Sunday 4th March, Loch Leven and The Slates

As Sunday approached various club member ruled themselves in and out of the weekend’s diving and it was very encouraging to see seven divers assembled at Burnbrae ready to depart at the appointed time.

The late season covering of snow made the Munro tops looked brilliantly clean in the crystal clear spring air as we drove across to Ballachulish to meet our guests at the Craft and Things Coffee shop as it opened at 09:30am. Today we were to be joined by Frank, Alistair, Robert and Paul, friends from the BSAC Southern Scotland regional training days. However with a total of seven cars, finding a site that had adequate parking was the first order on the agenda and it wasn’t a particularly difficult decision to select “The Slates” even though the Club had dived it the previous week.

With Fred, Maureen and Chris providing shore cover, the diving pairs quietly slipped into the loch to complete their plans. Some starting at the point, others in the bay depending on their requirements. Good life was reported on the point including dogfish and ling and a few scallops were spotted by Frank and Alistair as they explored the bay area. Gary and Izzy were first up quickly followed by Colin and John and once safely back at the cars took over shore cover.

The last team in started in the bay by the slate sheds and performed a simple profile that gave the opportunity for a good shake down and weight check. Maureen picked up a bit of mono-filament at one point which Chris wound around a stone before burying in a crack to stop it catching anything again. Returning the way we came, we surfaced in the bay with 45 minutes on the dial, not a bad shakedown dive by anyone standard.

Back at the entrance point the rest of the team waded in to rescue us and for once assistance was gratefully accepted as I wallowed in the shallows with a twinset. Back at the cars, the barbecue was going well with reports that a squall that had come through had caused the charring of the sausages as the charcoal burnt somewhat hot ! A likely story if ever I heard one, they will be telling us it was snowing as well! A very pleasant hour or so was spent nattering, enjoying the banter and getting to know our guests better but all to soon it was time to get back in the water for the second dive.

This second dip followed a similar schedule, with the first wave opting for a swim around the second smaller spit and Paul joining Frank and Alistair in the bay area as Robert had departed on official duties. Maureen decided to sit this one out so Fred and Chris went in last, this time off rightwards from the bay, finding more dogfish, scorpion fish and a small plaice as well as a couple of scallops. This was another enjoyable dive, once down past the sand, small reefs and large boulders supported a good deal of squiggy life. However brittlestars were in abundance, all in all very similar to Manse point.

Once everyone was safely out we headed back to the cafe for a final coffee and chat before heading off to various home locations after a very good and social days diving.

some more photos have been posted here by Colin