Diving with Rob from Anstruther
This trip was billed as a low cost excursion to dive the K class submarines sunk in the Battle of May Island in the Firth of the Forth. The weather hadn't looked promising all week...
After somewhat of a slog up the M6 past Lancaster and then a grinding queue from Hamilton on the M74 to the other side of the Forth over the Forth Road Bridge (the new bridge looks great), Alistair and Mark eventually arrived in St Andrews. Anton had booked rooms in McIntosh Hall which are student digs in term time. Each room was thoughtfully provided with three unlabelled buckets for waste. Quite what was for each bucket is left to the imagination... Parking was a little scarce.
After a nice fish supper from Tailend the slowest chippy in Scotland Alistair and Mark retired to the pub where they were joined by John, Anton and Iain.
Early the following morning after a very good breakfast at McIntosh Hall the team drove down to Anstruther to meet Rob where he confirmed it was too windy to do the K class subs but he'd find us something. A little later Rob's boat, Venture II, was steaming out towards the Isle of May with a full complement of divers (one of whom was Stuart who JBOD met with his camper van in Skye some years ago).
Soon everyone was kitting up ready for diving the Mallard. The shot was close to the wreck but not on it so a little wreck finding was needed and everyone but Anton and Iain found it (mainly because they were hampered with a short bottom time as). The wreck has mainly collapsed now but is recognisably a ship with engine and boilers prominent. There is a lot of life on the wreck.
After the dive the weather was freshening so Rob decided on discretion rather than bravery and got all the kit lashed down for a bouncy trip back to Anstruther. Everyone survived the trip although John did lose his breakfast.
After unloading and having refreshment at the pub we adjourned to Robs for fills as well as chat and more refreshment. Something that turned into most of the afternoon and me eating what felt like my own body-weight in nibbles.
Dinner was taken at the pub before an early night.
The next morning we searched St Andrews for a petrol station before dashing back down to Anstruther. There were less divers on the boat (which made it a little bit more comfortable). To dive the K class subs would mean no second dive so the new plan was to go over to the München and let the deeper divers dive that before coming back to the Primrose for the shallower divers.
Nobody knew what the München was although Rob realised it was big as the fish finder found it and dropped the shot.
John and Alistair were the first down. The shot was at 56m and right next to the hull of the ship. John and Alistair followed the hull up to around 50m to find that the ship is on its side and has wooden decks. They followed the gunwale for a while looking at the wreck and as they ran out of bottom time returned to the shot.
As John and Alistair were going back up two other divers came down. They came back shortly afterwards and didn't do a lot of deco stops. We found out later that they hadn't found the ship! A little post-trip research shows how significant a ship the München is! After steaming back to the Isle of May Rob searched for the Primrose. He eventually found it and Alistair accurately dropped the shot into the fore deck (most would call this blind luck). Anton and Iain went in followed by Rob and another diver leaving Stuart in charge of the boat. After a good dive by all Rob steamed back to Anstruther. The journey home was dreadfully slow at first as it's a narrow road with Sunday drivers on it. But once the motorway was reached and the Forth Bridge avoided all was plain sailing. Mark and Alistair had time to stop for a leisurely tea before overtaking John, Anton and Iain before arriving home. John had by this time been reduced to one gear in the truck which is starting to sound like it won't make 300,000 miles.
Many thanks to Rob for skippering us on his boat and being the most hospitable skipper we've ever met. Thanks to Anton for organising things - excellent job with the accommodation. Thanks to everyone else and hopefully we'll be out together again soon.