Alternative Names: Sgeir an Sabhail
Type of Dive: Shore and Floodtide drift in Loch Duich
Suggested experience: Ocean Diver (experienced), Sports Diver, Dive Leader, Master Diver etc
Travel directions: As you descend down Glen Shiel, A87(on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh), take the left signposted Ratagan over the wee humpback bridge, take the next right to Ratagan, pass thro and continue driving past Letterfearn (single track road) keep an eye out for the passing place in the photo just as you come round a left bend in the road (with a small, low wall on the seaside where the excess cars will park). You can turn round by carrying on for a wee bit longer to find a car park area in the trees at the top of a small rise. Drop off the kit and divers and park your vehicles around the corner on the (now) right-hand side of the road away from the wee wall.
Parking directions: At the roadside, room for two cars at entry site then room for 5 cars around the corner before Druidaig Lodge (towards Ratagan)
Lat & Long: 57:15:55N 5:31:07W Postcode IV40 8HT Google map
Tides: Tide tables
Depth: Best to 15m but does go deeper.
Site entry/exit: Short clamber down to the shore via some rock “steps” from the roadside between two Hazel bushes. Exit either at the entry point, tho it is a bit of a clamber up over the ragged rocks, but best to complete the Floodtide drift and exit in the cobbled bay where the excess cars park. (by the small roadside wall)
Underwater directions: If a slack water dive, enter from the rocks and pick your direction and return to the entry point (see above note). Flood tide dive, enter over the rocks and choose your depth. Sloping, sandy bottom studded with rocks leading down to siltier sandy bottom at around 15m. Turn right, keep slope on your right and drift at your chosen depth. In the deeper water, you will come across several huge boulder outcrops whose gaps hold coarse sand and associated wildlife. These outcrops are massive and become wall-like if you keep your depth constant, otherwise, as you sweep over them you will see that above 10m the slopes become square broken rock slopes. This drift should take about 30 mins and as you ascend to 6m you shall come across rounded cobbles on a much gentler slope in the Exit bay. Don’t worry if you miss these cobbles as the bay is uniform and very easy to exit from as a gentle walk ashore
Site Hazards: Climb down to the entry point, few “escape” avenues if dive has to aborted early as the shore is rocky and steep til you reach the bay area
Nearest Public phone: Back at Ratagan Youth Hostel
Mobile Network service: O2 works with full signal
Pub: Kintail lodge hotel (nice pint of Ember, Strongbow, Stella. Meals quite expensive (but good)… (Scallops as a main £18.50!)
Cafe: There is a cafe further up from the Kintail Lodge on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh (but can’t rem its name)
Created by: Darryl Mayer
Underwater Photos: Contact me
Dive Report: Comment in the box below.