Marvellous, but Murky Mull!

6-7th April 2019 By Nic Faulks

Easter was late this year, so we managed to fit in a Mull trip before the Easter break. The trip was organised by Dave Taylor and ran like clockwork. We stayed in the Morvern Dive Lodge which as ever was very comfortable. Dave had also arranged for us to be catered for too, which was a really nice change for us Tynesiders. Members normally have to put up with me or Tiago cooking!

Dave lighting the fire.

We all collected in the accommodation on the Friday night, so heading to the pub, others reading books and enjoying trying to light the fire. It had almost stopped raining…. The morning dawned a bit damp and grey, but hey ho, this is Scotland. We met at the pier and loaded on to the boat: Peregrine run by Lochaline Dive Charters.  

First dive was on the Shuna, which was a bit dark and murky. But as always it is a wreck that is covered with life. We found the stern with the huge rudder and propellers, but with so much “stuff” in the water it wasn’t really possible to take any photos, which was a shame. Everyone had a bit of a discovery dive, not quite knowing where you were till you hit it! Since the wreck was so dark, I used the opportunity to use my new UV lights and have a funky dive looking at the interesting luminescent colours of the anemones and other critters.

Funky Devonshire cup coral.

After a bit of a surface interval, waiting for slack on the Hispania, we all jumped into a bit of a surface current. This slackened off a bit at the bottom but was flowing the opposite direction to what we anticipated. Everyone managed a long and good dive on this wreck, always a favourite. It is starting to tilt now and is showing signs of its age. The friendly wrasse was again at the bow, following me and Si Fish around. We went inside the holds and swam almost the length of the ship, only popping out at the end and wondering where everyone had gone. Seems the current had markedly sped up while we were inside… So we let the current drift us down back on to the shot, which was easy to find thanks to Si Fish’s super strobe!

Happy divers on their surface interval.

After some discussion a third dive was undertaken by some on board, a scenic dive in one of the bays on the way back to Lochaline. There was so much to see, loads of life including nudibranchs and scallops. Dave Lindsey must have been enjoying himself as he was down for well over an hour and came up with a huge grin on his face!

I am sure that was white before the UV treatment!

Once we had unloaded rebreather heads, we headed up to the house (all other kit tends to stay on the boat. Supper was cooked and served for us and involved copious amounts of spaghetti bolognaise followed by cake and ice cream, which made for lots of happy divers.

Group shot after a lovely evening meal.

Sunday dawned, cloudy but with potential for the rain to actually stop! So, we headed down to the Breada, a wreck often known for its poor visibility. But it is in a sheltered bay. We dropped down on to the wreck to find that although it was dark, the visibility was actually quite good, probably 5-7 metres or so. We dropped into the holds and saw the trucks and other things which was great. So much life on this wreck too. Everyone had quite an enjoyable dive on this wreck.

Due to tides and the long dive home, the final dive was in a bay so that those that wanted to gather some marine delicacies. I dived with George to test out the dump valve on her new dry suit. Otter had made it to measure, but obviously not to her fit, it was way to big on the shoulders and arms, so the air collected above and behind the dump, rendering the shoulder dump useless and the suit a bit dangerous to dive in. We looked at lots of options and eventually found a solution…. Which obviously involved a bag of scallops!

Unloading before the race to the ferry!

Back in Lochaline, we all unloaded from the boat, a good trip had by all. Next return will be in August! Yay.