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Well that's the May Bank Holiday done and dusted, and I'm already suffering from Westcoastitis, I want to go back.

Spent an eventful weekend diving and camping in Ullapool.

It all started in a traffic jam on the A9 on Friday evening.  I got out the car to retrieve a bottle of wine that was buried in the boot somewhere, much to the dismay of the driver, aka my other half.  This is when I realised that we were minus our sleeping bags, a couple of panic phonecalls later and a couple of our club members were instructed to stop at Tesco in Inverness to buy a duvet or "something".  We finally arrived in Ullapool after midnight pitched tent and flaked out.  I woke up shivering and from that point on my diving thermals doubled up as Pyjama liners too.

Saturday was dry but the wind was cold, we headed off for a fantastic dive on the Fairweather V.  She's a fishing boat that sank in the early 90's, upright and intact on sand in about 30m.  I've dived her a few times now but still feel compelled to sit in the chair in the wheelhouse!

Our second dive on Saturday was on a wall opposite the lighthouse at the entrance to Loch Broom.  This is one of my favourite dives.  The scenery is fantastic, huge urchins, lots of squatties and later in the season heaps of cuckoo wrasse come and noise you up when you invade their space, and I've found an octopus or two in the boulders at the bottom of the wall.

Saturday night wasn't so great.  A dodgy curry meant a few conversations were had with the campsite toilet on Sunday morning, and the rest of our team were starting to feel the cold too.  Luckily, some boat repairs were needed.  I say luckily as this prompted the group to scatter,  the girls hid in the Coffee Shop while the boys did the boat fixing thing.  I was still loitering in the vincinity of the toilet block -  just in case.  The repairs slowed us down enough to make it a one dive day, and the decision to get a heat and some grub was made before we braved the weather, which was not pleasant.

Our dive was good.  Another wall,this time  round the back of Isle Martin, you get that feeling like your flying!  There was the occasional boulder slope, housing squatties and edible crabs.  I can remember thinking perhaps I should buy a weasel, but then i realised there's no room inside my suit for a weasel and me! The cold was getting to me, so I started signalling to my buddy and we headed back up to the boat, and a rather lumpy journey back to the slipway.

Sunday night was spent in the sanctuary of the Argyle Hotel, which does amazing grub.  I stuffed my face and then bailed out as there was a break in the rain, just long enough to walk the dog, trek to the toilet and then get into tent.  It blew a hoolie and tipped it down all night.  I was amazed the tent survived.  The only one of us that got a decent nights sleep was the dog!  It's amazing how much space they can occupy.

Monday morning arrived, it was dry so rapid tent dismantling took place before we headed to the slip for our last dive.  This time we got it slightly wrong.  Started out just a muddy slope, which not much else but squatties.  I was getting bored, but then we started finding a few more boulders and ledges, then my buddy pointed out a cod (which I'd never seen before, apart from with my chips), although it has to be said this one looked a bit miserable, curled up against a rock.  I then found a wierd looking thing, my buddy's fins were promptly tugged so she could come back an identify this for me on the surface (she's a marine scientisty person, and knows what most things are).  It was a sea hare and it was big, but not as big as the one she found a wee bit later, it was a big fatty, it looked like it would burst if you prodded it.  I resisted the urge to do so!  We surfaced a few minutes later, and that was the weekend over......

Hoping to head back over in a couple of weeks time, hopefully the weather will be more favourable, as we're camping again.  No doubt this time we'll get the sun but have to deal with the midgies, the joys of living up North!!

vics
 
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