Monday, July 05, 2010

Loch Long

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.


Joy Des Jardins said...

What a wonderful way to spend your 4th Peggy...really interesting and different. Your photos are just wonderful. I especially love the ones of the dead man's fingers, plumrose anemone and light bulb sea squirts....beautiful. I hadn't heard of a couple of them before.

Anonymous said...

What dreadful weather we had, so pleased you had a great diving day - amazing photos. Joyce

dogbait said...

I hope this post doesn't go far on the net or otherwise people will be abandoning the Great Barrier Reef in droves.

Shammickite said...

Is Loch Long salt or fresh water? I am assuming salt if it's part of the Clyde, Please excuse my ignorance! Great photo at the top, impressive scenery. Now you will have to make diving on the 4th july an annual treat.

Peggy said...

Joy - There is loads of stuff down there I can't identify. When I get to the shore, I have to look it up. I keep a guide in my dry bag. :-)

Joyce- Still don't fancy trying it? :-)

Dogbait - I'm sure when the GBR gets stinging hail, the number of Scottish divers will be on the up. ;-)

Susie said...

What a wonderful world for you to explore. It just seems so magical.

Xtreme English said...

what fun!

Xtreme English said...

P.S. those little lightbulb things....can you tell us more? are they really...what's the word... fluorescent? phosphorescent? That is, do they really light up around the edges like that?

xo, ma...

also, noticed (finally) on FB that you are employed once more! good you got your diving in!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. The photos make me think of a weird science fiction world. A place I don't intend ever to go, but I'm glad you do it for me to see!
Cousin Susan

Anonymous said...

Terrific photos Peggy. Thank you for posting them. I've never thought of the sea creatures in Scotland as being so tropical looking.