Sunday, November 13, 2011

Portencross Castle

I was out of the house by 6 this morning. This was the third Sunday in a row that I've dragged my carcass into the car to go diving. The weather on these Sundays hasn't been that bad actually.  No wind to speak of and mild temperatures.  Today had actual periods of sunshine!

06:45 saw me at the Whitesands car park in Dumfries just as the sun was coming up.   There is the use a club member's small van and a rather large king cab truck.  We crammed all our bodies, lunches and gear into these two vehicles and made our merry way up the coast to Ayrshire.

We were hoping to dive near the wreck of the SS Kintyre just at Wemyss Bay.  That didn't work out.

It was decided that the sandstone rock into the sea held too large a risk for some of our members.  The rocks were pretty greasy.  I don't know how we would have made it out of the water after the dive. There were loads of eider ducks bobbing in the water near this site and it looks beautiful. I'd like to go back to this site in a boat.  So we followed the plan to the next alternative site.

South of Largs and near Seamill is Portencross Castle.  It is a delightful dive site!  
 We were really really lucky with weather today.  The water was like a mill pond most of the day.  There is an easy easy easy entry into the sea and loads of interesting sea life in the rocks once you get your head below the water. Thousands of starfish, sea urchins and enough crabs (four varieties identified) to start a small revolution.  The only drawback to this site is that it is pretty shallow - we struggled to get to 10 meters during high tide.  To get any further depth a diver will find themselves out in the channel where the current starts to really pump.   I had a trainee with me so we stayed shallow, looked at all the sea life and had two delightful dives.  I saw at least one nudibranch - a Sea Hare - and I spotted a crop of blue-rayed limpets on some kelp.
The dive plan on the second dive was to allow the current to carry us south past the castle.  In theory it would carry us to the rocks right where the van and truck were parked in the car park near the castle.   I was overly cautious and didn't let the current carry us far enough.  When we came up, the trainee and I had a bit of a swim to the exit point.  Wasn't too terrible though.  I can imagine it would be dangerous/ impossible if there was any sort of surge or waves.  I will tell you that it is rough hauling out of the water onto barnacle covered rock and schlepping dive gear over to the grass.
It was a great day out - full of laughter and camaraderie.

I love diving and I love the dive club.

1 comment:

dogbait said...

You didn't see any bones of the Boyd's at the castle per chance?