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This is also posted on the congeralley website

Trip was organised through Conger Alley by Chris. Left Dunbar at 10am on Pegasus, the new hardboat owned by Dive Safari. There had been a major spill of sewage over the weekend in the Firth of Forth from Seafield sewage works. Brian (skipper) did not seem too bothered as the Isle off May used to be a dumping ground for 'The Gardyloo' and it didn't affect the diving then.

Weather was calm and sunny. No swell to speak of. Took one hour to get to the Isle of May.

The first divesite is the wreck of the SS Island. Brian described it as a bowl of rocks with occasional wreckage and ships boilers in 8 to 15m. Buddied with Fran from CUSAC and went in as a foursome with Stewart and Chris. Landed in 13m. Finned slowly towards the shore. Topography was flat sheets of rock with occasional gullies or ridges. Towards the shore the rockfaces steepened forming walls 3 to 4 m high. Shallower walls covered in kelp. Some of the faces covered in dead mans fingers. Everywhere seaurchins, small crabs and occasional starfish. Only fish we saw were 2 pipefish and Fran also saw some large nudibranch. We did not see the boilers but saw bits of wreckage mostly rusting metal girders and curved perforated sheets in the gullies. Lots of ambient light. Gentle if unexciting divesite. Going deeper than 15m led to a brittlestar carpet so we stayed at less than 15m for most of the dive. Came up on DSMB and from there to the hoist on the back of the Pegasus. Chris found and retrieved an old weightbelt with loads of lead using his DSMB line to pull it up from the boat. 17m max for 43 mins.

Sat and chatted for half an hour and had sandwiches before Brian started off for the Bass Rock. En route saw lots of Puffins in the water and went past a huge seal colony on the south side of the island. Took about 40 minutes to the Bass Rock. Fran drove most of the way.

The second dive site was a gentle drift on the North wall of Bass Rock. Again went in as a four but quickly split up. This was a fantastic dive. Brian described it as wall to 12m then a ledge, then wall to 25m then a boulderslope to 46m. We kept the wall on our LHS and drifted past a wall covered in dead mans fingers at 14m. The wall began to peter out so we followed the brittlestar covered ledge straight out onto the next wall which was covered in DMFs and which fell away into the dark. Again very scenic and easy drift. Started up across a boulderfield with lots of crabs and at least 6/8 lobsters. No fish again. Finally, we gradually worked our way to the kelp surface again on the DSMB. Pickup this time was more complicated as Brian had to continually circle round as the current took him off station when the engine was off. 23m max for 45 mins (I think Fran got to 28m on the second wall).

The weather stayed sunny and there was no swell despite the current.

All in all a great days diving. No mishaps and plenty fun. Pegasus is a good diveboat. The divedeck is a little cramped for 12 but easily doable. However, warm wheelhouse and cubby below for storing kit, continual tea and coffee, endless Twix fingers, a toilet and diver hoist, plus knowledgeable skipper made it a good choice. We were back at Dunbar by 3.40pm

Well done Chris for organising the trip. Please put me down for the next one.

alex
 

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Bloody Fran's been chomping at the bit to drive a boat since she got her RYA Sports boat last year sometime!

Glad somebody eventually let her have a shot.

Nice wee report & glad you didn't encounter any jobbies at sea.

Davie.
 

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I am a person NOT a number
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I dived the Isle of May at the end of January and I must admit I was extremley disapointed at the lack of marine creatures and all I saw was long kelp forests. Though we were there for a weekend dive I only done two on the saturday and didnt feel any urge to dive again on the sunday for that reason and that the swells got bigger and I didnt fancy the crossing from Anstruthers as I hadnt quite recovered from the battering the day before.

Dive 1 Dive 2
Depth 26 metres Depth 15 metres
Viz 4/5 metres Viz 3/5
Dive time 30 minutes Dive Time 40 mins
Water Temp 7 degrees Water Temp 7 degrees
 

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Armchair diver and slummy mummy
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Sounds like you had a great day, and the sewage outspill hasn't affected the water too much.

Glad to hear that Gary's got his new boat in the water. Have been on his old rhib many times (used to live in Edinburgh). Sounds good that they've got hot drinks and a toilet as the Isle of May takes a while by rhib!!

Josie
 
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