YD Scuba Diving Forums banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Street Cleansing Operative
Joined
·
4,427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>When Peter posted this trip I was really miffed. I'd been to Mull last year and loved it, but had no leave left and so was destined to miss it.

But, proving that every cloud has a silver lining, my chance came. My 10th wedding anniversary was ruined after being called back from the celebratory holiday to give evidence in a court case. Bit of a bummer, but it meant I got my leave days back and suddenly Mull was on the cards again!

How Far?

I can get to the Red Sea quicker than it takes to drive to Mull. But for me it was only 400+ miles and a little under 8 hours with a diversion to Leeds to pick up Steve C. Some made some serious effort with Howard and Becks coming up from London and some of the Sheep-Friendly contingent coming from Cardiff! That's Diving-Commitment! Howard set of at 3am and arrived at 1pm. I think Becks was a bit annoyed at such an early start - they could have got up at 8 and still been there in good time - but it meant they got in a shore dive from the pier. (Quite eventful by eye-witness accounts - I'll leave them to tell the tale).

Planning Committee

So by 9pm everyone had arrived (except Gavin of course, who despite driving like a maniac always seems to be the last to get anywhere!). We collected in the social club so that Peter could do his usual bit and organise everyone into buddy pairs on the appropriate boat. In diving terms, that's where Peter's weekend started and finished!

We had a few beers and it was a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and to make new ones, (with the usual "You don't look like a copper" routine!). Some of us had a respectably early night, others didn't!

Super Saturday

Most of us were up nice and early for breakfast, doing our best to cook sausages and bacon on the hot plates with the highest setting of 'mild'. We got there in the end. By 9am we were down on the pier with all our kit ready to load on the boats.

Immediately the previous evening's Planning Committee efforts went to RS. Firstly, the Planning Committee hadn't got out of bed after too much of the good stuff. Secondly we found a clear problem with space. The Brendan didn't have a compressor so all those divers with two sets of tanks were assigned to that boat. Unfortunately it is the smaller of the two boats - combine the limited deck space with all the extra tanks and it was clear that room was an issue. There was a quick shuffle of the pack and we got our crew down to 10 to make it manageable.

We were off, with just a bit of cloud cover and the odd shower. This was as bad as the weather got. But after going just two feet we were turning back! Howard had had problems with a BC inflator hose and so had changed it. Only, he found he'd put on a reg hose by mistake! Back we went for a replacement.

Our diving for the day (on the Brendan) was the Shuna and then the Thesis. Two very nice wrecks, both upright in less than 30m.

I had been delighted to find Paul Hinchcliffe on our boat. I had never met him before but had heard his name in diving circles and knew him to be an instructor held in high regard with an impeccible reputation. I was looking forward to learning much from him.

So the first dive came and we all got about getting ourselves kitted up. Paul and John Mitchell were the first pair in. Over went John and straight to the shot; then Paul followed after. What a pairing of experienced divers - what a team! The illusion was shattered as Paul's soft and unusually timid voice was heared to call up to the boat; "Erm, could you pass me my fins?"!

The Shuna is a nice wreck - I quite enjoyed it as a starter dive. The Thesis, I think, is the most beautiful wreck I've ever dived. The hull plates have been salvaged from the bow, leaving open spars exposed so that you can see right throught the skeleton of the wreck. It is covered in life and the swim throughs are like a visit to Santa's Grotto! It was better last summer, because there was more natural light then, and more fish in it. But even so, it was still a cracking dive.

Between dives lunch on boat was provided, with a fantastic vegetable soup to keep us warm. Fiona did us proud by organising tea and coffee from the galley in grand fashion.

On the way back to Lochaline we came along side our sister ship, the Peregrine. We realised then how quickly good news could travel when we saw the entire compliment stood and waving their fins at Paul!

Saturday evening (only slightly marred by the rugby) was a decent meal at the Hotel followed by a few beers and the inevitable piss-taking at Paul's expense. Good man, he took it well!

