Arriving in Anstruther at about 08:15 Dave, Callum, and I met up with Andrew and Gordon and loaded all of our gear onto the Mako in time for the 09:00 ropes off. Including another couple of divers there were only 7 of us on the boat in total so there was plenty of space for all of our different kit arrangements (some more different than others).
We had all been keeping an eye on the forecast which was looking very promising and it was not wrong, conditions were perfect for going further off shore. With only light cloud and hardly a swell to speak of we were on our way to the wreck of the SS Ugie. The wreck is a 13nm trip out from Anstruther and apparently sits intact and upright on a sandy bottom in 30m.
Once on site and the shot was dropped onto the wreck it was evident that there was still too much current running so we waited about 30mins for it to ease off before going in. Unfortunately due to a number of issues topped off by a malfunctioning computer, Gordon and I had to abort our dive so we didn’t get to see the wreck. The others on the other hand had an enjoyable dive in decent vis, managing to go around the whole wreck a couple of times and reported loads of life including numerous large lobsters.
Following the disappointment of missing out on the wreck (helped out by everyone’s reports of their “best dive ever”) Gordon and I were soon in a better mood once informed that due to the great conditions we were going to head out to the Bell Rock for the second dive.
A further 4nm out from the wreck of the Ugie , the 35m high lighthouse marks the notorious Bell Rock which has claimed many ships over the centuries.
When we arrived conditions were still calm, with just small breakers coming over the top of the rocks.
Once briefed on the dive, which was to be a drift heading south, all of the same buddy pairings were dropped in again. Gordon and I descended down into 12m and quickly started hunting around for nudibranchs and other subjects to photograph, occasionally going with the drift over the rocky gullies. There was plenty to keep us occupied on the dive with the rocky reefs covered in soft corals (dead man’s fingers), dahlia anemones, common sunstars, common urchins, and of course loads of nudibranchs (at least 4 different species were spotted). After 40mins it was time ascend so I sent up my DSMB and up we went. Good dives were reported by the others as well, some even spotting an old cannon amongst the scattered wreckage.
I think everyone would agree it was a great day out and certainly worth while going the extra distance to dive the Bell Rock.