Diving resources…

Lochaline is the main central destination for diving the Sound of Mull, Loch Sunart, Coll & Tiree, the Garvellachs, and Bo’Fascadale as well as many other locations.
See dive boat charters for more information.

Lochaline Dive Centre and Bunkhouse has  24 beds at the Bunkhouse.

Lochaline Dive Centre provides triple filtered air and nitrox for visiting divers with air to 300 bar. there are self catering facilities and we can cater for your group.

The Dive Centre can cater for all budgets and will also cook the scallops and fish that you bring back from your dive. Lochaline has easy access to the best wreck and scenic dive sites in the Sound of Mull and beyond; this coupled with the unrivalled knowledge of the boat skippers makes Lochaline the obvious choice for divers wanting to experience the best diving the Sound of Mull has to offer.

SMART Diving website banner. New plans are gathering pace for the sinking of a new wreck in the Sound of Mull, with the recent formation of SMART – the Sound of Mull Artificial Reef Trust which if successful will secure the Sound of Mull as one of the top UK diving destinations for many decades to come.

Clubs & societies…

The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) is dedicated to advancing nautical archaeology – improving techniques in excavating, conservation and reporting; and to encouraging the participation of divers and members of the public at all stages.

The Scottish Sub Aqua Club provides background information about diving in Scotland, and provides links to dive reviews and other resources.

Zeewolf diving, NetherlandsZeewolf diving, Netherlands is a dive association based at Emmeloord on the North East polder, so are unusual in spending most of their lives below sea level! Zeewolf organise dive trips locally and around the world – and visited Lochaline in 2009.

Other accommodation…

The centre can provide other accommodation, within the village , to suit your requirements. For further information contact Calum or Faith.

Isle of Mull Cottages are based on the isle of mull and have a selection of holiday cottages and large houses to stay in.

Weather and tides

Please ask us if you would like advice on times for slack water  on any of the sites in the Sound to help you plan your dive.

UK Home Office/Admiralty provides tides for up to seven days ahead without needing to pay.

National Tidal and Sea Level Facility also provide tidal predictions up to 7 days in advance.

South Scotland regional forecast from the BBC. Closest useful town forecast is for Oban (24 hour and five day, again from the BBC).

Underwater photography

Mike Clark has recently visited Lochaline, and you can see some of his photos on the site now.

Projects and programmes

Below are a few links to some interesting projects/ things that we are currently involved with, or have been involved with, over the last few years & beyond. They mostly have a nautical/underwater archaeology/wrecks theme. Hope you find them interesting!
(Mark and Annabel Lawrence, Lochaline Dive Centre)

ADUS logo

Advanced Underwater Surveys (ADUS Ltd), is a spinout company jointly based at the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee founded by archaeologists Mark Lawrence and Martin Dean, image specialist Chris Rowland, computer programmer John Anderson and businessman Aubrey Thompson. ADUS specialises in ultra high resolution multibeam sonar surveys for the assessment of shipwreck sites and has undertaken contracts for the Marine and Coastguard Agency (wreck of the Richard Montgomery off Sheerness in 2006) and the Ministry of Defence (wreck of the Royal Oak in Scapa Flow and the sunken Russian nuclear submarine K159 in the Barents Sea in 2007), salvage companies Mammoet and Titan on the wrecks of the California in Malaysia and the New Flame off Gibraltar in 2008 & 2009 respectively, and more recently the wreck of the Vinca Gorthon off the Dutch coast. ADUS has also recently undertaken its deepest survey; that of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon, on behalf of Canon Offshore and Transocean, which lies one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of which caused the largest oil spill in US history. ADUS has recently undertaken surveys of seventeen wrecks from the Second War & Civil War periods on behalf of NOAA  off the east coast of the USA, as well as a survey of the recently sunk bulk ore carrier off Singapore, the B Oceania, for the Swedish P&I club, which is now the subject of a wreck removal contract being undertaken by Mammoet Salvage. Just recently ADUS has completed a survey of the Rena wreck, a large container vessel which hit Astrolabe Reef of the east coast of North Island, New Zealand and is currently preparing to travel to Italy  to complete a survey of the Costa Concordia on behalf of Titan Salvage who recently won the contract for her removal.

