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A long weekend in Ardnamurchan
A big thank you to Mary (Janet's mum) for putting up with us for the weekend, and to Janet and Marc for inviting us to their idealic retreat.
- Friday - Off-road, Quad Bike and scramble to get to a fab dive site
- Saturday - A trip to Tobermoray to invent a new drinking game
- Sunday - Diving the most westerly point on the UK mainland
But first a quick word about the Canniseeums (Ca-Nae-See-Ums) "Culicoides impunctatus" or more commonly known as the dreaded midge. It is that time of year when the Canniseeums are out in force and can make outdoors a no-go area. We were fortunate that there was enough of a breeze for the most part to keep the beasties away but not enough of a breeze to make the diving difficult.
Time for some adventure. Janet, Marc, Ruth, Hazel and Myself decided a dive on Ardnot Island, the only problem was how to get there.
Ardnot Island (At the tip of the headland)
To start with we filled the Freelander with all the dive kit and set out across the fields getting as close to the site as we dared.
Then we used the quad bike to transfer the kit to the shore base. Keeping clear of the local wildlife.
Once at the dive site we then had to navigate the seaweed covered shore to gain access to the sea.
The Dogs (Gem, Jazz and Doug) enjoyed themselves.
The visibility was superb and we dived along the show just outside of the kelp line and over to the Island.
The Island (seaward side) was a very nice wall around 20m deep covered with life:
Now the tide had come in to make a nice pool it was time for Ruth's first dive in the sea.
What a place to start your diving career;-)
Now a repeat of the journey there but in reverse, pack everything away, transfer kit using the Quad bike and the Freelander which made it safely back across the fields.
Closely followed by curry and a little bit of wine and whisky ;-)
Might have even gone for a walk along the beach to help the curry settle in.
Spent the morning flying kites, untangling the Lambinator/Fankly Thing (Large metal rake that is towed behind a tractor to remove bracken etc), quick lunch (leftover curry) and once the hangover was beginning to wear off we headed over to the ferry and went to Tobermory. The water was stunningly clear and we really should have been diving.
Once at Tobermory we had the obligatory visit to the Chocolate Shop and bought Ice Creams. Then decided that the alcohol levels were in danger of dropping too low, so we headed to the bar. Now this being Tobermory with all the brilliant colours we decided that for the afternoon each drink you had must be a different colour!
So Larger (brown), Guinness (Black), G&T (Clear), Pimms and Lemonade (Red), Baileys (White), Apple Snaps (Green), Blue Bolls and Soda (Blue) and to top it off a Purple Stiffy and soda. Of course you can also do this with soft drinks too.
If we (were sad enough) and thought ahead, we might have printed off a photo of Tobermory and matched the drinks to the building colours.
Anyhow we managed to find our way back to the ferry in time and get back for a super strength chili Marc had made earlier. Plus another walk to the beach to try to get rid of the bloated feeling.
It was amazingly calm, and hence we headed over to the lighthouse to see if we could dive the most westerly tip of the UK mainland.
The dive was good, lots of shoals of fish, and lots of kelp on a bolder slope. Around the point there was a fair current whipping up which took a bit of work to swim against on the return leg. Good visibility and lots to see in between the kelp.
We then headed back to the ranch for leftover Chilli, before facing the 4 hour drive back to Edinburgh.