Trip report and photos from Vesta.
After a 6 hour trek to the Scottish wilderness, boats launched at Largs Marina (award winning don’t you know) and checking in at our glorious accommodation all groups descended upon house Zion for dive planning and briefing.
Ken, Pete, Mike and I ran away to the pub whilst all of the advanced diver trainees and advanced diver instructor trainees et all settled in to a 2 hour dive brief/planning session.
First days diving – Friday – gentle dives to settle us in. The Lady Isabella (max depth 15m) an iron barque followed by a scenic dive at the 12ft pinnacle. Both areas involved lots of star fish (pincushion, spine, sunstar and some others) a few fish and dead mans fingers.
Team ECSAC met back at the Zion digs for a briefing and planning session for Saturday whilst Mark, Vesta and Mike got to cooking tea.
Saturday started earlier with the promise of a deep dive at the SS Beagle on the north west coast of Cumbrae. 35m depth, standing upright it was a ship full of life covered in dead men’s fingers, nudibranch, plumose anenome and a few fish and shrimp.
We dived in to waves and had an interesting end when one of our extra divers had a free flow at 35m and managed to make it back with 50 bar. Oxygen was provided and the diver was fine.
The wind started to pick up and we headed back to shore. At this point the numbers halved with those fancying warmth and showers leaving the remaining crazy divers to a scenic second dive including squat lobster and hermit crabs etc.
Back to the digs for a relaxing evening (at the pub) and some more dive planning for tomorrow.
Day 3 and after a blustery night and lots of curry some of us awoke fresh faced for a dive. Wind was howling through and Fred decided on a dive site that was more sheltered off little Cumbrae. Scenic dive with depths of 10-30m. After the rough journey out the wind settled and it was a smoother journey back. Boats recovered and the journey back began.
Lots of lessons were learned for the planners and lots of different kit sets ups for people to look at so it was a good weekend.
You can see the challenging conditions in this video of the ride back…