I've just got back from the wild north. Very wild and very north in this case -- we were in Lochaline on the Sound of Mull, diving and what a great trip.
We dived Capernwray on the way up, the first place I ever dived. It now contains a huge jet plane. We swam through the hold and pretended to parachute jump out. I sat on the tail and pretended I was flying. I reenacted an incident of panic from my first dive involving a fairground horse. At the deepest part we found a gnome garden and a huge pig statue which was using a rabbit vibrator.
We dived the wreck of the Hispania, a small but very intact wreck from the fifties which feels slightly sombre to me as the captain went down with the ship.
We stopped for lunch in the small village of Tobermoray with its brightly coloured houses and tramped through the place in our dive gear noshing on pies and watching the sea.
After dark we donned glowsticks and torches and made a ridiculous dive round the local harbour. The dive was rarely so deep that we could not stand up and our shore cover could see everything we were doing as could gawpers in the local pub. We spent the time searching for "treasures of the deep" which in this case was whatever junk people throw off the harbour, taps, spoons and millions of scallop shells. At one point we uncovered a recent fish carcass with dozens of green harbour crabs climbing over each other to gnaw it. It was a scene which would give Lovecraft a shiver of horror.
We caught scallops, cooked them from fresh and served them in shells in a cream and leek sauce. Nothing like eating something you caught yourself.
Porpoises chased our bow wake on the way back home.
When we got back on the final day the tide was too low to moor and the skipper made up don dive gear and swim to shore. The locals were somewhat amused by a full boat heading past port and pushing all its passengers off the back as I trudged dripping up the steps a man stood gawping at me. I just said "I think we really upset the captain somehow" and went to pack my gear.