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Alternative Names: Ratagan youth hostel

Type of Dive: Ratagan is a gentle silty slope at the head of Loch Duich famous for its sea pens and Firework anemones. 

Suggested Experience: Sport diver with good buoyancy

Travel directions: Its 61 miles from Fort William (90 mins) Take the A82 up the side of Loch Lochy, At Invergarry turn left onto the A87 to Sheil bridge turn left onto the old military road, Turn right for Ratagan from here it's 0.4 of a mile along the coast road.

Parking directions:

Ratagan parking

Lat & Long:  57.230797, -5.466829  Postcode IV40 8HP Google map

Tides: Tide tables


Site entry/exit: Its a very easy walk down the stony beach on the west of the youth hostel into the water.

Ratagan entry/exitRatagan 

Underwater directions: The first 20-30 m out from shore (depending on tide height) are shallow over cobbles and gravel with wrack over most of it. Then you get a bank of cobbles that starts to angle down at about 40 deg slope. The slope is muddy, silty with gravel and small cobbles throughout down to about 20m depth, then it changes to almost entirely mud. Tall sea pens start at around 20m depth and proper forests of them at around 30m. You get phosphorescent sea pens and slender pens too and the occasional fireworks anemones. There's a chance of a ray. There is no bottom topography to speak of, so I generally go straight down the slope to whatever bottom depth I choose, then either come back up the slope in a zig-zag or along at a tangent west or east and then back up to avoid going over the same ground. As always with Duich, careful with fins near the bottom or it'll be pitch dark and zero viz in a jiffy! If caught out by disturbed sediment, feel along the bottom in a random direction and you will suddenly come out of the dust cloud again!

Air & Nitrox:  5Bells at Loch Carron,  Dive and sea the Hebrides on Skye, or carry your own

Site Hazards: Silt

Nearest Public phone: In the youth hostel.

Mobile Network service:

Accommodation: Ratagan youth hostel   Kintail lodge hotel (Bunk Rooms and Bunk House), The youth hostel makes a good base for a dive holiday

Other comments: The sea bed is very silty here so good buoyancy is essential. You can also dive Ardearg cemetery and the Boathouse just along the coast road.

Pub: Kintail lodge hotel 

Cafe: None close to here so take everything you need.

Version: 1

Thanks To: Chris Rickard for additional info.

Links: None

Created by: Mike dive

Date: 5/3/20

Surface Photos:  Mike dive

Underwater Photos:  Mike dive

sea penDiverFirework anemonySeapen

Dive sitemap: Not needed here

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