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Aberdeen Diving

Scuba diving > UK diving > Scotland > Aberdeen diving
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Aberdeen dive guide
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The Aberdeenshire coastline in the North Sea offers a good range of scuba diving to suit all levels of divers. The dives include shallow wrecks suitable for novices and more challenging ones for the more advanced diver as well as numerous reefs, seal colonies and resident dolphins.

Air temperature fluctuates between -1 °C (-34°F) and 18 °C (64°F) Visibility is variant. Some places can go up to 20 metres (65 feet) Coldest time: December - February, temperatures drop as low as -1°C (-34°F) warmest time: (June - August) the average high is 17 °C (63 °F) The wettest months are October and November The variety of diving in Aberdeen is remarkable.

The East Coast has many interesting dive spots including some really interesting wrecks.
Another place that is worth mentionning is The Moray Firth which extends from Peterhead in the North East of Scotland up to the tip. The port of entry is Aberdeen airport. There are a couple of charter boats operating the Moray Firth area and liveaboard diving can also be done. Water access is possible in a many places and tidal streams are not a big problem save for the areas around the major headlands where strong Northerly or Easterly winds may cause large swells.

The Moray Firth is famous for it's dolphins and whales, the most common species being the Bottlenose Dolphin and the Harbour Porpoise. Mink whales have been spotted occasionally. The Inner Moray Firth is designated, a Special Protection Area for wildlife conservation purposes and has something for every diver, be it scenic diving or the awesome wreck dives.
Some dive sites around Aberdeen are: Crawton Reef a few miles south of Stonehaven goes down to about 17 metres (56 feet) of depth and has lots of marine life. There are crevices full of life. The visibility varies and can go upto about 9 metres (29 feet).
Dundonnie Reef, a little south of Petrhead makes a very nice dive where encounters with seals are possible and which has lots of other marine life. There are guite a few gullies to take shelter in from the current but beware, strong currents are reported here.

Baku Standard is the wreck of a tanker lying off Gourdon. This wreck is quite intact with an impressive stern gun pointing upwards. There is some visible torpedo damage at the front of the bridge area. This wreck is rarely dived and the visibility varies a lot from very bad, hardly 1 metre (3 feet) to almost 18 metres (59 feet). This area is very exposed to tides. Catterline Island usually done as a shore dive is situated a few miles south of Stonehaven.
This is a nice dive with abundant marine life including lots of crabs, congers, lobsters and angler fish. The visibility usually doesn't exceed 5-6 metres (15-20 feets) though. Seals are often encountered on the surface.
Muriel is the wreck of a collier that went dowm under torpedo fire in 1918. She lies a few miles off Peterhead in 50 metres (164 feet) of water. Starting from the boilers to the back the wreck is intack, however the decks have given way. Visibility can be as good as 12 metres (39 feet) and more.
There are some artefacts littered around the wreck and the stern is still standing. Beware, currents can get very strong. Taurus lying off Gourdon sank in 1941 after being bombed. It lies at about 52 metres (170 feet) and makes a fascinating dive. It's pretty intact. The bridge section rises up to about 39 metres (128 feet) & the deckhouse over the engine room to 42 metres (137 feet). The stern section lies in an almost upright position on its port side revealing the splendor of the ship it was before.

Some Moray Firth area dive sites are:

Dillon's Cave is approximately 5 metres (15 feet) wide and 60 metres (196 feet) long. Seals coming in and out of the north side of the cave are a common sight. One branch leads to a cliff with an exit on the other end while the other branch leads to a dead end. This cave was used in the shooting of the film "Local Hero" making it famous. Picnic Site also called Rosehearty, situated west of Rosehearty is an excellent shore dive.
The access is easy and the visbility so good it can even go up to 20 metres (65 feet). Close to the shore, the depth doesn't exceed 15 metres (49 feet). Should you want a slightly deeper dive go north and you will find 20 metres (65 feet) of water. Verona wreck which used to be a luxury yacht and sank during the First World War after hitting a mine. She carries a big shot in her boiler. You can still see the beauty of the yacht but the once very impressive bow is now broken. The visibility on this site is usually very good. Lots of dolphins & porpoises can be encountered.
San Tiburcio wreck is an absolute favorite. The San Tiburcio which was on His Majesty's Service from Scapa Flow to Invergordon hit a mine in 1940 and broke in two. She was transporting a cargo of fuel oil and Sunderland aeroplane floats meant for the seaplane base in the Cromarty Firth. The bow is upright and the deck is at about 30 metres (98 feet) and at 40 metres (131 feet) to the sea bed you can view the Port side anchor hanging and moving in the current. The "flying bridge" running the full lenght makes navigation of the bow section easy. The swim through at the rear of the bow section will bring you to the remains of the accomodation unit. You may also follow a permanent line that links the bow and the stern section. Fram Bow is a few miles out of Pennan Harbour and the best launching port is Rosehearty harbour.
This wreck being so close to the shore makes it a very popular dive and the visibility is also very good. Upon sinking, the Fram's bow section went down to the seabed but the stern section floated for some time before sinking. This explains the distance between the bow and stern section. Apparently due to the depth of the stern (around 50 metres, 164 feet), this section is recommended for experienced or Trimix divers.

There are many other interesting wrecks in The Moray Firth area
such as Chrissie Craig a broken fishing boat a few miles from Lossie, Meteo, a British merchant turned German raider, Valentine Tank which sunk during the World War II and is still in pretty good condition as well as aircraft, military ships and U-boats.

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