Sensational Sunday

We woke bright and early on Sunday (well most of us) to find a beautiful sunny day. Perfect!

First dive of the day was the Rondo. I'd not done this one on the last visit so it was new to me. The depth monsters were keen to go deep. The Peregrine had dived it the day before and reported the best conditions they'd ever seen on the wreck with 10m viz.

We were treated to similar conditions and the dive was good enough to even cheer Paul up! I dived with Julian, both on air, so we didn't do more than 30m and were up on deck before the twin-monsters were back. I was busy sorting out my kit and changing the tank for the next dive and with my back to the ladder. There's no door at the side of the Brendan so it does have quite a high ladder, but a good one. At first I didn't pay any attention to Porg's shouting and cursing as she tried to get back on board loaded with her twinset and pony.

I turned just in time to see her collapsing face first down the steps to land on the deck, sprawled out like a piece of road-kill, pinned there by the weight of her kit! I nearly pissed myself. "Stop laughing at me, you bastards", she cried "Help me up, I can't breathe". We laughed some more and left her there just long enough for Reeve to get his camera!

Second dive of the day was a pinnacle. Just a little bit of current to start with but our efforts were rewarded as we made our way around to find a gorgeous anenome garden - a forest of orange and white. Beautiful.

We then popped into Tobormory for a quick beer. John and Paul must have had one too many because they came back reporting that they'd seen a flourescent orange and green seagull, just like a parrot!

After that we sneaked in a quick drift dive to collect scallops. Paul offered a bottle of beer to whoever collected the most, just for inspiriation. Not surprisingly, we came up with a fairly decent catch. More than enough for all the divers and the skipper too.

Julia cooked them up to perfection and then it was down to the Hotel again to finish the meal.

I had an early night, but I understand the Planning Committe had another late session. There was a lot of 'planning' done on this trip!

Marvellous Monday

As good as the conditions had been on Sunday, it just got even better on Monday! It was a cold start but even the odd stray cloud that we'd seen the day before was now gone. Wall-to-wall sunshine!

We had an early start (I say we with the obvious exception) so that we could catch slack for our second dive.

The first dive was a wall near to Tobomory, at Calve Island. Julian had given up struggling with his leaking dry-suit (he'd found it cold) and opted out. Paul had also decided on an early trip home so I buddied with John. This was my best day's diving of the weekend. The drift on the wall was great, dropping to about 30m and then gently ascending as we flew by. We saw a docile dogfish quietly resting on a ledge and a large red sea slug about 4" long. I forgot to ask Dr Steve what it was, but I'd never seen one before.

A quick stop in Tobormory again for some shopping and then off to the Hispania. This wreck has a reputation for difficult currents, but with characteristic expertise the skipper dropped us in right on slack and we had an easy dive.

Easy, except that my mask kept on leaking. Most unusual as it's a cracking fit. I must have cleared it 20 times and it kept filling up. I messed about with my hood to see if it had caught the seal but it seemed fine. It was really getting on my nerves until I got a clue to the problem when I saw the strap flapping about above my eyebrows. It must have come off when I'd rolled in. That it had stayed on my face for 15 minutes with my clearing it over and over again showed just how good a fit it was!

All too soon we were up the shotline as the current kicked in. Back on the boat we had our last dose of the fantastic soup and back to the centre. The Peregrine had joined us on the Hispania and so we ended up in a race to get back. The Peregrine is the faster of the two boats so as it passed the crew were treated to a broadside or bare arses form the Brendan! Further attempts at water-bombing were unfortunately unsuccesful!

We finally managed to disembark and get all our kit packed away ready to go home.

Thanks and Goodbye

Handshakes and hugs followed and we were soon all on our long journeys home. The trip had been well woth the effort, though. Many thanks to Peter for organising the gig, even though he managed to avaoid doing a single dive. Good effort, that man!

I've had two fantastic trips to Mull so far. I can't recommend it enough. The dive centre and the boats are a quality set-up and it's superb value for money. If you get the chance to go, then do it. I'll certainly be back.
 

