Life at the end of the road

April 15, 2018

It’s no wonder they need a lift :-)

Sorry, couldn’t manage a post last night, was pure wrecked, it’s not a hard day here on the Lochaline/Fishnish route but it’s a long one and ‘yours truly’ was pretty shattered last night. We’d had a busy enough day with commercial traffic right enough but I can’t use that as an excuse.


My prep work on and around the aft fire shutter was hardly reason either, truth is, I’m just getting too old Smile Having said all that I don’t need a ‘lift’ to get back into the boat if I’ve been diving, despite being in my 60’s and having a ‘bad back’.

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It’s been a bit of an education working here this last few weeks, I’ve been a diver, both recreational and professional for over forty years now and have been much impressed with the advances in so called ‘technical diving’ in the leisure sector where gases are mixed to prevent narcosis increase ‘bottom times’ and reduce decompression times thus making contraction of the ‘bends’ far less likely. ‘Back in the day’ when I was a serious wreck diver we regularly dived to 55m on air alone and spent an hour decompressing on USN tables (United States Navy diving tables) Nowadays the modern ‘technical diver’ carries with him huge air tanks and oxygen enriched mixtures for decompressing with. Not only that but he requires a lift to get him out of the water cos he’s carrying so much carp!!!! I kid you not, both of Lochaline boat charter vessels, Peregrine and Brendan have diver lifts fitted and when you see all the carp that the modern diver carries around it’s no wonder why Smile 

The O2 café and Lochaline dive centre

As I’ve said in the past, I spent many a memorable holiday in the Sound of Mull back in the seventies and eighties diving some of Britain’s most memorable wrecks. Lochaline must be unique in the British Isles in having such a wealth of spectacular wrecks that are accessible all year round and in all but the worst of weather/tide conditions. Relatively sheltered yet supplied by mild Gulf Stream water the Sound of Mull is a positive ‘Mecca’ for the true enthusiast and novice alike with everything from the historic HMS Dartmouth in a few meters of water to SS Buitenzorg  

Remote sensing image of the SS Buitenzorg

in the heady depths of trimix for the ambitious ‘technical diver’. Either way Bodie and Malcolm of Lochaline Boat Charters or Calum from could ‘drop’ you on them, along with the Hispania, Ballista, John Preston, Rondo, Meldon (my very own 2500 ton collier mined in 1917) and a whole host of other wrecks nearby, not to mention the multitude of scenic, cliff and drift dives in he area. Lochaline truly is a divers paradise Smile 

When I was out for a walk with ‘wee dug’ last night we wandered along through the community owned woodland towards the West Pier


and its awesome views over the Sound of Mull before turning back towards home and the wee caravan

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passing by the O2 café on the way way. It was whilst gazing through the shop windows that I noticed a sign that said they had diving cylinders for sale at around £45 each, needless to say Molly and I went up there today, spoke to Calum and came away with four 12lt Faber steel cylinders for less than the price of four bags of coal Smile

As Ships go by

Well, it’ll be after 22:30 now and time for bed so I guess I’d better wind this up.



The latest batch of divers getting ready for some spectacular dives in the Sound of Mull, courtesy of


MV Hallaig at Lochaline slip


  1. Morning Paul

    I must have missed something, but why are you and the Hallaig doing Lochaline to Fishnish and which boat is doing the Raasay run?



    Comment by Sue — April 16, 2018 @ 7:33 am

  2. Longing to have the Hallaig back to Raasay!

    Comment by Rosemary — April 19, 2018 @ 8:36 am

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