Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Club Trip to Arran September 2018

Waves Shape

Over the years our club has enjoyed lots of great long weekend trips diving up on the West Coast sometimes in sunshine but mostly in rain. We always have a great time. However, there was always a place in the back of my mind I wanted to take the club diving and that was Arran.

I first visited the island many years ago with my Sisters and did a tourist trip around the
Holy Isle on a RHIB and it was then I found out about the Marine Protected Area (MPA) and No Take Zone (NTZ) set up by divers like ourselves, who live on Arran, that wanted ultimately to protect the marine life and stop trawling devastating the underwater environment. What better place to organise a dive trip!

So I had made up my mind to organise this but had absolutely no idea where to start! Determination is a great thing so what did I do? – Went into Google and searched for my favourite underwater pastime – ‘underwater photography’ in Arran of course! Low and behold up comes a website that is full of beautiful photographs. Being the shy type! I immediately contacted the photographer, introducing myself and asked for his help (if you don’t ask, you don’t get)! Days passed and eventually I received a response from Gus, he was delighted to help and I cannot thank him enough for all his guidance. I had so many questions to ask and organising to do but Gus was always very kind and responded with spot on good advice. He also introduced me to Howard Wood who was the person that set up the MPA and NTZ and writes in the Marine Conservation magazine.

So, at last the day arrived when we were going to Arran – as we headed across the sea, the sun came out and never really left us all weekend.

Some of us were staying in Lamlash and others south of the island at Kildonan.

Both locations are totally different but equally wonderful.

I had spent a lot of time finding out about the dives sites/locations, documenting descriptions of what to expect to find at each site to use when we were out on the RHIB. The outcome was we had two great days of diving different sites. Sadly though, the two sites I really wanted to dive located behind the Pladda Lighthouse were just not possible due to the wind and currents. We did take the RHIB to the area but the huge swells left us with no choice but to leave diving these sites on another trip.

Not only was this a special dive trip for our club and myself as we had never come across to Arran to dive. This particular weekend, it was the 10​th Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST) and to celebrate, they were opening a COAST centre (the very first one in Scotland) for members of the public, families, and children to visit and learn about our wonderful underwater environment. I would thoroughly recommend a visit the next time you are on Arran.

Volunteers run the COAST centre so I have already bagged myself a place there when I retire, obviously to use up my time when I’m not diving around Arran of course!

I would like to organise a trip next Easter so if you fancy it, let me know.

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