UFO Debriefing

The UFO Show Scotland last weekend was a great success.  Put together at the last minute, I wanted to do some kind of media project to commemorate 25 years of the famous Falkland Incident which occurred in 1995, Fife, Scotland.  I also wanted to get the broadcast out on Saturday 6th June 2020 as this was to be the weekend of the Scottish Ufo and Paranormal Conference, sadly cancelled due to lock down.

The UFO Show Scotland

There is currently one web page still on line regarding the Falkland incident and I wanted to produce something more, to act as a kind of time capsule, a resource for future researchers and truth seekers.

I decided to do a Live Stream show concentrating on 3 of Scotland’s most interesting Close Encounters of the 3rdKind – namely the Bob Taylor Dechmont Classic case, the Falkland incident and the Blairgowrie incident.

My chosen formula was to do a virtual tour of each location and complimented with a more detailed report from Ron Halliday, a renowned Scottish Paranormal Investigator and Author of several books on the subject.

Ron Halliday

I was blessed with good weather during the 4 day shoot and on one visit to Falkland, had to do a hill walking trek just to get one shot of a landing location.  I had 6 days to shoot and edit enough content for a one hour live broadcast.

The show ended up being one hour and thirty eight minutes in duration.  There were many ‘raconteurs’ as I coin our online contributors.  The beauty of live stream is that it’s interactive.  The viewers can comment and ask questions to each other and the presenter using the comments box.

Ron Halliday was able to join us during the broadcast and did a sterling job answering the viewer’s questions and comments.

I started off by giving my own opinions about the UFO / Alien question.  I have been interested in this subject for over 40 years.  During the 90’s I enjoyed travelling down to Sheffield and Leeds in England to attend the big UFO conventions with some of my Scottish colleagues.  I did work on some video productions which were used by Scottish researchers as part of their presentation materials.

I enjoyed listening to headline speakers such as Budd Hopkins – the alien abduction guru.  During the 90’s it was a golden era of ufo abduction books, documentaries and movies.  It was also a golden era (pre digital) of the ufo channellers.  These were psychic mediums who were able to be the voice of extra terrestrials from other worlds such as the Ashtar Command.  On Sundays, my friends used to meet in a house and after enjoying a fantastic vegetarian meal, would sit and listen to audio tapes of the ufo channellers.

Although I’ve never personally witnessed a flying saucer or aliens, my conclusions about the phenomenon were:

  1. Weird Shit happens
  2. UFOs are real, they have been captured on photographic plates, video, radar and have been reported by credible witnesses such as pilots and police officers
  3. The phenomenon is temporary, much in the way Taoism describes reality – we are manifest on this world and then we are unmanifest
  4. As science now accepts the holographic theory of reality, I mentioned a scene in the Matrix Reloaded movie where the Oracle describes UFOs and Ghosts as ‘software errors’ in the Matrix which shouldn’t really be here. This may be why the phenomenon is temporary and then simply disappears. This may also explain why in 70 years since the classic Rosewell Crash story of 1947, there has never been any physical evidence / proof of a craft from outer space in a museum for us to examine.
  5. And finally I made reference to the Children’s 80’s TV series Chocky, which was based on the book by John Wyndham. This is the story of an extra terrestrial who contacts a young boy and is able to project it’s mind as a hologram that the boy can see and hear. Chocky’s mission is to advance the boy’s knowledge of science and the arts. It was developed into 3 TV series, continuing with Chocky’s Children and Chocky’s Challenge. Many of these shows are available on Youtube to watch. To me the idea of telepathic communication is the most likely form of contact between humans and extra terrestrials as the distances to cross space in a metal ship are just too huge. Again these are my own opinions, and during the show I welcomed any of the viewers to voice their opinions of what they thought.
Chocky TV series

So this was my first Ufological media project in over 25 years, and I was very much enjoying the whole process of gathering content then sewing it together into 8 short videos for the live stream.

The Falkland incident involved a family encountering the typical Grey entities who were standing by a black triangular shaped Ufo.  One of the main researchers of this case was Malcolm Robinson of Strange Phenomena Investigations and he has written about his research into the Falkland Incident in his books available from Amazon.

The Oracle with Neo – Matrix Reloaded Movie

The Blairgowrie incident involved a family witnessing strange unmarked black helicopters over their house and seeing men in black walking up their neighbours path, complete with the gate opening ‘magically’ by itself.

