For those of us UK divers who are fortunate enough to live within reasonable travelling distance, the sea lochs of Scotland’s west coast are a great source of year-round diving in pretty much any weather. The exposed North and East coasts can be completely inaccessible due to stormy weather and regardless of the wind direction there will be conditions suitable for diving in one of the sea lochs of the west coast.
Donning scuba gear and wandering in off the shore gives you access to some unique habitats with a fascinating variety of marine life. As an added bonus you begin and end your dives surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery in the UK and quite probably the world. Not bad for the price of an air fill! Continue reading “Do the locomotion…”
Inverness Sub Aqua Club call it the ‘Tar Site’ – presumably due to a lump of surplus road surfacing tarmac that has been dumped just beyond the crash barrier. I’ve also seen it referred to in an article by Jane Wilkinson on divernet.com as Sgurr Aoide – the name of the hill this site lies at the foot of. Whatever you want to call it, you’ll find it approximately a mile further on from the signs marking the end of the 40mph speed restriction at Inverinate as you head towards Eilean Donan Castle on the A87.
Back to St. Abbs at the beginning of September for a couple of days of diving in bright but breezy weather on Paul Crowe’s boat ‘Shore Diver’. The water temperature varied from 13-14 degC and the viz was very respectable following a period of settled conditions. This meant that photographing things further than a few feet away was a possibility!
The morning’s dive was at The Craig (Craig Rock on the map below) which is situated just below St Abbs Lighthouse. It was great to see plenty of fish around and you were never far from a Ballan Wrasse hoping for a feed. There were plenty of Pollock swimming around too and Ling peeking out from hiding places beneath large rocks. This was a relatively shallow dive with a maximum depth of 18 metres although our average depth was only 13. It was great being able to stop, look up and see the surface of the water overhead with the sun shining down. The carpets of yellow and white Dead Man’s Fingers looked stunning with their polyps out feeding.
Millshore is proof, if it were needed, that you don’t need to go deep to have a really interesting dive where there is loads to see. My dive computer recorded a maximum depth of 8.4 metres on this latest dive and we were diving at high water on spring tides!