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This is also posted on DumbartonSAC and CongerAlley websites. Just returned from the best Scottish diving I have experienced. We met on a lovely sunny calm morning at Lochaline for an 0930 ropes off on Friday. Several people stayed at the new Morvern Dive Lodge. Ben stayed at the Glencoe Youth Hostel. Geoff at the Ardgour Inn. I drove up through a misty Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. Beautiful drive through Ardgour. Rebel Alliance were Jan (organiser), Howie & Jenny, Matt, Geoff, Doug, Dr S, Ben and I. Malcolm had boat at pier and all gear was on by 0930. Last on was, as usual, Geoff. The shakedown dive was 5 mins away.


John Preston Wall. Last did this in sleet. A lot warmer today. Buddied with Ben for the weekend. Dropped into calm water. Good wall dive with lots of life. Came up over the wall onto the shingly slope at 20m, picking up scallops. Gradually worked our way back till ascended on Ben's DSMB (the pattern for the trip). Missed seeing the wreck this time.

34m max for 40 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz 6 to 10m.


Then a long motor to Muck about 3 hours away. Chatted in the sun - getting slowly burnt - joked, laughed, kipped etc. Geoff gave us the Skye rap loosely based on Dub be good to me by Beats International, and impressions of Churchill (Insurance dog not Winston) and Ken Clark.


Windmills, Muck. Stunning wall dive in bright sunshine. Best viz I have seen in Scotland. These are two walls split by a sand slope just below the windmills on Muck. Forests of jewel and sagartia anemones. Stands of large plumose anemones. Cup corals everywhere. Nudis, Ling, Ballan Wrasse and brightly colored male Cuckoo wrasse. Went across first wall onto sand and over the top of the second wall. Ben enjoyed it so much he delayed ascending till 50 bar.


31m max for 40 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz 15 to 25m.


Final dive of the day was after a drive to Eigg.


The Fences, Eigg. Average dive as rather silty/ plankton filled water. Good color on wall. Any other time this would have been a great dive but after the Windmills felt average.


26m max for 45 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz 3 to 4m.


G&Ts on way back. Toby & Mary run the Port Mor Hotel on Muck. He met us with a trailor on his quad and took our gear to hotel. Short walk to hotel and we picked our own rooms was we were the only guests - I shared with Matt. This is a small comfortable hotel with fantastic homecooked food. Excellent porrige and cooked breakfasts, packed lunches (£5) and three course evening meals. We ate things like, langoustine & squat lobster salad, home made smoked salmon pate, chicken stuffed with black pudding, peppered venison Rhum steaks, Muck lamb in rosemary, Fish pie, Pecan pie, Creme Brulee with homemade shortbread, Lemon & Apple Tart, and Tiramasu.


Next morning woke to a glum Malcolm. Difficult weather conditions as Southerly swell but Nor Easterly winds meant that a lot of our planned dives were out. Drove to pickup Phil who had caught the Small Isles Ferry to Rum from Mallaig as he could not get away for the Friday because of work committments. Headed to Skye. Lovely views of the Cullin Ridge


Suidhe Nan Eun, By Elgol, Skye. An exploratory dive as sheltered. Looked like it might have a 10m wall on the chart. Ben & I found a Kelp Forest then boulders with Kelp and weed finally onto dredged sand. Managed a fair depth and ascended from 27m on Ben's DSMB. Most of the others had managed only 15m. Ben came up saying 'I really enjoyed that'.


27m max for 44 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz 6 to 10m.


Na Coilleach, Soay. This is a reef off Soay. Dropped onto a short wall with stunning color with lots of DMFs and corals but fairly high current. Ben and I went with the flow and had an OK drift over the north side of the reef over a boulderslope. In retrospect we would have been better staying with the wall and fighting the current which Howie & Jenny, Jan & Phil did. They all found their usual clutch of various sea slugs on the wall.


21m max for 45 mins. Temp 11 degrees. viz 6 to 10m.


