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Diving the Scottish Lochs in Luxury

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One of our favourite weekend diving trips has to be to head up to the Scottish Lochs and do some shore diving. As there are a host of shore diving opportunities, you can set your own agenda, it is not too expensive and there is always plenty of marine life. So, for our first UK sea water dives this year, we planned to dive Loch Long and Loch Fyne.

On previous trips, we had passed an intriguing looking holiday park with wooden cabins, situated right on the shores of Loch Long, and so we decided to book in for three nights to see if this would suit groups of divers and our future trips. We headed up the M6 on Friday afternoon, ensuring that we could make it to Fyne Brewery in time to stock up on a mini cask (or two) of their wonderful Jarl for the weekend, and then checked in at Ardgarten Argyll Forest Holidays. We were eager to find out what our accommodation for the weekend was going to be like. We had booked a two-bedroom cabin, with friends joining us for the weekend and we were directed to a cabin overlooking the loch. It was perfect! The cabins have a log fire and underfloor heating for the cooler evenings, kitchen, outside BBQ area and above all, a hot tub with an amazing view! This place was going to be perfect to unwind and warm up after some early season diving. After much deliberation (not really) we decided to spend the the first part of the evening relaxing in the hot tub, with a glass of ale.

The next day we met up with some divers from our local dive centre in Manchester, DiveLife UK. We headed to Loch Fyne for some easy-going shore diving, just off an old, concrete jetty. The water was still only 6-8 degrees and the marine life had yet to really come into its own, but the dive still provided us with some lovely firework anemones, loads of squat lobsters and even some nudibranch eggs and a catshark egg case (a first for us in UK waters).

Back at our cabin, we were keen to see what the local dive, right off the slipway in front of our cabin was like. Clubs could even use this slip to launch RIBs for some boat diving here. A nice easy entry into the water led us out to deeper water and we dropped down and decided to head towards another site, Two Piers, which was nearby. Our route found us taking in small rocks and debris that were covered in orange and white dead mans finger coral. Pipefish hid in seaweed and hermit crabs scuttled away from us as we passed over the silty sea bed. A little later in the season would see loads more marine life here too, and we plan to head back and dive here again later in the summer.

The hot tub was calling, after a day of diving in cold water. With our gear drying off on our decking and the BBQ lit, we gazed out over the loch, glass of champagne in hand, hoping to catch a glimpse of the whales that had been sighted in the loch in the past few days.

The following day we decided to explore this beautiful region. The cabins are set in woodland and there are dedicated trails to follow. We did a mini beach clean before heading to Arrochar, the village where we were married many years ago, for dinner. This was the perfect weekend for us. We could do as much, or as little, diving as we wanted to, with a whole host of great shore dives within reach and the perfect place to unwind with friends at the end of the day.

For more information about our accommodation at Forest Holidays, click here. 

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Sofia Tenggrono

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Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The September winner was Sofia Tenggrono.


What equipment do you use?

I work with Olympus TG-6 camera, Nauticam CMC-1, 2 Inon S-2000, minigear snoot dive torch

Where can our readers see more of your work?

https://www.instagram.com/s.tenggrono/


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Samantha Falcucci

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Gemma and Ian chat to Samantha Falcucci. Samantha is a technology professional in New York City, STEM mentor, and ocean and space exploration advocate. After studying Information Systems & Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, she launched into a business-technology career and has worked at Microsoft for six years guiding enterprise customers through their unique digital transformations. She has fostered a passion for science all her life and is dedicated to hands-on scientific research and communication in both space and ocean related fields.

Samantha earned her Advanced Scuba certification at 17 and is passionate about diving and marine science. She is a citizen scientist volunteer recording microplastics presence at the Jersey Shore for the Plastic Wave Project and is a member of the NYC Sea Gypsies scuba club. In August 2021 she became a trained analog astronaut and helped lead a Mars simulation in the Mojave Desert with an international crew.

She dedicates her passion for science to her late grandfather who was an entomologist and loved launching model rockets together. She strives to set an example as a citizen-scientist while advocating for diverse backgrounds needed in exploration. Her advice to aspiring conservationists is to find unconventional ways to study and care for the ocean regardless of your age or if it is directly related to your job and studies. She looks forward to sharing all of her upcoming space and ocean related experiences on her Instagram blog.

Have a listen here: 

Find out more here:

https://www.instagram.com/seaspacesam/

https://sfalcucci.medium.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sfalcucci/

https://www.instagram.com/nycseagypsies/

Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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