Last Saturday four members made the trip west to dive a couple sites in Loch Leven, Manse Point followed by The Slates. The weather forecast had looked a little dodgy for the drive there but it turned out to fine with only a little snow on the way and we were treated to some great views going through Glencoe.
Our first dive was at Manse Point, a great site with loads of life. Me and Ryan were in first, once in the water we headed straight out down the sand/mud slope before turning left to make our way over to the wall. There is interesting life to be found here before you even get to the wall with phosphorescent and slender sea pens both on the slope at around 14m, as well as one of the resident juvenile thornback rays that are spotted regularly here.
Once on the wall we turned right to follow it down to around 34m (it carries on down further) where we turned left and made our way round for a while before starting to head back up shallower over the top of the wall. There is so much life to be found here, masses of brittle stars cover the wall from the shallows down to about 30m where they are replaced by large solitary sea squirts, peacock worms, sponges, and sea loch anemones. We also spotted feather stars and a small gurnard on top of the wall which was happy to sit still for a few photos. After coming back up along the to of the wall we made our back to the sand slope and along to the entry/exit point. Visibility was good on this dive and water temp was about 9°C but a noticeably cooler 7°C in the shallows! Brian and Kimon also a good dive here following a similar profile and spotted a smaller thornback on the sand slope.
After a quick coffee and some lunch at the local Craft & Things we headed back along to the Slates for our second dives. The Slates is a very well known site with multiple dive route options and usually very popular, but surprisingly we had the site to ourselves!
The first dive at this site was a dive leader lesson, with Kimon and Brian both completing mask clearing and AS ascents from 15m. Once the lessons were over we returned to our original buddy pairings for a normal dive. Both buddy pairs decided to take the same route for the final dives, which is the standard entering on one side of the peninsula and making the way round to the other. Me and Ryan had a nice dive venturing down to 37m looking for an octopus that was spotted here recently but was not to be found this time, we did find a nice yarrell’s blenny and spotted lots of large pollack. Visibility was good again and water temperatures similar to the first dive, although it didn’t feel quite so cold in the shallows on this one. Brian and Kimon also had another nice dive visiting 25m on their way around the point.
Another nice day diving in Loch Leven with good visibility and lots of life at both sites.
A few more photos can be found here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsme4pY5b