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Isle of Skye Diving

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Isle of Skye dive guide
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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 all year.

Average air temperature during the year:16C (59F) - 19C (66F) in summer with mild winters
Average Water surface temperature: 6-15C (42 - 59F)
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
Hebridean 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 MacLeods 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 golden eagles.

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