We had originally planned to head over to Loch Leven for a dive on this Saturday but when we noticed that the local charter Shadow Marine was advertising spaces to dive the Bass Rock and Isle of May our plans changed. It seemed like a good chance to dive the Bass rock and try out a new local charter, the 13:00 launch time was pretty enticing too!
Alistair, Ken, Callum, and I arrived in Anstruther with plenty of time to load our gear onto the boat and soon enough we were all on the Mako on our way to the Bass Rock, it was only us and 2 other divers on the boat so there was plenty of room for everyone.
After about an hour we arrived at the impressive Bass Rock with its covering of gannets, there was a substantial swell coming down from the north which meant we had to dive the south west side. This was to be a drift dive, entering near the landing point then following the reef and drift west. As soon as we entered the water it was clear the visibility was not going to be good, but we all carried on regardless. Alistair and I dropped down over kelp then a small rocky reef covered in dead man’s fingers, after passing over this we found ourselves drifting over a pretty featureless shell/shingle bottom at about 17m, there was still a fair bit of life to be found though with burrowing anemones and sandmason worms dotted about the sea floor. There were also frequent clumps of hydroids around each with a covering of nudibranch eggs, sadly those responsible were not to be found. After 40 minutes and the visibility decreasing further we decided to surface. Perhaps not the best dive to be had at the Bass Rock but I’m sure in better conditions there are some great dives here.
Once everyone was back on board and warmed up thanks to the supplied hot drinks we were heading towards the Isle of May. The first few miles were interesting, with the swell coming from the north now at about 2 meters in height (someone was looking a bit green but I won’t mention any names) but this soon decreased as we got closer to the Isle of May and the shelter provided by the land to the north.
Our target for the second dive was the wreckage of the Anlaby which is situated just off the Alterstanes landing on the west of the island. After dropping down to the rocky slope Alistair and I headed south at about 14m expecting to come across the wreckage but we had somehow missed it, however with better visibility this time (maybe 4-5m) we still had an enjoyable dive spotting a number of common lobsters, edible crabs, spiny squat lobsters, and the usual abundance of common sea urchins. Callum and Ken had better luck locating the wreck and had a good dive exploring the broken wreckage. Luckily Billy the bull seal wasn’t around to continue his “attack” on Ken!
The large swell was completely absent in this part of the Forth and it was a quick motor back to Anstruther. Overall it was a nice day’s diving and great to try out a new local charter, I’m sure we will be back.