Freesteel Blog » Kayak Dive

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 at 10:29 am - - Kayak Dive

Things go on. We did some excellent kayak diving up in St Abbs that was planned to take advantage of a student who could be in a sea kayak on the surface so we’d feel more at ease going deeper and further underwater than we’d normally venture on our own.

Our main mission was to see a wolf fish, frequently sighted on Black Carrs rock below 20m.

Here he is:

This was along the low cut down that runs due east from the rock, in a horizontal crack behind an upstanding rock. It’s probably always the same fish that everybody sees. He caught my eye as we were searching along the bottom, and I propped up a cairn on the spot so we could come back to him after pushing on a bit deeper to the brittle star carpets.

And here’s my cairn marking the spot of the shy fish’s lair.

My pics make it look a lot less pretty than what it was it was to be there in the water, but they work for me as evidence.

Our support kayaker (plus visitors) was present when we went down at this deep spot.

As usual they were nowhere to be seen when we came up. They tend to get bored and find something else to go look at, because it all seems well from the surface to non-divers who don’t know what disasters might be unfolding below the water.

The wolf fish dive was on the Tuesday 2 July 2019. It was a stiff northwest wind and swell that made it impossible to go near the coast and explore the caves anywhere further round towards Pettico Wick.

The weather and water visibility conditions had not been the best we had hoped for, but the trip had to fit into a narrow time window of people’s availability and Becka not being on a caving expedition.

We stayed overnight in a three bed shared room at Marin Quest, which was a little expensive, but it paid off well when on Monday over breakfast the boat skipper was able to give us the position of the wreck of The President at this spot: 55°52’10.0″N+2°04’25.0″W/@55.8694568,-2.0741817 in a very sheltered channel to the south of Eyemouth directly in line with a fence style.

Here’s us loading up the kayaks at the convenient concrete access path near Greenends Gully.

We overshot too far south on the paddle out. The cliffs further towards Burnmouth look well worth exploring, but we didn’t have time for that.

The dive on The President was excellent, progressively finding bigger and bigger bits of scrap steel until we finally hit the boilers. Otherwise, there was not much life.

Sam, our look-out student, spent the time watching dolphins doing leaps and flips close in.

Here’s a blurry shot from a Mark One blurry gopro to prove he saw something jumping.

After a tank changeover at the carpark, we hauled our kayaks against the wind and waves to the north of Eyemouth and into the shelter of Weasel Loch.

Sam took my wallet shopping for junk food as we did a shore dive out of the channel to look for Conger Reef.

We didn’t find the reef, so here’s a picture of a flatfish and small lobster in the rocky wasteland it was supposed to be.

We circled back to the cliff wall, which was spectacular, huge, deep and overhanging, and then found the way back in. I could spend all day shore-diving out of this loch popping in and out of the water trying to get my bearings. Maybe I’d eventually find this reef.

Back by the car we changed into wetsuits and I gave Sam a try dive, during which we saw a small lobster on a ledge at minus one metre.

Stepping back in time to Sunday, when Becka and I arrived in St Abb’s (before Sam came), we dashed out for an afternoon dive on Wuddy Rocks.

Becka managed to haul down the anchor at the start of the dive, but couldn’t stay down because she didn’t have enough lead.

Normally this is my fault for not putting enough on her weight belt, but this time it was because she’d forgot to put it on at all!

Once sorted out, we found the way into the tunnels where we tried out our new new diving torches, one wide and one narrow angle.

Up till now I’d been using a Dive Scurion Light, which Becka has appropriated into her caving gear. I’ve nearly lost or broken on a couple of occasions. I’m glad not to bother with that thing again, because a burn time of 12 hours is no use when dives are at most a couple hours a day. It’s huge and has a dangly wire between the battery and the headset.

Torches are a good investment, because one of the points of diving is to see things. Over the years they’ve become smaller and brighter, until maybe soon you’ll just have some bridge specks on the fingertips of your gloves that will emit rays when you cup your hand in a particular way.

Then we did a second dive and went looking for Cathedral Rock from the shore. Here are the instructions from Marine Reserve booklet:

To reach Cathedral Rock follow the main gulley between Broad Craig and the harbour wall. Keeping Broad Craig on your left and the training pool on your right, enter a narrow gully which drops down to approximately 5 metres. Swim to the right around the narrow gap and proceed until you reach a pile of angular boulders. From here head approximately 45 degrees to the right, passing over kelp forest on the way, until you reach a small rock face covered with dead men’s fingers. Swim past this rock keeping it on your left shoulder into a sandy gully. Cathedral Rock is on your right, just over a large boulder.

