Diving the Garvellachs and Slate Isles 2011


Scotland, 10th-17th September


4/5 places available for qualified divers (BSAC Sports Diver or equilvalent)

Trip is advertised elsewhere – please contact Chris Stevens ASAP if you would like to come: 07808 774271

Fin the late summer dive season the seas around the west coast of Scotland boast some of the best diving conditions in the UK. Visibility is rarely less than 12m and marine life abounds. Basking sharks, Dolphin, Minke Wales and Seals are visitors at this time of year – spend a surface interval snorkelling with seals and porpoise and the time flies by.

The Garvellachs are a small group of Islands to the SW of Oban and are an area of outstanding natural beauty both above and below the water with exceptional water clarity. They experience some of the strongest tides in the UK making for very exciting drift diving and the wall dives have some amazing jewel anemone beds. They also have several large intact steamship era wrecks within a short distance (the Meldon, the SS Breda, the Shuna, the Benghazi, the Thesis, and even the Hispania may all be dived from here).


slate-islands-mapFor the week we’ve chartered the Porpoise II – the fastest dive boat on the west coast – skippered by Dave Ainsley, BSAC AI and expert underwater photographer. This 12m hardboat boat can easily take 12 divers and still make a good speed.

Accomodation is in Seabank cottage 1 mile north from the Balvicar dock where we meet the boat. The cottage sleeps 12, has log fires, a great view of the loch and is very comfortable.

Costs will depend a little on how may divers sign up. If we fill the boat and the house we’ll be looking at £286 each for the weeks diving and accommodation. If only 10 come it’ll be £343 each but we’ll try to fill the boat by recruiting from other clubs later on if there’s not enough interest in 0034 to make sure the costs are low. On top of this we’ll be self catering and will have to pay for air fills at the Oban dive centre.

The aim is a general diving week with diving for all qualified diving grades. We’ll see who comes and then plan the diving as appropriate. There are several wrecks suitable for Ocean divers as well as lots of reefs, drifts and marine life excursions.


Sign up in the club very soon if you want a place. All who sign up need to pay a deposit of £60 (the club has paid a deposit on both house and boat which it needs to recover).

Deposit by cheque payable to Oxford BSAC – give it to Chris, Kerrie, Ian or Courtney.



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