Last weekend we returned to Ferry Farm at Tayinloan, a perfect base for diving the west coast of the Kintyre Peninsula, south east Islay and Rathlin. Tayinloan has a commercial ferry slip which can be used for launching boats at all states of the tide.
After many weeks of calm and sunny weather we were greeted by strong winds and low cloud on Friday morning as we drove round to the west coast. A quick change of plan from west to east coast provided sheltered conditions on the wreck of the Margaret Niven in Loch Fyne, if nothing else to check our equipment and more importantly those using it!
Friday Dive – the Margaret Niven was a small iron steamlighter launched in 1866 at Port Glasgow. The 63 foot long vessel was on a voyage from Crarae Quarry, Loch Fyne to Glasgow with a full cargo of stone chips when she ran aground north of Tarbert, Loch Fyne in 1908. The wreck lies on a muddy seabed 50 metres north east of a small reef known locally as the “Bauld Heid”, aka Sgeir Mhada Cinn, just north of Barmore Island. The reef is marked by a metal pole, positioned at a suitably jaunty angle. The wreck lies between 24 and 28 metres on a gently sloping mud and stone seabed, the remains are essentially the hull, damaged propellor, vertical boiler, small engine, bow winch and her cargo of stone chips. We will upload a page on this wreck shortly, but here are some images from the dive with visibility around 3-4 metres.
The second wreck to be visited was the Universe, fortunately she has avoided the attentions of any fishing activity, with no nets, buckie pots, ropes or any debris. This wreck lies in 62 metres and rises between 2-4 metres. Visibility of the wreck was very good, probably 10-12 metres, sealife has coated the paddle box framing with dense clumps of orange and white plumose anemones, shoals of small fish and large bib swam around the central section. We hope to add a page for this wreck once we have concluded a bit more research into her loss, but here are some pictures from the dive.