The Dechmont Incident with Bob Taylor is Scotland’s Classic Ufo story, where by Bob was attacked by two strange spherical entities that emerged from a semi translucent saucer type craft in the Dechmont Woods area of Livingston, West Lothian.  Malcolm Robinson’s book on this particular case is also available.

After the show I received many positive comments from the viewers on the show’s content and it was very gratifying indeed!  I look forward to doing another Ufo Live Stream show next year, perhaps an outside broadcast from the 2020 Scottish Ufo Conference would be an exciting project to work on.

To watch the show you can find it on my Youtube Channel:  Vincent Anthony Media.  If you would like to find out more about the Scottish UFO scene then you can contact the following organisations / researchers here:

Ron Halliday –  Facebook search for: Ron Halliday

Malcolm Robinson:  malckyspi@yahoo.com

The Unexplained group on Meetup.com – organisers Linda & Duncan

Time Traveller

illuminatusLast night’s live stream show was an overwhelming success, plenty of comments coming in from the viewers enjoying the show.  We had some practical gentle movement exercises and some theory from the mini module on Conflict Management Studies.

Our special guest was Graeme Harvey who is a clinical hypnotherapist and also know as ‘The Time Lord.’  With hypnotherapy Graeme helps all clients with many types of mental and physical conditions.  He has worked with victims of domestic abuse and has helped youngsters with exam stress and all sorts of phobias.

However, one of the most interesting aspects of Graeme’s life is that he offers clients past and future life regression therapy to help them solve problems in the present.  Graeme also has the ability to time travel – with no need of a Tardis.

As I said on the show I can testify to Graeme’s Time Travelling ability as back in 2013 I had been filming Graeme for another video project and he let us in on a little secret – the results of the Scottish Independence Referendum Results – in Advance!!

Sure enough, when I had just graduated from college, I heard the results and Graeme was the first person that came to mind.

Graeme runs CenScot Therapies and if you want to contact him, his details are in the show on Youtube channel:  Vincent Anthony Media

I allocated Graeme a special extra extended interview of over 40 minutes on last night’s show as he is a very unique and special individual – after all, how many time travellers do you know apart from the fictional Dr Who?

Lock down is still on – Mindfulness vs CONrona is still on – so Game ON!!

 

Got any I.D on you?

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The Prey Specimen Red Cast

Here’s the debriefing from last night’s show (Round #4) which went splendidly.  I welcomed guests Peter Hitchens of the Mail on Sunday and Graeme Campbell of Glass Bullet Media who runs with his partner Laura Binnie, one of Scotland’s leading Video Production Companies in the corporate and broadcast sectors.

We had a mix of Philosophy and Mindfulness exercises to try.  Our Philosophy focused on the Conflict Management mini module I run in the course, and in particular we look at Taoist philosophy which is ideal for using as a template when being attacked by others.

I used an example scene from my childhood favourite TV series Kung Fu starring David Carradine.  In the scene, Master Po says:

“The wild boar runs from the Tiger, knowing that each well armed by nature, with deadly strength may kill the other, running.  It saves its own life and that of the Tiger.  This is not cowardice, it is the love of life.”

During the show my expectation was that this would be the end of studying conflict in the live stream.

Next morning, 9am the negativity I’ve mentioned previously, raised its ugly head – this time with internet trolling, pest phone calls and emails.

Some people just don’t know when to stop!!  Some people will dig and dig at you until they end up digging a hole so large, they’ve dug their own early grave.

In last night’s show I specifically drew attention to the lesson from Master Jason Chan who says:

“Every moment you are choosing between life and death.”  – Which I may add created with your thoughts, words and actions.

Confucius says:

“If unsure what to do, do nothing.”

Wise words, however in this cyber world we live in, if you do nothing the trolls will attack.

HOW TO DEAL WITH TROLLS

The answer is very simple – don’t feed the trolls.

You can also do the following things which I learned from a Sandwich Mentor some years ago:

Block them on Social Media

Ignore their pest phone calls or lift the receiver but don’t answer

Ignore their pest emails

Get in touch with the Police to make a statement

And as master Po advises:  be prepared to defend if they threaten your life.

Wise words indeed!

Sometimes the Universe itself will deal with trolls for you, ‘something unexpected came up’ and they are side tracked onto an alternate timeline.

We now live in a time when people are going absolutely loopy and may be capable of doing things which you could say are irrational even if it means committing a criminal offence.  I value rationale and my Live Stream Shows convey this.

