Alternative Names: Flame shell point
Type of Dive: Very good shore dive on Loch Carron which is now a Marine Protected Area.
Suggested experience: Some experience or a novice diving with an experienced diver
Travel directions Follow the A87 along Loch Duich and up to the southern side of Loch Carron. Keep following this round the loch until it turns off up to Loch Torridon. Follow the road through the village of Loch Carron and keep going until you get to Strome. Look out for the turning on the left that is signed for the castle. Google
Distance from Glasgow: 197 Miles 4 hrs 33 Mins
Parking directions: Park above the slip keeping in mind this is quite busy, particularly at weekends in the summer with vehicles reversing down to the water. Google
Lat & Long: 57.358288, -5.554004 Postcode IV54 8YJ Google
Tides: Tide tables Use Scotland 339 Plockton. Its Best dived at slack water.
Depth: 16 - 18m
Site entry/exit: Use the handrail to put on your fins and enter the water at the end of the slip, and exit at the same place.
Underwater directions: At slack, swim straight out into the middle of the loch where the mearl beds are covered with black brittle stars, gobies, butterfish and gravel sea cucumbers. From here you can explore up or down the loch, circling round and use the incoming or outgoing tides to bring you back to the jetty as slack finishes.
Alternatively, enter the water from the slip at high water slack and head east. Keeping the wall on your left, explore the base of the cliffs where there are flame shells. These creatures cover themselves with bits of old shell and gravel, making them difficult to spot. Gently lift up the clumps to find the shells with the bright orange tentacles but make sure you cover them back up again.
Heading the opposite way (west) is best done at low water slack. It is possible to do this dive out of Castle Bay, which is overlooked by the ruined castle on the hill. Swim to the end of the headland and round the corner, fin along the wall and finally, let the incoming tide bring you to the slip. However, it is a fairly long way especially for squidgy lovers and photographers who like to linger.
I actually found it was easier to enter the water off the slip, swim out a little, then head west. You can then find the end of the wall across the other side of the neighbouring bay. This wall is fabulously smothered with dead men's fingers and anemones with all sorts of fish and crustaceans hiding amongst them and huge deadmen's finger sea slugs. The seabed on either of these dives is alive with edible crabs, yarrells blenny, gravel cucumbers and all sorts of stuff. As you move along the wall you start to feel the tide beginning to pick up and it will bring you back to the slip.
Air & Nitrox: 5 Bells diving
Site Hazards: The tides roar through here like a steam train, the flattened kelp in the middle and rows of heaped up sand across the channel are all evidence of this. One to be avoided on springs. Be aware of what the tide is doing all the time, don’t get so immersed in taking photos etc that you miss the tide picking up and end up with it running so fast it pushes you past your exit.
Other comments: I haven't stayed there but the Loch Carron Hotel does a great Gammon and chips! Take lots of insect repellent if you are visiting during the midge season.
Pub: None close to here.
Cafe None close to here so take everything you need.
Created by: Jane Wilkinson
Date: Dec 2010
Surface Photos: By Jane Wilkinson
Dive Map: Contact me
Dive Report: Comment in the box below.