·
old time
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#0000FF'>Excellent write up Mark    



can see by the report, that you study detail well, and can reply, minute by minute ,,,,,,, does this have something to do with your employment
???    
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000F22'>Excellent write up. Sorry I didn't get the chance to say good bye, but Julian & I had a long run back. Good to meet you, and hopefully it can be repeated another time.

gareth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,914 Posts
Imported post

What can I say except " What an awesome weekend!
"Great weather, great diving, great company"

The Hispania is such a nice wreck it even impressed me who rarely gets excited over rusting hunks of metal. Sadly my dive on the Thesis was marred by a catastrophic zip failure
(someone will no doubt have some pictures of the event) Still managed a 30+ minute dive though. The Rondo was fun and the couple of wall dives were really nice. Jules should have a fair few photos from the Peregrine itinery, including me diving in Gav's suit
(for those who don't know either of us there's a bit of a size difference  


Can't wait to got back really...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
377 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#728FCE'>I can't beat that, had a great w/end, it was like midsummer, the viz was excellent and my duties as Jules's lighting man made for a very easy time underwater. Great to meet some more YDers, see new faces and meet those from other trips.

And as for Porg's vodka, 1/2 bottle?
?
??? More like just under a 1/4 and I was cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. Put 2 & 2 togeather and you get the idea. I don't drink so it went in the bin. Sorry Porg!

Finally, what dive club or operation could get 2 boats & 23 divers out for a trip in March! Rock on YD!!!!

Cheers to Peter for all the hard work and stress arranging thr trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,519 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Davies @ Mar. 09 2004,10:36)]At first I didn't pay any attention to Porg's shouting and cursing as she tried to get back on board loaded with her twinset and pony.

I turned just in time to see her collapsing face first down the steps to land on the deck, sprawled out like a piece of road-kill, pinned there by the weight of her kit! I nearly pissed myself. "Stop laughing at me, you bastards", she cried "Help me up, I can't breathe". We laughed some more and left her there just long enough for Reeve to get his camera!
<font color='#0000FF'>Have to agree great report Mark, reading this was almost as good as watching it, couldn't stop laughing, sorry Helen.  
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,773 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Mar. 09 2004,13:40)]Including me diving in Gav's suit
(for those who don't know either of us there's a bit of a size difference  
<font color='#000F22'>There is a bit of a size difference but I don't like to talk about that :)

BTW Steve, where's my drysuit bag you nasty boy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,914 Posts
Imported post

Sorry dude, what with decanting Dougie's stuff in the dark it got missed and is in my gaff, guess it's as good an excuse as any to hook up at Abbs for a splash and return your property ?
BTW chee-az for the loan, I owe you one, and remember to ask Dougie just how full the car was on the return journey
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,773 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000F22'>No worries Stevie,

Thanks for bringing Dougie back - actually you could have left him there!

I've got a spare suit bag from the Aerdura ... lets plan for an Abbs get together soon.

I know Angus McNasty and Dundee are both up for a dip as would be Dave C, Dougie ... Porg would probably come as it's only down the  road. Then there's me and you ... looks like were gonna need the whole boat.

I'll post some suggested dates over the next week.

Gav
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Imported post

Excellent write up. Well what can i say, that was a fantastic weekend. This was my first charter boat trip in the uk and I couldn't have wished for any better. Great skipper, company, facilities and weather!!

Also was a real pleasure diving with Steve W, so big thanks to him for helping me make my most enjoyable uk dives yet; who after forgetting to test his camera case on the first day managed to finally get a camera in it on the last
. So lets see some pics.  My 50th dive ended up being on the thesis, which coincidentally has been my best dive yet so that worked out pretty well.  Thanks also must go to the scallop chef Julia for a grand job on those caught by the Brendan lot. Superb! Well done peter for putting this trip together!!  Great to have some no fuss, fun diving. Role on more YD trips!!

