One of our long awaited trips is on the cusp. Are we going to Shetland ? Will the weather gods smile on us ? What will Bob decide. Will there be any lockdown changes ?????
We all travelled up to Aberdeen, in glorious sunshine, for the Saturday night ferry to Lerwick. Full of hope but knowing there was a storm coming our way !
A very calm crossing and quick disembarkation meant that we loaded the Clasina and were on our way very quickly for the first dive. Fraochpan (trawler on white sand) at 30m. Only small but upright and very recognisable as a boat with life colonising the relatively recent wreck. Flatfish all around on the seabed. 2 Octopus on the wreck and 1 a little way off. A great start.
Then, the start of the conversation about the storm due Wednesday and when to make the crossing to Orkney. Never mind, focus on the diving. Two more dives today. Lunokhods (Klondyker) in 40m. Everyone found the shotted bow section but only one team managed to follow the wreckage trail to the shallows. OOOPS. Visibility not great (my excuse!).
Off to Giants Legs. Two arches and a cave in 20m max. Everyone successfully navigated this and had a great dive. Lots of life all around. Scared the seal out of the cave.
Decision time. Can we face a rough crossing for 14 hours – NOOOOOOO. Decision made easy then. Steam for Orkney in the evening and arrive in the early hours.
Awoke docked at Eday. Slow start to dive the Char (Oceana). Broken wreck in 16m with a few swim throughs. Good visibility and lots of life. Things are looking up.
Spoke too soon, The boat has engine problems. Need to get to Kirkwall and an engineer ASAP. No diving for the rest of the day. Go for a wander. Highland Park shop is open but not a lot else.
The situation is terminal. Boat is properly broken. Some serious engine dismantling and parts needed. No more diving for us. Can’t get the next ferry until Wednesday night so 2 days ‘at leisure’. Means different things for different folks !
Not the result we had hoped for.
Please see the next instalment – short notice St Abbs – on the way home.