Not surprisingly, I didn’t find it.

The Lawson Wood diver guide (whose position for The President are out by 3 minutes of arc) describes the route like so:

Swim over to Big Green Carr [this is the wrong rock -ed]; keeping it to your left swim south in line with the reef. At the end of the reef you should see a low lying ridge extending at right angles in front of you; pass over this and you will meet a wall that curves to the left over a tumble of large boulders. With this wall to your right, you are now swimming east and you will reach Cathedral Rock in about 12 yards.

The problem with these descriptions is that everything is relative in terms of what constitutes a large boulder or a sandy gully. This is no use underwater where the visibility is such that you can only see one thing at a time. If you swim into a boulder that’s 2 metres tall, then it’s large if is alone on a rubble strewn plane, but small if it is surrounded by 8 metre high blocks. When you can see only than 5 metres distant, you can easily persuade yourself either way, and therefore the description is of no use. It might as well have said: turn left at the boulder that once had an octopus on it in 1998.

Had I realized that these descriptions were so utterly defective, I’d have looked online, and found this dive description:

The one thing you must do on this dive is trust your compass, so take your bearings and follow them!

On entry head right and at the end of Broad Craig there is an area of almost white gravel (actually shells and worm-casts); Take a compass bearing of 120degrees and swim approximately 30m to reach the site.

We had driven partway up to St Abbs on the Saturday and slept overnight in a layby on the A7 before seeking out breakfast in Berwick upon Tweed. The cheap eating place was packed out, so we wandered into town and hit upon the Mule on Rouge, which is where I’d be hanging out every day if I lived in this town. Unfortunately, Becka had just decided that we were now on an economy drive, because I haven’t been paying my house bills for a while, so we shared one single bagel.

On the Saturday I had been taking my telepresence robot around Makerfest Liverpool in the Central Library. It’s possible that this toy had something to do with the cashflow crisis.

Isn’t it cute?

Monday, May 20th, 2019 at 11:57 am - - Kayak Dive

I’m carving out some valuable time from the other stuff to blog some notes and records.

The car failed its MoT inspection with 3 condemned tyres. (Some kind of bump in them that I couldn’t see.) I had an unhappy evening because I thought this had trashed our kayak diving weekend in Anglesey.

Apparently the dangerous bulge is in this picture here at bottom inside:

Yes, normally back in the 1990s I’d have driven the car anyway, because who’s going to know? But now with all the MoT records being computerized so you can’t shop around for a garage who might overlook the flaws, and all these automatic number plate recognition cameras on the motorways, I was for sure I was going to be busted by the police on our way out.

Fortunately Becka phoned up a kwikfit garage and I took it round in the morning for some new tyres at a high price, but it was worth it. We kept the fresh receipt on the dashboard as evidence that the issue had been addressed and didn’t encounter a problem. Even though we didn’t need it, it’s good price to pay for not to have this eating your mind during the whole drive.

After a stop off at Vivian Quarry for some air-fills (£4.50 for only 200bar and a long time to fill), we dropped in on the Astral Ship for an inspection.

We concluded that it wasn’t a robot friendly place, so I took it away and we were lucky to get my robot into someone else’s car for the ride back to Liverpool. More on this story some other time.

It was now 4 o’clock, and we got a kayak dive out from Cable Bay to the Euphraties, which was swarming with large spider crabs and had mounds of chain and other wreckage that blended in with the rocks so well you couldn’t tell, except by their form, what was natural or man-made.

Then we headed off late to the Tyn Rhos Camping Site Ravenspoint Road and ended up on the wrong side of a locked gate because we hadn’t approached it from Ravenspoint Road (idiot). The Liverpool Canoe Club were spending the weekend there and some of them had paddled to the Skerries durinig the day (one of the things on our bucket list). One of the other parties had passed us coming in while we were going out for our dive. They didn’t stop off to watch, as no one is particularly interested in kayak diving. In the morning we tried to see if there were any trips being planned that we could dive in the direction of, as it gives peace of mind to have a bit of company on the surface when you are underwater, but nothing presented itself. So we were back to our original plan of diving the Kimya, which I have been trying to get a decent dive on since 2004!

The wind had picked up from the northwest (it was supposed to be northeast on the forecast) and there was a bit of chop. The May bloom was overdue. It all looked like it would be another failure.

