka Madam Alice) the Helena Faulbaums and Little Corryvreckan. Not bad as a series of warm up dives!

Although not much of a pointer for planning, you may be interested in my log book entry for that day.


I didn’t think at the beginning of the trip we would actually do it or the sheer awesomeness of the place. To quote Ridley “many consider it to be the most serious undertaking in British waters”.

Meant to find the pinnacle at 29m but soon realised this was asking a lot with our echo sounder and a bottom at over 200m. Chucked in and pulled out the grapnel (with two large buoys attached) twice as it went in too deep. Eventually settled for about 38m, but we had to wait for it to slacken off. Eventually got tired of waiting and Phil and I headed in… still a bit of a current running so it was a real overarm pull down the line paused at 20m to see a Lion’s Mane flying by at a great rate of knots. Headed on down, started to get a bit narked. Eventually hit the bottom at 42m…. the line was 75m long… Shook hands; had a quick look around down to 45m, but did not venture too far, soon time to come back up. What a dive!

Due to our plans we could only put 1 pair down on the first slack so to put next 2 pairs down we had to wait 6 hoursish in the cold and the rain on Scarba watching Corryvreckan grow and grow in power and noise.

Eventually headed off to get the next two pairs in, but disaster, Eric (the echo sounder) did not want to work. Chucked in line closer to shore but amazingly the 2 buoys went under water and did not appear for another 20 minutes. Dropped another shot close to Scarba and put the others in near the shore. Just before they went in a dead seagull went floating by…. Not very auspicious. Whilst Geoff and Mary and Sarah and Jocks were in we went to pull up the line, however it was stuck fast and when we tried to motor it out, we soon had water coming over the transom. Hmm, not good, so we had to cut it free losing the grapnel and line.

What a day; we left the Gulf to the sound of hissing ring-pulls and feeling pretty high. However the sight of buoys going under proved a very clear indication of the power of the place (even at slackish!) and prevented us from becoming blasé about the place and the dive!



We used Gordon Ridley’s Dive Scotland book and relied on an old echo sounder (one of the spinning orange dot variety). I think the best advice I can give is don’t follow what we did; speak with Dave Ainsley! Interestingly Dave sought us out to get advice from us when he had heard we had knocked it off.

Would I dive it again…..? The answer is yes, but not the way we approached it back then.

Cheers

Simon Nash
 

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Feel free to leave me what's left of the RIB in your will


Peter
 

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I was through it week before last in the RIB when out for a run, it is only a problem in a swell or when the wind is against tide.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Rupert Bear @ Dec. 18 2003,20:42)]I was through it week before last in the RIB when out for a run, it is only a problem in a swell or when the wind is against tide.
A swell, a wind! Jeez, that's the least of your problems.

Peter

Phill- Crank 'er up and get 'er running. Your gonna' have visitors, possibly B,B+D!!!!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Phill @ Dec. 18 2003,21:46)]eh ? are there two Corryvreckens ?
Actually, yes there are...


Corryvreckan between Scarba & Jura

and Little Corryvreckan between Scarba and Lunga. Also a cracking drift dive known as the Grey Dogs Race.

Cheers

Snash
 

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The surface is fairly smooth even mid flood as long as there is no swell or wind against tide. The grey dogs was smooth week before last as well although when wide and tide have been against each other I have seen a six foot standing wave across this.
 The only knack seems to be judging slack and the consequences of getting this wrong !
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (peter k @ Dec. 18 2003,23:58)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Rupert Bear @ Dec. 18 2003,20:42)]I was through it week before last in the RIB when out for a run, it is only a problem in a swell or when the wind is against tide.
A swell, a wind! Jeez, that's the least of your problems.

Peter

Phill- Crank 'er up and get 'er running. Your gonna' have visitors, possibly B,B+D!!!!
She's cranked up Pete, 3 in the last week! But I think RupertTB would use the one at his work.
 

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I don't ever want to end up in there, can you imagine living that down
 It is bad enough that someone from one of my hardboat trips ended up in there last year cos of an unknown PFO without the slagging I would get if I ended up in there myself
 


Having spent most of my free time in the last couple of weeks looking through pilot books, asking on forums and following up, looking on the net and my own experience of the local waters I have to say the dive itself doesn't look bad at all. The trick is going to be picking the time to enter and leave the water and waiting for the right combination of tide, weather and swell to appear on a weekend. The correct tides are only, on average, every couple of months so it may be many months before all the factors appear at once but luckily it is only just down the road a bit...
 

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Discovery Science channel on Sky has a doc called "Sea Twister" starting at 6pm which I think (if it's the one I've seen before!) has the Corryvreckan diving in it...
Steve
 

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Havn't done it , but from what I can gather theres a chap who runs a boat just out of Oban David Ainsley( BSAC First Class Diver) who has dived it.
If I understand it right he has acted as advisor on many dives thats been filmed. Seems to be the "unofficial" expert on that particular site.

http://www.divescotland.com/
 
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