The problem here is not over my CONrona theme, it wouldn’t actually matter what the content of my Live Stream was about – the same trolls would attack anyway.  You see, a Troll needs to be IDentified with something as a troll has no meaning to their life.  Give a troll an IDentity and they are ready to attack!!

So trolls IDentify with CONrona as their raison d’être.  A few months back if my live stream had been about say Brexit, those same trolls would have been attacking for or against,  just the same, or let’s choose Scottish Independence and so on – you get the picture don’t you?

This is Zen.  Zen means you can’t have the ups with out the downs in life.

Ending on a positive note, nothing but positive comments came in during last night’s broadcast.   So I now start to collate content for next week’s show.  Onwards and Upwards!!

 

 

 

Drama Queens

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Loch Leven

It’s the morning after last night’s live stream show affectionately called ‘Round #3.’  Last night had a change to the planned schedule.  I was going to start off by giving an explanation of Neuroplasticity of the Brain.

Minutes before the show went live, I received an email which was so full of negativity it was quite clearly a form of attack.  The person who sent me this email hit me with the element of ‘surprise’ coming from someone I would least expect.  It had also been sent it at a time when it would have most impact.

The person was in actual fact, trying to manipulate.  The email brought up feelings of anger, anxiety and self doubt.

However, I made an executive decision, rather than fall into this drama that the Drama Queen had set me up for, I decided to use this on the show ‘live’ as an example of how to use Mindfulness in every day situations – it was perfect!!  I even thanked the Queen on the show for giving me an spontaneous opportunity to demonstrate Mindfulness!!

The message of our course is “Don’t be a Drama Llama.”   That is, use your Mindfulness skills to watch out and identify Drama Queens who will try their best, consciously or unconsciously to bring you down.  Then you can neutralise these people quickly before they have the chance to manipulate you to their own advantage.

Very often this will happen in the work place or even in your own home.  For me this also happens in the supermarket car park:

I’m reversing my wee Micra out of a space and this has caused a flustered driver to have the indignity of having to wait a minute extra while I get out my space.  That driver then will provoke by racing past me and. cutting me off.  If I let them drag me into their drama I will react and the whole situation ends up as a police matter, and it’s a lose lose scenario for me and the Drama Queen.

Drama Queens will always pull you into their drama “just when life is going so well.”  They have an innate ability to smell your happiness which leads me to explain why they do this in the first place.

The answer is very simple, they are not in a good place and don’t wish to be alone in that place, thus they drag you in so that you’ll feel the same way they do.

That is why the arcane message is still of value to this day – “Don’t react to people!!”

Let them put on their Dramas for all of us to watch – after all, the Drama Queens can’t touch you if you’re just observing their performance can they??!!

Anyway, many of the viewers of the show gave me some positive comments and feedback during and after the broadcast and this helped quash the efforts of the Drama Queen, it back fired, you could say.

So, there is much to do, much content to produce for next week’s show!!  Stay tuned!!….

 

New Equipment Arrival!!

Well I’m excited to announce we have invested in new gear since starting live streaming our Mindfulness show.

GoPro adapter is a Bonus!!

A ball joint adapter for shooting on my bike and a Manfrotto light to do future outside broadcasts with larger studio audiences.

I have decided to subscribe to Ecamm software after taking advantage of the two week free trial.

So we’re all set to go for tonight’s live stream at 7pm British time!! All shows are backed up to YouTube after each broadcast.

I hope you will join us!!

Licence to Thrill – live stream aftermath

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Featuring Media Poodle ‘Dog Boy’

Another Live Stream has been completed.  After many hours of content gathering and editing, I achieved my 2nd ever Live Stream Broadcast.  My nerves were with me to the end as I tried to Multi Task for the entire hour.  Well actually, not the entire hour, I got a little bit of a break while running the exercise video.

The new lesson I learned from the second attempt was just how quickly time flies by when your going out live.

I’ve decided that as our classes are about an hour in duration, that would be the best guide for how long to steam mindfulness.

Saying that I’m really enjoying producing content and on next week’s show, I must throw in the classic line “and here’s one I prepared earlier….”

I’m also looking out for fellow content co creators to join me in future shows whether that be film makers, life coaches, wellbeing practitioners, therapists and anyone connected with mind body spirit industries.

Watch this space!……..

Live Stream – The Debrief

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Media Poodle

It’s been two days since my first attempt at doing a Live Stream on my show entitled ‘Mindfulness vs CONrona’ – Round #1 the big fight LIVE!!

