What a great run up to Scotland in the evening sunshine. Andy and I enjoyed a quick refuel at Washington services dining on Greggs finest (you can’t beat their cheese and onion pasty!). Tim and Liz traveled up in the scuba truck and had a great shout-out from Radio 2 again (sorry guys we missed it, probably having our Greggs stop at the time).
We arrived in good time at the caravan park to find Sheelagh and the Peppers were already installed in our spacious and luxurious static caravans. It’s a fabulous site, well-kept and has a great view of the sea and Bass Rock (which we gazed upon whilst sipping our chilled beer and posh snacks).
The rest of the crew arrived throughout the evening. They were clearly envious of our supplies as Phil & Neil decided on a late night supermarket dash, unfortunately locking out their fellow van-mates!
We woke to clear skies and zero wind and set off down to Dunbar harbour in shorts & tee’s (no one donned their thermals until the last minute).
It was all aboard the Pegasus with Gary our skipper and after a quick safety briefing we were cruising in the sun to the Isle of May.
We had 2 fabulous dives in great weather, which was just as well given that Tim was down to his boxers for the surface interval due to a freak zip opening incident by his yellow box of death.
If naked Tim wasn’t enough entertainment we also witnessed a new BSAC speciality called “Rib refilling”. This seemed to thrill Tim when he spotted his old mate Graham at the helm (coining the phrase “Better Send Another Can”).
Back on shore and after a quick turnaround (and thermal tumble dry) we head into North Berwick for beers and Curry (One of our best curries to date at the Tiger Coast). Suitably fed and watered we wandered back to the site via a beautiful (if not very dark) coastal route ending with a quick dash across the Golf Course (no trespassing laws broken – I think).
We woke to a massive deluge of rain which was washing off a month’s worth of land debris. It was so wet Sheelagh, Andy & I climbed into and zipped up our dry suits before leaving the caravan (first time I’ve driven in that shrink-wrapped state).
We headed out to Bass Rock and despite the rain and lumpy sea we were filled with hope for a great dive. As we arrived at the rock, OMG it was like a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, there were rivers of chocolate coloured water running off the rock and turning the sea brown (just to be clear we’re talking about a month’s worth of Gannet poo washing into the water).
We stayed close and drop down to 14 metres holding hands like kids on a school trip (that brown stuff went a long way down). It was touch and go if we were to bin the dive but just a short swim down to 20 meters revealed much clearer water and a sea bed teaming with life. We saw Plume Anemones, Butterfish, Edible/Velvet/Hermit crabs, Squat Lobster, possibly Red Mullet (it was red and not Sea Bass) and the biggest Lobster I have ever seen (it would have had your arm off without any problems).
When we surfaced, it was as if we had planned a synchronised event. There were DSMB all over the place (Tim got hit by not one but two of them and was saved by his good lady wife). After bobbing around in a 5ft swell then a bit of diver lift fun and wobbly stowing of kit we were all safely aboard. The sea conditions and the rain were pretty grim by now so we called it a day.
It was a great weekend’s diving and a brilliant social. Thanks to Gary and Conny at Dive Safari and to all who came along and made it such a fab event.