Howie cleaned scallops from yesterday and Jenny cooked them in Garlic for lunch. Malcolm agreed to head back down to Muck and see if we could dive there. The swell was abating, compared to the morning.


Camas Mor, Muck. This is the bay below Port Mor. Fair swell breaking on the rocks. Fantastic dive. Starts as a boulder and bommie slope with patches of color on the boulders. There is a very narrow wall about 18m for a bit - and you are thinking 'Is This It?. Suddenly the wall opens out and is 30m+ tall with loads of color, cracks and crevices to look into. Heavily covered with jewel and sagartia anemones, DMFs, nudis. A sesnstional dive to end the day. There was a bit of surge but not enough to worry about.


22m max for 50 mis. temp 11 degrees. Viz 10 to 15m. Campari & Sodas on way back home.


Played Muck Has Talent/ Muck In Your Eyes after dinner. Jan & Jenny dressed as Abba/ King Charles 2nd sung Mamma Mia, Matt too drunk to juggle did a brilliant compere and the three cups & ball trick. Phil did a couple of tricks from his £8 magic set. Noone else could turn the cups the right way to make them all bottom down. Sheik Yerbootie (Dr S) and Doug did a mesmerising act to pick the right book out of nine in front of them. Jenny & Howie did a Victoria Wood number - if only she could read the words. Geoff went to bed. Alex read one of McCaig's poems. The star attraction was Ben on the Joanna. Real talent and ended up with a rousing 'Is this the way to Amarillo'. A worthy winner of the first prize. A very useful, white with garish spots 'divebag' - probably £2 from Asda.


Walked up Beinn Airein before breakfast. Plan for today was to go west.


Canna Wall. Ben & I missed it - headed east but just went over ever deepening sand till ran out of no deco time at 33m. Came up on DSMB from 33m. Shit dive. All of others found wall but several racked up a fair bit of deco - Jan & Phil about 20mins. This is the wall for Jewel Anemones according to Jan. Matt came up and said 'this is the best dive of my life'. Looking at the chart, the wall runs North South. The Shot was where this meets a North East turn in the wall. We obviously went over this north east slope rather than find the lip of the wall.


33m for 35 mins. Temp 11 degrees. viz 4 to 6m.


Met a group of paddlers who asked for an up to date forecast. On way back to Muck visited the wreck of the Jack Abrey a ?Spanish Trawler that hit the west side of Rhum in January and met a pod of dolphins and had dolphins playing in the bow wave for 10 mins. Excellent driving by Geoff while Malcolm took some photos.


Godag, Muck. This is a reef a couple of mile off Muck. It is a round reef that just breaks at high water, easily seen at low water, with an adjacent small pinnacle. Malcolm said he would beat Ben & I with bamboo canes if we missed this wall. We didn't. It is a steep often overhanging wall to 40m, then boulderslope. Rather silty ?because of yesterdays swell. Lots of cup corals, jewel anemones, nudis especially on the Kelp. Found a goody bag on the seabed which I gave to Matt.


32m for 50 mins. Temp 13 - yes 13 degrees. Viz 4 to 6m.


Egamol Muck. Last dive of the day. Egamol is a reef beside Horse Island that lies beside Gallanach on Muck. It was a disorientationg dive and Ben and I got split up. It is a dive over big bommies - boulders of 1 to 2m and Kelp. Patches of god color on the boulders. Easy to lose buddy when viz is down. Usually max 20m. Jan says a good dive in good viz and no surge. Both Ben and I poked about and came up independantly.


16m max for 35 mins. Temp back to 11. Viz 3 to 4m.


Last night at the Port Mor. everyone tired. Early night. Plan was an early dive on Windmills on the boat at 6 then back for breakfast, settle up with Toby for drinks and gear down to the Peregrine and off again by 9am. It worked.


Windmils, Muck. I could do a 6am dive like this again. Ben & I followed the same diveplan as before. Lovely color on the first wall. Picked up a few scallops for Matt at the bottom of the wall for depth then gradually ascended first wall, onto sand then over the top of the second wall.


