Saturday 1st September – Saturday 8th September 2018
£475 for 5 days diving and 7 nights’ accommodation
After the fantastic time that everyone had at Oban last year, we will running another trip to Oban in Scotland this year. We will be diving some of the most fantastic wrecks and most beautiful dive sites in the whole of the UK. Don’t take my word for it, ask anyone who was on last years trip! With visibility of anything up to 20m, the Sound of Mull offers an experience not to be missed.
We will be going back in 2018 for the week commencing Saturday 1st September and coming home on Saturday 8th September. There will be space for 12 divers and two non-divers if you have a partner or friend that wants to have a week away. Most of the people that went on last years trip said that they wanted to go again if we ran a trip this year.
Our UK dive trips have always been popular and always book up fast. This is why we are sending this out early so that you can plan ahead!
As per previous trips, we will drive up on the Saturday morning (early!) and get to Oban for the early evening. The rest of Saturday and Sunday is for relaxing, eating, drinking, with the possibility of a dip in the bay from the shore or for anyone that wants it. We dive off the Hard Boat Monday to Friday and leave on the following Saturday morning.
The West Coast of Scotland and the Sound Of Mull has some excellent diving and is rated as some of the best diving in the UK. Oban exploits the naturally clear Gulf Stream waters that pass through this region. The area is famous for its many shipwrecks from the days of sail, through the wars to present day with soft corals, sheer underwater cliffs, scenic reefs and fabulous drift dives.
The dive centre we use is in its own private port only a mile or so from Oban and is without doubt one of the UK’s most comprehensive diving facilities. The centre has a fantastic jet powered catamaran which we will have exclusively for the week. This is the Urchin and is ours for the 5 days we will be diving – no lugging of kit on and off the boat every day (apart from your cylinders)! The Urchin is a twin hulled hard boat with wet and dry kit storage on board. Getting back on is one of the highlights, the boat just chugs over the top of you and you climb a ladder up into a moon pool cut into the deck.
We will be staying in the self-catering chalets on site. These are very clean, tidy and right next door to the dive centre. You can literally get up, grab yourself a cuppa and some breakfast, and walk out onto the boat where tea and an “Egg Banjo” is normally waiting for us. So for those with a larger appetite you can have two breakfasts! You will also be fed again in between the dives or after the dives.
Oban, has all you could want in terms of bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes and take-aways, did I mention the pubs? The dive centre even supplies BBQs so we can plan an evening feast or feasts around this too. 7 seater taxis into town work out at about £1 per person each way and are readily available. If the weather is good, we could walk in and taxi back (it’s about a 30 minute walk).
The trip runs from Saturday to Saturday. We’ll be travelling up very early on Saturday morning – usually a 4:00am start and aim to stop for breakfast at Tebay truckers’ cafe in the Lake District. Then on to a little cafe on the shores of Loch Lomond for tea and scones at around lunchtime and finally Oban for about 4-5pm. On Sunday, those that want to can dive in the bay (everyone did last year), either just for a bimble or for crabs, scallops and squat lobster for an evening BBQ, or just laze around chilling and taking in a bit of Oban (did I mention the distillery?!!). We start our diving proper on Monday. After loading our kit we set off for the first days diving. We will do two dives a day on the Urchin and lunch will be supplied on-board. After the weeks diving we will take all of our kit off the boat and prepare for our journey back the following morning (Saturday).
We will be doing a mixture of Wreck dives and Scenic dives on this trip – subject to the weather of course. Some of the most incredible Wrecks in the world sit in less than 30m of water around Oban. The wrecks we will dive will usually include The Breda (14m-32m), The Hispannia (14m-34m), The Shuna (18m-34m), The Rhondo (5m-55m and is one of the world’s only diveable, vertical wrecks), the Ballista (5m-20m is mainly a drift dive of huge proportions), Nevada II and the Tapti and more. As a result, all divers must be Advanced Open Water Certified and should have their Wreck Diving Specialty if they want to get the most out of the experience (although this isn’t compulsory unless you want to go into the Wrecks). Nitrox is also highly recommended as it gives you so much longer bottom time on each dive, and as this is a UK trip we recommend a drysuit. Divers must also have experience of boat diving in the sea in the UK and being able to use an SMB too. Anyone lacking the required experience has obviously got ample time to get up to these levels between now and the trip.
This is not an expensive trip, for the seven nights’ accommodation and 5 days of hard boat diving it will be £475. The only additional costs will be for your transport, air or Nitrox fills and your food and drink money. Not bad for a week away. The deposit for the trip is £300 and like the balance of the cost, is non-refundable. Your space is only guaranteed once the deposit is paid (unless you specifically email me and ask me to add you to the list in which case you are committed to the full cost regardless) and spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The balance is payable before we go by the 1st May 2018.
We can accommodate up to 2 non-divers on the trip. A non-diver space will only cost £75 for the entire week so ‘other halves’ are also welcome. The accommodation is in the form of 2 chalets with 7 beds. Each chalet comprises of 1 twin bunk room, 2 twin rooms and 1 single. As a result, most sleeping arrangements can be catered for.
When we have run UK trips in the past, we have arranged transport for those that want it. However, last year everyone went up via their own steam as most people either went up earlier or came back later. Scotland is a beautiful place and of course you could stop in the lake district for a few days either before or after the trip if you desired. Once we have all of the places booked, we will arrange a meeting to see who wants transport and who wants to travel up on their own steam to maybe have an extra few days either on the way there or on the way back.
We will be sending a member of staff on the trip so there are 11 diving spaces and 2 non-diving space available (three couples from the last trip have already said that they want to go this year though). When booking, you’ll need to pay the £300 deposit to reserve your space, and the full £75 for a non-diver. Payments by cash, cheque or debit card will have no fee, a credit card will have a 2% fee. This is a dive trip – the usual rules apply. Once you’ve paid your deposit, the balance is payable whether you go or not. Should you be forced to cancel, we will do all we can to help you find someone to take your place but we cannot guarantee that this will be possible, especially if this happens within a few weeks of the trip. This will only be done once you have paid the full amount and will therefore refund as much of your payment as is paid by the person taking your space. We don’t however want to think about cancelling but obviously if you have travel insurance you would be able to claim should an emergency arrive.
So……are you coming?