The Ballad Of Scottish Diving
(or Cumbrae Aah, My Lord …. Cumbrae, Aah!)
 
There’s tales that have been written, 
By the folks who have been smitten,
By the diving bug and all that it has brought us.
Exotic destinations
Give some people palpitations,
But there’s nothing can compare with Scottish waters.
 
Sometime later - maybe sooner,
You’ll be diving where the Shuna,
Thesis, Rondo and Hispania can be found.
When you hear the creaking decks,
Of those fantastic wrecks,
You’ll find that you’re surrounded by The Sound.
 
Even sufferers of Brass Fever,
Who use jemmy-bars to lever,
Off a port-hole or a deadlight or a binnacle,
Can replace their sad affliction,
With Bo Fascadale addiction,
Where their dive experience will reach a pinnacle.
 
The Orca’s very tall fin,
And the dorsal of a dolphin,
Have all been spotted off the shores of Coll.
So have Basking Sharks and Minke,
And it’s not considered kinky,
To jump right in and snorkel with ‘em all.
 
Those wonderful large creatures,
Aren’t the region’s only features.
The wildlife ranges down to microscopic.
And every level in between,
Lies there waiting to be seen.
As long as you’re not totally myopic.
 
It’s hard not to get excited,
And to show that you’re delighted,
When the “rarely seen” can lead to histrionics.
One of those rare finds,
Almost blew Sue and Neil’s minds,
When the torch illuminated Asteronyx.
 
And in between your dives,
Observe natures other lives,
Where the topside fauna add a touch of class.
But be sure to take a hat,
To keep your hair free of the “splat”,
When you’re spotted by the gannets at the Bass.
 
From the East out to the West
Though you may expect the best
You won’t know what you’ll find till you go in.
From the south up to the north,
And from Hebrides to Forth,
The viz can range from Guinness up to gin.
 
I’ve seen divers as they filled a
Live-aboard bound for St.Kilda.
Where crystal waters make you want to swoon.
But when you go over the side,
On a dive trip to the Clyde,
You know you’re on the dark side of Dunoon.
 
Keith Pritchard
May 2001