But we got there. After much anchor dragging of anchors, shouting and checking the GPS on my expensive phone in a pelicase (all my waterproof GPS’s are bust), Becka seemed to hook something at last. (After the dive she understood my outrage that it had been so difficult to hook — the wreck is massive and full of holes.)

Just as we were going down the line, a dive boat showed up. That made me feel more comfortable.

If everything went tits up, they’d probably pick up the pieces. It’s a 3km paddle from the nearest landing and there are no fishermen on the headlands, so it’s a pretty lonely spot round about here. No one is ever going to see you.


Becka collected the anchor from the bottom and carried it as we circled the wreck twice. I thought the lifeline to our kayaks was going to get tangled continually, but she skillfully kept it running free. I had thought at the start about tying the anchor to a good spot on the wreck, but it was so big you wouldn’t be sure of getting back to it again.


There were a couple of swimthroughs, and a huge hold that we sank down into towards the end of the dive. Luckily the divers from the boat hadn’t been in there to stir up the silt by then. Little splashes of bright colour from nudibranchs on any surface you cared to focus on.


And so we surfaced, climbed back on our boats, chatted with the other divers (who were from St Helens) and arm-power hauled our way back to Porth Cwyfan (the cove with the white church), and then hoofed the kit across acres of sharp low-tide rocks to the shore.

Now we would have had our tea at that spot, except that the place is very much in earshot of the Anglesey racing circuit, whose noise diary for 19 May 2019 gave their No Limits Motorcycle Track Day a noise category 2. It was pretty bad.

We drove to Newborough Warren where the guy collecting the £5 entrance fee had already gone home, and brewed up some tea just over a sand dune from the carpark (unfortunately melting the handle on the trangia tea-pot in the process).

Then, of course, we had to walk out to and along the whole length of Ynys Llanddwyn, scrambling up and down the rocks at the far end.

I was knackered.

Becka accused me of getting soft and complained that we had done nothing all day.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 12:24 pm - - Kayak Dive

A quick weekend to take advantage of Becka’s trip to Southampton University to work as an examiner. Unfortunately the university library was card controlled, so I hung out in the Burgess Road Public Library skimming through a tourist book about the Isle of Wight (containing no useful information) and then reading part of a Douglas Adams book.

We drove over on the ferry on Friday afternoon to stay with an old hang-gliding buddy, who is now the last hangie on the island. This, down from a time when, during the 1980s and 1990s, one of the largest hang-glider manufactures in the world was in operation.

It was too windy for that game, and blowing from the north, so we took our kayaks, went out of Freshwater Bay and paddled to The Needles.

It seemed too windy and scary to get out to the far needle, so we got back and gave our friend a trip round the bay, then walked up to the battery to see the stunning white cliffs from another angle. It was cold and windy.

On Sunday we took the cycle trail from Newport to Sandown, emptied all our tuppences into a machine, and cycled back again, pumping up the tyres every couple miles due to a slow puncture.

I’ve been doing my best to get through the book Tailless Aircraft in theory and practice that I nicked from my friend’s bookshelf on the way out. More on this later. The mathematics in it feels a bit shoddy, which might be why I’ve never got through such engineering books before. Foundational assumptions, such as the optimality of the elliptical lift distribution, are stated in passing because the practitioners have so internalized them they don’t even notice. It’s as basic to the equations as the conventions of using (x,y,z) for the axes and t for time. Also, these engineering guys will divide anything by anything just to get a dimensionless constant.

Then on Monday I put it in practice by driving over to Treak Hill in the peak district and bombing out to the bottom landing field, while everyone else had a lovely time flying all round Mam Tour. (The airforce glider is a two person glider that also went down, because it’s quite heavy. I packed it up while the pilot went up for a proper fly.)

Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, October 22nd, 2018 at 4:33 pm - - Kayak Dive

Still not getting out much at all. Mostly just doing work (not paid of course). The time seems to go somewhere; still not sure what I’m getting done, if anything. I’m not even generating much 3D printing scrap, like I used to every week.

Anyways, we got tempted out on a kayak dive last Saturday, which went very well.

However, the point of the dive was to demonstrate kayak diving to the duttons divers, who do training in their own Vivian Quarry and run dive boat trips out to Puffin Island. We had their timetable, and they were about an hour and a half late (they were supposed to be in the water at 11am). Sometime after 12 we gave up waiting and did a dive anyway, in the drop-off on the north side of the island, in the stiff along-shore breeze. It was terrible timing. They then came by and dived without us while we were underwater. Ho hum. So I’ve failed to spread the goodness of kayak diving, as I’d hoped, because we didn’t faff enough.

