Typical...a decent spell of weather and the East Coast is blown out, we had made plans to take Rich Osborn out on his first ever Scottish Dive but as the East Coast was blown out it meant going West, we needed a site with good access to the water for Rich and his chair so it had to be the Old Pier at St Catherines, South side of Loch Fyne .
Ally and Debbie were heading back from their Caravan so arranged to meet up with us about 12:30 Sunday at the Pier. Saturday had been lovely and Sunny, but Sunday was a bit overcast and dull, further west we headed the worse it got, crossing the 'Rest and be Thankful' it was headlights and full speed wipers, luckily dropping down the other side it began to clear and the time we got to St Catherines it was dry and bright.
Ally and Rich sorting out Trim
After sorting Rich's kit and weights we got into the water (which was very mucky) and headed West along the slope, the water on the surface was warm so i didnt bother with gloves, we swam out to about 3m depth and dropped down, vis out from the Pier wasnt bad and as we dropped deeper it got real murky at 5m it was fine, at 6m it was like being in a cloud.
Rich on his First ever Scottish Dive
Rich was doing well with his webbed gloves with Ally and Debbie assisting when needed...I was convinced we were in fresh water so I left the 3 of them swimming along and dropped down deeper, once i hit 8m the vis improved drastically but it got really cold....you could really feel the difference...Bugger..wish I had wore my gloves...
Rich and Debbie in the Halocline
Rich, Ally and Debbie dropped down and we swam along at about 9-10 metres, not a lot of fish life...just usual squatties, sea squirts and large Spiny Starfish, which impressed Rich, after about 25mins as we were about to turn around I spotted a Nice Dogfish lying on the seabed sleeping, after stroking it and picking it up a couple of times it woke up and decided to a have a bite of my hand so i dropped it quickly...
Turning the Dive we arrived back in the weed in the shallows and surfaced to find it a bit choppy and raining.
Rich in the weeds
Not the best site to introduce Rich to Scottish Diving but he was happy to get in and get wet...we found a few things to change with his kit..and ditching ankle weights is the main thing...he did really well swimming for 50 minutes with only his arms for propulsion...impressive....Rich is a PADI Instructor and now all we need to do is get him signed up with BSAC and a member of SQSAC ....
From L-R Ally Macgregor, Rich Osborn, Stevie Adams, Debbie Macgregor