Rapid Archaeological Site Survey and Evaluation (RASSE) is a current two year project based at the University of St Andrews and funded by English Heritage to record and evaluate underwater archaeological sites using sonar and other remote sensing techniques.

Pandora expeditions The Pandora was the 24-gun frigate sent in search of the infamous Bounty mutineers in 1790, which was wrecked on the Barrier Reef on her voyage home. The wreck is regarded as one of the most significant shipwrecks in the Southern Hemisphere and has been the subject of a series of large scale expeditions by Queensland Museum. Mark and Annabel were part of the excavation team in 1998 and 1999.

Centre for Maritime Archaeology – Kravel expeditions: The survey and recording of an early sixteenth century wreck in the Baltic under the direction of Jon Adams, University of Southampton.

Time Team Colossus (C4 series) the 74-gun British vessel Colossus fought Napoleon in the Mediterranean, but was lost returning to England with a cargo of Etruscan antiquities (Watch now on 4oD).

Time Team Kinlochbervie (C4 series) investigations of a mysterious shipwreck on the North West coast of Scotland, with its cargo of fine porcelain (Watch now on 4oD).

White Slaves Pirate Gold Timewatch (BBC2 series) investigation of a wreck in the Salcombe Estuary for which Annabel was the Archaeological Advisor. The programme explored the wrecks links to the shores of North Africa, and a history of kidnap, pirates and the white slave trade. (BBC news article – original link to program no longer available)

Wreck Detectives C4 series, programme on the Stirling Castle, one of the most complete wooden warships in British waters sunk in the Great Gale of 1703. The wreck of the Stirling Castle is one of the wrecks on which the RASSE project above is experimenting with sonar technology.

Extreme Archaeology C4 series had programs on Tintagel Castle and Chepstow. Notes from these are no longer available online.

Wessex Archaeology – as a one time Project Manager here, Mark was engaged in a number of maritime based projects funded by English Heritage via the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund, including ‘Wrecks on the Seabed’ and ‘Englands Shipping’.

English Heritage Maritime – as part of this team until 2004, Annabel was engaged in modifying EH’s functions (post the 2002 National Heritage Act) to include securing the preservation of ancient monuments in, on, or under the seabed, and promoting the public’s enjoyment of, and advancing their knowledge of ancient monuments, in, on, or under seabed.

Save Ontario’s Shipwrecks (SOS) A provincial heritage organization based in Ontario, and dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of an appreciation of Ontario’s marine heritage.

SUBMAP the survey programme of an early submersible the Resurgam.

Mick ‘Wildman’ Pini – Mark was lucky enough to play drums for the legendary blues guitarist Mick Pini for a few years back in the early 1990’s, supporting the likes of BB King during the band’s European tours. Mick’s latest album is ‘Blues Survivor’, and the album ‘B.E.P – Hamburger Midnight’ released in 2008 featuring Mick, Jimmy Carl Black and Roy Estrada can be found on iTunes. Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer in Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, sadly died in November 2008 at the age of 70.

Diving around the UK and Abroad

Links to useful resources for divers around the UK and Abroad.

divesearch promotes British diving and conservation, offering a range of charter boats and accommodation around the British Isles.

finstrokes logo Finstrokes is a forum that offers detailed information on uk dive sites, and reviews dive centres and other dive facilities. Their review of diving at Lochaline is available here.

Haynes Marine‘s experience includes an in-depth global background in defence diving capabilities, requirements, procurement and in-service support.

SubMission Dive School Stoke on Trent Staffs.

 Diving in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria

Dive in warm water and sunshine all year round.

Puerto Rico Diving run and owned by Kevin and Nina. 5 star PADI Centre