I was somewhat nervous before the transmission as it had been over 20 years since I worked in Television News Broadcasting.  However once I got started the nerves started to fade so I could concentrate on presenting and pushing the right software buttons and dials.

It was only after watching the show that I realised the limitations of using my wee laptop as the only video and audio feed.  For example when I tried to do the gentle movement exercises Live, on playback I could see the laptop was struggling to mix the audio channels from my music track with my built in microphone, so at times my voice was garbled.

Lesson learned, so to give a more professional, slick looking show next time, I’ll simply pre record the exercise sequence using cameras and wider angle lenses.  That way the viewers will be able to have a much better quality experience.

Also during the broadcast I realised that I was doing 5 or 6 things simultaneously – Presenting, Vision Mixing, Reading the Script, Answering comments, Monitoring what I had just said to make sure that it was at least in English, and editing parts of the script out in my head that were not absolutely necessary.

I also plan to go out and about, producing some content for the show with professional therapists / coaches and other film makers too.

Perhaps after 10 shows, life will start getting back to normal and the CONrona reality will be replaced by normal reality.  Watch this space!!

We’re Live Streaming!!

TV

Hello there!!

sorry it’s been probably months since my last post, however I finally get the time to write a new short blog.

Just when I thought I had explored most forms of Photography and Cinematography techniques, I am now experiencing the Joy of doing Live Broadcasting.

This all came about due to the current Global Lock down and it forced me into looking at instructing my classes online, in the same vain as my own university has moved my course to online teaching.

After spending a few hours researching, I became aware that there are numerous software packages out there for Webinars and Live Streaming.  I was understandably confused as I wasn’t sure exactly what the difference is between a Webinar and Live Streaming.

My understanding is that Webinars are like office meetings where the participants can interact on the same screen, where as Streaming is practical for reaching out to unlimited audiences.

I then narrowed down my search to Zoom or Ecamm Live Stream.  Being a film maker I naturally gravitated towards Streaming, especially as Ecamm is specific software for Apple Mac Computers.

As soon as I started using Ecamm I realised how user friendly it is, rather like Final Cut Pro X, in fact you could say it’s the FCPX of Live Streaming in it’s Powerful yet simple user interface.

The only technical hitch I’ve discovered is that I can’t use my Olympus Camera as a 2nd feed as I’m required to purchase additional hardware and leads which are not cheap, so I’m limited to using my laptop camera meantime.  If I had kept my Canon 7d, it would have plugged in to Ecamm with just a USB cable.

Now, back to the blog.  The first few broadcasts will be on the subject of using simple mindfulness techniques taken from the 2 year course I run in the class room.  However the show will also be taking an in-depth analysis of what is going on in the world from and Alternative News Broadcaster’s point of View.

I also hope in future to work with a Film Maker from Edinburgh who has shown an interest in helping me by providing mini news reports providing a variety of content.

Watch this space!……

 

Scottish Snorkelling Holidays

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You don’t have to go abroad to enjoy a water sports holiday.  Scotland is one of the top global destinations for enjoying sub aqua sports.  I joined BSAC in February 2019 as a Snorkel Diver member.  One of the aspects I like about BSAC is that it is progressive organisation and embraces all forms of activities that come under the umbrella of the world of Sub Aqua.

For me, Snorkel diving is a happy medium between Scuba and Free Diving and in Scotland I much prefer to wear a drysuit.  Scotland is an excellent place for Snorkel diving and I feel so lucky I live within a few hours of the sea.

There are 3 members of our club who enjoy snorkelling and we will meet up to snorkel dive at Fife Ness on the east neuk coast of Fife.  I would say I’m the club’s hardest core snorkeller for sure – I love it!!

I did my snorkel diver and Sport Diver qualification with Perth Scotsac and have no interest in scuba diving anymore.  With snorkelling I can concentrate on photography and filming which is why I took up scuba diving in the first place.  I enjoy the freedom of not carrying the heavy scuba tanks, stab jacket and regulators although my dive bags still have the same amount of gear for snorkelling!!  I use a dry suit and an Ameo Power breather system which is modular and has to be built up and dis-assembled each dive then meticulously cleaned.  I take my snorkelling gear very seriously and clean it after every dive.  I use a dive watch and compass, torch and go pro camera with me on most dives.  Filming blogs and photography is my main focus of snorkelling but sometimes I’ll not shoot anything and just enjoy the experience.  I have a weight belt but don’t use it as I can’t duck dive in a dry suit as it’s too positively buoyant.

