LOCH FYNE : FYNE TIMES
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Water and weather conditions

The mean sea temperatures are 7.5C in February, 9C in May, 13C in August and 10.5C in November. Temperatures are cold and visiting divers should make certain that they have proper thermal semi-dry or dry suits. Wind is another important factor and hypothermic problems relating to wind chill on leaving the water are commonplace, particularly during long boat journeys during the winter months. Visibility is generally always good, except after prolonged and heavy rainfall. The freshwater run-off into the loch creates a layer of peat- coloured water on the surface, which you have to swim through. Under this dark layer the water is always clear, but the light has been cut so drastically that lights must be used to illuminate the varied marine life on the wall and mud slopes.

Accommodation


Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments are the best bet and offer the most reasonable prices. All types of hotels are availableand prices will vary according to the standard and the time of year chosen. Scandinavian-style log cabins, chalets and caravan holiday homes are also an option and with, say, six people sharing, the costs can work out extremely favourably. Accommodation is also available in Oban and many visiting divers prefer to stay there due to the availability air compressors. For a comprehensive list of accommodation contact The Scottish Tourist Board, 23 Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland. EH4 3EU (0131 332 2433; fax 0131 343 1513), or contact the local Tourist Board Office at Tarbert (01880 820429); Loch-gilphead (01546 602385) or Inveraray (01499 302063). The Scottish Tourist Board offers a superb service.

Dive centres, air compressors & recompression chambers

The nearest dive centres are at Oban and Loch Goil. The majority of diving is day diving, undertaken by clubs on the Scottish west coast and Glasgow area who fill their dive cylinders prior to any expedition and take extra bottles. The air compressor at Loch Goil is only by arrangement and then only in the evenings, or bottles left overnight (about 25 minutes drive from Inveraray). They can be contacted at

Darroch Mhor Watersports Centre, Carrick Castle, Loch Goil (01301 703249). It also takes around 25 minutes to drive to the various dive centres in Oban and these include:-
Oban Divers, Laggan, Oban, Argyll (01631 562755). Cologin Homes, Lerags, Oban, Argyll (01631 564501). Puffin Dive Centre, Gallanach, Oban, Argyll (01631 564142). Tralee Dive Centre, 3 Kiel Croft, Benderloch, by Oban, Argyll (01631 720262)

All dive centres should be contacted well in advance to arrange bookings and air filling times. A dive charter boat is available from Andy Lancaster, Tighnabruaich, Kyles of Bute, Argyll (01700 811 489).

Recompression Chambers are available at :-
Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, Argyll (01631 562244).
The Fort William Underwater Centre, Fort William, Invernesshire (01397 703786).
Aberdeen Hyperbaric Medical Unit, Forester Hill, Aberdeen (0845 408 6008).


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