St Kilda/Outliers - 19th - 26th June 2021
We met at Uig, Isle of Skye, to transfer our kit onto The Clasina, our dive boat for the week.
Once everything was stowed, set up and checked we had a boat brief from skipper Bob Anderson along with a quiche and cake prepared by Ben who oversaw the galley. Theresa was back from Antarctica and a welcome sight on deck.
We ate out at The Galley Seafood Café on Saturday and the following Friday evening.
Our dives started with a shake down dive on The Ascrib Islands and the wreck of The Stassi. Over the week we dive a variety of sites on The Outliers. The main under water features of Harris, Lewis and Scalpay were short walls with ledges and crevices, boulder slopes interspersed with sand, sea lochs with rocky slopes, boulders and fine sand. The drift dive under Scalpay bridge was particularly colourful as it was plastered with Deadmens Fingers.
We managed the seven-and-a-half-hour steam to St Kilda where we dived 2 sites on Boreray Rhuba Bhengadal and then Sgarbhatac North Wall, a high energy site with swell and surge a challenge. Both were covered with Elegant Anemones and the viz was around 20m.
Best finds over the twelve dives were crayfish, octopus, squid, seals, scorpion fish, a Barndoor Skate, several species of nudibranchs, ling and shoals of sand eels. The kelp line was around 18m, water temperature a cold 10C. The short walls and boulders were home to Squat lobsters, Long clawed lobster, Velvet swimmers, leopard Spotted gobies, a wide variety of star fish, Gold Sinny, Ballan and Cuckoo Wrasse, large lobster and edible Crabs. The water temperature was 10c and viz 7-10m.c Colour was provided by Deadmens Fingers Plumose and Jewel anemones, Football, Light Bulb, Yellow Ringed and Red Sea squirts, Northern Sea fan, a wide variety of hydroids, pink algae, Boring, Elephant and encrusting red and orange sponges.
A welcome return to diving in Scotland. Thanks to buddies Ken, Tim, Loz, Alison, Dave, Steve W, Steve M, Clive Mark and Anna.
Pat & Phil