Ganavan Bay muck diving......at it's best?

As I was in Oban I had another 'easy' shore dive at Ganavan, you basically walk down the slipway, over the sand and into the sea, easy!

Reading through my dads old logs from neck end of 40 years ago he always said that night dives at Ganavan were the best that he had experienced and whilst I haven't done this site as a night dive....yet, I firmly put in into my top 10 muck dives in the world, certainly in the summer there is everything.

And even in the winter it is a spectacular dive if you slow right down and take a careful look at and into the weeds, if they are moving is it because there is some light wave action or do they form the camouflage of a particular species of spider crab?

For those unsure of the site it really is a doddle, you can swim around the outside of the rocky promitories where at Spring Low you have maybe 3m of depth, the bottom here is that mixed up solid volcanic rock where there are 'chunks' or minerals contained in a matrix of magma which then has a short rocky slope, maybe two or three meters from the solid to the natural bottom and then you have the natural bottom which is basically a heavy blue/grey clay with an inch or so of sand on-top of it. If you head away from this promitory then head for small patches of rocks which stud the bottom, here you will find all-sorts of bits and pieces including lost fishing weights and maybe if you are lucky intact, or nearly intact old pots and bottles. navigation is easy, if in doubt head 'South" and either follow the promitory around and out or you will run out of water as you swim 'up' the gently sloping sandy beach!

In the dive today I went along the edge of the rock for ten minutes and then headed out to look at some of the patches. As is usual with this site in the winter there weren't any fish about, well apart from the usual spotted goby and odd leopard goby hiding in holes. Now in the summer you will see coalfish, pollack and odd mackerel, if you look into the kelp there are also various wrasse too whilst heading into the sand and you will see various flatfish.

On the permanent resident side I spotted the start of a queen scallop 'infestation', I am not sure what to call this but what you find is that once queenies have colonised a site they will start to build there only little area, not to the detriment of other animals you understand and I am sure that the various sponges that live on queenies also adds to the eco-system, as an aside has anyone ever seen a queenie without sponges?

In these little patches of life I found that most had burrows underneath the larger stones, but rather than the blue fiends or should that be wiggies that would live in these holes in my usual haunts these were inhabited by velvet swimming crabs, maybe the sheer number of these crabs explain some rather rudimentary 'small' pots that were at Dunstaffnagh? It was around these stones that I started picking up odd weights and then to my shock a dive weight!

Heading over the sand to look at these little areas of rocks I did pass over odd 'real scallops' and as is usual with this site most of them were old and large, not that size and age really detracts from the eating quality of scallops, however today I wasn't diving for food, it was going to be a general bimble to 'see what I could see'.

Mabe the guides and write ups that I am producing is encouraging divers to try some shore dives and in this case maybe use up the last 60bar of air on a shallow and safe dive?

ganavan scrap

Alright, so this is just a 'sample' of the scrappage and yes it is embarrasing that I, a rufty, tufty north east diver use dry gloves but when you approach the big five-oh this is what happens, your body goes off the idea of being cold!

Going back to scallops I was talking to a doctor at the A&E department of Oban hospital who often goes to Ganavan and typically picks up fifteen or so scallops, oh and A&E? yup you guessed back again.......

Dive safe


Weight this dive - 7.0 kg

Weight this year - 23.4 kg

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