Afternoon Tea and Salmon pools, 2nd June 2013

Summer has arrived ! How do I know ? The sun burn on my nose is throbbing like a Belisha beacon as I slowily cooked inside a black drysuit. There we were shore diving “The Slates” after a drive over Rannoch moor in beautiful weather with blue skies and a warm zephyr wafting in from the coast.

The first wave of the pathfinders and guests were in the water before you could mark a slate, one party choosing the clockwise circuit of the main key while the guest party chose a clockwise bumble of the bay area. Being remarkably precise with their dive planning, both teams surfaced on plan reporting good dives but without the abundance of life that this site often gives. The ‘Charlies’ took to the water and went in search of the barge on the West side of reef two and while they didn’t find it reported a good dive with the usual suspects incumbent on the reef. Fish life was present but was all very small.

scorpion fish

The ‘Charlies’ having surfaced found the first wave was again chomping at the bit and with an adequate surface interval they went in to explore the bay and reef to the East while the ‘Guest party’ set off for reef two. Once again reporting good vis and some larger fish at depth. They surfaced en cue to allow the final wave to potter around in the bay area.

Quickly changing and making for the Tea rooms we had a blether before our Guests decamped and made their way home having left us green with tales of Indonesia. The rest of us made our way back to the Bridge of Orchy and down the glen to Eas Urchaidh where having checked the water level we all jumped in (or rather walked in off the gravel at the tail of the pool). Slowly making our way upstream in dark tea we encountered some good sized ‘fash’ in the deepest pools we sat and watched them circling inches in front of our faces. Moving up again as far as we could we encountered a constriction which presented an interesting obstacle before we reached the falls themselves, here the current stopped us. surfacing to check we had indeed reached the waterfall we slowly drifted back through the gorge, a most surreal experience. A very different and entertaining dive, and the kit got washed too!

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