All thats left to be said is that after a collective 16 hours in the car with mark, im well on my way to becoming a master criminal with all the tricks of the trade
.  Thanks for the lift mate, really appreciate it
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Davies @ Mar. 09 2004,11:36)]The drift on the wall was great, dropping to about 30m and then gently ascending as we flew by. We saw a docile dogfish quietly resting on a ledge and a large red sea slug about 4" long. I forgot to ask Dr Steve what it was, but I'd never seen one before.
One of these, perhaps?
http://www.seaslugforum.net/dendfron.htm
Great report! Please repeat the trip next year, Peter. I'm pretty sure I could get a few of the Swedes to come along as we can now fly from Gothenburg to Glasgow very cheaply with Ryanair and can bring our divegear as sports equipment for an extra £20 or so each way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,240 Posts
Imported post

Hey Mark mate,

Simply put, a fucking outstanding write-up! I do so enjoy reading well-written, expansive, involving and humour-flecked prose! Well done squire. You're and asset to these boards, sir.

As had been said, I wasn't there  
but from the blow-by-blow detail on offer, I felt like I could have been.

And now the YD 'Rogues' Gallery' of all the now chareagble 'On Tour Offenses' - those in the YD Dock (Port Fines notwithstanding):

* PorN - on 'twin' offenses
* The Dudester - on 'Computer Flawed' offenses
* Hinchcliffe Esq - on 'Woefully Inappropriate Dress for the Occasion' offenses
* The Kelly Man - on 'Interview Technique' offenses
* Driftwood (ancillary charges) - Public Dithering, resulting in confusion of the YD Mull Massive and other serving members of these boards.
* Jules C - for being gratuitously splendid and a wiz in the kitchen with Scallops! (charges dropped under the 'Because I Say So' rule)


Yes, I shall be drawing up the charges shortly (with the help of earstwhile YD-Plod-in-Residence, Chief Supt. Mark "Snapper Organs of Q Division" Davies) and then file said charges, before citing all named to appear before the next YD Courts 'Dive' Marshal, viz:

* 'Hanging' Judge Tierney, presiding.
* Sgt-at-Arms: WO2 Paul 'Full Screw' Oliver
* Attorney for the Prosecution: Dr Mary Hyphen-Hyphen Lumsden
* Attorney for the Defence: Gavin 'Two Suits' Yates


These are grievous charges, people, and the full extent of YD Law shall be in force. Don't expect leniency from the bench!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#0000FF'>Hey Mark,
Very Good report dude, especially enjoyed the way you took me up before bringing me down, Piss taking at it best.... twat!!

Looks like I missed a good day on Monday  
, but enjoyed the other 2 heaps.
The orange and green seagull was very strange to say the least, Ill have another pint of that!! I also found a lone lamb (easy) on one of the small Islands, strange again!! Who knows what goes on once all the divers go home.
Great weekend.
Cheers,
Paul.
 

·
wibble
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>ok ok, so the riddle of the vodka is solved, but i still say it was 1/2 a bottle........

And as for leaving me spread on the floor YOU UTTER BASTARDS!  That frigging twinset is heavy you know!  Not all of my chest is muscle for breathing with.  The only one who paid any attention to the fact that i was slowly being suffocated by the thing was John the skipper and then even he buggered off to laugh at me too once he realised i wasnt bent.  Sods.  Once i was de-kitted i discovered my thumb was pissing blood everywhere, but hey, i got plenty more blood.

Great company all around, Jules with her scallops was fantastic, and she doesent snore either.
Howard is such a sweetie, we must have looked a good sight on the shot line of the shuna when the Gallic Rose dropped her divers on the wreck - two devils hanging off the rope


I must say that Lochaline was one of the best centres and set-ups i have ever used.  So much better than a hard boat.  Also incredibly beautiful place to be.  When the job is shite, you know where my mind will be!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
Imported post

As stated above great report, it must be all this time you spend in the office fillimg in forms instead of being out nicking villians.

