Diary

Nunkie goes to Oban and gets some scrap

You wouldn't believe it, he goes to Oban to do some 'scienic $hite' and first dip drags up a large copper tank!

In his own words, or at least translated to something legible here we go!

The tides in Oban this weekend are tiny, 0.7m so it is a chance to try for some photos on the walls that surround the Falls of Lora, a site famed for raging currents and some spectacular filter feeders covering the same walls. The plan by Shane and the team at Dive Oban and Argyll was simple enough, two dips on this site on saturday, one on sunday and then another local dip. So in summary a nice steady weekend with the chance of a few edibles on the last dip.

The first dive was on the flood, so there was water heading 'into' Loch Etive, drop off was on the Loch Etive side of the bridge just by the steps and the plan was to bimble, photograph, throw up a DSMB and then get out, what could be easier?

It was just about slack when we got in and after some minor buggeration to allow my buddy to get squared up with his weighting off we went, buddies, the thing is that the three of us usualy dive solo and where possible don't dive with buddies (just someone to watch you die) but Jim seemed to know what he was all about so off we went and that was the case, during the dive I could see his torch beam pretty much all of the time and probably only communicated near the end of the dive.

We slowly worked down to the bottom of the site, which was twenty seven meters and comprised of large stones and boulders before encountering some current that pushed us further into the Loch, nothing raging just the strong steady push that is just too strong to fight against so you just dump your air from the suit and go with it.

The rocks were smothered with life and I managed a few shots and I think that Jim got some video footage including one expanse of flat rock where a huge number of green shore crabs were squabbling and fighting, I guess that this is the norm for these critters but it was amusing to see them dashing about with claws raised!

Being early in the season the only fish were 'small ones' and if you didn't look carefully you will have missed the butterfish and tiny short spined scorpion fish on the rock face waiting for a meal, no sign yet of the large number of pollack and coalfish which appear on this site in the warmer weather.

We were probably coming up to half an hour in the water and on a slow slope comprising of mixed sand and fist size cobbles in between ridges on the hard rock bottom and there were signs of human presence, odd bits of broken bottle, Jim picked up and dumped what looked like a spirits half bottle that was vovered in worm casts, I guess no markings and there is no interest when I spotted that glint of green and found a solidly built little copper tank as shown in the photograph that himself has nailed into the article, mainly because he thinks there wont be enough good shots for an album! 

 

The good news was that it fitted inside a standard green mesh booty bag and even better I had packed a self inflating DSMB, one of lifes little luxuries, unfortunately the wee crack cylinder gave a fart and about 20cm of the blob inflated.......great stuff!

We were only in about 6m of water so I took the easy way out, signalled to Jim that I had 'shiny stuff' and was intending to attempt an exit whilst carrying camera.....copper box.....part inflated DSMB, it is great if you don't weaken! Anyway on getting to the surface and putting air everywhere it could go and lots of places that it shouldn't it seemed an absolute age before the RIB pootled alongside, the bag was handed up first with much cursing before the camera and then I clambered up the spine ladder and collapsed on the deck, after what was actually a very interesting and productive dive.

This afternoon we are out again and who knows, there is wreckage that Shane is 'keen' to put me in on and it includes a large prop, I have never tried lifting a big prop from such tidal waters but who knows and if it is non-ferrous then it will need some serious input from the Ancient Diver!

Dive safe

RichW and Nunkie

Weight this dive - 13.3kg (UPDATED, HEAVIER THAN I GUESSED)

Weight this year - 49.5 kg

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