Halloween Night OOT

pink-ladies    crowds    crowd-1

Spooky ’twas the evening…a fun filled event at our Clubs fund raising Halloween disco.

We had Dracula and some of his relatives. Pink Ladies and Mario showed up to take on the hulk, also clowns and a nun and celebrities, such as Wayne and Garth, made it an even more star studded event.

crowd-n-prizes    paul-singing


All costumes were fab with the pumpkin winning prize!  Singers/entertainers, aged from just 11 -15years of age, displayed a huge spectrum of talent, 4 of them were currently participating in a production at Cumbernauld Theatre.  They were followed by a lot of folk on the floor showing their skills in 50 penny/pound sliding to win prizes, of sweetie tubs and a bottle of malt followed by the raffle with loads of fantastic prizes. Then the movers and groovers boogied into the small hours with their skilled wriggles and twists, gained from years of slithering around under the seas in kit that would scare a shark.

Great night had by all even the entertainers and organisers!  A. Stokes

Glencoe 23-26th Sept (Non Divers Story)

Thistle Friends & Family

As a family we recently spent September weekend at Invercoe campsite with our friends from Thistle Divers. The weather may not have been great but a fabulous weekend was had by all, especially the children who had adventures in the woodlands and shore line searching for creatures and treasures.


Our children were so excited to be spending a weekend living in a Hobbit Hut, alongside the Thistle Divers who where staying nearby in tents and mobile homes.  They especially loved to play with Skye and Dexter the Thistle dogs.


The children loved to watch the Thistle Divers preparing themselves to go out on the rhib for a days diving and excitedly waving to the divers, as they head off for the day on diving adventures. On one occasion the children even got a chance to go onto the rhib and have a look around. This they advised best part of their holiday and I’m sure in a few years they will be keen divers and boat handlers themselves.


Thank you to Thistle Divers for a wonderful weekend of adventure, fun and the making of memories. We are all looking forward to next years shenanigans.

Maggie Sewell

Wee Andy’s G’s Trip to Gozo

In September I took a trip to Gozo to experience the diving in the Mediterranean. I had been told by other members of Thistle Divers great things so my expectations were high. Fortunately, I was signed off as a Sports Diver just in time to fly out so was able to plan my diving around more adventurous and deeper dives.

I had booked my diving through Scuba Kings, one of 5 or 6 different dive shops in Marsalfron in Gozo. I found them to be a great bunch, knowledgeable about the local dive sites, conscious about safety and comfort and very reasonably priced. I was charged 30 euros a dive which included full kit hire and transport to the dive sites. I did 8 dives in total over 4 days.

Slightly unfortunately the one thing you can’t control is the weather and during my week, whilst the sun shone brightly and the sea was lovely and warm, a strong North Easterly breeze had churned up the sea and meant that the North side of the Island was simply not safe to dive so I was slightly restricted in where I could be taken. However, that did not spoil my diving.

I hired kit and tried out a 3mm shorty wetsuit. My guide, John, was worried that I would be cold. He clearly had not been diving much in Long Fyne in February and his idea of cold was a long way from mine. Basically it was like swimming around in a pleasant lukewarm bath with little pockets of cold water that were quite refreshing.

The first dive I did was at a dive site known locally as Rass Il-Hobz which is a reef pinnacle rising from 40 m at the base to 8 m from the surface. It was a brilliant introduction to what Gozo diving had to offer. The ubiquitous ‘wee brown fish’ were startled at one point by a hungry tuna and the way they moved in unison was reminiscent of the patterns created by starlings in the air.

Four of the dives were at the deliberately sunken wrecks at Ix-Xatt l-Ahmar. These are the MV Xlendi, MV Karwela and MV Cominoland. These all sat around 35 metres so my sports diving qualification came in handy. My favourite was the MV Karwela as you get to ascent up a stairway and it really feels like a sunken ship. Unfortunately the sinking of the MV Xlendi did not go to plan and it landed hull side up so there was not much to see, but the dive was saved by a massive Barracuda just at the end.

My favourite moment of the trip came on the last dive when I got to see my first Octopus – which even squirted out its black ink at John who was obviously annoying it a little by his prodding. What an amazing sight though.

This was a great trip and a place I’ll return to soon – I still have the entire North Shore to do.

Andy Gozo

Glencoe Sept 2015

Yet another fantastic weekend for us thistlers….. Glencoe this time Friday through to Monday.

Huge thanks to jeff Grozier for Cox’n us on his Rhib “Raster” and a his good lady Heather, for supplying breakfast on Sunday predives and a lunch post dives. Teriffic diving had by 5 members, Mary, Rob, Anne, Martin and Myself.


Jeff Buddied rob for one dive and Jeff’s guest Grant buddied Rob for another couple. Good social nights were had at the Gathering and the Clachaig, with non divers Maggie, Bobby, Heather, Jonathan, Audrey and Fynn.