"Half a bottle of Vodka" thrown in the binn Chris obviously doesn't have any scottish blood in him, he's probably lucky Porg didn't catch him at the time as he wouldn't have had any blood in him,

Cheers for lift down again Steve, bit of a squeeze, but hey it's only for a couple of hours or so. Gav's right though the trip was that good you could have left me there.

Only slight grumble about whole time is that I've been wandering round the office today whistling Johny Cash songs, those on the Peregrine will understand.

And great to have met a couple of new buddies for St Abbs trips, need to get out soon.

Dougie
 

·
Small, yet perfectly formed...
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Imported post

Midsummer madness in Mull in March?

So here is my version of the trip report...

Chris and I set off early on Friday morning and drove up to Lochaline via Gelcoe, commenting that it was a privilege to drive through such stunning scenery, it was the first of many times in the ensuing weekend that we felt glad to be alive.

The weather all weekend was simply stunning. Bright and sunny, blue skies, with just the odd shower on day one to ensure that the Sound of Mull was able to demonstrate that it is all the more beautiful adorned with rainbows.


The diving is the sound of Mull is the best I have experienced in the UK and this weekend  surpassed expectations giving us better viz that I have ever had here, combined with the excellent company of nearly two dozen YD folk from near and far, excellent accommodation, some good food and nice wine, made for a thoroughly splendid weekend.

And i had a new toy to play with.... my olympus c5050Z and underwater housing.....it was the most gorgeous and sexy thing on the trip! time to take it through it's paces!

We arived on Friday night, played musical room mates for a while and when the music stopped Porg was deemed my room mate for the trip. She is no messier than me so we got along great. Then trooped down to the social for a few drinks and a plan, and another one and some buddies were assigned. The next morning the list was left on the table so we all buddied up anyhow. Chris Hall had already agreed to be my buddy for the duration of the trip.

Saturday morning was sunny then showery and this happy band of folks set off to the Rondo. On the peregrine we had both types of Music; country AND western! Johnny cash was our theme tune and bythe end of the weekend we  were singing along!

First dive The Rondo
Took camera housing (without camera) for a test dive to 48m. Gentle descent of the wreck. I didnt feel narked at all unlike the previous times i have done this one. Camera case was very positively bouyant so struggled to get below the surface at first. Viz was ace and it was really clear on the bottom. loads of lovely soft corals, anenomes etc. played with camera case at 48m and pressed all the buttons to check for leaks. None found! Notched up 9 minutes deco and gentle ascent up the wreck. On the keel we saw two lovely little scorpian fish hiding in the kelp. Dive time 30 mins

Second dive. The Shuna
Took the camera in the case this time and an extra 2kg in my weight harness.  Current was running so our plan to tour outside of the wreck towards the stern abandoned in favour of travelling inside it to the stern via the huge spare propellor on the deck. There is a huge propellor on the stern too. MASSIVE! unfortunately finger frozen photography meant the pics on this dive were not great.

Retired back to the dive centre, then hotel for eating and drinking. very pleasant and slept well!

Sunday
We all awoke bright and early courtesy of diving dude (Howard) summoning the Dudess (Becky) from her slumbers.

Another bright sun shining day and the water was like a sheet of glass,




dives
First a scenic,  Slignish Mor
In a slight current so it was basically a drift along a wall. Chris was helping me reduce the back scatter by lighting objects from the sidewith his torch. it's quite effective if you dont have a strobe (yet).
Got really cold hands but saw some cute little shrimps

Dive time 38mins, max depth 25m

Second dive The Thesis
Best Viz I have ever had on here. the swim throughs were beautifully lit with a green glowing light from the sun showing the structure. Dive time 31mins max depth 31.7m
Sunbathed on the deck on the way home, again listening to the dulcet tones of Johnny Cash.

Sunday evening i demonstrated how to cook Scallops El Diablo, which were devoured by the assembled masses of YD  foodies.I did post the recipe last time we cooked them in Mull so will dig out the thread for all those who asked for it. First catch your scallops.....
after the scallop we trooped down to the local hostelries for more food and drink (well it would be rude not to!)

