An Oban Adventure
After a 10-hour trip in the happy bus, we finally arrived at our destination, Oban.
Oban is situated on the North West of Scotland; a few hours drive outside Glasgow.
Our hosts for the week were Puffin divers based just outside of Oban in Port Gallanach….
Our group consisted of Alex Coomes (minus Zen the dog), Bobby and Alex Woodrow, Trish and Ian Emery, Katy Randles, John Fowles, Rob Lea, Graham Pettett, Dave Tresidder and Myself, Jo-Anne Eaton.
We arrived on Saturday night, once all settled into the chalets and kit stowed; we headed off into Oban Town centre to see what was in store. After a swift half, it was back to the chalets for a good night sleep to start the weeks diving.
The early start on Sunday morning was met with a very quick trip to the site of the Breda on the Ribs. The Breda is sitting in max of 30m of water in Ardmucknish bay. She sits upright with her bows in 24m and stern in 30m. All kited up and ready to go, she was an easy and very enjoyable dive. Back on board the RIB, kit kat and hot soup, we were ready for the second dive. They called this the ANC dive, which is a wall dive covered in sea life with an opportunity to pick your own depth. Another enjoyable dive, if not a little expensive for Bobby, one weight belt and a flooded torch later! Sunday afternoon held an exciting trip to Tescos to stock up on food and wine ready for the ﾒcook offﾓ during the week. The chefs were Dave, Katy, Alex W and Rob. With a guest appearance from Ian and his BBQ. Who would win?
The next five days took us off on the hard boat Urchin. Tea and coffee always on offer, bacon and egg rolls for breakfast and baked potatoes for lunch. The boat was fun to get back on as the Urchin is a catamaran, it drives over the top of you and then you climb up a ladder in to the moon pool. We had a fantastic choice of dive sites, starting with the wreck of The Thesis. Located on the southern tip of Morvern with the stern in 30 meters, the structure of the wreck is covered in anemones with some great swim throughs. Other wrecks we dived were the Rondo, a great wreck as you could dive to 51 meters (or what ever depth you wish!) and come back up the wreck as its sits on a steep wall, so its easy not to clock up any deco! Next is the Shuna, she is located across the water from the Rondo in the Sound of Mull. She sits in 32 meters of water with the decks at 20 meters and finally the Hispania, possibly the best wreck dive of the week, in my opinion. The Hispania sits in 32 meters of water and its a wreck that is covered in anemones, you can not actually touch any metal as its all covered in squidgy stuff! It has some great swim through on the starboard side near the engine room. We also dived some very pretty scenic dives of Dubh Sgeir, Calve Island, John Preston, Columbus Reef and Eagle wall, all with plenty of sea life, dead man fingers and anemones. Last but not least, a very fast drift dive, Black’s memorial tower. This saw us in a 2.5 knot current flying along!!
The group was a mixed bunch of dive levels, with sports divers right up to re-breather divers.
Alex C and Graham were both relatively new to re-breather diving and did not install us with confidence to go out and buy one! Especially after Graham missed two dives as his YBOD decided not to go diving! The best quotes that came from Alex C and Graham about their YBODs were What is your philosophy on sofnoline packing, Alex? and I’m going to fly this manually on this dive! . John did a sterling job of looking after the YBOD divers and if there was a badge for doing this, he would have definitely earned it!
Various evening were spent on the balcony looking out to the stunning scenery of Oban bay, sipping a glass of wine and fighting off the Daddy long legs or Jenny long legs as they are called over the boarder. Rob came into his own, he was the hero, he was the best Jenny catcher in Oban!
I can highly recommend Oban for the week was full of fantastic diving, followed up with some fantastic scenery. Thanks to Everyone for making it a great week.