38m for 36 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz had fallen to 3 to 4m.


Malcolm was glum when we got back at 9am saying 'the weather is picking up, Bo Fascadale is out, and lots of shifts and lifts in the wind'. Quick confab and we decided to look at Camas Mor again.


Camas Mor, Muck. Malcolm thought the dive might have more surge than before. Actually it was less. Great dive on this fabulous wall. Ascended on DSMB, swimming out into the blue to keep us away from the wall.


24m for 35 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz 6 to 8m.


Jan and Phil persuaded Malcolm to give Bo Fascadale a look, as the weather did not seem to be getting worse. As we got there, the wind was settling and sea was almost calm. A slightly edgy hour's wait hoping that the wind did not pick up.


Bo Fascadale. Sensational finish to the weekend. Mindfuck dive. Dropped on the shot in Kelp at 10m. Finned east and the edge of the wall fell away. Steep slope to 30m then vertical. Fantastic viz possibly 30m. Fantastic color by the usual DMFs, cup corals, anemones. Gently current to drift you along the wall. The most sensational aspect was occasionally shining the torch down and then wall just kept on going. I can see why Bo Fascadale is said to be one of the best dives in Scotland. So, so lucky.


30m max for 45 mins. Temp 11 degrees. Viz 30m.


Everyone was buzzing. Malcolm took Phil back to Eigg for the ferry, then we steamed back to Lochaline. Tied up, gear off and heading home by 5pm. A fantastic weekend's dving with a great bunch, in awesome scenery, with a skipper who does his best to get you good diving, whatever the weather. Excellent.


Alex
 

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Big report:)
Needs photos;)

I really should get up to Scotland (other than Scapa) as some of the diving sounds blinding:)
 

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Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
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Sounds like a brilliant trip, Alex.

Big report:)
Needs photos;)

I really should get up to Scotland (other than Scapa) as some of the diving sounds blinding:)
I can drive 2.5hrs to get to Anglesey or the east coast or 4hrs to get to Scotland. Guess where a tight sod like me does most of my diving :D I think it's sad that the Clyde, Scapa & SoM gets most of the diving focus as it's probably the least interesting. I'd certainly rather have a week out of Eyemouth than a week in the Flow.

Anyway, I digress from Alex's report. The Small Isles are a lovely part of the world that I'd love to return to.
 

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The King Of The Divan
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I think it's sad that the Clyde, Scapa & SoM gets most of the diving focus as it's probably the least interesting.
I know what you are saying but just be glad it is like that. The great thing about that part of the world is its isolation and the beauty of Muck Rhum Eigg and Oigh Sgeir & Canna above water.

It would be a nightmare if it got like Scapa with divers everywhere. Rule Number 3 always applies.

Snash

PS - Rule Number 3 = the divers in the other boat are always nobbers
 

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North Of The Border
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Whats rule 1 & 2, and what does it go upto? Should this be another thread, is it already??
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, great right up; some classic dive sites there.

The Rebel Alliance - is that a Star Trek allusion?

Snash
Star Wars allusion - A group of Edinburgh divers that decided to organise their own trips, rather than go with their local dive centre,

alex
 

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Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
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I've sailed around these islands many times but this is the first time I've dived them. I'll definitely go back. Top diving,

alex
I haven't dived them but I've been up there a few times, I'd love to go back after reading the report. I was up there with work a few years ago when they were doing a feasibility study on building a causeway to connect them, one of the most heartbreaking jobs I've ever worked on. It would have been an absolute crime if they'd gone through with it.
 

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Which islands was the causeway for? None of them are that close and the water isn't that shallow that I would have thought a causeway even remotely viable even in a populated area!
 

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No chance of a causeway being built regardless - it isn't Edinburgh.

No-one knows how far the rules go, the only thing that can said with certainty is that there is NO rule 6.
 
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