Monday morning
yet another bright sunny morning. Blimey! it's like midsummer this but without the midges!

First Dive Ardness wall, next to John Preston Slate wreck. Wall dive from 18-40m.
For this dive i buddied up with Dougie who acted as chief wildlife spotter and torch pointer (good work that man!), Chris was our third man and all round crab finder general.
Descended to 30m and drifted along gently taking pictures of squat lobsters

and other wildlife
gradual ascent up to 6 m, interesting landscape and stunning later in the summer when there is more life out (but still pretty good just now!). Dive time 37mns max depth 31.4m

2nd and final dive, The Hispania.
Slack was booked for 12:30 but when we got there an hour early the blob was already on the surface indicating that it was slack now. You can only dive this on the slack and when i have dived it previously it can be hairy to say the least if the current starts flowing too fast before you get back to the shotline.
We kitted up and jumped in.
WOW O WOW O WOW
Chris and I explored both lower and uppr holds. i have never had such amazing viz on this wreck or seen so much of it, especially inside. it's so beautiful and totally covered in plumrose anemomes and soft corals. we went to the stern and met up with the wrasse that is always there begging to be fed.
can find the pic of the wrasse now so here is one of Reeve (Gareth)

we followed the outside of the wreck along to the bow and then ascended on to the deck , with 7 mins deco notched up and getting quite chilly I signalled to chris that we should find the shot line and go home. This dive was simply stunning.
max depth 27.4m dive time 44 mins.

And then it was back to the dive centre and showers before heading off home.

The sound of Mull is where i fell in love with UK diving this time last year. This trip was the best ever, the weather was amazing, the viz excellent, the company splendid.

oh happy days indeed!
Many many thanks to our glorious leader Peter Kelly for making it possible! and to Chris for being such an ace buddy.

Jules
x


 

·
That's Dude with an E
Joined
·
12,959 Posts
Imported post

Good report Mark.

I'm just going to add the mistakes Becky and I (mostly me, well only me) made over the weekend.

First leaving home at 3am was maybe a tad early, but arriving a 1 pm meant we had plenty of time to sort our gear out for a shore dive beside the Lochaline pier.

Second, forgetting to put on computers, timers or even a depth gauge, meant trudging back up the beach fully kitted up with a twinset.

Third, attempting to drain Becks tank to 50 bar (for a weight check) via the octopus whilst at about 10 mtrs was not a good idea, however it enabled us to practice long hose deployment and do a weight check with no air in the tank.

Fourth, staying up till 4 am with Mr Kelly, dohhhh......

Fifth, replacing a faulty BCD inflator hose with a reg hose and then wondering what the hissing noise was.

Sixth, removing Becks weight belt whilst in the water to make it easier for her to ascend the ladder and attaching it to my SMB, however the look on John Mitchell face when he lifted my smb out of the water to find a weight belt attached to it was worth it.

Seventh, sending Jules away after she walked into my room thinking it was hers, well once would be a mistake but twice.

Our last dive was the Hispania, we last dived this four years ago and l'd forgotten how good it was.

However despite tarnishing my well 'ard techie diver image both Becks and l had a great weekend, as others have said it was great to meet some new and some familiar YD folk again.

Gareth you say you did 1060 miles well we just beat you 1115 miles.

Well daddy (me) paid for the gig, humped all our gear arround all weekend, kitted Becks up, and generally ran arround like a muppet, BUT the Beckster DROVE the ten hours home by herself whist the old man snoozed in the car, which in the end was a fair swop.

That's it until my next YD gig 20th March on Andy's boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000F22'>Does anyone have any pictures of that little hamlet of Toblemoray (where we stopped for lunch), as my daughter and neice think it was Balamoray as I'd bought them some little presents from there. If you have any please e-mail them to me.

thx  gareth
 

·
wibble
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
Imported post

<font color='#000080'>Hamlet?  Jeez, i hate to see what you would call where i live.  One pub, one church, one shop, two phone boxes.......at least Tobes has two pubs and a supermarket!
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top