The Harris trip in June was very much a last minute affair.  I contacted Steve Lilley our Diving Officer (Perth Branch) a week before the trip to ask if myself and Natalie could join them. We were welcomed on the adventure and I started organising the ferry bookings.  I could only arrive on the Sunday, a day after everyone else.

I had 5 hours to get from Kinross to Uig in Skye to catch the ferry to Tarbert.  I made the mistake of stopping for a toilet break for 20 minutes by Eilean Donan Castle.  That 20 minutes nearly caused us to miss our Ferry!!  Across Skye I was stuck behind every tourist bus and caravan leisurely winding through the backroads at 45 mph.  I was panicking as at one point I had 20 minutes to travel 20 miles – in a Micra!!

Arriving at the ferry port, the ship was still there and we were the last car on board – what a relief!!  After 5 hours of mild anxiety, I could finally relax for the rest of the week and look forward to the adventures awaiting on my first trip to Harris.

Our club was divided into two air bnb type accommodation houses, both self catering.  Myself and Natalie stayed at Tigh Chalein on the Mharaig Bay and others were staying at Tigh Na Mara on the Carragraich Bay.  Our house had drying facilities, perfect for scuba diving gear and both RIBS were kept at the house.  Our Clubs orange RIB is named Deep Dancer and club member Mark Edward’s boat is called Proper Job.

We had a beautiful ensuite room and the house had all the mod cons including a washing machine and dryer. In Tarbert there are a couple of small mini market shops that can provide you with most everything you’ll need.

Arriving in the late afternoon to our house, the divers were just returning from their first dives at Mharaig bay.  Our house had a handy slip for the boats to enter and I started helping to load the gear from the RIB to the house.

After that, I tried taking my quad copter up to get some aerial photos and videos of the bay while the evening sun set.  I discovered that Harris is not the easiest place to fly as there are constant strong winds and power lines everywhere, I had to use the quad copter very sparingly.

DAY 1 MHARAIG BAY

 I was up reasonably early and at 8.30am the scuba divers were finishing breakfasts and preparing for that day’s diving.  Steve Lilley asked if I had researched the North Harris Snorkel Trail.  I actually had not even thought of researching anything as I had just concentrated on organising our ferry tickets.  I looked at the Scottish Wildlife Site’s guide and was intrigued to discover a snorkel trail map.  There are 6 sites in all, the first being where we were staying.

There was a variety of club divers of diverse abilities and qualifications.  Steve Lilley the BDO (open circuit and instructor) Paul Scott chairman (open circuit and closed), Two boat drivers (one sport and one instructor both closed circuit), two trainee ocean divers, two sport divers (open circuit) and three non divers.

During the trip the Scuba divers dived Mharaig bay twice, Scalpay bay, and had to abort Hushinish Bay due to choppy waters.

After organising the breakfasts, I got myself kitted up armed with my GoPro – for me sub aqua is all about image capture as well as great aerobic exercise.  I enjoy taking photographs and started shooting my next snorkel vlog. Sometimes if there’s not much to see, I will simply start recording a vlog with handy snorkelling tips for those interested.

Mharaig bay however had a fair bit of marine life.  I was surprised at how large the jelly fish were and I snorkel swam out to a small island.  I could see crabs and hermit crabs and I enjoyed gently fining along to see if I could get some good photos and video.  My GoPro has no viewfinder so I only find out in the editing what is usable.  For me a GoPro is perfect for snorkel diving, there are just two buttons and the camera does the rest.  I use a selfie stick and I have developed a technique where I can float on my side and put the GoPro back in my trouser pocket when not needed.  I do this very carefully so as not to drop the camera.  The beauty of snorkelling is that you can stay in the water as long as you like – that is, until of course you need to go to the toilet.  For me an hour and fifteen minutes is  my average  limit before the emergency toilet break is required,  It must be something about being in the water that causes my  bladder to complain.

After my dive and hanging my gear up to dry, we decided to take a trip in to the famous Harris Tweed shop in Tarbert where we bought some gifts for family members.  On returning to the house I took some more aerial shots of the bay.  We had a nice communal dinner that evening sitting in the sun lounge which had a view of the bay.  We stayed up late talking and enjoying some drinks and discussed what we’d do the next day,

DAY 2 RHENIGIDALE BAY

 After breakfast myself and Natalie headed for the 2nd location of the snorkel trail.  We climbed some very high roads that snaked off into the hills opposite our house, and often had to be respectful of the lambs and sheep which are everywhere.  Rhenigidale bay was very small but perfect for a shore dive.  Natalie was a God send as I needed her to help me zip and unzip.  With out her I would not really have been able to dive every day.  She was happy to take some holiday snaps of me entering the water and general tourist shots.

