A very successful trip to Lochaline on the West coast of Scotland was enjoyed by ten members of our group. General weather and sea conditions over the four days was on the whole very good. Based at the Old Post Office in Lochaline we were only a couple of hundred yards from the access point to a spectacular dive location, the Hotel Beach Wall. The dive starts off swimming down a very gentle slope of mainly white silica sand with occasional large boulders covered with kelp and sheltering shore crabs and sea stars etc. as the slope gets steeper tube anemones, Cerianthus lloydii in a variety of colours are very common. The sandy slope ends quite abruptly as we reach the top of the almost vertical wall which plunges down to a depth of more than one hundred metres. Just a few of the very common inhabitants on the wall are Tubularia with numerous nudibranchs, football sea squirts, squat lobsters, feather stars and sponges etc. We are also able to add a further two animals to our Group’s list of recordings for this dive site, a lumpsucker, Cyclopterus lumpus spotted on a couple of dives and a number of Brachiopods, (lamp shells) Terebratulina retusa. Dives also took place at Fiunary Rocks, a typical sea loch slope further West along the Sound of Mull and on the sea grass beds at Rubha-nan-So’rnagon in Loch Linnhe.
Most members of the party spent some time walking in the area, on the shores of Lochaline, to see the carved stones at Kiel and to the East side of the loch to the fossil burn where we were very lucky to see otters.
Many thanks to Jo and Barry for such a well organised trip.
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