Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Skye 2007

Wave Shape

A diving holiday on Skye organised by Kevan Judge of the Pennine Orca Club, who could say no. David, Lee and I travelled up to Inveraray the day before with the aim of breaking the journey (596miles) and getting Lee to experience the dark waters of Loch Fyne especially Stallion Rock. We broke the journey and stayed in a luxury hotel at a special David negotiated rate (refreshingly low). Then around 6pm the following evening we arrived at our destination, Stein, having had a brief stop for lunch and towels in Fort William.

One could tell immediately that one was going to enjoy the next six days. It could have been the view across the loch some 50 metres away, it could have been the colour of the loch water, it could have been the weather. Well maybe, but what really gave it away, in the kitchen, were the tins of beer, the stacks boxes and bottles of red and white wine and the ingredients for most of the cocktails know to man /woman-kind. Then, the invitation from those who had already arrived to get to the pub as soon as possible and the information that we would meet the skipper Gordon MacKay at the dive centre at leisurely 9am to find out the plan for the day. The members Pennine club we joined were: Kevan, Mark, Penny, Maureen, Karen, Roz & Ted, Sara & John.

Each day we set off soon after 9am and made our way over to Struan, 15 miles away, to join the boat. We did 10 dives in all. The weather and sea conditions couldn’t have been better. We didn’t overheat. Most of us didn’t get cold; well those of us who wore dry-suits didn’t, and we didn’t get sea sick. The visibility seemed to be around 20m the whole of the time enabling us to see amazing seascapes and shoals of fish normally out of sight. The seascapes were tremendous and had enough sea life to satisfy us all, even the photographers. The second dive was phenomenal in that respect. There wasn’t a sqaure inch of surface that didn’t have something living on it. The boat itself was ideal but experienced a few engine problems during the week which included a squashed fuel filter, a blocked fuel system, running out of calor gas for tea making (that was serious), a defective starter motor and a fire. Despite the problems we only lost one day and that was a wet one. The dives locations were:

17/06/07: 1. Flossnan. 2.Andubsgeir (The Black Rock).
18/06/07: 3. Wiay Island. 4. Macleod’s Maidens.
19/06/07: 5. An Dubh Sgeir. 6. Macleod’s Maidens
21/06/07: 7. Rubh Nan Clach North. 8. Wiay Island East.
22/06/07: 9. Rubh Nan Clach South. 10. Rugh Garabh

Regarding the non-diving part of the holiday. There was a lot of moving from one bed to another, from one room to another after the first night. Nothing to do with sex I hasten to add, more to do with getting a quiet night’s sleep. The meals were of exceptionally high quality. Naturally we went to the pub several times for meals, but mention must be made of the high standard of the self catering. Penny’s lunches, Maureen’s, Kevan’s, Roz’s & Ted’s and Lee’s evening meals and Maureen’s delicious cocktails which packed a good punch. Long walks were achieved by those going to see the sunset and get a decent signal for the phone home.

Then it was over. As we came in from our last dive the heavens opened. We had just got the last of the good weather. We threw our kit into the 4×4, made our farewells (a tearful experience) and were off. So there was no final photograph showing the smiling midge-pocked faces.The Pennine group stayed the extra night. We stayed that night in a B&B in Ballachulish just outside of Fort William and completed the journey home the following day. Many thanks to Kevan, Gordon MacKay and the Pennine Orca Club for such a memorable holiday, and Lee for getting us there and back safely.

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