Alternative Names: None
Type of Dive: Shore dive on the north-west coast of Loch Long
Suggested Experience: Sport / AOW
Travel directions: Follow the A83 past Arrochar and the Conger Alley Dive Site (1.07 km), and take the turn left into the Ardgartan Visitor Centre. Continue over the Croe Water bridge and turn left towards Ardgartan Hotel. Continue along the single-track road past the hotel for a further mile until a fork in the road is reached; stop here.
Parking directions: The side of the road at the fork used to be a permitted motorhome pitch, but this appears to have now been dug-up. This leaves space for three cars, with further parking possible on the opposite side of the road if mindful of other motorists and walkers. Note: the left-hand fork in the road is gated and leads to private residences; access must always be maintained. This area also falls within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Camping Management Zone (www.lochlomond-trossachs.org).
Lat & Long: 56°10'30.6"N 4°47'33.3"W Google
Tides: Tide tables
Site entry/exit: The approach to the site is fairly steep and boggy. Therefore, kit-up at the parking site and descend the slope towards the shore that is 100m away (this is a 20% gradient slope with many boggy patches that can be challenging to climb after the dive with full kit on; bear this in mind). Head towards the very obvious large stone slab on the shore and enter the water on the righthand side of it. Note: the seaweed and kelp here makes it difficult to see underfoot as you enter the water, so be careful when placing your feet.
Underwater directions: Head straight out from the shore on the right of the stone slab. The first few metres are through a nice kelp field which is home to the usual life. Beyond the kelp is a field of small boulders that gives way to featureless silty sand from about 6m. Continue deeper until you reach a single large rock outcrop on your right that has a few sponges growing over it; this makes a suitable marker for finding the exit point. With this outcrop on your right shoulder, follow the rock face down and around to its base corner before leaving it continuing deeper normal to the shore. At approximately 20m you will reach a rock wall on your right. This is the main part of the dive and you can follow this rock wall (keeping it on your right) for a long-distance as it continues deeper parallel to the shore. At approximately 30m, there is a slight break in the wall that can be used as a point to ascend if you are limited to this depth, otherwise the wall continues deeper still for an unknown distance/depth. If indeed ascending at this point, do so with a slight left bearing until you reached the top of the wall again at approximately 20m (there is a fine specimen of a firework anemone near this point). From here the bed is silty sand again and a route zigzagging back and forth can be followed with the occasional large boulder covered in life encountered. Once the before noted marker rock outcrop at 10m has been reached again, this can be used to gather your bearings. Ascending to 6m for a safety stop provides an opportunity to explore the field of small boulders for life in either direction until exiting at the entry point.
Site Hazards: Challenging approach from the parking site to the shore with areas of bog and slip/trip hazards. Entry/exit to the water can also be slippery and uncertain due to seaweed.
Nearest Public phone: Ardgartan Hotel,
Mobile Network service: Contact me
Other comments: To the knowledge of the author, this is a new site that could benefit from further exploration in all directions.
Pub: Slanj Bar & restaurant
Created by: Malcolm McRobb & Marcin Wasilewski
Surface Photos: Malcolm McRobb
Underwater Photos: Marcin Wasilewski
Dive Report: Comment in the box below.