The favourable tide times meant that we had a bit of a lay in and a leisurely start to day 2, which was also accompanied by sunshine. Casting off just before 11am, we made for the Muckle Flugga archipelago once again, dropping Ben and Cori off for a shallow, scenic bimble on the way.
When we arrived at Out Stack there was still a current running, which slackened a little during the kitting up process. We descended quickly, wanting to avoid a free trip to the Faroe Islands, and tucked into a gully. And then…wow! A valley of colourful life opened up in front of us – one of the most spectacular underwater scenes that any of us had seen in the UK. There were beds of sponges and jewel anemones all over the floors and walls of this gorge, along with a well camoflaged lemon sole.
We returned to Burrafirth for an extended lunch break, during which Ben and Cori refilled the cylinders, Nick and Declan fitted a new echo-sounder to the boat, Dave wrote up the copious Seasearch notes from the morning dive and the rest of us ate and relaxed in the sun.
The day’s second dive was just a short hop across the firth to the caves on the far side. The triangular ‘azure window’ at the far side of the main passage reminded those of us who had been to Gozo of the caverns in Xlendi Bay (if a little cooler). The short swim-through gave us ample time in which to explore the boulders that spread from the exit. Most of us then returned home in eager anticipation of Nick and Elaine’s bangers and mash; most of us except Declan and Annette – the former providing boat cover for the latter’s successful attempt to become the second person, and first woman, to swim around the Muckle Flugga lighthouse.
How could day 3 follow this?