Jeff's Boat        Group Photo



Grant Award


On 28 May 2015 the club got the great news that it had been awarded a £5,000 grant from The Big Lottery Fund – Awards for All Scotland. This is a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and Sport Scotland which offers small clubs like ours the opportunity to apply for a grant of between £500 and £10,000 for projects that aim to help improve sporting activity in their local community.


The process which had to be followed a little daunting at first but once tackled was actually relatively straight forward and dealt with in a very professional manner by the Awards for All –Big Lottery Fund staff. An application form some 27 pages long had to be filled in and submitted by e-mail. As I say this appeared quite daunting but the electronic format to filling out the application made it a lot simpler than it sounds. The club had to identify a project it wished to carry out. We called ours “Thistle Divers – Getting People Breathing Underwater”. We submitted an application for £10,000. We then had to wait around 13 weeks whilst our application was assessed. This was a long wait but worth it in the end when we heard that we had been awarded £5,000 of the £10,000 applied for, which was still a fantastic boom for a club like ours.


One important aspects of the process is that we had to identify exactly what we wished to buy with the grant money and cost our project accurately. Obviously in the end we only received half of what we had asked for we could not buy everything on our list but as long as it was on our original list we could chose what to spend the money on. This is probably the most time consuming and difficult part of the process as it is important to identify what it is you really want and need before submitting the application. It is not enough just to ask for money you have to say what the money is for and keep to that once it has been received.


We also had to identify how the money would help the local community. In our application we stated that we wanted the equipment as it would allow young people in the area to take up the sport without having to spend a prohibitive amount of money on equipment. What we aimed to address was the financial difficulties which people have in accessing the fantastic sport of scuba diving. Having good quality rental equipment will allow young people and those on low incomes to take up the sport. It was a vital part of the application that we were able to show that this money would be put to good use in expanding the sporting opportunities for people in our area. We emphasised that Scuba-diving was not only a sport which gets people active and healthy, but that it is also an educational activity where people learn about such issues as safety, first aid, equipment maintenance, the effects of pressure on the body, the effects of nitrogen in the blood and importance of knowing tide tables, marine life and ship wrecks around Scotland. Most of all we stressed that taking part in scuba diving was also a great way to meet other people. The ‘buddy system’ of diving where people must dive in pairs for safety reasons means that by necessity it is a sport that brings people together.


Thanks to The Big Lottery Fund – Awards for All Scotland the club now has a great GPS and Sounder system for our RIHB, 4 brand new regulators, 4 brand new BCD’s and £1,200 left to spend over the course of the year as we identify what we need most from our original list. We hope very much that we will be able to attract more new members to the club and get more people breathing underwater.

GPS & Sounder

GPS & Sounder

Awards for All

Awards for All

Kirkintilloch Gala Day




As a club, some of the long term members are now so well versed at what needs to be done to get us up and running for the Gala day ahead, that it was our newer members and a couple of non member volunteers, who just needed a little guidance here and there to get our stall set up quickly with plenty time to spare before the onslaught of customers trundle in with eagle eyes staking out the prizes we had on display…. Lots of bottles of booze, wine, beer, lager, even Vodka and Whisky but this year together with the mandatory boxes of sweeties, lots of nice gift sets, sets of jewellery and some colourful scarves all for the ladies of course JJ Some of our mature members were saying these prizes could be used as birthday or Christmas presents (as if)!!

Gala Stall

Gala Stall


Usually the Gala day over past years has enjoyed lovely sunny weather! Not this year unfortunately, it was cold and damp and threatened to rain but it didn’t dampen the spirits of our helpers, oh no! Mary donned her wetsuit (was she expecting rain perhaps).. and Moi had her face painted with a couple of dolphins – well they looked a bit like dolphins, which I thought worked well with our Scuba theme.. or perhaps not. Anyway, everyone did their best to encourage potential customers over to our stall to buy some tombola tickets and most importantly, to find out if they would be up for a wee try-dive in the pool or brazenly ask – had they thought about learning to scuba dive?


Dancing Diver

Dancing Diver

Time seemed to go slowly at first but then the crowds flocked round our stall and when they heard the triumphant shouts of ‘you’ve won’ it attracted more interest in buying tickets.


Towards mid afternoon and after a last ditch frenzy to buy tickets that would win either Vodka or Whisky, we successfully sold all our winning prizes and achieved a great amount of £374.40 for club funds.


Everyone despite the cold had lots of laughter and fun and worked together again to dismantle our stall and head home for some refreshments and food!


Thank you to everyone who donated prizes and gave up their time to help out on the day to make it a huge success for our club to not only raise funds but helping make the public aware of our clubs presence in Kilsyth to either come for a ‘try-dive’or train in scuba.



Farnes Trip May 2015

Friday the 1st of May had finally arrived and the Sun was shining as we set off on our latest dive trip. This time we were heading to the Farne Islands in Northumberland for a long weekend of diving.

