Alternative Names: Craig Lodge Pier – Loch Ridden
Type of Dive: Shore dive
Suggested experience: Any
Distance from Glasgow: 80 miles 2hrsTake the ferry over to Dunoon and then turn right onto the A885 Turn left onto the B836 which takes you round the head of Loch Striven. Then turn right onto the A886 and finally turn left onto the A8003 which runs down the side of Loch Ridden. Shortly after turning onto the A8003 there is a minor road on the left signed Ormidale Lodge. Turn here and this takes you alongside the loch
Parking directions: Park in the lay bye opposite the single-story wooden holiday home. The slip here is used frequently so do not obstruct this.Google
Lat & Long: N55.953801,W-5.19943 Postcode PA33 1AR Google
Tides: Tide tables
Site entry/exit: Either park up and walk kitted up to the break in the lochside barriers and down a short path to the shingle beach or unload kit and then reverse back. There is no turning place at the end of the road.
Underwater directions: Enter the water and swim down a few metres then turn right and swim over the kelp towards the pier.
There is a lot of debris underneath the pier as it was used by steamers in the past so there are bottles and various bits of crockery are lying around. Some are more recent, as the pier is still used by local boats and the lodge above. Surprisingly there is little living in the debris apart from the usual hermit crabs and common sea stars, but that is probably because they prefer the cracks and crevices in the pier which provide better accommodation. There are also many wooden struts along the walls, some of which are covered in sea squirts, sponges and mussels. Others have been broken and honed by the tides and time into a sharp point, so be careful when moving around and along the walls of the pier. It is really the eastern side of the pier that has the most life, probably because this is more exposed to the passing tides. I found tompots, scorpion fish, prawns, sinny, gobies and a shore rockling all making their homes here.
I was pleasantly surprised by this dive as I hadn’t been expecting much at all.
Site Hazards: Boats using the pier
Nearest Public phone:
Accommodation: Wild camping around the loch
Created By: Jane Wilkinson
Cafe: Susys tearooms PA21 2DX
Air & Nitrox: The nearest place is the Diving Academy phone first +44 (0)1369 701 701
Date: Nov 2011
Links: None I can find
Surface photos: Jane Wilkinson
Underwater Photos: Contact me
Dive map: Not required here.
Dive report: Comment in the box below.