frosty jetty sunrise on snow

Largs, 6th-7th December 2008

Super weekend with all three York clubs represented and everyone Dive Leader+ so the deepere wrecks were within reach. After all the recent snow and gales we thought it would be off, but NO, the skipper said the weather would be great and she was right! After a lot of packing and a long drive, we arrivede late on Friday night (but not too late for the pub). On Saturday the sun had just risen as we loaded up the boat, walking over frosty pontoons and very pleased ot see a kettle boiling when we arrived :-).

The water was like glass and the sun shone on the snowy hills all around as we motored up Loch Striven to dive the MTB 303, a little mahogany hulled torpedo boat sitting in 43m of water. It proved to be covered in very pretty tube worms and plenty of fish.

The skipper laid on hot, homemade vegetable soup for lunch and we decided on the Akka for the afternoon.

My decision for an early dinner was vindicated, as we were done for 4pm and very hungry by 5:30pm. Fortunately the Lounge did good grub.

Sunday also dawned fine and mostly clear, although it was forecast to blow up later. We dived the Kintyre, which is very handily located about 10minutes from Kip marina. A narrow and elegant steamship, the wreck lies on a slope from 33 down to 48m and is well covered in interesting marine life, with a healthy population of brown crabs and huge squat lobsters and langoustines, I was lucky enough to see a conger lurking under the stern (a few %He helps the fish spotting at 50m). An old pipe sloping up inshore provides plenty more sea life to observe while decompressing, another little bonus on a lovely dive.

The greenock rounded off the weekend, with an early finish so the drive home wasn't bad either.

Winter diving at its best, perfect weather and an excellent alternative to sitting in a dark room at the Diving Officer's Conference (DOC).

Iain C.

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