offers some of the best diving in Scotland. The undewater life
is prolific and the numerous dive sites are impressive.
The dive sites go from enormous caverns, to wrecks covered
in soft corals and anemones, superb caves and really great walls.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with the local dive center
for safety, additional information, level required for each dive
site and without being accompanied by a professional. All the
information provided is purely informative for our readers and
shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Visibility is excellent and can go up to 30 metres
(98 feet)in summer
Best time to dive: Late May and June
but water clarity is optimal in August and September.
The waters around the islands are warmed by the
Gulf Stream giving a rich marine environment. The winds vary here
but on this coastline there is almost always a sheltered shore
from which to dive. The fact that Ullappool is between the Sound
of Mull and the Orkney Isles, it's usually over looked but it's
actually the starting point to reach the Summer Isles
and Loch Bloom.
Loch Bloom presents deep wall dives along it's shores.
Although the waters are dark they're very clear. The summer Isles
have a large variety of diving from wrecks to spectacular wall
dives and other scenic dives. The visibility
is excellent and the variety guarantees something for divers of
different levels of experience. The tidal stream in between the
islands is usually weak. Keep an eye out r dolphins, porpoises
and minke whales.
Some dive sites around Ullapool are:
Cuckoo Point is on the left of Loch Broom. This
is a wall dive that varies in depth from 10-35 metres (33-115
feet). This site has very little tide.
Conservation Cave (also reffered to as Cathedral
Cave) is an underwater cave, about 6 metres deep(20 feet), at
the south west corner of Tanera Beag. This cave is a great
opportunity for underwater photographers as there are
alot of sea anemones and other unique marine life. Conservation
Cave has 5 faces and each surface has an abundance of marine life.
The water surface is open to the air, however this cave should
be dived with care and in the case of any swell should be avoided.
Bottle Island has a lot of anemones and
soft corals. Seals are often seen under the surface.
The wall facing the south east is a gently sloping boulder field
going down to 30 metres (98 feet)where it merges to a sandy seabed.
Black Rock has kelp in the upper few metres,
below these are open rocky areas, with gullies and channels. The
west side of the rock is a more interesting and a little deeper.
The southern tip has a wall blanketed in soft corals and plumose
The Isle Martin Island has some great wall dives
on its northern side in the channel between the island and the
mainland. The underwater cliifs drop verically to approximately
145 metres (475 feet).
Conger Stack, Little Loch Broom is a rocky pinnacle
that is a superb dive. It rises from 50 metres (164 feet) to about
8 metres (26 feet) of the surface. The overhangs and ledges harbour
lots of lobsters and crabs while the walls exhibit jewel
anemones, sea squirts, deadmens fingers and hydroids.
MFV Fairweather V is a great wreck dive. This
is a 103ft long (32 metres) steel stern trawler that sank on 4th
Feb 1991. To date this vessel sits intact and upright in 30 metres
(98 feet) of water off the Cairn Dearg headland. There's a lot
of marine life including plumose anemone cover, bryozoans, nudibranchs,
hydroids, shoaling fish, ling and pollack. Encounters with bottle
nosed dolphins has been reported. Beware
of the jellyfish in summer though.
Steam puffer Innisjura A 110ft (34 metres) long
coaster that presumably sank during WWI and is situated very close
to the Fairweather V. It was dicovered by commercial divers during
their search for the Fairweather V. The wheelhouse has collapsed
but the vessel is otherwise intact. There isn't as much marine
life here as compared to Fairweather V. The site is silty, best
dived on incoming tide. Today this vessel lies on the seabed at
about 38 metres (124 feet). Recommended for the very experienced
MFV Boston Stirling is a 110ft (34 metres) long,
steel stern trawler lying on her port side in about 16 metres
(52 feet) of water . Although she is largely covered in kelp she
is still quite intact. She sank in 1985 just off Tanera Beag.
There's a lot of marine life including; plumose anemones, deadmen's
fingers, ascidians and sponges. At low tide the mast is visible.
MV Jambo wrecked in 2003 while transporting a
cargo of concentrated zinc sulphate mixed with cadmium. She now
lies upside down in 32 metres (104 feet) of water and is still
completely intact. Although most of the cargo was salvaged, remais
of unsalvaged cargo can still be seen on the seabed and if disturbed
could stir up. No significat marine life is present as yet considering
that it's not so long ago that the vessel went down. This
dive is recommended for the experienced diver.