Alternative Names: None
Type of Dive: Ard Neackie is shore dive with a varied seabed and plenty to see.
Suggested experience: Any
Distance from Thurso: 53 Miles 1hr 25 Min From Lairg take the A836 up towards Tongue. At the T-junction turn left on the A838 towards Tongue and follow the road right the way through and across the causeway. Keep following the road until you get to Loch Eriboll which will appear right in front of you and then to your right as you come down the hill. As you pass a viewing area on the right you will also see the isthmus. At the bottom of the hill, there is a gated road on your right that takes you out to the isthmus. The gate is there to stop the cattle and sheep getting out so do close it. Don’t drive out to the isthmus but park at the top of shingle beach before the road turns left over a short causeway.
Parking directions: Park on the grass just above the shingle beach
Lat & Long: N58.495684 W-4.661711 (No postcode near) Google map
Site entry/exit: Across the grass and shingle beach into the water.
Underwater directions: Enter the water and head north. This takes you out along the bay keeping the shore on your right but taking you down the gradually sloping seabed. After swimming over the wrack growing near the shore at around 4-6 m you go over an area of tall kelp with large flat blades. There are sandy patches in places and it is here that I saw a number of large black sea hares with white spots, some of which were mating leaving a wiggly pink string of eggs on the weed. There were also several different types of flatfish. The kelp gradually changes to a shorter, smaller variety as you continue on and the bottom becomes stony with a variety of small types of brown and red weed. This continues down to about 20m but as it does not cover the sea floor there is plenty to see lurking about on the stony patches in-between. Scorpionfish are well camouflaged in this environment and there are all the usual velvet/shore/harbour/edible crabs. Lots of sand and sun stars. This stony slope continues down beyond 40m. Just amble around as you head out to your chosen depth, there are loads to see on this dive.
Site Hazards: Slight mid tide current
Nearest Public phone: Contact me
Accommodation: Loads of places to wild camp
Mobile Network service: Contact me
Pub: None close to here
Created By: Jane Wilkinson
Cafe: None close to here
Air & Nitrox: Jimmy Crooks at Lochinver 01571 844 362, Lazy Crofter at Durness 01971 511202 and James Forsyth in Scourie 01971502315.
Date: September 2012
Underwater photos: Jane Wilkinson