dives

Winter wonders

With all the bleak weather, it’s easy to forget that the underwater world serenely carries is n beneath the waves of the Scottish sea lochs. Today we had a dip in Duich this morning and returned to the Loch Carron narrows at Strome this afternoon. I love both these sites; Loch Duich is home to all three UK species of sea pen, and it’s my favourite spot to shoot fireworks anemones, but today I was interested in the communities with cram themselves on the rocks. Much of the Loch bed is mud and looks barren at first (though there is actually a lot of activity). One finds occasional rocks which give sea Loch anemones, brittle stars, sea squirts and squat lobsters something to hold fast to or hide under.

Strome this afternoon was alive with small critters (as always) and provided me with plenty of macro opportunities from tiny Isopods in the dead men’s fingers, to queen scallops filtering their dinner from the tide and gobies showing off in the shallows

dives

Defying Dennis

February half term is a favourite time of mine to make a pilgrimage to the west coast of Scotland. My buddy Rob and I picked Loch Carron, but had not reckoned on storm Dennis. The poor driving conditions did not deter us and we took the East coast route to Inverness, avoiding the winding A82 past Loch Lomond. Arriving at about 10pm, we chose our overnight camping spot thinking we had shelter, but it was a wild night indeed.

The following morning it was still pretty wild at North Strome, one of the best shore diving sites in the UK, but it was serene underwater. I was keen to try out my new backscatter MF-1 strobe and snoot, to grab some super macro shots. I hinted in on the tiny amphipods swarming on the dead man’s fingers, only a few mm long. On the way back, I could not resist also having a go at the little gobies in the shallows.