I shot lots of kelp and plankton was everywhere.  I also viewed some tiny tadpole like fish.  I snorkel swam out to a small island trying to make sure that I could still see the entry point.  When you’re in the water it’s easy to lose your bearings of the entry point when you’re below the rock lines.  I stayed in the water for an hour and a half and explored both sides of the bay, recording another vlog tip for the day.  I would aim to shoot a new snorkelling tip video each dive.

After my bladder sent me the warning signs it was time to get out the water.  After I changed I took some aerial shots and at one point my heart was in my mouth as I watched my quad copter flying away from me without my control.  I didn’t realise that winds can flow higher in the air even when the ground air is  completely still.  Fortunately I was able to guide my copter back to shore and learned my first Harris Flying lesson – do not fly if the wind is strong!!

That evening we had our first group meal.  Paul Scott’s wife Tara made us a fantastic meal catering for both vegetarian and non vegetarian diets, complete with local fresh shrimps that were delivered to the house.  We all helped to prepare the food and set up the tables as all the club was attending.  Myself and Natalie got to know the other members more and I spent the evening talking with Paul about one of my favourite subjects – cameras!

 DAY 3 SCALPAY

 This time I was invited to join the scuba divers on their RIBS and we headed for Hushnish Bay, however on arrival it was thought too choppy for the RIBS to disembark – the water was just too violent and the rocks would have caused some damage to the boats.  So we headed off for Scalpay bay.

We divided ourselves up into the two RIBS and headed out the bay.  I got dropped off at a wall to explore and do some filming.  There were lots of interesting rock structures for me to do swim throughs.  Of course I can’t duck dive in a dry suit even with weights, so I can only bob about on the surface.  Hamish and Lewis, a father and son team had reported seeing an octopus at 15 metres.

I saw many brown coloured jelly fish which was a first for me and I also had a shot of driving the club’s RIB too which was a fantastic experience.  After the first dive, the group decided to go either exploring or a 2nd dive.  I was dropped off at shore so that I could get my quad copter shots.  It was a very satisfying day, and every day was enjoyable.

DAY 4 HUSHNISH BAY

 I decided to return to Hushnish.  The water was still very choppy as I made my way down the slip, being photographed by Natalie.  I gave her a final wave before I plunged off the slip.  In the distance you could see sandy beaches with torquoise water.  But here was a totally different environment.  The waves caused me to bob up and down like a cork.  I felt as vulnerable as a cork.  One of the thrills I get from snorkelling is when I get moshed by the waves, a little scary but enjoyable when you let the sea take over – the same powerful sea that could take your life if it wanted to.

I recorded lots of kelp fields and swam round the bay.  I had a slight panic when my right fin became loose.  I realised that trying to fin back to shore with one fin was futile.  When this happens the important thing is to not panic and just take deep breaths while you work out what to do,  If you panic, adrenaline in the brain can reduce your ability to think – it’s a survival mechanism but for land based danger only!!

After taking a few breaths, first I needed to put the GoPro in my pocket so that I could use both hands to secure my fin.  Fortunately my fin was well stuck on my foot so it wasn’t too difficult to remedy the situation, although in a dry suit it is not so easy to bend your body well.  After the panic was over I realised that I was lying on top of kelp fields and was in danger of getting perhaps trapped so I finned back out to sea as quickly as I could until I was free of the kelp.

I shot another snorkel tip vlog and headed back for shore avoiding the kelp as much as possible.  I was relieved to see Natalie waiting for me on the slip and had had my first little bit of danger but by no means regretting it.  We stopped at the nearby beach which was a short drive from the slip and admired the gentle blue waters and perfect white sands – it looked like a scene from abroad.

That evening it was the birthday of two club members so we celebrated by having a meal at the Harris Hotel – well done to Fred and Maureen for organising that for us!!  There was a lovely chocolate birthday cake waiting for us at the end of the meal which was consumed by all.  That evening I was asked if I might like to join the scuba divers the next day and I agreed,

DAY 5 CARRAGRAICH BAY

 I slept in that morning so was too late to join the scuba divers.  Instead we headed off to the other house which was the next location of the snorkel trail.  It was nice to see what Tigh Na Mara house was like and it had a fantastic view of the bay.  I had the luxury of changing in house then made my way down the slippery rocks onto the water.  I swam around the bay, taking shots of jelly fish and more kelp.  I recorded another vlog and then realised that I couldn’t see the entry point.  A slight panic arose and I started fining hard.  The problem is that when the tide has changed you sink below the skyline and can’t see over rocks.  As I started fining hard I could feel my muscles getting pins and needles.  I then decided to start swimming out to sea again to see the shore line better but I didn’t have the energy.  I felt I was at the outer limits of my diving experience and the furthest out in the Atlantic Ocean I had ever been.

