[PHOTO ESSAY] Loch diving in Scotland

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 interesting 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 murky freshwater 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!

Captions

  1. Hermit crab, A-Frames, Loch Long
  2. Sea loch anemones, A-Frames, Loch Long
  3. Butterfish, A-Frames, Loch Long
  4. Queen scallop, Conger Alley, Loch Long
  5. Baby dead men fingers, Conger Alley, Loch Long
  6. Sea loch anemone, Conger Alley, Loch Long
  7. Spiny squat lobster, St Cats, Loch Fyne
  8. Squat lobster, St Cats, Loch Fyne
  9. Long-legged spider crab, St Cats, Loch Fyne
  10. Limacia Clavigera Nudibranch, St Cats, Loch Fyne
  11. Queen scallop & Sea cucumber, Loch Creran
  12. Fireworks anemone, Loch Creran

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  1. I love the picture essay. Very beautiful pictures. I’ve heard ‘muck diving’ as being in ultra-low visibility (like South Carolina’s famous Cooper River dive for megalodon teeth) but your pictures are perfectly clear. Obviously muck diving isn’t what I thought it was. Are you looking for cool little creatures that live in muddy or sandy bottom environments rather than coral or rocky seabeds?

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much Bryan! Wow, I didn’t know about South Carolina. I love the diversity of all underwater critters in different ecosystems.

      Reply

  2. Beautiful pictures. I hope also diving in Scotland soon.

    Reply

    1. Thanks Florence, I’m preparing more blog posts about travelling and diving in Scotland, stay tuned!

      Reply

  3. Thanks Flo pour cette article super intéressant 🙂

    Reply

    1. You’re more than welcome! 😀

      Reply

  4. Stephane Cugnot May 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Very nice pics! May I ask you wich sea lochs have you been scuba diving in ? Have you seen the scallops swimming? Thanks Flo for this blog.

    Reply

    1. Thanks so much Stephane! I dived Loch Long, Loch Fyne and Loch Creran. Yes I have a video of scallops swimming, I posted it on my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/77oepXn0m9M

      Reply

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