A Month of Scotland’s Finest Shore Dives – Part 1

The Strome Narrows

When I sit down to look at options for diving (or ‘ploptions’ as I like to call them), the first thing I always look at is a calendar of Spring and Neap tides. I’m a lazy diver and whilst I’m prepared to put a bit of effort into getting to a shore dive site, I don’t like too much exertion while I’m under the water. I’ve done a few head-burster dives in my time and my enjoyment of the dive starts to wane severely if I’m having to fin so hard it feels like my heart might explode and flood my drysuit. Carrying a camera setup that acts a bit like a sail doesn’t exactly help the situation either.

Continue reading “A Month of Scotland’s Finest Shore Dives – Part 1”

Do the locomotion…

Thornback Ray
Thornback Ray (Raja Clavata) in Loch Leven

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…”

North Shore Loch Duich – ‘Tar Site (Sgurr Aoide)’ – October 2014

Click on image to view the photo gallery
Click on image to view the photo gallery

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. Continue reading “North Shore Loch Duich – ‘Tar Site (Sgurr Aoide)’ – October 2014”

St Abbs – The Craig and Black Carrs – September 2014

Click on image to view the photo gallery
Click on image to view the photo gallery

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.   Continue reading “St Abbs – The Craig and Black Carrs – September 2014”