Presently, we came upon a fire fuelled by various pieces of driftwood and engaged some anglers in conversation. They were there to hopefully catch some trout but also get ahead of the various fishing clubs that would soon descend upon the loch. Apparently, the catch is not so good once these clubs have had their way with the loch. I asked one man whether he had seen anything bigger in the loch (i.e. the Monster), but he said he didn't believe there was anything in the loch. At this point he told me that he had watched a documentary on TV which stated that only 24 tonnes of fish were in it - not enough for Loch Ness Monsters. I was tempted to correct him on a few matters related to fish stocks and predators but decided to just leave on amicable terms. As we walked along the beach and past some very Nessie-like pieces of driftwood the sky began to darken and the only long necked creatures on display were the slow moving white swans standing out against the dark waters.
As I surveyed the darkening loch, I recalled Ted Holiday's words about how the loch was a place best left alone at night and wondered what use he and other famous monster hunters would have made of the technology that is now available to modern Nessie hunters. In olden times, this was the hour of the Water Kelpie, but I pressed on regardless of any supposed demons out there. The loch was dark and it was now difficult to make out features on its surface with the naked eye but the night scope was relaying a good picture to the laptop and anything which broke surface would have registered nicely. I put the IR illuminating laser on but I did not notice a discernable difference on the display which I put down to the large distances involved.
At the start of the watch, I tried out the mini-DVR with its motion detection capability and left it to run for a bit. A walk in front of the binoculars and the record LED lit up on the DVR and I knew it was active. A clip is shown below which I felt was a better quality to the experiment I tried at Dores last October, but the light levels may have been different. I also think the recorded feed to the laptop was of a better yet quality.
However, I had a slight problem. If a black hump or head and neck broke the surface, would the mini-DVR go into record mode? It was correctly remaining inactive in response to the numerous waves rippling across the loch but there was a bit of a chicken and egg issue here since I required Nessie to surface in order to calibrate the device in order to record her in the first place! I could not even rely on a similar sized boat passing by since there is no boat traffic at night time on Loch Ness. I was beginning to think the mini-DVR was more a device to be combined with a daytime camcorder or settle for continuous record at night time. With some more recording on the devices done, we headed back to camp along the now lonely stretches of dark roads.
By now rare sunshine had given way to rain as we approached Fort Augustus for one final time. The car tank was topped up and we headed back south to the big city. Unlike Ted Holiday and 1962, we did not spot the "Orm" as he called it. The images from the trap camera and night vision may yet show something but the assumption is they will not and the hunt will resume again for myself and others as a hopefully hot summer unfolds before us in the months ahead.