Staying at a B&B in Beadnell for 3 nights, we soon found a corner table at the local Lounge Bar where we poured over the charts in between meals and refreshments. As the Farnes are well known for their Grey Seal colony, a dive with them was high on the Agenda, as well as any wrecks or scenic dives as the weather would permit.

On the first Morning, we arrived promptly at the Seahouses Harbour, ready to join the MV Glad Tidings V11, owned by Billy Shiel. With Kit loaded we set off from the harbour haven and headed Northeast out into the North Sea. The Wind had created a large swell so we had our first dive in a fairly sheltered bay at a small Island named Gun Rock, named after the discovery of Cannons from     the wreck of a 17th century ship.

Farnes Cannon

It wasn’t to be our day though when we failed to see them due to poor viz, but we were not to be put off!

Next stop was a larger bay nearby. It hosted a small seal colony, who gathered on the rocks like a group of spectators waiting to be entertained.

7 of us entered the water armed with video & still cameras in the hope of capturing an encounter with  a graceful seal. Some were successful!

Farnes Seal

Anne Peck captured this great photograph of one as it investigated her swimming below the surface.

Heading back to the Harbour now the tall stories of seal encounters were abundant, a few of the divers will be dining out on these stories for a few years to come….!

The next day diving was cancelled due to the extreme bad weather and a few took advantage of the time to visit the “local” (40miles away) dive shop for some new kit.

Farnes Island

On the last day the weather was on our side and we were once again sailing North East, back to explore the waters around the Islands. Two great dives were carried out which once again resulted in several encounters with the seals. The Divers returned to the boat happy and shared their stories as we headed back to the Harbour at Seahouses.

We thanked the Crew, gathered our kit and returned to the digs for a “splash & dash” before heading back home on the 2 & ½ hr journey.

Christmas Nigt Oot 2014

Xmas Night Oot Xmas Night Oot1 Xmas Night Oot2 Xmas Night Oot3

Everyone that Attended the Christmas Night Oot had a Great time

See you all next Year

Gold Panning

Gold Panning 4th Oct 2014

After a long time planning and sourcing a company to take a group of us gold panning the day arrived when we were finally going ‘nugget hunting’. Five of us were given waders and a quick overview of where gold comes from (do you know?)… We were amazed to learn that every river in Scotland all 5,000 of them have gold in them so we were all looking forward to sourcing our own carats to take home. We were in the beautiful countryside around Tyndrum at Strathfillan a stunning location, standing in the middle of a river digging for gold! Digging isn’t the only way to find gold, ‘sniping’ is another way which would probably be more favourable for us divers, as it is carried out by wearing a drysuit, mask and snorkel, where the gold hunter lies in the water looking for crevices that sparkle with shiny gold stones to scrape out – but not today! maybe another time for some of us! Martin and I were also busy eyeing up the deep pool further up the river and both thinking that we wanted to dive it! Gold panning is very hard work so it’s just as well there was two much younger men in our party who were keen to get stuck in. Once some of us found gold flakes, we decided that was it, we had done what we came out to achieve, we found our treasure!! All satisfied on finding a decent amount of gold flakes (no nuggets I’m afraid)! our satisfied party headed back to the reception area of the Strathfilan wigwams where Leon the owner of the Gold panning company brought out his magnificent collection of gold nuggets from over all areas of Scotland North, South, East and West. See photograph of his nuggets and then a photograph showing you what we reaped from the river … our own gold to take home!! Our stash was divided up and given to us. Chris in our party on being given his vile of gold immediately dropped it and smashed the vile and its contents over thick mud. Leon was very professional and immediately asked two of his colleagues to pan it back out of the mud and amazingly they did and put it back into another vile and handed it back to a very embarrassed Chris. It was all a really unusual but enjoyable experience that was great fun especially leaving with some of our hard earned panned gold in our pockets!!

GoldGold Flakes

Night Diving the Old Torpedo Range

Torpedo Range1 Torpedo Range

Rob organised the Christmas night dive this year. What a treat was awaiting those that were able to come. Everyone met up at the old torpedo range, it was a beautiful clear day, but in the winter that means the air temperature was freezing, below zero degrees. The Sky was clear the water was still, perfect conditions for diving. The idea was to dive the wreck of HMS Gibson, Buddy pairs were sorted and the Bonfire lit this was essential as it wouldn’t be long before everyone was feeling the chill.

BBQ SausagesBonfireDivers

First pair in were Andrew and Bill and as soon as they were spotted coming out from the dive the BBQ was lit and the sausages were on. The 2nd pair Paul and Mary had already went in for their dive on the wreck. The last pair Alan and Rob went in for their dive. Lucky they finished the dive when they did as at the rate the sausages were going down, they could have been short changed and hungry. One dive was enough for everyone with the temperature dropping and the ground getting really icy. Equipment packed away and off to the village inn for the evening meal, god food and great company. Divers managed to penetrate the wrecks engine room and the galley area.

A great end to a great year…Attendees