Paddling back was a bit of a slog against the wind, almost making no progress across the sound past Perch Rock. Then, back on the mainland, we gave up trying to paddle up the coast to where our car was parked, landed, send Becka to get the car and bring it back, while paying the £3 car parking at the end.

Then it was back for lunch and apple pie with our friend in Menai Bridge, and then off to meet people at Vivian Quarry a couple hours later once they’d finally got off the boat and finished faffing. It was cold. We drove home, dropped me off, and Becka went off to Yorkshire to dig gravel while I washed up the gear and did another day of unaccountable work. Today I skipped a chance to go flying to watch Fahrenheit_11/9 at its single screening, which Becka thought was a bit heavy for daytime entertainment. I still feel guilty at not having gone to the People’s Vote march.

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018 at 5:50 pm - - Kayak Dive

# date site depth divetime
1 25 June 12:00 marine park pinnacle 20.5m 47 minutes
2 25 June 14:42 Citrine (wreck) 15.4m 52 minutes
3 26 June 10:41 Sugarloaf caves 12.7m 61 minutes
4 26 June 16:42 Thracian (wreck) 32.7m 29 minutes
5 27 June 11:00 The puddle 18.1m 58 minutes
6 27 June 17:26 Burroo 21.3m 54 minutes
7 27 June 20:14 Bay near Burroo 18.7m 56 minutes
8 28 June 11:30 Gibdale Bay 22.4m 47 minutes
9 28 June 14:24 St Mary’s Ledges 19.8m 57 minutes
10 28 June 22:19 Port Erin 11.3m 63 minutes
11 29 June 11:04 Thousla rock (wreck) 20.8m 50 minutes
12 29 June 14:04 Sugarloaf caves 11.0m 57 minutes
13 29 June 19:19 Spanish head drift 21.6m 40 minutes

Really very much good diving stuff with Discover Diving on the Isle of Man last week. We went over loaded up on our bikes (can’t find the pics) on a trip with LUSAC from the ferry terminal about a mile away from our doorstep. My logbook records over 11 hours underwater in 5 days of luxurious cold water diving.

It was insanely hot and the sea was mirror flat most of the days. We stayed on for an extra two days for a cycle to Peel and back to Douglas, though actually we spent most of those days sleeping to escape from the heat.


We saw some amazing sights, like this bird swimming underwater:

That was at the end of the dive in the Sugarloaf Caves, which in every way (except the kayaking) outmatched our cavern dive on the LLeyn a couple of weeks before.

As usual, we had problems with the fact that air goes only upwards when you try to fill a blob. “No,” I shook my head.

We got better at deploying it later in the week. Here’s a dive to the anchor chain and half a giant anchor on the Thracian. When you release the blob to the surface you realize just how deep 32 metres actually is.

On the night dive we annoyed an octopus who was trying to do its hunting in the dark.

Our final dive was a fast(-ish) 2 knot drift with the current from Spanish Head which left us feeling happy, going with the flow.

I don’t have a lot of time to write this up. Maybe there will be some other vids later on when I’ve gone through them a bit more. (Most are terrible.)

In the meantime, here’s me in black on the deep dark wreck, startled by someone else’s light.

Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 11:31 am - - Cave, Kayak Dive

Last week we completed the unfinished business of properly kayak diving the underwater cave at Pen-y-Cil headland Aberdaron in Bardsey Sound in perfect conditions

Just look at these conditions:

We had 10 metre visibility, lots of air, and got a nice swim through with lots of crabs.

Even did the side cave too. As Becka’s neckseal had split, I dived the Glenocum wreck on my own on the way back. It was so relaxing.

On day two we did some (very cold) snorkeling off Criccieth looking for seagrass (didn’t find any pipefish).

On day three we were going to paddle around from Whistling Sands through Bardsey Sound, but decided that would be too scary, so we went and played in the overfalls by Nefyn. The waves looked huge when we were there, but don’t amount to much in the photos.

We got air fills at Tyn Rhos Diving which surprisingly still existed. And beforehand I visited my mum for one night in Machynlleth before driving up for a night in the campsite behind Eric Jones Cafe and meeting Becka off the bus in Tremadoc, after much protesting that I didn’t want to drive up and fetch her from Caernarfon ridiculously late in the night.

Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 10:29 am - - Kayak Dive

Not at all keeping up with any blogging of late, so here is a late report a 5 day sea kayking trip from Oban with the Liverpool Canoe Club

Those who served:
IB, SH, RC, CH, AV, Julian Todd, Becka Lawson

I’m proud of underplanning and not thinking ahead, especially when doing something new.

