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The King Of The Divan
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, just back from a fortnight in Scotland and I thought I better write a trip report to help in the drying out process (in more ways than one). The trip started with a week on Doune on the Knoydart peninsula. For those that don’t know Doune, have a look here.


Doune Holidays Knoydart







Andy and Liz run a fantastic operation – all the food is home cooked including all the baking and Andy is the most relaxed but expert skipper I have had the privilege to dive with.

Suffice to say it is normally a haven of tranquillity and peace that is until we arrive for our third trip in as many years. Who is “we” – well 15 adults, 10 children, 2 RIBS, numerous boogie & kneeboards and other assorted toys, enough booze to sink the navy and just for good measure enough fireworks to blow up the army as well. :teeth:


We usually hire the Mary Doune for 4 days and then spend a day using the RIBs. Those with kids tend to alternate diving with couples so there is always sufficient cover to ensure the minimum of scrapes on beach expeditions etc. There are also a couple of Mountain goats who think nothing of bagging a Munro before breakfast. So all in all there is a real hive of activity.

The first day the weather was a bit dodgy so a number of us just did a shake down dive off the pier (whilst being bombed by loads of kids pier jumping). Even Mrs Snash, a confirmed warm water diver, got back in which was great.

The next day we did a couple of dives up Loch Nevis which we normally don’t do as we prefer to get out to the islands, but again the weather was dodgy. However have to say it was great fun. The first dive (opposite the statue of “the Madonna with big boobies” was great – a pinnacle dive with so many fish and anenomies in the shallows it was positively Maldivian with the top of the pinnacle resembling a thilla.

Lunch was spent in Tarbet – which is a low level pass between Loch Nevis and Loch Morer.








Lunch was spent at the top of the pass and then we ambled down to the fresh water of Loch Morer. A number of the girls went swimming whilst all the blokes chickened out. The second dive was on the north side of the Loch and was a cliff; again full of life.

Day 3 was very very wet so we took our non Mary Doune day and Jo and I did another off the Pier. V pleasant.

The next day was incredibly beautiful and we headed out to Oigh-Sgeir a magical bit of basalt in the middle of nowhere with a lighthouse on top off it.








It was here that a year ago a basking shark cruised passed my buddy and I whilst we were on stops, but no luck this time. Still a couple of great dives and a great lunch break on the islands. There are literally hundred of seals on and around the island. I did sound a bit of an idiot when I said whilst sunbathing in glorious sunshine “we always have good weather when we go to Oigh-Sgeir”. As someone pointed out – we only go to Oigh-Sgeir when the weather is good. D’oh!

Bo Fascadale was our next destination on a rainy but flat day – a fantastic pinnacle that rises from the depths to a mere 5ms below the surface just north of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. If diving was opera then Bo F is pure Wagner. Alex (aka the Angry Tomato or the Happy Lobster depending on his mood) and I bailed out at 52ms.

A quick visit to the tearooms on Eigg was followed by a last dive on Eigg and we were back home to a Beer and Cider tasting* followed by a curry night, bonfire on the beach and fireworks (and yes we had informed the Coastguard). :)


Each night the logistics of post dive mayhem operate as follows – the Spawn eat their meal at 6.00pm and between then and feeding time at the zoo for the adults, a couple of couples prepare “Cocktail Hour” with the drinks of their choice. This year we had the traditional Champagne welcome and other nights included; Gin Brambles and Champagne Gingers: Tequila Sunsets and Pisco Sours. Jo and I did Singapore Slings and Dragon Ladys. There was also a Pimms evening. After dinner it is back to the “Big Brother House” until the generator goes off and those who are still alive take a boogie box out to “Club Kermit” – the “boat” that is used to get all the kit ashore.


After that week Jo and I had a night on Skye and then 3 nights in a Wigwam up at a campsite in Gairloch. It was a good job we booked this well in advance rather than using our tent as for 2 out of the 3 days it pissed it down and we saw lots of unhappy campers packing up and going. :frown:


After leaving Gairloch we headed to Nicky and Crawf’s cottage at Ardessie on Little Loch Broom. We did an impromptu dive opposite the cottage which truly was the definition of serendipity. After asking the local crofter we made our way across his land to the beach for what we thought would be a boring dive. It was very shallow (2ms) for about 100ms and then dropped away. We got down to 33ms. Crawf has usually not got as far down the slope as we got (but because it was a spring low tide) we got good value for our 33ms. We soon came across lots of Langoustine which we “respected” in the only way we know. We were very aware of stops given the long swim back up the slope and only racked up a couple. Chance find on the way back up through the shallows was lots of mussels. These were added to the booty. Nicky was already preparing a risotto so we had now had paella with prawns and mussels….. mmmm, half an hour from being landed to being eaten; now that is fresh.








Given we were in such high spirits we ended up with a 4.00AM finish and apart from the hangover from the hell we also had blue coloured tongues from polishing off the Blue Curacao that didn’t end up in the cocktails on Doune – yeeuch.

The next day we headed over to Elgin to see my dad and hoped for a couple of quiet days. No chance as we were greeted by Dad clutching a bottle of Macallan and a bottle of Clynelish which he wanted to “compare and contrast”. A few drams later Jo said it was like watching Frodo and Bilbo fighting over the ring in Lord of the Rings (neither of us is that tall). :embarassed:


Check out of Chez Papa Snash and onto Malcolm’s wedding just north of Aberdeen. Fantastic bash and the only wedding that I have been to that served champagne “during” the service….. All but 1 of the people who had been on Doune was at the wedding so it was a great holiday finale for many folk. We had pitched our tent in Malx back garden and it rained from the time we pitched it till the time we struck it the next morning. Still that didn't spoil Malx and Florence’s wedding as all happened in a marquee in a field. Highlights of the post service bash was the margarita fountain (oh yes, there is a Lord). :)


Next day in the pouring rain we headed on the long trip gingerly home to dry ourselves out - clothes, tent, dive kit and most importantly ourselves both inside and out…..


Snash

PS - sorry about the quality of the photos - may have resized them too small - will redo them to get a bit more detail and relaod.
 

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Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
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9,453 Posts
great report sounds like a wonderful holiday, what did you do for gas? did your host have a compressor?

followd the link and answered my own question... sounds fantastic... would any other yders be up for a YD 1 week gig up ther?
 

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The King Of The Divan
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1,848 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re air - Andy has 2 compressors - 1 on shore and 1 on his boat. Means you only really need to take 1 set each which cuts down on kit. He tends to chuck you off the boat at lunch (usually on an island eg Eigg or Rhum) and fills up then.

Getting off at lunchtime is great as it means you have a chance to wander around some pretty remote places but also you dont end up feeling as thoguh you have been cooped up all day.

The packed lunches are good - usually 2 rolls and 2 home baked cakey things and fruit. Juice is also provided.

Snash
 
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