On a wet Friday morning, a group of divers from DSAC and SAUSAC met at Ancrum Activity Centre to load up the club trailer. Once the club compressor and cylinders were loaded up, the group headed off. After the obligatory stop at the Green Welly for bacon rolls and coffee, the group met up at Puffin Dive Centre, Oban, for some diving.
After a site briefing and dive buddy pairing were completed, everyone got into their dry suits as the rain continued to batter down. The first wave of divers entered down Puffins slip into the waters around the bay. The usual species of crabs, starfish, sea anemones and fish were all seen. After a surface interval dive number two was underway for another bimble about the bay. This time a sea snail was seen out for a walk and a crab having some lunch.
With a couple of dives under everyone’s belts we headed off to Tralee Bay Caravan site for our accommodation for the weekend. Having stayed here previously in the summer, a warm shower and dinner was the order of the evening, along with a couple of beers.
The club boat was brought up the previous evening and was stored at the slip overnight. The weather was blustery and still wet, but we were able to launch the boat for the 10-minute drive out to the Breda. Unfortunately, on arrival at the dive site the marker buoy was missing. An attempt to find the Breda failed and the winds and waves were picking up, so it was agreed to head back to shore. Lunch was definitely required to reassess the days diving.
After discussions regarding the weather, it was decided to pack the dive kit into the trailer and drive around to Queenie Reef / 13 steps for an afternoon dive. On arrival the rain slowed and, with the water calm, all the divers kitted up and went in search of the reef. The reef was found by most divers, where they found lots of fish, starfish and sea squirts. A couple of lucky divers even managed to spot a cuttlefish.
While the divers were in the water, the club compressor was started up and the empty cylinders filled up. This ensured that a trip back to Puffin was not required and allowed a second dive to take place.
The weather was improving to only heavy, sporadic showers and the divers agreed to try and dive the Breda again. On arrival at the slip we could see two other ribs at the site of the Breda and felt confident that we could find the wreck. Brian and Alistair dropped off the boat, found the wreck after a couple of minutes and managed to tie off a marker buoy for the rest of the divers. Once again, the visibility on the Breda was fine, and everyone enjoyed their dive on this magnificent wreck.
After recovering the club boat, we made the long trip home via Food to Go for fish and chips. Everyone talked about the weekends experiences and the need to do more trips away. The club boat has had some recent repairs and service and is now working well. More boat trips will follow in the future, with 3 new coxswains in the club.
Thanks to Brian for towing the club boat, Jan for towing the trailer and Torsten for organising the accommodation and the diving.
To the next time….