First dive of the year was last Sunday. With beautiful conditions on the surface we broke a thin sheet of ice as we left the berth in Kip Marina, glad I had my dry gloves with me. Dive plan for the day was the wreck of the mighty Akka off Dunoon, followed by dives further south on the Wallachia and in Wemyss Bay.
We arrived on site in blazing sunshine and managed to secure the shotline first time. Unfortunately conditions below the surface were not as good as hoped with visibility a dark 3 metres with some suspension, and the water temperature a little cooler than last time I was in the water in early November.
Our dives followed pretty much the same route and is over marked on the photo of the Akka below. Note the route is in red, and imagine the waterline in the picture is the seabed. The shotline was in at the front of the centre island and we swam down the port side of the ship to the stern accommodation, a quick inspection of the rudder and then back along the deck and up onto the first deck level and the shot.
As usual my camera kit was set up with brightest lights possible and wide angle lens. This proved not to be the best selection for the conditions…..this has happened before! So the subjects for the photo shoot would be having a large dome port up close and eyeballs, if they had any, fried by 30,000 lumens. There is plenty of colour down there but you do need a good torch on the dive, not only to see but also communicate with others divers and be seen. As you can see from the pictures almost every inch is occupied by marine life, all clinging to this massive metal reef.
Strangely the visibility on the dives further south was less than the Akka, and unfortunately the tide was running on the Wallachia making it a challenging dive.