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Resident Princess & 'Ned Redresser'
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<font color='#736AFF'>I shall leave Gav to do the full trip report (I know that sounds lazy, but you don't keep a journalist in the family and write yourself!!)  

I do however have a couple of photos to add in anticipation of his report...

BTW - (the food at The 3 chimneys is to die for - beg, borrow or steal - but go there if you can!)

The itinerary was:-

1. Friday - Edinburgh to Plockton (4.5 hours-ish) http://www.plockton.com

2. Saturday - Plockton to Skye (travelling time about 15 mins onto the island and then a few hours driving around to "sight-see").  Check in at "Dive and Sea the Hebrides" in Stein.  Dinner at Stein Inn. http://www.dive-and-sea-the-hebrides.co.uk and http://www.steininn.co.uk

3. Sunday - diving - dinner at The 3 Chimneys (WOW!!) http://www.threechimneys.co.uk

4. Monday - supposed to be diving     got blown out        drove from Dunvegan to Fort William (c.1hr 45)

5. Tuesday - Fort William back to Edinburgh (c.3hrs)

Conclusion - the fantastically beautiful scenery (both on the way up to and on Skye), the food and diving that we did manage to do definitely made the trip worth it.  Would I go again? Definitely!

Anyway, this is Eilean Donan castle - en route to Skye
 

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That's Dude with an E
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Fi

Much the same view as l look out of my window  

Down here on the outskirts of london.

When are you & Gav going to Scapa?
 

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Resident Princess & 'Ned Redresser'
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<font color='#736AFF'>This is a view of Lochbay, just outside the Stein Inn, which is about 50 yards from the Dive Centre (hence this is also your view from the Dive Centre!)
 

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Resident Princess & 'Ned Redresser'
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<font color='#736AFF'>a wee diving related piccy here...
 

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Resident Princess & 'Ned Redresser'
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<font color='#736AFF'>BTW - this was our view from our room in Plockton on Saturday morning  
 

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Life just is NOT fair - the Arabs get both the oil and the some of the best diving in the world; the Jockanese get God's-own scenery (and top diving to go with it); and in Manchester...? Well, when I think of what we can offer (aside from a bunch of Burnage wide-ohs trying to pass themselves off as a Rock-n-Roll band) I'll post it here.

Quality photies there Fi, both above and below the oggin - the one of the anenomy (SP?) has come out with astonishing clarity!
 

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Small, yet perfectly formed...
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cool pics Fi, when are you organising a sky trip for the rest of us then???
jules
 

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Resident Princess & 'Ned Redresser'
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<font color='#736AFF'>Well, since my l*z*husband  
 is obviously not going to do a trip report after all I might as well flesh out a bit of what I said above.

As mentioned, Skye and indeed the rest of that area of Scotland is amazingly beautiful and worth the visit on its own (not to mention the culinary opportunities!).  

However, it is fair to say that diving was one of the prime reasons for going to Skye.

Dive and Sea the Hebrides are the only dive operators from Skye.  So if you want to be based on Skye, it's them or nothing.

A stop-over in Plockton on Friday night gave us a leisurely 15 minute drive over the Skye Bridge to the Island.  Once there we "did Skye" in a couple of hours  
 (complete rubbish of course since we were basically driving everywhere at about 50mph and only saw parts of the North of the Island).  Anyway, we enjoyed it and started to get a feel for the place.

We found the dive centre easily following the directions provided by Aileen.  The dive centre is run by a couple, Gordon and Aileen (they also have young twins - babies, not tanks!).  Gordon used to be a commercial diver (and still dives for pleasure).  Frankly he should make more of his diving experience on their website, because I am always encouraged to know that I am with someone who has or does dive.

We had a warm and friendly welcome from Gordon and Aileen who showed us round the accommodation, showed us to our room and pointed us in the direction of the nearby pub before disappearing to do their shopping.

We wandered down the Stein Inn (see previous link) which was all of about 50 yards away, where we indulged in a couple of drams and sampled the local Skye Dark Oyster Stout (mmm, tasty).  

When we returned to the house we discovered that we had been joined by a group of divers (6) from the Blackpool area and that they were there for the week.

Thus far we had been enjoying lovely warm sunshine with barely a ripple on the sea.

A lovely dinner at the Stein Inn was followed by another dram before bedtime and a good nights sleep.

Yes, you've guessed it, we awoke on Sunday morning to find the sky grey, the wind blowing and all manner of dreich, drizzle and rain (call it what you will!).  Ah well, Gordon confirmed that he was confident that he could find us somewhere suitable to dive notwithstanding the change in conditions - so off we went.

We did two dives in and around the Lochbay area (Gavin - can you remember the names of the dive sites?).  Both very acceptable in terms of viz and life.  Viz - about 5 to 6 metres?  I guess I'd been rather spoilt the fortnight before when we were diving the Sound of Mull and had such a great time.  I think I was expecting something more "special"?

The boat was comfortable (although limited seating inside) - again, probably rather spoiled by the MV Peregrine in Lochaline, and Gordon forgot to get gas for the stove so that we could have a cuppa once back on board.  However,  there was a head and the journeys were not long, so it wasn't really a problem.

Safely back in Stein, Sunday night saw us off up the The Three Chimneys for dinner.  I can't write any more about that here since a) we've already said how wonderful the meal was and b) I might start drooling and dribble onto my keyboard, which I am sure cannot be good for it.

Sadly, Monday morning saw the winds picking up even further and after a wee drive out to Meanish Pier (where we were due to meet Gordon) he eventually arrived on his boat only to confirm what we knew already - that it was too windy to go out.

And there ended our two days of diving in Skye.

The gang from Blackpool were there all week and when I saw the weather reports it didn't look like it improved much for them.

However, I am confident that there is more "special" diving to be had in Skye and had we been able to get around the coast a bit we could have sampled it for ourselves.  For that reason, I am keen to go back next year and try again.

However, I might be more inclined to go on one of Peter's trips on the Peregrine - stay in the beautiful Plockton and dive from the Kyle of Lochalsh.

(feel free to add any comments Gav!)
 

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<font color='#000F22'>Skye - very pretty
Diving - not great but what can you do in a 7-8
Food - fan-freakin-tastic

I can't remember the dive sites and I can't remember much apart from a huge edible crab that when Fi saw it I heard her exclaim "F*ckin' Hell" very loudly thru her reg.

Fi, now you've got the journalism sorted too - I can retire.
 

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Exiled in Scotland...
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Wow,

I just came back from Stein. We went last weekend, 26th - 29th Sept. You're spot on, Gordon and Aileen were fantastic. Gordon is a very nice guy who pointed out some very nice dive sites. We had 5 dives, ss Chadwick, Light house just west of it, two in Loch Dunvegan and the last on Monday at Waternish point. I would really recomend Dive and Sea the Hebrides at the link above. Oh by the way Gordon operates a very nice clean boat and I can't wait till next year and the next time we go. Great weekend!! great dives, great pub, great great great.. .. did I say the weekend was great?

Dave C
 
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