Fortunately I saw the chimney pots of the house sticking out above the rocks – I felt some relief as even if this wasn’t the house, it was civilisation.  I calmed down and finned along gently until the house came into view.  More relief swept over me as I realised I was going to make it back in one piece and the anxiety melted away.

I had been in the water for two hours,  The longest snorkel swim to date.  I learned a very important lesson and from that day on, I would always keep the entry point in sight,  When you’re ego tells you to just go a little further – don’t listen to it!!  Just be safe and you live another day.

I especially enjoyed tanning two cups of tea when I got back to the house.  The sun was out and I was alive and happy.  I took more quad copter shots and we headed back into Tarbert.

On returning we again stopped to do some exploring and shopping.  We spoke with a young woman who was working in the Essence of Harris shop.  She was interested to ask about our scuba club trip and didn’t know there was a Harris snorkel trail.  She explained that her fear of snorkelling would be if she looked and saw the sea bed was some meters down.  We then stopped off at the Harris Hotel for coffee.  I always feel so lathargic after a snorkel swim and very relaxed.  We enjoyed the view of the garden for a couple of hours, just watching the world go by as you do on holiday,

When we got back to the house we exchanged our diving experiences that day with the rest of the club.  Everyone was in good spirits and we were having a most enjoyable holiday.  Some of the club had headed back for mainland so there were fewer of us.

DAY 6  AIRD ASAIG

 After our final breakfast we all had to be packed and out of the house by 10.30am.  We headed off to the final location on the trail which was a short drive from the house on the way back to Tarbert.  Remembering my lesson from the previous day I realised that I would be very safe.  The water was calm and the bay was completely enclosed so I couldn’t get lost out at sea.  There were many fishing boats anchored in the bay, and all were tied up to the shore or anchored.

We were greeted by some chickens who were curious to know if we had any treats for them or just wanted to know what we were doing on their land.  I chose to get my quad copter shots before going in and a curious sheep was fascinated to see this alien device – she was partly fascinated and partly scared,  She stopped for a minute to watch take off then decided to take her lamb to safety.

There wasn’t too much sea life to shoot in the bay so I enjoyed doing a final vlog and pottered round the boats.  I did get caught up in a few of the rope lines but was very careful not to get myself trapped.  I remembered that the sea can take you any time it wants to.  On exiting the water a friendly local man had a chat and told us he was a professional scuba diver fisherman. The people on Harris are very gentle and friendly folk and we were always treated very cordially  by the staff in shops and the ferry boat.

After I was dressed we said good bye to the chickens and headed of for Callanish to see the Standing Stones.  We arrived at the Stone centre and had a nice lunch in the cafe.  The sun was out and I couldn’t wait to get some photos of these ancient stones which date back 5000 bc.  They were in tact and I was amazed that we were not charged money to enter the site!!  I took some aerial shots of the main stone circle and visited a smaller circle near by.  There were in fact 3 different circle sites that we could see from the road.

We returned to Tarbert for a final coffee at the Harris Hotel where we met some of the club who were getting the same ferry back.  The boat left for Uig at 9pm so we faced a long drive through the night.

I intend to do the Ullapool trail in October and the Berwickshire trail in 2020 which I have recently discovered.  More adventures and articles await!!

 

 

The Mighty Micra

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The Nissan Micra is an iconic British brand of small car and has now evolved into its next metamorphosis.  I wish to state categorically that I am neither an employee or sponsored in any way by Nissan.  As Scotland’s no1 Micra fan boy I felt compelled to write this blog, especially as I have just taken advantage of a Micra lease deal only available during this September in the Uk.  I am now the proud owner of a new Stylish fourth generation Limited Edition Micra Ascenta!!

