Alternative Names: None
Type of Dive: Keppoch is a deep shore dive in Loch Duich with plenty of sea life the best in down to 30m.
Suggested Experience: Suitable for experienced divers to your dive qualification.
Travel directions: From Glasgow 203 miles / 4 hours A82 through Fort William, turning left at Invergarry onto A87. its 5.4 miles past Shiel Bridge. From the north its 1.7 miles south of Eilean Donan Castle.
Parking directions: From the south park in the layby 1.4 miles past Inverinate service station ..See picture below.
Lat & Long: 57.257293, -5.483623 Postcode IV40 8HA Google
Tides: Tide tables 349 Kyle of Lochalsh For weather use postcode above
Depth: 50m +
Site entry/exit: Across from the layby where the crash barrier ends there is a rough path down to the water. As you reach the bottom of the path onto the shore you are facing roughly South East looking along the loch with Ratagan in the distance on the south shore. Getting into the water is easiest at high tide as there is a fair amount of slippery bladderwrack on the shore when the tide is out – not the best for clambering over with heavy gear on.
Underwater directions: Once in the water, the bottom initially slopes very gradually through an area of seaweed before stepping down over boulders onto an area of sand at a depth of approximately 8 metres. Heading right and descending as you go, you will eventually come across a section of reef that you can follow down to just short of 30 metres. It gets pretty dark so a torch is a must and it will allow you to check for things hiding in the various crevices and under the large boulders that are perched on ledges here and there.
There are often dog fish lying around on the bottom doing whatever it is that dogfish seem to spend so much time doing (sleeping?). As in many other parts of the loch there are lots of brittlestars around of various kinds and colours. There is an abundance of queen scallops of all sizes with a variety of barnacles, sponges and hydroids growing on their shells. Large and small dragonets scoot around the bottom along with flat fish which I really need to read up on so I can ID them a bit better! There are sea loch anemones dotted everywhere and patches of them have set up home on the stonier areas on the sand. A couple of more unusual spots on this dive were an Imperial Anemone – Capnea sanguinea – and a Yellow Skirt Slug – Okenia elegans (see photos below). Although silty, there is a lot less of it here than in many other areas of the loch, so you are less likely to stop to take a look at something only for your accompanying cloud to catch up with you and envelope everything.
After heading back towards the enrtry point you can spend your safety stop looking at the various critters that make the bouldery slope their home. We spotted the grumpy faces of a few scorpion fish hiding ready to ambush passing prey, including one that looked like it had a cataract in one eye. It’s then just a case of retracing your route back up into the seaweedy shallows and rolling about like a beached whale trying to get your fins off!
Air & Nitrox: Dave Black of 5 Bells Diving in Lochcarron. 07812 605 771 Facebook
Nearest Public phone: None close to here....probably Kyle of Lochalsh.
Mobile Network service: Contact me
Cafe: Kyle of Lochalsh
Created by: Mark Skea
Surface Photos: By Mark Skea
Underwater Photos: By Mark Skea
Dive Report: Comment in the box below.