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!
Rosehearty (right) and Millshore (left)
The rocks that run along the foot of the cliffs at the west side of the bay are a bit like Swiss cheese and it is actually possible to make your way right through if you don’t mind a little bit of squeezing through gaps. One possible route through begins with swimming under an overhang and through a short tunnel that opens out into a little chamber with a hole in the roof. This is quite picturesque on a bright day with the sun shining down and illuminating the inside. There is a vertical gap at the opposite side of the chamber where you can exit into a wider channel in the rock that takes you further out along the cliff. If you continue to follow the natural path through the rocks you will eventually exit at the area marked on the map below. Along the way there are loads of crevices and shelves in the rocks to explore. There are crabs, lobsters, squat lobsters, prawns, leopard spotted gobies and various other things lurking amongst them in the dark. Although it’s generally a very well lit site, a torch is a must here so you can see what’s hiding.
Millshore beach viewed from the main road.
One thing I really associate with Millshore is Dahlia Anemones. They are dotted around everywhere and come in all colours and sizes as you can see from the photographs. We’ve spotted big shoals of sand eels here too when heading back along the outside of the reef. During the most recent dive we had a shoal of fish buzz past over the top of the kelp with a seal in hot pursuit.
It’s a nice easy dive that you can take your time and enjoy without having to concern yourself with running out of air or no-stop time. It’s not a site to be attempted when there is much of a swell though and I would definitely aim to time it for high water if at all possible. If the weather is good it’s a great place for a picnic or even a barbie and there’s always the Pennan Inn just along the road to pop into for a post-dive refreshment!
We also dived Rosehearty and I was surprised by how much it had changed since I was last there in June of 2013. There is sand all over the site now and in a lot of places where there was previously little or none. Last winter’s storms must have lifted and deposited large quantities of it from further out. It took a bit of getting used to and I was glad that the visibility was good. There were areas that you were used to looking out for in order to navigate that just weren’t there any more or looked completely different! It was still an enjoyable dive and a reminder of the power of the sea to destroy and reshape.