The club’s annual Findochty weekend saw the club descend en masse on the fishing village for two days of great diving, wonderful company and good food. Over the two days, we had 19 divers out, together with families, friends and assorted dogs.
After setting up camp, it was time for us all to enjoy an al fresco fish supper, courtesy of Portknockie’s finest chippy. To aid digestion, an impromptu game of rounders followed, which ended inconclusively when dolphins were spotted just off shore. A nice way to start the weekend.
Careful planning had ensured that the weekend coincided with some of the biggest spring tides of the year. Great if it’s high water when you’re loading the RHIB, not so good at low water when Findochty Harbour turns into a mud flat. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Wave 1, the boat was moved into slightly deeper water, dive equipment loaded and then it was off to the first dive site, a small wreck sitting at 12m off Portgordon. One of the crew thought it would be a good idea to set up a search and recovery exercise for Wave 2 by dropping her weight belt. Unfortunately that meant she wasn’t able to dive the wreck, which was a real shame as the wreck is very pretty with lots of life on it. Then it was Wave 2’s turn. After a clear briefing from the cox (“the shot is 20m off the wreck, so head due east and you’ll find her”), one group decided West is Best and perhaps unsurprisingly never found the wreck. Thanks to paying careful attention to the dive briefing and some fine navigation, the other pairs not only found the wreck, but successfully returned to the shot. To top it off, the wayward weight belt was found, so everyone was good to go for dive two.
The second dive, a gentle drift on rough ground full of lobsters off Findochty at 14m, was a nice way to finish the day’s diving.
Equipment stowed and boat secured, a quick shower, and then it was off to the Admirals Inn for dinner. A good meal, good company, capped off by the draw for the bottle of 15 year old Glenlivet donated to the club by Chivas Bros. Congratulations to the lucky winner, who then generously shared his win with the rest of us. One less thing to worry about packing!
Sunday morning saw the tents packed away, and then it was off to Cullen for the day’s diving on Capel Rock which was, as always, teeming with life. The highlight had to be the angler fish that was found by divers in Wave 2, but it was also good to see ling and an enormous conger eel tucked away in convenient crevices on the Rock. Divers also freed two ballan wrasse, together with lobsters and crabs that were trapped in a lost creel – well done guys!
So, all in all, a brilliant weekend away. The weather was kind to us, the diving was great, but as always it was the company that made it.
Finally, some thank yous: