Oban – Recommended Local Diving
Puffin Dive Centre: Port Gallanach, Oban, Scotland, PA34 4QH. 01631 566088
Oban diving offers a variety of intact wrecks, walls, superb scenery and abundant marine life.
Water temperature: c 14°C (64°F). July to September
Visibility average: 5-20 meters (15-65 feet)
Getting There – Oban is 265 miles from Ulverston – about 5 hours driving via Glasgow
Web Cam – North Pier – Oban | North Pier Pontoons Webcam | Love Oban
Tides and slack water around Oban can be unpredictable and dependent on recent conditions. Weather is also changeable.
On many dive sites the tide is never completely slack. Lochs and islands provide shelter.
Compressed air (and Nitrox by arrangement) is available from the self-service panel between 07:00-22:00 @£5 per fill (220bar) – Machines accept coins and Puffin Dive Centre tokens available from shop which is well stocked and undertakes repairs and servicing. Enriched Air Nitrox can be arranged through the shop where you will be asked to provide appropriate certification for the blend you are purchasing
Marine Diesel Fuel is available from : Oban Marina & Yacht Services Ltd Ardentrive Bay, Isle of Kerrera, Oban, 01631565333. T. Barbour Ltd – Fuel Depot, Railway Pier, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4LW 01631 562849 . Dunstaffnage Marina, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll and Bute, PA37 1PX, 01631 566555
Accommodation – Oban Youth Hostel <£30 ppn with good drying & cooking facilities, Esplanade, Oban, PA34 5AF. Oban Backpackers, Backpackers Plus and Corran Hostel also all have good drying rooms . Camping and Caravanning / Statics (2 bedroom @ £100 / night) and Pods (Sleep 2 @ £50/night): Gallanachmore Farm, Gallanach Road, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4QH. 01631 562425 Plenty of B&Bs in town – also : Super Markets, Banks Cafes, Pubs and Restaurants
Harbor Master Oban 01631 562892 – Harbor movements announced on Ch 12 – Chart 1790
Oban Coastguard Channel 16 – Telephone 01631 562685 – Emergency call 999 Coastguard
Hospital (A&E) Lorn & Islands Hospital: Accident and Emergency Department PA344HH 01631567500
Defib – Railway Station PA34 4LW and Wall of Clock Tower in town center PA34 4LL
Tidal constants Seil Sound Dover -0545 Oban -0025
Oban Dover -0520
Weather : Oban – BBC Weather
Inshore Forecast – Mull of Kintyre to Ardnamurchen Point Inshore waters and strong winds – Met Office
There are many great and uncommitting dive sites mainly to the south of Oban. There is considerable shelter from prevailing weather by virtue of all the headlands and off lying islands. The tidal streams are generally not too strong though there are notable exceptions.
(Slack water is roughly 5 hours before high water Dover and 2 hours after HW Dover)
Shore Diving from Puffin Dive Centre at Gallanach Bay (any time)
Gallanach Reef A large granite rock from the seabed at 9mtrs to 1.5mtrs to the top – a nice wall with abundant life and sheltered waters. Can be dived at all states of tide. High tides bring easiest access and clearest waters. From the slipway directly west. Take a bearing looking at the white house on Kerrera island directly across the water. Reach the 8mtr contour and follow in the south direction until you hit the reef. Keep the reef on your left and follow the outside of the wall until wanting to return home. The far end of the reef has plenty areas for finding large edible crab and scallops.
Gallanach Wall dive with steep slope down beyond 40mtrs depth. Lots of interesting debris from old wooden pier. Can be dived at all states of tide. High tides bring easiest access and clearest waters. Descend at purple mooring and follow 19mtr contour with wall on your right to find pipes for swim through. Head shallower to approx. 14mtrs for swim home to find old wooden wreckage from lost pier.
Oban – Recommended Local Diving – Boat Dives Close to Puffin Dive Centre
508 Bach Island South East Tip sheer cliff 6-28m interesting sea caves
509 Bach Island North Face north west corner cliff to 27m – potentially tidal
510 Bach Island North Face north east corner cliff to 32m – potentially tidal
511 Rubh muddy shingly slope to 10m
512 Port a Chroinn At head of bay clean sand at 25m beyond kelp forest
516 Eilean nan Gamhna, Kerrera shallows around island full lobster and crab
517 Eilean nan Uan, Kerrera (Seal Island)
518 Ard na Cuile – cliffs dropping to 30m to boulders
519 White Lady Shoal – Sgeire an Dubha – white beacon on rocks both sides to 20m and shingle
520 Ferry Slip Mainland just south of ferry muddy slope to 26m
521 Ferry Slip Kerrera boulder slope to 15m then mud and shingle
522 Ferry Rocks South West Side 0.5m south of Heather Island marked by white buoy at west end 14m (slack dive LW slack -0100 Dover, HW Slack +0500 Dover)
523 Ferry Rocks North west side cliff to 8m and muddy slope
524 Heather Island north west face 10m cliff
525 Heather Island south east face 30m cliff with sea cave and chimney
526 Heather Island – Sea Plane at 35m just off south east face of island
527 Mooring buoys – life on wires bottom at 15m with kelp forest
530 Wreck of 36m Puffer Golden Gift 11-14m just off Oban sea front
532 Carraig Mhicheik / Dunoille Castle boulders to 20m wall to right around headland
533 Maiden Island West face – to 35m
534 Maiden Island East Face boulders to 14m
Boat Dives Further afield
526 West Coast of Dunstaffnage Headland – cliffs to 25m a long cave running under rocks of headland of Rubhagarbh
537 Eilen Mor, Dunstaffnage Bay – good cliff to 14m on its south west corner – interesting sea life
554 Wreck of SS Breda Ardmucknish Bay N56 28.57 W05 25.08 Sw Ledaig. Usually buoyed but transists available. 7000ton 130m vessel bombed in ww2 – bow 9m, decks 15m sea bed 30m (non tidal)
555 Wreck of madam Alice Ardmucknish Bay l 56 27 13N, 005 29 08.5W lost in 1918 marked by can visible at low water – need echo location The vessel is fully intact, and about 150 feet long, 35 feet beam. The wreck lies on gently sloping seabed with the least depth 32 meters at the bow.
556 Garbh Ard, Ardmucknish Bay – East coast of bay drops rapidly to 30m and a muddy bottom
557 Bogha Gabh-aird, Armucknish Bay line of smooth rock skerries south west of headland 13-30m
559 Lady’s Rock North Face South of Lismore – dive at slack water +0050 Dover – otherwise strong tides excellent underwater cliff to 25m
560 Lady’s Rock South Face drops to boulder gullies to 25m
564 North west coast just north of the lighthouse there is a narrow bay providing shelter– swimming out one drops to 25-30m on a mud slope
565 Liath Sgeir North East Side – rock dries to 3m approximately 1.5m north of southern tip of Lismore- cliff to 35m full of life
566 Liath Sgeir North West Side – sandy slope
567 Liath Sgeir North – scattered wreckage of an old wreck on a shiggle bottom
DP – Duart Point trail on small 17th century warship (1641) the Swan lost in 1653 lies against the rocks beneath Duart Castle in 10-12m (lochalinedivecentre.co.uk)
HMS Dartmouth – Eile an Rubha an Ridire 56°30’.180north,longitude 05°42’.015west Sound Of Mull » HMS Dartmouth (lochalinedivecentre.co.uk) Slack Water / flooding tide 10-12m
Thesis 56°29.920’N, 005°41.486’W (GPS) only fifty meters from the rocky shoreline. The bow points to the shore and lies in just over 20 meters while the stern lies in 30 meters with a depth of around 30 – 32 meters on the wreck at the stern. Slack Water / middle four hours of flooding tide
Further Afield again
Hispania N56 34.5637 W 005 59.1580 1 hour before local highwater / low water – lasts one hour Depth 25-30m
Rondo N56°32.306′ W005°54.749′ very close to the north shore of Dearg Sgeir. Depth 6-50m Ebb tide – middle four hours
Shuna N56 33.375 W005 54.486 she is not subject to the strong tides of the area although some gentle current is possible
And just round the corner….
546 Rubha Ard nam Leum excellent site for underwater scenery – a vertical black wall 15-30m covered in life can be some turbulence from the falls of lora in spate
547 Rubha Riabhach as per 546
548 – Falls of Lora – spring tides run at 6kts over a rock bar. An exciting drift dive after the bar as the bottom drops to 20m amid huge rocky clefts caves and cliff faces together with lots of wreckage from bridge building HW slack -0520 Dover LW slack +0345 Dover but subject to variation given astronomical and metrological conditions. Vis better on the flood tide.
549 Old Puffer Wreck with cargo of railway lines only 4m at LW
Falls of Lora A neap tide allows exploration of the falls with plenty of slack time.
Loch Etive Diving – almost a fresh water loch always a peaty surface layer making diving gloomy