So why choose MIcra?  If you’re downsizing from your 4×4  or perhaps you’re looking for a second family car, the new Nissan Micra may just be the ticket.  So lets discover why this car is one of the best Japanese All Rounders currently on the market.  Some of the Pros of the new 2019 models:

Safety

The most important aspect you could consider in a new car is its safety features, after all, you can get a new car any time but you can’t get a new life.  So I’m going to describe some innovative safety features I have discovered on my new Micra journey. The novelty feature of the lane cross over warning system must be my favourite.  When you start to cross over the dividing lane, an audible alarm sounds and vibration is sent through the driving wheel, much like the silent warning of a mobile phone. Another cool feature is the anti glare rear view mirror which makes a huge difference when driving at night in congested traffic – you will appreciate no longer having your retinas burned out by other’s headlights.  On the AI front, if the car senses a toddler or person behind or in front of the car, an automatic halt action kicks in, however I hope never to experience this life saving feature.  The ABS on Nissan cars are second to none.  I had recently been travelling back from a business networking event when a dog broke free and ran out in front of me at short range – fortunately the ABS allowed me to do an emergency stop and no one got harmed.  The dog, oblivious to the car, continued racing across the road to its favourite play park.

Boot Space

For me priority of a new car is to have a boot large enough to put my dive equipment in.  The Ascenta’s boot is visibly larger than the previous Visia 3rd generation Micra.  As you can see from the photographs, I can easily fit all my Snorkel Dive bags with more space remaining.  There’s also a handy additional boot light which will make managing the boot at night convenient.

Another thing to consider is that the Micra is not only easy to manoeuvre  in the city, but can also handle motorways and countryside roads with ease as well.  Earlier this year I took my previous Visia to the Outer Hebrides to write a Magazine article about the North Harris Snorkel Trail.  In the car I was able to take a passenger, luggage for two, 3 dive bags and my camera kits.  The visia handled the steep and dangerous sheep ridden back roads without any problems what so ever which is why I feel that this small car is one of the best all rounders I’ve experienced.

Technology

The only tech I want from a car is to be able to answer important business client calls on the move – as a freelance photographer, some clients who have little time will not give you a second chance of a job if you don’t answer your phone the first time.  With the new Ascenta you also have a cool feature called Apple Car Play.  This means I can link my phone via USB cable and use my Map apps and watch them on the 7 inch touch display screen.  I no longer need to invest in phone holders and have the satisfying convenience of not needing to take my iPhone out its case every time I want to use the maps app.  You can also listen to the wireless while using your maps app.  I have yet to see what happens when I link my go pro action cam to the system, using the car screen as a giant viewfinder.

Style

For me this is the least important factor when choosing a new car, however the new Micra is noticeably more pleasing to the eye both with its exterior curves and sporty leather clad interiors.  I have noticed that heads have been turning in my direction and I’ve even had cars tailing me to get a closer look at this sporty new automobile.

Drive Experience

The Limited Addition Ascenta has a one litre engine which is extremely economical as a super mini should be, with an average of 47.1 mpg, emitting 118g per km of CO2.  However despite the compact engine, the car feels like you are driving a much larger German brand.  The words ‘smooth’ come to mind whether you are driving the manual or CVT transmission Micra, both of which I have enjoyed testing.  Another word I think of is ‘solid.’  You immediately feel this when you close the car door as compared to my previous 3rd generation Visia.  The Visia in comparison felt more like a toy car with basic yet functional features.  Albeit the Visia still has all the essential safety features to help keep you and the car in one piece.

Dino Leone, Senior Sales Executive at the Halbeath Dunfermline Nissan Showroom explained that Micra customers like myself keep returning.  He had even sold a Micra to his sister and mother.  Dino told me that Nissan only make cars to order, unlike other brands who have surplus vehicles sitting in fields.  Due to public demand, the showroom are finding it hard to source automatic Micras, so as yet, it’s mainly manual cars that are available on the special lease deal.  However CVT transmission Micras are currently available as a Mobility Option.

And the Cons?

The new Micra is noticeably larger than the previous incarnations.  I found the new micra a little harder to park in between cars as I couldn’t judge the distances very easily.  Perhaps in future Micras, Nissan will include the Aerial 360 degrees parking camera which would solve this problem for more petite drivers such as myself.

In Conclusion

Apart from this I have found nothing else I would want to change as the new Micra has totally evolved beyond the pattern of previous generations.  As long as a car can get me from A to B – dry and in comfort without breaking down or breaking the bank on the never ending rising petrol prices, the new Micra ticks all the boxes!

So if I’ve now got you ‘Micra Curious’ and would be interested in test driving the new Micra, contact Dino today at Nissan Dunfermline, Tel 01383 321 000  email: dleone@westernnissan.co.uk