Monday, June 01, 2009

Troon Harbour

Saturday was the first time that The Man of the Place, George and I went diving together in the UK. It was also George's first dive using his dry suit.Here we are in Troon Harbour getting the club RIB (rigid inflatable boat) and Chris's boat in the water.

It was another glorious day for diving, though the wind was up a bit. Because of that the sea was choppy when we got to the first dive site.

I went on the first dive of the day, even though I had started to feel a bit queasy with the pitch and roll of the boat on the sea. Chris Breen, my dive buddy, club trainer and all around good egg said that I'd feel better once I was in the water. He was right. Once I started making the descent, I didn't feel sick anymore.

The first dive site was The Adheek - 'AHDEEK' an iron steamship. It was launched 1881 Sank: December 1898 within sight of Troon harbour . Comments: There is a buoy marking the wreck that sits in about 20 metres of water. Suitable for Novice, Boat dive, Hull falling into seabed, boilers most prominent. The site is popular for local fishermen and that was evident by all the fishing line that is down there. (note to divers - don't go down without your knife!) Though the ship has been down there for over 100 years and is covered in soft corals, it is still a wreck and has lots of metal edges that have the potential to cut a new dry suit or a hand.

Chris and I saw a nice pollack down there as well as a several good sized Ballan wrasse. All the fish we saw, including a beautiful conger eel would have made a good meal! I never realized what a beautiful blue conger eels were. At on point, Chris who was swimming ahead of me handed me a fairly large edible crab. The crab was not pleased to be passed around for the enjoyment of humans and tried to nip me. Thankfully I was wearing 5mm gloves and didn't feel the pinch. Though the crab was big, he wasn't big enough to keep.

The dive was good and easy but once I reached the surface and the choppy waves, I knew my breakfast wasn't going to stay down for much longer. I managed to get to the boat and hang on before I started to heave. Note to self - take sea sickness pills even if the weather forecast is good. Being seasick really knocks the fun right out of things. Although the weather calmed down by lunchtime, the nausea never really left me until we were on the way home. I didn't do a second dive as I felt being as nauseous as I felt added a risk to my diving. Better to stay on the boat and help the other divers with their gear.

Chris and I had good visibility 10+ meters but the group that went second weren't as lucky. It indicates how quickly changes can happen and good visibility can disappear when diving in the UK. The tide or current had changed and with the change the visibility dropped to about 4 or 5 meters.

We tied the two boats together at lunchtime and in the calm water we watched the seals watch us.Chris Breen, Me, George and The Man of the Place.

The second dive site of the day was Lady Isle again. The seals were on the island in greater numbers and this is where George did his first dive into Scottish water. His dad and I were so proud of him!
I wasn't the only one to suffer from seasickness. The poor Man of the Place caught it too. We were the only two to get it though. George must have been so embarrassed, both his parents vomiting.

On the way in we saw a big raft of Eider ducks and there were some tiny babies with them. Sadly, I wasn't quick enough with the camera to get a snap of the babies who looked to be less than a week old.It was all smiles at the end of the day. We had a lovely day's diving with thanks to the Dumfries Sub Aqua Club!The terrific shower facilities for women at Troon Marina!
You need a lot of junk when three people dive! I wonder if we can take less next time!

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