It’s always a boost when a very familiar face returns to our showroom. Recently we were visited by Dave Smith, who had come to make the arrangements for his new customised drysuit.
For the last 30 years, Dave and his wife Julie have been running the Scallop Shack in Uig on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland – the Isle of Harris is conjoined with Lewis, forming the largest of the Scottish islands. The business harvests scallops from the surrounding waters and supplies them all around the UK, with some of the scallops finishing up in high-end restaurants.
Dave dives the clear waters off Lewis and Harris harvesting the scallops by hand. This method, known as hand diving, is an ethical alternative to dredging, which damages the sea bed and kills a large amount of marine life.
When the catch is brought out of the water, which Dave says often attracts a lot of attention, it heads to the shack to be prepared by Julie. The shack is very neatly decorated with scallop shells, the curved halves on the walls and the flat halves on the roof.
Some of the scallops are dispatched on refrigerated transport, and some are kept at the shack, a firm favourite with the locals, to be sold to the public.
Dave does some serious diving. He works at depths of up to 30 metres and can often be below the water’s surface for several hours at a time. As you can imagine, it’s very cold down there.
Dave isolates himself from the freezing water with our Divemaster Commercial drysuit. To accommodate the bags to fill with the harvested scallops, the suit features three large pockets – one bellows pocket on the chest and two cargo pockets on the thighs. The suit also includes an attached hood, and Kevlar® seat and shoulder protection.
If you like the idea of a custom suit, get in touch. We have a great deal of options at the ready.