One more diving post, this time July 1997, a live-aboard, ten-day diving holiday to St Kilda aboard the dive boat MV Chalice. We were a party of 12 divers. Bunk beds in tiny cabins and if I remember rightly we were asked not to be extravagant with the water!
The archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest part of the British Isles, lies 41 miles (66 kilometres) west of Benbecula in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. You can read more about St Kilda which is a National Trust site here: http://www.kilda.org.uk/
There was much to see diving St Kilda, and we were extremely lucky with the weather http://www.kilda.org.uk/weekildaguide/guide12.htm which can change very suddenly. Big squally winds can come in and rattle across the islands at all times of the year. Our skipper told us it was most unusual to get the perfect weather window that we did.
The diving itself offered great variety, including scenic dives, wall dives, an arch, a cave, and a number of wrecks. I still have my dive logs and recorded the wrecks of the Chadwick, Doris, Nevada II, Tapti, Aurania, and S.S Breda. I try to picture myself back there in that wonderfully clear water, and imagine some of the scenes from my notes: ‘lots of dogfish and a big blue lobster, lovely anemones with orange centres‘, ‘pretty purple fish sat in my hand‘, ‘spectacular tiny anemones, orange, purple, and blue, crabs in cracks in the cliff, big cave – quite a current‘, ‘crabs caught in fishing nets, freed them with my scissors’. There was much more, but now a few photos from the trip.
Oban, in mainland Scotland, where we pick up our dive boat
Along for the ride
St Kilda in the distance
Looming in the evening mist
Old habitations, no one lives here now
You need to be fit to haul yourself up the ladder!
Diver says ‘OK’
A great trip
And as I was putting this post together I suddenly thought to check the date and realised that exactly 20 years ago today I was diving the Tapti and the Aurania at St Kilda! Time has flown far too fast!