Jonie and Richard Guest search for underwater remains from the last war – by Richard Guest (NOSAS).
We had it on good authority – a record of an eye witness – that at the end of the last war the 6” artillery which had been positioned at Rubha nan Sasan on the west side of the entrance to Loch Ewe was dumped over the cliffs. We had also variously heard that it had been seen previously by divers but also that it may have been salvaged. We decided to look for ourselves.
We launched our Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) from the community slip at Inverasdale and headed out to the mouth of the Loch in good weather and calm sea. The gun emplacements are easy to see on shore and were visible from the boat so there was no problem in deciding where to dive.
The first dive was made from a point just North of the northern gun emplacement, with the intention of working south past it. Immediately on descending it was obvious that there was a serious obstacle to the search – dense kelp! The seabed was not visible from above the kelp and could only be seen by putting your head into the seaweed, which allowed you to see about one square metre at a time. Even vertical surfaces were kelp-covered so even if the guns stood proud of the seabed they would themselves be covered in kelp. You could only see whether the kelp was attached to archaeology or bedrock from within touching distance.