Becka and I had never been out for more than one night in a sea kayak, and this trip was supposed to be 5 nights in the Scottish wilderness. We had the kayaks, we had a trangia stove and enough old soda bottles for regulation supply of water. At the last minute we grabbed our one working tent that wasn’t the pop-up kind. I was sure we could simply shovel enough packets of random food from the larder into the holds around this gear to make something up each day.

Becka drove us up to Oban while I provided the entertainment by reading aloud someone’s kayak camping packing list off the kayarchy website. By the time we reached Glasgow Becka had to panic buy yet more provisions at the Aldi supermarket, so we arrived quite late.

Other last minute decisions that happened frantically in the morning included packing our thickest sleeping bags (which could barely be rammed in even when you fed them right up to the bow through the hatch), and our choice to wear our skinny wetsuits for the whole trip because we didn’t have enough confidence that we weren’t going to capsize or be able to roll.

The rest of the group were polite enough not to make it too obvious we were holding them up as we squabbled over what to take.

And then we set off south towards the slate islands.

We got lucky with the weather. It was never too windy or wavy, and it tended to rain during the day and often during the night, with brief sunny respites for a few hours most afternoons during which time we could dry out our wetsuits. That was another advantage of going on a trip lead by IB — aside from the air of competence and expert decision making — the early starts and early finishes. You got your 5 or 6 hours on the water experiencing sore arms, sore thighs and a sore back from sitting in an insanely unnatural position (those who can’t take it probably don’t go kayaking), with enough time afterwards *not* in the boat to recover and straighten out. If left to do our own planning, Becka would probably have maxxed out the paddling for a minimum of eleven hours a the day, which would have meant I’d refuse to get out of bed in the morning. On a multi-day trip you need to pace yourself sensibly; it’s not a weekend blast.

The sea was flat enough to let us go round the far side of the Garvellachs and camp by the site of the monestry on the same patches of grass where the previous kayakers had camped the day before where they’d left their two-way radio.

The next day we headed back to the coast in a horrible wind and rain through the Grey Dogs north of Scarba and around to the south end to look at the Bothy that overlooks the Corryvrecken. Here we met our first group of other kayakers just getting ready to head out to sea (pretty lazy), and gave them back their missing radio. Then we had lunch in the bothy, which is a depressingly ruined not-cosy two story cottage, before moving on to a campsite on the mainland.

The most notable wildlife were the geese who liked to fly back and forth overhead honking wherever we walked. Someone saw an otter. Every so often there was a seal head poking out of the waves. There were no midges at all because it was too early in the season and too cold. In the evenings SH entertained us with different ways of not lighting a fire (apparently the driftwood was too salty) until he used a lighter. Becka and I had neglected to pack whiskey. We also worked out that a one man tent was too small for two people.

The final night (cutting short one day because of the wind forecast) put us on the north coast of Shuna on a gusty headland of squelchy mud and cow-pats where we gave a demonstration of how a married couple decides which of two spots a metre apart to pitch their tent. So we put it onto the wetter ground with the door facing into the weather across two cow-pats that Becka scooped and thrown over her shoulder using a paddle as a shovel. I sulked and didn’t come out for the remainder of the soggy day. I only had sandals and the mud sank up to your ankles, which would have made the sleeping bag filthy.

Final day before the wind really picked up involved shooting through the Bridge over the Atlantic before the tide changed and then an approach around the back of Kerrera Island to Oban. Here I was able to practice my downwind surfing, which we had been taught to do on surfskis earlier in the year on our train trip to Spain. It was fun, except I had to keep ignoring Ian who kept calling me back to the shelter of shoreline where the waves crashed on the rocks and the paddling was just a right slog.

It got very hard around the north of the island where we now had to paddle south directly into wind. No matter how much force I applied to the paddle, all the others seemed to pull away into the wind at twice my apparent speed. They waited for me to catch up in the shelter of a small island, and pulled away again and got to the shore miles ahead of me. By the time we packed everything back on cars and vans the wind had almost died and children were out on the middle of the sound on a raft made of barrels.

We all went out to dinner in the slap-up Wetherspoons Pub in Oban called the Corryvrecken.

