We are very lucky in Scotland. Thanks to its rugged geography and mild weather (please understand not warm in the summer but never too cold in the winter), we can dive all year round in the sea lochs (similar to the Norwegian Fjords) when the weather is too rough to dive in open seas. Last February and March, I did an extensive exploration of 3 sea lochs of the West Coast of Scotland to check if there were more than just dive sites to keep diving during the Winter. To give you an example of the conditions, in summer time water is at an average of 12°C, during the winter water in the sea lochs is at 8°C. The difference isn’t very big, either way, diving with a dry suit is the way to go. The funniest part was during a sunny weekend of February which meant a chilly temperature of -2°C in the morning: At 8°C, water was warmer that the air!
I loved that the ecosystem of the sea lochs offered a similar experience to famous muck diving sites in Asia such as Dauin in the Philippines Of course, species are not the same. The point is to look for tiny critters in a muddy seabed full of surprises, for the greatest pleasure of underwater photographers. Below you will find a selection of my best shots and most interested species I met while diving in Loch Long, Loch Fyne, and Loch Creran.
To those of you who wonder if I could see Nessie, our beloved Loch Ness Monster… Unfortunately, Loch Ness is a fresh (murky) water loch, so like all fresh water lochs, it is not the best place to dive especially when the next sea loch is just a few miles away!
Sea loch anemones, A-Frames, Loch Long
Hermit crab, A-Frames, Loch Long
Butterfish, A-Frames, Loch Long
Queen scallop, Conger Alley, Loch Long
Baby dead men fingers, Conger Alley, Loch Long
Sea loch anemone, Conger Alley, Loch Long
Spiny squat lobster, St Cats, Loch Fyne
Squat lobster, St Cats, Loch Fyne
Long-legged spider crab, St Cats, Loch Fyne
“Limacia Clavigera” Nudibranch, St Cats, Loch Fyne
Queen scallop & Sea cucumber, Loch Creran
Fireworks anemone, Loch Creran
I would like to address a big thank you to the overly friendly scuba divers from Glasgow who were nice enough to take me around the west coast to their favourite dive sites, these pictures wouldn’t have been possible without them!
This post is the first “photo essay” I’m publishing on World Adventure Divers. Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more posts like this! 🙂