Glencoe 2018: The Big Boys Club trip report
Hobbit hole two was my home for a long weekend in May. Whilst I was in Scotland I spent time walking the dogs, diving and drinking beer.
Josh, Neil and I went off on our own and left the rest of them to dive elsewhere. Not that we were being precious or anything but as Josh had been there before there were a few dives he wanted to do especially. I was also diving a twin set for the first time out of the pool and we wanted to make the most of the extra air we had. We also wanted to dive in a couple of places that meant we would be diving a little deeper than some of the others were qualified to dive to. (PADI upsell time) If you want to join us next time, visit Ben or Alex in the shop and book on the PADI deep speciality course.
Following Josh we left the camp site and drove around Loch Leven for an hour to get five minutes up the road had we had turned right instead of left! Then we were on the Corran ferry going across Loch Linnhe to our destination on the shore of Loch Sunart. After turning around twice and making a Land Rover reverse for about half a mile we reached the dive site Laudale Pier.
Loch Sunart is the second longest of the Scottish lochs and is 124 metres deep at the deepest. We entered the Loch to the right hand side of the pier. Across a rocky shore and slippery seaweed. We completed our safety checks and slowly descended down the to the floor of the loch and out towards the middle. The loch bed was covered in brittle stars and crabs dashing around being very busy. I also spotted a small squid between the boulders and there were also sun stars dotted around. Josh had promised us that we would be diving in the famed flame shell, a small clam with red hair. I never saw any despite spending nearly and hour on the floor of the Loch.
When we turned the dive we slowly made our way back up the sloping bed of the loch. We continued our search for flame shells but found many different species of crab instead. We ascended among the legs of the old pier before getting out of the water. Josh clearly has completed his Nav speciality as he returned us to our entry point (he only had to surface once to check) first time. (PADI upsell time) If you want to join us next time and help Josh get us back safely, visit Ben or Alex in the shop and book on the PADI navigation speciality course.
We dived for 35 minutes to a max depth of 17 metres with an average depth of 15 metres before the cold got to Neil and he was signalling that he was cold, I was bloody freezing but determined not to be the one who called it! That was sufficient for our first day we headed back to the camp site via the beer shop and the MIDGE NET shop. I have to say Mrs Scarlett was not impressed with her present from the Capt.
Stephen Frewbowski rates the second dive Josh wanted us to try, as the third best shore dive in Scotland. Next year he will tell us where the second best dive is and in 2020 Number one here we come.
This site was easy to find as the pub was on the satnav. Or not, as Josh led us off only to make us turn round in the first two miles!! On the right road we just drove till we came to the hotel. We parked in the car park and checked in with the hotel that is was okay to use the car park as long as we popped in for dinner after our dive.
The dive we were about to complete was the Kentallen Wall in Loch Linnhe. We donned our gear and were joined by Stephen to give us our final dive briefing. “Swim out toward the green buoy 150 metres and drop on to the wall and enjoy”. Off we set Josh was soon bored and so we descend and swam under the water to the trench. We followed the floor getting deeper until the floor began to raise then over the edge was the trench. The top at about 12 metres and we dropped down to the bottom at about 34 metres.
The Kentallen Wall is a dive along the Great Glen fault. Visible from space, the Great Glen is a huge valley in the Highlands, eroded by glaciers during the ice age more than 10,000 years ago. These glaciers carved the valley below present day sea level. This formed a series of deep lakes, the largest and most famous of which is Loch Ness. The fault gives Loch Ness its 227 metre depth. The fault cuts right through the middle of Loch Linnhe, which is 150m deep at its deepest.
Josh had us looking for nudibranchs among all of the gaps in the rocks. This was a nice chilled dive until we turned, when Josh took off on the 150 metre swim back to shore like Mo Farrah! We de-rigged and popped in to the hotel for some lunch. We had dived for 47 minutes to a max depth of 32 metres.
The food was stunning after an hour in the loch we all had seafood. Neil and Josh tried their first oysters and we had muscles, salmon and scallops for mains.
Want to hear about what the rest of the guys got up to on the trip? Follow the link below!
Glencoe Sea Loch Trip: 26th – 29th May 2018