Monday, June 4th, 2018 at 9:13 pm - - Kayak Dive

I’ve been having some adventures, including one successful flight over the Black Mountains (I didn’t get round to blogging about), a five day kayak trip out of Oban (I wrote up and Becka decided to rewrite, so maybe I’ll post my original here), and an unsuccessful flight in Yorkshire where I deserved to crash horribly, but got away with an on-the-spot landing across a single track road between two dry stone walls (I should never have got to that place).

At the weekend we were in the Farne Islands and had a lovely time with the seals.

You always get a little nervous when they open their big toothy mouth.

That was the shallow dive. Then we dived the Knivestone and shook hands with a lobster (one among many, they’re under every rock),


… and resisted the temptation to bother the octopus.

I got to do a bit more blogging, announcing various electronics work (of which there is lots), but so much is ongoing I can’t be bothered to report it. I’ve now forgotten what’s missing (nearly everything). Maybe it’s because I’m putting things in twitter instead. Oh well.

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at 2:05 pm - - Kayak Dive

Some old pictures of kayak diving in the Isle of Arran from 2016 that I had failed to blog about at the time are below.

The weekend before last I took a fellow DoESLiverpool-er diving in the Menai Strait, which was okay. The weather was gorgeous, but the viz was average and there were No Fish (except one butterfish I caught in my hand at the start of the dive).

Here’s us shinnying back up the sponge encrusted telephone cable back towards the Northwest shore after experiencing the current. We stayed underwater for another 20 minutes under the shelter of the main bridge pillar, but didn’t find the encrusted admiralty anchor that is reputed to be there.

I’m not sold on the idea of these side-mounted cylinders. Looked more like front mounted and dragging on the ground to me.

The weekend after that one (ie last weekend) I bagged an available place on his club trip to Eyemouth with some deep Nitrox type dives. I don’t like deep diving, but was persuaded to go anyway. It was awful. The algae had come out, the water visibility was about 2 metres, and at 40metres down it was as black as the night.

The first deep dive was to the U74. I reached it, then got freaked out by the strobe that had been tied to the shotline to “help” us find the way back, stirred up a cloud of the silt on the metal, and took the first available option to leave, passing all the other divers coming down the rope.

I have very little tolerance for danger when the fear-to-fun ratio is too high.

Second dive was just to 12m in Pettico Wick (normally a shore dive in bad weather), supposedly to the peanut wreck. I found some bits of metal, but mostly blank boulders. But then things really cheered up when I stumbled across the rock called Wick Gaunt and dropped into a slot behind it (I think on the West side) which turned into quite a nice cave.

The other divers were not amused and didn’t follow me in. I couldn’t find the other entrance when I swam around to the other side. This would be a great place with some more visibility — and done as a kayak dive.

I will be back, having obtained a copy of the 32 page A5 booklet detailing 18 dives in St Abbs and Eyemouth from the dive centre — a booklet which is not mentioned anywhere on the marine reserve website or available from Amazon. I intend to spend about a week there when I can, because it looks like the last time we gave it a go was eleven years ago in 2007.

I tried to persuade the other divers on the trip of the benefits of kayak diving, but they thought it was a bit dangerous. That’s because a 37m horrorshow dive in poor visibility with not enough lights to a section of shingly the seabed somewhere in the vicinity of the Glanmire wreck (the shot had been pulled off it) is considered A-okay.

No it wasn’t.

As we quit early, Al and I stopped off at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre near Lockerbie for some quiet moments of meditation in the temple where we overlapped into a session that involved people coming in and doing a bit of chanting.

Noisy lever-latch door handles on sprung swing doors at the temple entrance. Really? This has got to be one place it’s worth investing in some subtle silent autosealing door technology. But instead they’ve blown their tech budget on motorizing all the prayer wheels around the stupa.

We took a herbal tea, and I noticed a poster about their new off-shore retreat on Holy Isle, also in Scotland.

It turned out this was where I had a nice weekend kayak diving around this particular island with Becka in August 2016 and never blogged about it.

I had liaised with some fellow from Arran COAST who had campaigned for the Lamlash Bay no take zone to get some dive site information. (They’ve not yet produced a book like the St Abbs people have.)

Unfortunately the viz wasn’t very good, and we had quite a lot of current on our attempt at a deeper dive in the south channel.

He was kind enough to take these pics of us struggling on the surface to get kitted up in the tidal stream going past our kayaks that was pulling the buoy underwater.

We did also land and climb the peak on the island and discovered a dead data logger in the heather.

Just checking on the tech, you know.

Monday, March 12th, 2018 at 4:53 pm - - Kayak Dive, Weekends

Earlier I published the bus and train itinerary. Now for some pics.

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