Alternative Names: None
Type of Dive: Conservation bay is a Wall / Scenic shore dive in Loch Carron which is now a Marine Protected Area.
Suggested experience: Sport Diver
Travel directions: M8 from Glasgow A82 along the shores of Loch Lomond, through Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe to Fort William, continuing on the A82 north to Fort William, A82 north to Invergarry, and then via the A87 turn right at Auchtertyre onto the A890 and left onto the A896. Google
From Glasgow / Edinburgh: 220 Miles 4 hrs 50 mins
Lat & Long: N57.358355, W-5.568003 Postcode IV54 8YJ Google map
Tides: Tide tables Use Scotland 339 Plockton. Best dived at slack water and avoid spring tides (45 mins before low water or high water Plockton) as it's near the narrows and the water goes through there like a steam train.
Site entry/exit: Easy access 100m along a small path down a fairly steep slope onto a small stone beach, Exit same place
Underwater directions: Entry, if shore diving, is from the pebble beach, keeping the wall to the left follow the gentle slope down until it drop's steeply where there's a small reef running 90 degrees to the wall. Its worth exploring this reef as its home to congers and lobsters plus lots of other beasties worth a photo or two. Returning to the wall, the seabed here is rocky housing lots of little creepy crawlies to shine a torch at. The wall itself has plenty of cracks and crevices to poke around in and has a covering of dead men's fingers, urchins, and anemones. The floor soon turns to sand with a covering of starfish, the odd scallop and one or two queenies taking off when you approach them. Conservation bay is a 'no-take' dive site so please take only photo's and leave with no more than happy memories
Once you reach the plaque on the wall and the plinth with the commemorative plaque on it, you're getting in the danger zone where the current can take you by surprise and take you away or you may have trouble fighting the current to get back. I also give divers the chance to do this dive as a boat dive, it saves a long walk back up the hill dragging dive kit behind and also adds safety in that, should the current catch the unsuspecting diver out and the dive turns into a drift, the boat will be there to pick them up.
Air & Nitrox: 5 Bells Air only
Site Hazards: Conservation bay is best dived at slack water due to the strong current especially on spring tides.
Nearest Public phone: Loch carron village
Mobile Network service: O2, Vodaphone & Orange (sometimes)
Cafe: Waterside cafe
Created by: Dave Black
Underwater Photos: By Steve Nicholson, Chris Knight and Avril Keith.
Dive Report: Buddah Dived this as a shore dive, years ago, there was the biggest conger eel I ever saw in my life. Head like an Alsatian, needless to say never went back.
Dive Report: Chris Knight 3/5/11 In every respect this is a 5-star dive - the drive, the secluded bay, the consideration required for the tides/currents and of course the underwater scenery. We headed out along the wall and were surrounded by Moon Jellyfish. The anemones on the walls create a cracking backdrop.
Dive Report: Micky B 1/18/12 Shore dived in flat calm conditions with bright sun. Viz was superb, around 10-15m. Followed the kelp and boulders out until we reached the wall and followed it down to 20m. Lots of Featherstars, Deadmen's Fingers and large Dahlia Anemones covering it, and some small colourful Dahlias in the shingle at the base of the wall. Loads of Topshells and Sunstars, small Pollack etc and saw a Ballan Wrasse. Exploring the large boulders on the shingle slope next to the wall, we found 6 very large lobsters hiding under rocks, evidence of how effective the no-take zone assigned to this site is.
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