Underwater Photo Location: St Kilda
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|St Kilda is widely regarded as the best diving in the UK, and rightly so. It has the wildest, woolliest marine life and, being mid ocean, the sea is blue not the usual UK murky gray! |
Kilda is a small group of largely uninhabited islands 150 miles off the West coast of Scotland. There’s a small Military presence in Nissan huts, a couple of million Puffins, and little else.
Kilda is not for most recreational divers. You need an expedition mentality and a good liveaboard to get there. We were on the Jean De La Lune and can highly recommend it. It’s a three masted 100 foot schooner that is ocean worthy. You can dive straight off it most of the time as the walls are sheer the skipper can get in close. You must time your entry with the swell so that the gunwhales are at their lowest. There’s no handing cameras down. Just jump in holding them over your head and hope for the best.
A typical Kilda dive is rugged scenery with boulders the size of houses. There are canyons and caves, the walls of which are covered in jewel anemones (so take a torch). There are sea-mounts and drop-offs. You do a lot of deco diving and hanging on to kelp at 5 metres in swell can be a bit hairy! Delayed SMB’s are the order of the day. Don’t get lost or next stop is Rockall (isolated sea-mount) then Canada!
I remember hearing distant Killer Whales on dives, and once being surrounded by a massive shoal of Mackerel. It was the weirdest low viz situation I’ve had. Usually the viz is 10-20M, as evidenced by the kelp growing down to 30M+.
Fishing here means dangling a line in the water and reeling it in. You get a dozen fish out every cast, even without bait! That’s how profuse the life is. It gets big too. Lobsters too large for your goody bag (too large to wrestle even).
Seals that like to nibble your fins often buzz you. They don’t see many divers. If you’re looking for Best Of British – this is it!
|Facts about St Kilda|
- It is in United Kingdom
- St Kilda is in the Atlantic.
- The typical depth is 0-30 Metres 0-100 Feet.
- The typical visibility is 3-10 Metres 10-30 Feet.
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