Loch Long – August 2022
The club organised a weekend trip to Loch Long in late August 2022 based in Arrochar for some easy non taxing diving. Amazingly there are no less than thirteen dive sites in Loch Long, that’s a staggering number in one body of water and all within an hour’s drive from Glasgow City Centre and three hours from home
Divers drove up to Loch Fyne on Friday heading for an initial dive at the “A Frames” just north of Finnart Oil Terminal. This site has a large car park, easy access to the water and some excellent sea life which has grown in about 20m over the years on the wreckage of an old pier which was dynamited many years ago. We did not know how busy the area was likely to be given the popularity of the local Lakes recently however, when we arrived, we were the only ones there !
One dive took place late afternoon (5pm) in bright sunshine with excellent visibility. Lots or worms, anemones, starfish, squat lobsters and crabs plus plenty of fish large and small. Two of our divers were not able to leave Barrow until late repeated the dive as a night dive at midnight shortly after they arrived in their camper van. Quite an experience
We planned to dive “The Caves” on Saturday and once again not knowing how busy the area was going to be we planned an early start given there is only parking for three cars at the site. We got up early, enjoyed a nice Scottish breakfast in the Arrochar Hotel and got to the site by 8.30 without any difficulty. With no rush we got our gear together descended through the tunnel under the road and down to the Loch Side. It was near low water and some rain had fallen during the night, access was trickly on slippy rock and through a fast-flowing stream.
Whilst known as the caves there are none just a steep boulder wall with overhangs and swim throughs. There was an amazing amount of life dominated by anemones in deeper water and sea squirts slightly shallower. Plenty of fish once again too.
The site is so good we did think about a second dive there but instead thought about o coffee and cake in Arrochar followed by a dive on the opposite side of the loch and Conger Alley.
Amazingly we were once again the only ones on site and could park very close to the beach access point. This is another great site for sea life. We headed down to about 25m to pick up the lower reef and slowly zig zagged our way through this and up to the upper reef. A great variety of anemones once again plus lots of shell fish including squat lobsters, lobsters and crabs. One diving pair also saw an Octopus plus a conger eel for which the dive site is well known.
Some divers were heading home late Saturday but had enough air for a short third dive once again at the A Frames before they set off. Others stayed over at the Arrochar Hotel after getting air refills in Glasgow. And enjoyed some good food and live music in the bar.
Sunday saw some ‘SeaSearch’ diving with some other local divers. We dived the “Old Pier” in Arrochar in the morning and then repeated the Conger Alley dive in the afternoon. The Old Pier was a unique dive in that is has turned into an amazing feeding station for crabs and star fish given the number of mussels living there. Conger Alley was much the same but we also had some fun looking at nudibranchs through a microscope one of the divers had lurking in his van.
It was nice to meet some other local divers and spend time logging the species we saw on the sites.
We have a number of SeaSearch Observers in the club and are planning a surveyor’s course next year. Get in touch if you are interested. There are more SeaSearch dives planned for later this year !
A good weekend diving some classic sites in great company only a few hours from home. Accommodation was good and the weather king