Mull Christmas Trip

December 2008

With a mixed weather forecast we loaded our dive kit aboard the in the Elizabeth G at Oban railway pier. Next morning with a freshening south easterly breeze the Elizabeth G headed up the Sound of Mull.

It soon became evident however that the conditions were too rough to dive the wreck of the Thesis, so an alternative plan was quickly formulated to dive the more sheltered site of the Shuna.

By now however the wind had freshened up with gusts of over 40 mph. Some of the party made it to the shot line, the remainder however were washed back by the increasing swell and a strong surface current. Those who made it down the shot experienced dark and gloomy conditions on the wreck.

In view of the worsening conditions Rob, the skipper, made the decision to dive the wreck of the Pelican on the far side of Calve Island in the sheltered Tobermory Bay.

Again, this dive proved to be something of a gloomy experience with little ambient light present on the wreck. Nevertheless the view of the entire clipper bow towering above the visiting diver and silhouetted against the green water proved to be an imposing sight for those who made the effort to complete this dive.

That evening was spent ashore in Tobermory with last orders being drunk in the Mishnish hotel. The warm fires were appreciated and helped restore some warmth to our bones after a cold day spent in the freezing wind.

Next morning, with no wind and a calm sea we headed out of Tobermory to dive the wreck of the SS Hispania.

Underwater visibility proved to be around 10 metres. Indeed the Hispania dive proved to be the highlight of the weekend and fully lived up to its reputation as one of the best wreck dives in UK waters.

In the afternoon the Elizabeth G continued down the Sound to the site of the wreck of the SS Thesis.

Underwater conditions however on this occasion proved to be quite dark with a strong current running across the Stern area of the wreck on the flooding tide. Conditions however whilst perhaps not at their best, still made for an atmospheric and somewhat eerie dive.

With everyone safely recovered the Elizabeth G headed back to the quayside at Oban. Saturday evening was spent in ashore with some of the party enjoying a meal out at one of the local Indian restaurants. Others made do with fish and chips.

Sunday dawned, and still with light winds and no swell we headed out for a dive on the wreck of the SS Breda.

Diving conditions on this occasion proved to be excellent with a calm sea and very reasonable underwater visibility of several metres plus.

Some of the party took the opportunity to swim out from the port side of the wreck and explore the debris left from when the Breda was wired swept. We came across various masts and the remains of the bridge superstructure, all in around 20 metres of water.

For the final dive of the trip we visited a small bay that promised sheltered conditions from the trawls of local scallop dredgers. In the ensuing hunt for scallops some of the party faired better than others, recovering a healthy haul of clams to take home.

So the trip ended on a positive high. Many thanks to Dave Robson for organising yet another successful Mull trip.

Also a big thanks to Rob Barlow the skipper of the Elizabeth G. All being well we will be back next December.

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