Loch Leven and Loch Linnhe, The Slates and Kentallen

Firstly a big welcome to Bethan who celebrated her first Perth-BSAC club dive on Sunday, taking it all in her stride with a solid performance of non-faff diving obviously learnt from her University days. With some initially inclement weather we had an interesting day with the morning being spent at The Slates at Balachulish before moving around to Kentallen in the afternoon.

For the morning dive we went in under a rain laden sky but flat calm surface and had excellent visibility while we circumnavigated the slate spits. At the point there is a very steep boulder slope, encrusted with sea squirts and anenomies with poor cod, ling, two spotted blennies and wrasse hiding in the rocks and pollack or saith cruising by.

small scorpion fish

One pair explored the bottom of the slope where it shelved and gently dipped into the middle of the loch, while the other pair maintained a constant depth and navigated around the reef. Both teams reported good life and excellent vis.

Lunch was a wet affair sat on the benches on Kentallen pier, in the rain, pondering the second dive. Encouragingly as we kitted up it brightened and patches of blue sky in the west suggested better things to come and by the end of the dive summer had returned. From the end of the Kentallen pier the reef is a good ten minutes swim but well worth it. Dropping onto a Peacock worm covered face we gently drifted along with the current.

Peacock worms

If you dive this site it is important to leave yourself enough air to avoid the long surface swim back to the pier, so with 120bar we started our ascents to the top of the reef and headed back to the shore past boulders, home to some delightful plumose anenomies. Exiting to the South of the pier is a mistake and we should have swum around to the slip instead of clambering over slippery rocks.

To finish the day we spent a pleasant hour in the Holly Tree Inn enjoying the views overlooking Loch Linnhe and Moidart.

a few more photos here

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