Oban, Maiden Isle and back of Kerrera

Well done to Alan for organising this trip and trying something a little different. The initial idea was to dive on the Breda but when we got there a stiff breeze and surface chop meant that we could not moor onto the wreck and the chance of spotting a surfacing diver would have been a significant risk. Discretion being the key word we headed back toward Oban and sort shelter on Maiden Island where we dived the Southern end out of the current and in good visibility.

Dropping onto sand and scallops we traversed West, ascending onto a boulder slope where colourful deadman’s finger encrusted the rocks and the occasional jewel anenomie added variety.

Deadman's fingers off the southern tip of Maiden Island, Oban

With all parties back up, finding somewhere sheltered for lunch was the next task and we went round the West side of Kerrera toward the fish farm in Port ‘a Bhearnaig on the NW end of the island where we anchored Alan’s rhib in the sand just off the boulder beach.

For a second dive, the first wave went in off Rubh’a’ Bhearnaig where a gentle current pushed us Northwards over a silty bottom, a product of the emissions from the fish farm. Five minutes into the dive I was thinking I had seldom seen such a desolate sea bottom, when a flash from a camera indicated something of interest.

Sediment on a dogfish

A lesser spotted dogfish, asleep for the day and gently getting covered by silt.

Soon afterwards we spotted a gurnard hiding in the kelp, a spot of color in an otherwise grey world.

A small gurnard hiding in the kelp off Kerrera

Ironically we then spotted a few slender sea pens and a solitary phosphorescent sea pen so all in all we saw some interesting marine life. Sea pens are typically low energy environment organisms so just maybe this site was sheltered from the currents and the silt not caused by the fish farm ! Boredom set in so we ascended slowly and got off the silt bottom onto boulders, sand and kelp where the life improved until we called time due to the cold. The other pair reported a similar dive so Alan and Garry opted for another dive on Maiden Island , this time drifting Northwards along the entire eastern side, reporting a good dive and a bag of scallops to prove it.

wee video here

a few photos here

Paul’s photos are here

Site 1: N 56° 45′ 27” E 5° 29′ 25′ Maiden Island
Site 2: N 56° 35′ 33” E 5° 28′ 52′ Rubh’a’Bhearnaig

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