The Sound of Mull is famous for the quality and quantity of its diving. There are a great number of fantastic wrecks to explore in the Sound, all within a short ride from either Lochaline or Oban. In this area, most wrecks are in tidal positions and covered in life, meaning they become very scenic dives.
Where is it?
The Sound of Mull is on the West Coast of Scotland. Lochaline is 460 miles from St Ives, an eight-hour car journey, depending on how fast you drive
Where will we stay?
There are several options for accommodation, shore based from Oban, can be B&B or self-catering. Shore based from Lochaline, further to travel, more remote than Oban but closer to dive sites, decent self-catering accommodation is available in Lochaline. Live aboard from Oban is also an option.
Given the distance, I would make this a minimum of three days diving. Possibly a long weekend, travel up Friday, dive Saturday – Monday and travel home. I would like to make this trip, early season end of May to June time.
What is the Diving?
To get the most out of this trip, you will need to be a Sports Diver. The dives sites are not deep but being dive fit and capable of diving to 30 metres means you will see everything.
What will it cost?
This depends on the accommodation, where and when etc. The most cost effective is probably Self-catering, using Lochaline Boat Charters and Morvern Dive Lodge. 2020 prices are £44 per day diving, £30 per night accommodation (based on 12 people). We would normally cook ourselves, with one night at a restaurant.
3 nights’ accommodation £90, 3 days diving £132, £222 + travel cost + air fills + food.
With car sharing and other costs, I would expect the total cost to be around £350.
The Dive Sites
Here are some of the dives sites available:-
The Rondo is one to the Sound of Mull’s classic wrecks, and never fails to be a favourite among divers. It was a 2360-ton steamship, which broke her anchor while sheltering from a relentless blizzard in the Sound of Mull, and grounded on to the rocks in January 1935. After being stuck on land for weeks and parts of it being salvaged, she slipped down the reef bow first. Her wreck now lies on a slope, with her stern in just 9 meters and her bow reaching down to 50 meters. The entire interior of the wreck is accessible, and the hull forms a nice cave with the rocky slope. The hull is also covered in a healthy growth of plumose anemones, and there is some fascinating marine life all the way down and back up the wreck.
The Thesis is a wreck of a 19th-century steamship that sank in 1889 in the Sound of Mull. At 500 tons gross, she was quite a small ship, but it is a very pretty wreck and well worth diving. The wreck lies upright from 20 to 32m on a slight slope, with the bow higher than the stern. Hull plating on the bow area is missing, leaving large gaps that can be swum through. The wreck is covered in Plumose anemones and other wreck life, and is still very much recognisable as a ship.
The Hispania rests with her bow in 24m towards the Mull shoreline, sloping down to the stern at 32m. At just over 70m long, the Hispania stands upright with a slight starboard list, and can cover several exploratory dives. The wreck is fairly intact, and the abundance of sea life gives her the reputation as one of Scotland’s finest wreck dives.
The steel steamship Shuna was wrecked in 1913 while carrying a cargo of coal, when it struck the rocks at the entrance to the Sound of Mull and was holed. After lying undisturbed for almost 80 years, she was discovered in 1991 by a clam diver. She is considered the most intact wreck in the Sound of Mull, and lies upright in 30 metres (16 metres to the deck).
If you are interested in a trip like this, please contact Paul Young via the SISAC Forum or Whatsapp group