Last weekend was a busy one with plenty of club members getting out diving. While Alistair, Torsten, Wojciech, and Kimon spent Sunday diving at the Lin of Dee, the day before a few of us travelled up to Loch Leven to dive at a site known as Manse Point.
Manse Point is just a little further west along the along the shore from the popular site The Slates but it is quite different and probably less frequently dived. The main feature of the site is a large rock headland that sticks out from the shore and carries on underwater down to beyond 40m. The rock face becomes larger as you go follow it down creating vertical and stepped walls which are home to thousands of brittlestars along with loads of other life.
Arriving early on Saturday morning we parked off the road and on the small track that leads right down to the shore, from here it was an easy short walk to the water. It didn’t take us long to get organised we were soon ready for our first dives, the buddy pairs were me and Les then Brian and Ken.
On our first dive Les and I followed the sand slope down to about 12m before turning left and finding the rock reef which then follows the slope down. Slowly following the rock walls deeper down we passed a large lions mane jellyfish at about 20m which was just hovering with it’s tentacles spread out for metres in every direction! Avoiding this we carried on down to about 25m where the brittlestars finally thin out and the rockface then becomes home to more sea squirts and sea loch anemones.
We didn’t spend too long at the deepest point before turning around and making our way back up, taking our time just having a good look around at all the life on the rock on the way up (and keeping an eye out for the jellyfish). The visibility was easily around 7m and there was plenty of ambient light so it was easy to see the brittlestar covered wall stretching out in front of us. Once in about 12m we made our way back east over the sand and gradually up the slope towards the entry point, where we spotted a couple of juvenile thornback rays on the way. A really nice dive, Brian and Ken also had a nice first dive only going a little deeper and further around the wall, they also spotted a large short-spined scorpion fish near the beginning of the wall.
Unfortunately at the start of the second dive Ken had a leaky dump valve so Brian, Les, and I went in as a three. We had another good dive and followed basically the same profile again only this time stayed on top of the rock reef for more of the way back up. The jellyfish Les and I had seen on the first dive had made it’s way shallower and was now hanging around in about 12m, tentacles still everywhere! We spot a few different things on this dive, like the less frequently seen goosefoot starfish. Another nice dive in good visibility and toasty 11°C water.
A really good day’s diving at an interesting site, it was a shame Ken could only manage one dive but I’m sure we will be back to explore more of the site another time.