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Autumn Night Diving Week
We've always talked about having an extended night diving trip as everyone raves about our night dives. With very different styles, using the floodlights, there is a range of experiences and subject opportunities. We'll also combine this local diving along with a day down to the Garvellachs which is brillaint scenic diving.
The 5 day trip will be roughly based on the following schedule (pending weather /tides). Ideally we'll be doing 11 dives over the 5 days.
Morning - rest, equipment setup and air fills
Afternoon - Dive a local reef / wreck dive (within 10 miles of base)
Evening/Night - Night dive (blackwater/floodlight reef & wreck)
Diving will be shallow (<20m) but divers should have appropriate experience for the conditions and ability to use a delayed SMB for boat diving.
Our Garvellachs day would be three dives and we'll do this based on the best weather day.Book Now
Inspired by experiences overseas in Hawaii, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Shane wanted to recreate some of that magic back home. Of course temeperate water provides some additional environmental challenges but our marine life is just as interesting and varied.
Having experiemented with different setups then we finally invested in a large system a few years ago. Although battery powered lights are flexible and small, the burn time is really limiting. So we put together an umbilical orca light system.
We use a generator for surface power, this goes to a junction box where we control the lights from. Then running from this box is three lamp heads which have 15-25m long umbilicals and provide ~100k lumens of light over a beam of 60-120deg angle.
It means we have unlimited burn time and a very flexible system for depth and rigging.
Inspired from overseas, we have deep water and whole range of temperate species here for blackwater diving. Blackwater is when we dive above deep water, drifting with the tide using the lights to attract deep or nocturnal species out of darkness!
If you've ever seen the movie, The Abyss, then it has a familiar feeling of not knowing what's out there and photographing all these weird and wonderful creatures. We always hope for some larger marine life coming through too!
It's a shallow dive staying near the boat and using lines for safety but also challenge to try and capture some of things that appear in front of us. (see above for a juvenile langoustine from Shane).
This is a firm favourite that we started doing a couple years back! We chose some specific sites around the area that provide shelter, lesser current and shallow depths. These make perfect night diving spots where we can get near a reef/sand interface. For photography it makes a very chilled site where you can settle on subjects and spend some quality time making images. Having lights on attracts the marine life in and also provides that ambience. We find it very cool to swim off and have the lights in the distance whilst you play in the dark.
We are very lucky to have the wreck of the S.S. Breda only a few minutes away from the marina. This wreck is ~120m long, intact and sits upright with the deck in 12-18m depth. Although the structure provides a lot of atmosphere (and challenge for those who may want to try out remote lights and tripods). Wrecks are also well know as artificial reefs and are a perfect playground for watching nocturnal marine life. Fish life is very abundant on the wreck, pollack and wrasse especially seem to be very common around the lights. There is also lots of macro life to concentrate on too.
On this dive, the boat is attached by a line to the wreck and the lights hover above the deck so there is always a good reference point. We have options to dive at the bow and stern which has different structure, depth and marine life.
Our afternoon diving will be some of our sites around Oban and will be dictated by the weather of course. We'll choose some that are photograohy orientated, or perhaps around specific species. Some may require slack and variable travel times so it will change day to day.
We'll use the best weather day to travel down to the Garvellach islands, around an hour away from the marina. On this day we'll be out for two dives during the day, then back with enough time for fills, food and a break before the night dive.
On the west coast we have a spread out and small population which means we are lucky to have the opportunity for some great nightscapes and dark skies.
Of course we need clear nights without cloud cover but it's great to have the lights off for our ride home on the boat and experience the stars like you would never see in the city. We are also lucky to see the Aurora / Northern Lights and have had them from the boat occasionally if conditions come together.
Although it's a busy a week with diving and it's likely for the time ashore you'll want to rest but there will be lots of opportunity to take some land night shots and there are good locations near the marina.
- 5 Dive Days Boat Diving & Wildlife Tour
- Photography advice & our experience to put you in the right place to get the best shots!
- Teas, Coffees & Home Baking on board
- Amazing wildlife, scenery and culture
- Knowledgeable and experienced skipper & crew
- Onboard binoculars, books and information guides
- All floodlight night diving setup excl personal lighting
What's Not Included
- Weather or wildlife guarantees! However the trip is flexible around weather so we'll arrange things around nature.
- Accommodation - lots available in Oban & surrounding area to suit your preference ranging from Hostel to Hotel.
- Equipment - we do have tanks/weights/gear that you can hire including 2500 lumen lights.
- Fills (available in Oban town or possibly using our own compressor)
- Transport to Dunstaffnage Marina (possibly others who can share lifts)