Skye diving offers abundant opportunities to dive on it's
spectacular dive sites. There is great scenic diving as well
as wreck diving, caves, reefs and large underwater
pinnacles. Drift diving is good east of Skye and the marine
life here is abundant, a treat for photographers. Encounters
with basking sharks, porpoises and dolphins
make the diving here even more memorable. Divers of all levels
will find something here, for novices there is sheltered diving
Average air temperature during the year:16°C
(59°F) - 19°C (66°F) in summer with mild winters
Average Water surface temperature: 6-15°C (42
Coldest time: March
Warmest time: July and August
Visibility average: 8-10 metres (26 - 33 feet)
in the confined sea-lochs, up to 30 metres (98 feet) when the
sea is cold and on exposed shores 15 metres (49 feet) and more.
Skye is set in the Sea of the Hebrides and is the largest
of the Inner
Islands. It's central position in the The Minch accounts
for the fact that Skye has some of the best diving in Europe
and Britain. Most dive sites are non-tidal, but a few
wrecks require slack tide. A good and wide choice of
dives are available going from reefs, sheltered sea lochs and
the exposed west coast. A good number of dive site depths range
from 15-35 metres (49 - 115 feet) although those wishing to
do deeper dives have lots of possibilities as well. The
visibility os often excellent. The Gulf Stream currents
coming in the Gulf of Mexico have a good influence on Skye.
They keep the west coast seas warmer than in the north and east
of Britain and as a result favor a large variety of marine life.
Some dive sites in the Isles of Skye and around are:
HMS Port Napier wreck sunk in 1940 on September
27th as a result of a fire that broke out in the engine room
causing an explosion that ended in the boat going down. It's
depth is from 0 to about 20 metres (0 to about 65 feet) and
the sea bed it rests on is silty and careless fins could easily
stirred it. The wreck is situated on Kyle of Lochalsh and there
are no tides. However precautions should be taken when the south
west, north west and west winds are blowing.
SS Chadwick wreck lies south of An Ceannaich,
Isle of Skye. She is quite broken and her remains are home to
many shoal of fish. She sank in 1892 on july 5th and rests between
15 to 25 metres (49 - 82 feet).
SS Doris wreck went down in 1909 on July 12th
due to foggy weather. She rests at 6-30 metres (20 - 98 feet)
south of Neist Point. This is a slack water dive and special
care should be taken when the south west, north west and west
winds are blowing.
MacLeods Maiden's located north west of Loch
Bracadale are stunning pinnacles that descend from the surface
down to the seabed. There are gulleys and small caves
covered in colourful soft coral and has abundant marine life.
Although the site doesn't present any particular difficulties
you should be aware of the fact that the tide can run strongly
on the western ends of this site. Sometimes a heavy swell coming
with the wind from the south west could make it impossible to
dive on this site.
SS Urlana wreck sank in 1943 on September 5th
in bad weather. She lies in 5-15metres (15 - 49 feet) of water
North of MacLeod’s Maidens.
Lochbay Pinnacles are submerged pinnacles that
rise to 4 metres (13 feet) of the surface from 35 metres (115
feet). T he boulders and rock faces are covered in anemones.
Crabs and lobters live in the small caves formed
by the boulders and there is an abundance of marine life. The
seabed is silty and is easily disturbed. Diving can be done
here at all times except in the northerly gale.
In Soay Sound, boulders covered in soft corals
make a great bottom dive at a depth of 34 metres (111feet).
If there's a tide you can be sure to have a fantastic drift
dive. Basking Sharks are quite rare around
Skye although there are quite a number of sightings reported
during the season. It's a breathtaking experience to see these
huge sharks at close range.
As you go out to Loch Coruisk you may sometimes
see dolphins, porpoises and minky whales. An
excellent opportunity for photographers. Other life to be seen
in Cuillin Hills and Loch Coruisk in Skye are seabirds
like, herons, oyster catchers, puffins, manx shearwaters and