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Glug and the Farnes 2014

 

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Happy Divers aboard Farne Diver II and enjoying a well earned cuppa. August 2014. Images courtesy of Mary Varley

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GLUG and the Farnes 2013

K1024_DSC06655Happy Divers at the Farnes. Great trip, great company, great diving.  We dived Wames North twice, The Hopper off Longstone Island and South Crumstone (all outer Farnes), aboard Farne Diver II with Lee Hall. Thanks to Mark Varley for the photo.

GLUG and GUSAC Take Part in the 2012 BSAC Litter Pick Campaign

On Sunday September 23rd Glasgow Underwater Group and Glasgow University Sub-aqua Club joined forces to do their bit for the environment by organising a rubbish collection dive as part of the BSAC Litter Pick campaign.  What a great day for both divers and non-divers as we organised a BBQ to make it a social occassion for members and their families.

We dived at the lovely bay at Cove as there was space for all the cars, easy entry to the water, space for BBQ and the promise of scallops.  Good news, it all worked as we found litter to record for the BSAC campaign and also scallops for the BBQ.  Most of the rubbish was bottles & cans but Richard and Alan did their bit by bringing in a bit of a boat – they do like their wreckage!!

24 people attended in total, 18 from GLUG and their families and friends so a great turn out.

GLUG GUSAC Litterpick 2012
GLUG and GUSAC members after their litter pick at Cove

We are looking to do this on again around May time (earlier in the season) as it was such a good day.  Everyone seemed to have a good time and it was great that so many people came even though they couldn’t dive.

GLUG and the Farnes

At least once a year GLUG members maintain that old Scottish tradition of cross border raiding when they descend on (or at) the Farne Islands. A combination of numerous wrecks, exceptional marine life and awsome drift dives combined with frequently exceptional visibility are the main attraction. The relatively short journey time to the Seahouses area of Northumberland and good diving infrastructure minimise any organisational problems.

Grey seals posing in the kelp at the Farne Islands
Grey seals posing in the kelp at the Farne Islands.

The keynote marine species on the Farnes has to be the grey seal and they are visible hauled out in large numbers at locations such as the Longstone. Underwater they have become habitualised to divers and will often approach in ones and twos as can be seen here in the photographs taken by GLUG member Johan Nilsson.

Diving the Farne Islands
Curious grey seals and rich seabed life at the Farnes.

The seals are most often observed in shallow water and hence are best reserved for the last dive of the day. Deeper waters around the islands are strewn with wreckage but a fairly dynamic tidal regime means that careful dive planning is essential if you actually want to stay put on any individual wreck. You can of course settle for  a drift through Piper Gut taking in a number of wrecks as well soaking up the vibrant marine life sustained by the moving water at sites of this nature.

GLUG divers back at Seahouses August 2012
GLUG divers back at Seahouses August 2012

The final photograph sums it up well, satisfied divers at the end of a weekend trip, must be the Farnes effect again.

2012 so far

So far we have had an very active year.  There has been shore diving almost every week of the year.  In addtion we have run a hardboat trip out of Eyemouth in June and July and recently had a fantastic weekend at the Farnes at the beginning of August. Next is Mull 8/9 September and we are looking forward to a week long trip to Scapa Flow in September 2013.

2011 the Second Quarter

Looking back over the last few months it appears that not a week has passed without some GLUG related diving activity having taken place. As well as providing open water training to many of our own members we have provided active support for the current Glasgow University Sub-aqua Club (GUSAC) training programme and some of our instructors have also assisted in training further afield in England.

End of a training dive at St Catherines on Loch Fyne
End of a training dive at St Catherines on Loch Fyne.

Diving trips have taken us to many locations across the south west of Scotland from the Clyde to Loch Linnhe and beyond.

Training

The bulk of our recent training activity has been geared to assisting members who wish to obtain the BSAC Dive Leader qualification. Instruction covers the responsibilities and safety of leading other divers and involves a number of open water exercises as well as a few hours of “classroom” work. Running concurrently and integrated with the Dive Leader training we have also completed a BSAC Practical Rescue Management (PRM)course.

Rescue Training
Rescue training on the shore at St Catherines.

Part of the above training involves the simulation of diving emergencies in open water where each student has the opportunity to implement the steps required to manage an “incident “. In my opinion this is a most useful aspect of BSAC training which really does round off diving knowledge and skills in an effective hands-on way.

Gavin (left) and Gareth ready to dive.

In training we are always looking for a successful outcome at whatever the level and we define this by awarding a qualification. Obviously the higher qualification levels are only reached after some considerable time and effort on the part of those who attain them. Enough guff, congratulations to Gavin Wilkie one of our members who has recently qualified as an Advanced Diver, definitely a successful outcome.

Been There, Done That

Well we have been to a lot of places, we have done a lot of stuff and we have done it in every flavour of the always unpredictable often perverse Scottish weather. Possibly some of the most adverse weather conditions occurred during one weekend when some of our members joined a GUSAC trip to Oban. The photograph below, taken by Johan, illustrates the conditions perfectly, no more words from me are required.

GLUG and GUSAC divers somewhere near Oban
GLUG and GUSAC divers somewhere near Oban.

At the other end of the scale we have also encountered exceptionally dry, often warm weather throughout the month of April. This has given us some pleasant diving conditions even if they have occasionally been tempered by green water as the seasonal plankton bloom kicks in at some locations. Of particular note was the trip to Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe organised by Gavin Wilkie. Some photographs from that trip are shown below.

Diving at Loch Leven
Diving at Loch Leven.
Here are some examples of the marine life that can be found in Loch Leven (captured during a previous visit).

Loch Leven marine life