Coll Pier Dive
Although our passengers come from a broad background we do have a number of divers come on our tours and want to get underwater. Although mis-understood, shark trips are not dive trips. With the distance we cover there is no way we could carry a boat full of divers at the same time. However we can offer an extra tour in the evening if there are suitable conditions and enough people interested.
On the surface, the ferry pier looks like any old pier made of concrete and metal – generally not the bonniest of structures! However as any diver will know, add an artificial structure underwater and it turns into a whole different experience!
The pier is washed with rich and clear Atlantic water full of nutrients and as such the visibility is generally great! Normally around 10-15m would be average, 15m-20m on a good day and 5m on a poor day (if there’s lots of plankton then good for sharkies!). The bottom is white sand, so there is very little sediment making an easy site for beginners and depths range from 3m-10m, meaning a long bottom time!
The piles of the pier are covered in an amazing assortment of life, the upper reaches have long fronds of kelp which leads to anemones, sponges and soft corals below on reds, yellows and oranges! This concentration of invertebrates make an ideal subject for underwater photographers and some stunning wide-angle shots can be achieved with close focus wide angle techniques.
Although one of the major problems of this dive for underwater photographers is choosing which lens. The site is superb for both wide-angle and macro as there is so many subjects! In fact dedicated photographers could probably spend a whole week diving here and not be bored! The closer you look the more life is revealed, with smaller anemones, crabs, nudibranchs, blue rayed limpets, dragonet fish, gobies – you get the idea!
The dive is one of our favourite in the whole of Scotland for many reasons, see below for why we think so!
- It’s shallow which means you have a long bottom time and no worries about decompression
- There’s very little or no current
- The bottom is white sand meaning not silt to mess the visibility
- The marine life is stunning
- The visibility is usually excellent
- It’s very close to ou base!
- It’s an incredibly productive place for underwater photography from critters to wide angle ocean scenes!
- It makes for a sensational night dive (only available on diving specfic chartered trips)
- It makes a great free-dive!
Divers must have a suitable qualification and should be comfortable diving in temperate water (10-14deg) along with diving on their own with a buddy. Divers will be paired up on the trip after a breifing is given.
If you need equipment then we offer tanks, weights, BCD's and regulators for hire and if you need a suit then you will need one of our 8mm semi-drys. See here for details.