YD Scuba Diving Forums banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya,

I am looking for recommendations for local dive charters and where to Stay during a trip to Oban later this year.

All opinions welcome please :) :) :)

Matthew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,026 Posts
We have used Puffin quiet a few times and always found them good.... we have used all sorts of accommodation up there from camping on the site behind Puffin to a hotel in town. For me the best was the chalet at Puffin because it was right there on site so no having to get up earlier to drive up to the centre and you get one of the kit rooms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,363 Posts
If you can run from there, Lochaline is one of the best setups I've seen in the world for groups of divers (or individuals for that matter)

There's a few boats run from there, the dive centre has one and there's a couple of others that we have used. Boats leave from the pier about 2 minute walk from the dive centre.

Digs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I dived with Puffin and found them extremely rude and unhelpful! We were told under no uncertain terms that we had to be at the rib for leaving at 8am and if we were late we would be left behind, fair enough but every single day we were on time the skipper was always at least 20mins half hour late! We left shore around 8:30 on a rib and they refused to come back to shore inbetween dives meaning you would have to either take lunch out with you or not eat till you arrived back at 3. It's also along time for a lady to go without the toilet!!!

My buddy was using one of there weight belts and got a long lecture and told he was using far too much weight (he's been diving for years) and I hired a drysuit which leaked, they said they didn't believe me (even though I was soaked) and told me they would not swap it or give a refund for remaining hire! They wouldn't even give me a discount on a tshirt from their shop when I had to buy one from being soaked! And to top it all off I had to sit freezing cold on a boat for hours soaking wet!
They actually had the cheek to accuse me of not wanting to dive so making every excuse under the sun to get out of it! Like I'd drive 10 hours pay for a weeks diving and then try and waste my time and money by making excuses not to go!

Anyway rant over apologises!! Enjoy Oban lovey place and great diving
 

·
wibble
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
If you are up there soon-ish then try Bob Anderson on the Halton, cracking boat with a lift and solves the problem of where to stay. Of course his head might just not fit through the wheelhouse door if he reads this, which is a bonus as you will always know where to find him ;)

He only runs there in the early spring, mind.
 

·
Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
Joined
·
13,407 Posts
Silver Swift will pick up in Oban and overnight in Tobermory (the SYHA there is good, there's a campsite up the hill and there are plenty of B&B's). He's a great skipper and even better his Mrs runs the chip van on the pier.

Lochaline Dive Centre's accomodation is really nice and very good value, I've never used their boat but I've used Brendan & Peregrine a few times, both good boats/skippers. I just don't particularly like staying overnight in Lochaline, I'd much rather be based in Tobermory. There's only so many times you can go to the anti-social club or the hotel bar. It was quite entertaining when an utter gobshite of a PADI instructor got sparked out by one of the locals in it though :D

I don't know if Chris still takes his boat up from Fleetwood, Diving Belle used to be nice. He only ran during the summer though.

I've had too many bad experiences with Puffin over the years to even give them the time of day any more. The only thing I ever use them for is filling out of test bottles off the vending machine air panel. Most miserable centre I've ever come across. You know you've really annoyed them if they withold your Kitkat :D

South of Oban there is Far Sein out of Craobh Haven and Porpoise out of Balvicar. I've not been on Far Sein for years but I always got on well with Duncan, used him a lot. David Ainsley is a very Marmite skipper, a bit like diving with a nervous vicar. I've had variable experiences on Porpoise and Balvicar is a tidal pier so a right pain in the arse if he times it wrong. There is a RIB near Easdale but I think they are more a sightseeing operation than diving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Agree that lochaline have a great set up. If you end up staying in Oban though, I like Oban Backpackers if you're looking for budget accomodation - think it's 15 quid for a proper bed, nice big kitchen for cooking and a cereal/scones/hot choc type breakfast included.

The only thing I ever use them for is filling out of test bottles off the vending machine air panel.
Love it, haha :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,363 Posts
Agree about Oban backpackers, I had a night there years ago and they have a really good group of people, sociable, good facilities.

Digs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,407 Posts
I've had a few bad experiences with Puffin as well. Nearly ran over a group of trainees with the RIB just off the slip. An instructor had 6 of them there in rough water so we couldn't see their bubbles - and no SMB! Talk about asking for trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
I like Corran House hostel on the sea front. Had 3 weekends up there already this year with Glasgow uni dive club.

Lochaline Boat Charters will pick you up from the sea front in Oban each morning. You need to charter a whole boat.

Their 2 boats are the best in the Sound of Mull in my opinion as they have large cabins with heating pumped off the engine, the other hard boats don't have enough internal space to get everyone inside and sat down if its cold.

Puffin is a good way of getting out if there are only 2 or 4 of you as they will take part bookings, however they insist on staying out with their ribs in between dives and fairly short service intervals.
 

·
Exiled in Scotland...
Joined
·
6,286 Posts
Another vote for Lochaline. If your with a good group, you can make your own fun. A friend of mine goes with a local club every year, who block book the SYH in Tobermory and park at the Peir in Lochaline. The boat runs them up and collects them daily from Tobermory, as they like the choice of pubs and accomodation up there.

I've only dived once from Puffin, but on a club rhib, using their slip. I'd much rather use Lochaline. The Lochaline boats offer 3 dives a day where as I'm told the dive centre's own boat offers 2 dives per day, but is a newer larger boat with a lift, much like the boats off the south coast of England. Lochaline centre has around 20?? twin rooms with en-suite and also the old post office building at the end of the village. I like the Post office as it offers croft cottage style accomodation with a self catering kitchen, though its not in the village, being a 10 min walk into the centre.
 

·
Perpetual empty wallet
Joined
·
155 Posts
The Gaelic Rose is a good live aboard with a really experienced and knowledgeable skipper Bob Jones, that is if you can stand his sense of humour, he don't take any prisoners ;-) and you are guaranteed a good laugh.

He picks up from Oban and does the usual stuff up and down the Sound as well as Coll and Tyree weather willing. He also lives in Lochaline and you have the option of driving round to there, which maximises sailing time to get to the furthest dive sites and expanding your options. The boat has a lift too so saves the legs on the ladder
 

·
Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam
Joined
·
13,407 Posts
Yeah, Bob's sense of humour is not for the thin skinned. Great skipper though. Just don't call it the Garlic Rose :D

Did George Mair ever replace his boat or did he pack it in completely? He was another great skipper, completely anal and lacking in humour but a good skipper and a really helpful guy. Cleanest boats I've ever seen in my life as well. That big Severn class he had was superb, must've been painful just turning the ignition on though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Yeah, Bob's sense of humour is not for the thin skinned. Great skipper though. Just don't call it the Garlic Rose :D

Did George Mair ever replace his boat or did he pack it in completely? He was another great skipper, completely anal and lacking in humour but a good skipper and a really helpful guy. Cleanest boats I've ever seen in my life as well. That big Severn class he had was superb, must've been painful just turning the ignition on though.

I don't think he bought another. We've rented a cottage from his mother in law on occasion and she was moaning about him not working last time!

Do you remember his face when he saw my reel lying on his table? Same weekend you were appropriating wine glasses!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top