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 Kylesku narrows

Alternative Names: None

Type of Dive: Kylesku narrows is a great drift dive under the bridge in Loch Gleann Dubh

Suggested experience: Experienced shore diver

Travel directions:  Google   Inverness 83 Miles 2 hours  Aberdeen 4 hours 15 mins  Glasgow 4 hours 50 min  Edinburgh 4 hours 50 min

Parking directions:  There is ample space in the car parking area to the right of the bridge as you approach it from the south.  Kit can either be carried down to the entry point from here, or if you are fit you can kit up completely and walk down the path heading off to the left and under the impressive bridge structure.

Kylesku narrows car parkKylesku narrows car park

Lat & Long:   58.257058, -5.023359  Postcode IV27 4HW  Google

Tides:  Tide tables  Using Loch Nedd enter the water one hour before high tide if you intend to drift from the bridge to the slip.  To enter and exit at the bridge follow the underwater directions below. Don't dive on an ebbing tide as there is a drop off to the west with down currents.

Depth: 40m

Site entry/exit:  There is a path from the carpark down under the bridge to the entry point at the concrete block. 360 deg view  There are a number of different ways to dive this site from the shore.  All of them require careful consideration of the tides to ensure exit can be made safely at the appropriate place.  Entry is typically achieved either at the small bay on the South shore to the West of the bridge or from the slip next to the hotel.

Kylesku narrows3Kylesku narrows entry/exit

Underwater directions: Entry is timed so that roughly half the dive time will take place toward the end of the flood tide.  The current will drift you North-Eastward beneath the bridge as you keep the sloping reef/wall on your right. The tide then turns and the remainder of the dive will take advantage of the ebb tide to drift you back to the entry point.  Diving here on neap tides also means that the currents are light and there is time to stop and look at anything you spot.  Once in the water, head initially in the direction of the opposite side of the channel and descend through an area of tall kelp covered boulders. Patches of sand start to appear and the boulders give way to a stepped rocky reef with initially only a sparse covering of dead man’s fingers.  There are fried egg anemones dotted about here and there on the barer patches of rock.  Keep in mind what this area looks like, as later it will be where you need to finish your dive and head back up towards the kelp.  Turn right at your chosen depth and allow the current to carry you in the direction of the bridge.  The density of the dead man’s fingers increases quickly until there are sections of rock that are completely obscured by them when they are all out feeding.  It’s possible to descend to 40m in the deepest part of the channel, but by spending the dive shallower where the light is better it’s actually possible to look up and see the outline of the bridge overhead as you pass beneath it when the visibility is good.  In the vicinity of the bridge there is a tangle of poles, ironwork, old bicycles and various random items that have either been thrown over the side of the bridge or dropped during its construction.  There are often fish hiding in amongst them such as cuckoo wrasse and goldsinny.  Edible and velvet crabs cling to the rocks and butterfish and yarrell’s blennies are common here.  If you’re lucky you might spot an octopus hunting.  If your timing is good, mid-way through your planned dive time the current will start to drop off and reverse as you reach an area where the sides of the channel become a lot more vertical.  Here the dead man’s fingers are replaced by a carpet of colourful feather stars.  There are often significant number of nudibranchs in this area.  Drifting back toward the entry point you have another opportunity to look for the bridge if the light and visibility allow.  Large numbers of moon jellyfish might be drifting along with you depending on the time of the year.  Towards the end of your planned dive time keep an eye out for the area where you descended and turn left up into the kelp to make your ascent.  There are often shoals of fish here to pass the time during your safety stop.  Take care not to miss your exit point as there is a large drop off to the west with down currents that you don’t want to find yourself in.

Air & Nitrox:  None close (see the Dive map)

Site Hazards: Depth and currents. A large amount of water passes through this point so the viz is usually very good but don't get the tides wrong.

Nearest Public phone:  In the Hotel

Mobile Network service: In the car park and Wi-Fi at the Hotel.

Accommodation:  Inchnadamph Lodge  The lazy crofter bunkhouse  Kylesku Hotel

Other comments: You can also dive at the slip in Kylesku near here. If you are visiting for a day and the tides are right, it is possible to combine a couple of these dive types and make your journey worthwhile.  It’s a long journey to Kylesku but well worth the effort.  The surrounding scenery is spectacular and there is the possibility of spotting wildlife like otters, eagles and red deer.  When conditions are just right, it is a stunning dive that has to be one of the best shore dives in the UK. 

Pub:  Kylesku Hotel

Cafe:  Kylesku Hotel

Created By: Mark Skea

Date: 16/1/19

Revision:  1

Thanks To: Claire Hurren, Mike Dive, Jason Beeston

Links: None

Surface Photos:

kylesku north slip

Underwater Photos:  By Mark Skea  Utube    Utube     Utube

Kylesku narrowsKylesku narrows

Dive Map:  Not Reqd

Dive Report: Comment in the box below.