Monday, July 05, 2010
It was a very memorable 4th of July for me this year.View Larger Map
I went diving with members of the Dumfries dive club up to Loch Long along the Clyde.
The new weight harness (Christmas present from The Man of the Place) and the LED dive torch (the other Christmas present) were getting used in anger for the first time.
Independence Day found me bobbing in the Clyde, protecting my face from stinging hail while waiting for the other divers. I wasn't upset by the wait as the reason the others were delayed was that they had been helping me to get ready. I was using a new weight harness and it needed a thousand little adjustments to get it to sit right.
The weather wasn't great on the way up to Loch Long with wind and rain on the increase. One of the motorway signs warned of heavy rains and a chance of flooding - drive carefully. So what's a little bad weather? The purpose of diving is to get wet!
Weather always improves once the dive has begun. Once a diver is one meter down the fact that there is howling wind and rain mixed with hail no longer matters. The two dives we made yesterday were spectacular!
I haven't taken my camera into the water here in the north. I won't take my camera in until I am as confident diving in a dry suit as I am comfortable and confident diving in a wet suit. I'll just have to use other people's photographs and tell you about it.
Here are a few of the things we saw on our dive.Dead man's fingers - a soft coral. I always think this stuff looks out of focus.One of the walls of the loch is covered in both white and yellow plumose anemone. Many clumps of delicate little Light bulb sea squirts were stuck on rocks between the kelp.
It seemed there were all the crab varieties in the whole world ever on these dives. Loads of velvet swimming crabs with their red eyes, a large hermit crab and on the second dive we all saw the biggest daddy edible crab! So delicious and just out of reach!
We didn't see any common lobsters but the smaller cousin, the squat lobster was seen. In fact, it seemed that every rock crevasse had either a squat lobster or a beautiful blue blenny swimming in it.
This was the first dive this year and I was SO glad to be in the water again. The water temperature was at about 13 C. The visibility was near enough to 10 meters. We could see fairly well and the water wasn't freezing. The wind and rain had scared off any other divers so we had the place to ourselves! Except for a few human errors (not serious) and an outboard motor that threatened to be temperamental we had a really great day out.