Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Lochaline/Sound of Mull expedition.

Waves Shape

A fine expedition to herald the start of the diving season gathered on Friday the 15th at Lochaline with an eclectic mix of diving buccaneers. Divers from the Burghead club were joined by like minded souls from Inverness, Glasgow and London. We enjoyed a few drinks together in the social club on Friday evening and got to know each other better, before diving began on Saturday.

With just short of 2 dozen divers, 2 boats were required, ably skippered by Malcolm on the Peregrine and Bodie on the Brendan. Peregrine headed south to the Breda, a steamship bombed by German planes in December 1940. Owned by Royal Netherlands Steamship Company, she contained Hawker bi-planes, tiger moths, concrete and horses owned by the Aga Khan. Thankfully the crew and horses all got ashore and the wreck was salvaged in the 60’s and 70’s. Visibility was around 5 meters, enough to take in the truck parts still on deck and the winches and bollards of the ship. Not a lot of life, as it’s still early in the year.

Brendan handed north up the sound and scenic dives were undertaken near Auliston Point off Morvern and at Calve Island off Tobermory.

In the afternoon, Peregrine dropped it’s divers on the Shuna, a 3 cylinder triple expansion steamship. The coal carrying steamer sank in 1934 when it broke away from it,’s mooring. The visibility was a bit murky but most got round the wreck and we returned to Lochaline as wind and wave picked up and dreich rain bands came in.
Evening made up for the poor weather however, with a substantial feed of lasagne/shepherd’s pie/pizza/cheesecake/sticky toffee/apple crumble laid on by the social club. Can I extend our thanks to all who helped with the food. It was an excellent accompaniment to the 6 nations rugby which coincided with the big feast.

Sunday saw us leaving Lochaline at 8am with both boats heading towards the iconic Hispania. A Swedish owned Belgian built steamship, the 1323 tonner hit a rock and sank in December 1954. 20 crew were saved but the skipper, Ivan Dahn went down with his ship. Approaching the wreck another dive boat was also in attendance and by the time we all got onto it, things were pretty busy with divers dodging around one another. Always enjoyable to get on this attractive wreck whilst on this occasion no one to my knowledge heard the eerie voice of the captain! Plenty of schooling Pollock added some colour to the dive.

Final dive of the day for the Brendan was on the Rondo, the 2362 ton steamship which went down in a storm in January 1935. A couple of intrepid divers (Alan and Kenny) broke off early from the wreck to go and get some scallops in the nearby bay. A few of us enjoyed these that night for dinner in the old fire station accommodation.

Peregrine concluded with a dive on the John Preston wall near Lochaline which everyone seemed to enjoy. A tiered descent allows you to pick your depth easily on this one with some divers getting their maximum depth to date.
To conclude, pleasant diving, if not brilliant viz, but more than made up for by the excellent company of divers and support of the skippers and social club personnel.

Looking forward to seeing you all again next year at Lochaline or at a different dive site in the near future.

Alan W.

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