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thomas404

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Hello! Recently qualified (back in March) as a BSAC Ocean Diver, taking my training in the Scottish highlands. Since then I've had a few dive weekends in the Highlands and recently tried warm water diving in Egypt.

Been browsing this forum the past couple weeks trying to decide on which drysuit to invest in; thought I may as well create an account.
 

Lorenzoid

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Welcome to SB! I had to cancel a dream trip to Scapa I booked a few years ago. It remains on my bucket list.
 

ferdv

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Welcome to the board! I was a BSAC member briefly while living in Wales and left with an unfinished Sports Diver. I loved the classes and the club atmosphere. Miss it. Happy diving!

(I also hope to do Scapa Flow one of these days 🤞)
 

drrich2

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Welcome to ScubaBoard! If you don't mind, post us some trip reports from your experiences. Never know when something you share might be just what someone needed to hear.

Richard.
 
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thomas404

thomas404

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Welcome to ScubaBoard! If you don't mind, post us some trip reports from your experiences. Never know when something you share might be just what someone needed to hear.

Richard.
I've had 8 dives at various sites in Loch Leven up by Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands (not to be confused with Loch Leven in the actual town of Leven, which is on the East coast of Scotland!).

The majority were the Isles of Glencoe, a former bay which is now next to a hotel which lends its name to the dive site. Anyone heading up that way, it's a nice little site with a lot of slate so good visibility (for Scottish waters). The hotel is happy for divers to use the toilet - especially if you buy a hot drink from their restaurant. Lots of guests enjoy watching divers at the site. There's a small concrete platform which looks decieving - the water even at high tide is not deep enough for a giant stride entry so stick to shore.
On the other side of the car park is Carnoch Bay, a bit of a walk and scramble over rocks will take you out of the bay, and you can drift along the wall towards the bay for a nice A-B dive. I saw a few entering and exiting at the Bay as well but we found it better to enter further up. Vis here can be pretty poor but improves as you come back into the bay.

My first dive after qualifying was at a site called Caolasnacon, on the tip of a caravan/camping site. So long as you ask first, the owners tend not to mind if you use their facilities. This dive did not go very well! My drysuit flooded within the first 3 minutes but it was neoprene so even in 6C I wasn't too cold after a couple minutes. I lost my fin which we spent a good 5-10 minutes looking for (turns out it was positively buoyant, floated to the surface and we came across it on the swim back to shore), and had to be assisted ascending as an instructor strapped 17kg to me!!!

Lessons learned from these experiences: rental drysuits are sh*t, make sure club fins don't have dodgy straps, do not let anyone strap 17kg to you no matter how inexperienced you are.

But I enjoyed all the dives even if I was cold on several (our rental suits flooded more than once).

I went on a trip to Sharm back in late May and what a difference wetsuit/warm water diving is. I did 6 dives total, across RasMo and Tiran island. Great vis, lots of life that isn't limited to oysters, mussels, crabs and dog fish, and buoyancy control was a million times easier. I was worried about making a tit of myself as my buoyancy during the drysuit dives wasn't great but staying neutral wasn't a problem. My only issue was with my mask. Someone recommended I use dish soap/water to clean it beforehand instead of spit, and it ended up fogging like crazy - so stick to what works for you, I'll spit in my mask any day of the week. The salinity caused a lot of tears when clearing in the red sea! I did get my first 60 minute dive though (we'll just pretend I didn't surface with less than 40 bar).

The dives in Egypt were a good experience, and friends got some great photos. But I am looking forward to getting back into the water in Scotland. I found the cold water dives to be more enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to trying out my drysuit once it arrives in a few weeks.
 

Wathdoc

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I've had 8 dives at various sites in Loch Leven up by Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands (not to be confused with Loch Leven in the actual town of Leven, which is on the East coast of Scotland!).

The majority were the Isles of Glencoe, a former bay which is now next to a hotel which lends its name to the dive site. Anyone heading up that way, it's a nice little site with a lot of slate so good visibility (for Scottish waters). The hotel is happy for divers to use the toilet - especially if you buy a hot drink from their restaurant. Lots of guests enjoy watching divers at the site. There's a small concrete platform which looks decieving - the water even at high tide is not deep enough for a giant stride entry so stick to shore.
On the other side of the car park is Carnoch Bay, a bit of a walk and scramble over rocks will take you out of the bay, and you can drift along the wall towards the bay for a nice A-B dive. I saw a few entering and exiting at the Bay as well but we found it better to enter further up. Vis here can be pretty poor but improves as you come back into the bay.

My first dive after qualifying was at a site called Caolasnacon, on the tip of a caravan/camping site. So long as you ask first, the owners tend not to mind if you use their facilities. This dive did not go very well! My drysuit flooded within the first 3 minutes but it was neoprene so even in 6C I wasn't too cold after a couple minutes. I lost my fin which we spent a good 5-10 minutes looking for (turns out it was positively buoyant, floated to the surface and we came across it on the swim back to shore), and had to be assisted ascending as an instructor strapped 17kg to me!!!

Lessons learned from these experiences: rental drysuits are sh*t, make sure club fins don't have dodgy straps, do not let anyone strap 17kg to you no matter how inexperienced you are.

But I enjoyed all the dives even if I was cold on several (our rental suits flooded more than once).

I went on a trip to Sharm back in late May and what a difference wetsuit/warm water diving is. I did 6 dives total, across RasMo and Tiran island. Great vis, lots of life that isn't limited to oysters, mussels, crabs and dog fish, and buoyancy control was a million times easier. I was worried about making a tit of myself as my buoyancy during the drysuit dives wasn't great but staying neutral wasn't a problem. My only issue was with my mask. Someone recommended I use dish soap/water to clean it beforehand instead of spit, and it ended up fogging like crazy - so stick to what works for you, I'll spit in my mask any day of the week. The salinity caused a lot of tears when clearing in the red sea! I did get my first 60 minute dive though (we'll just pretend I didn't surface with less than 40 bar).

The dives in Egypt were a good experience, and friends got some great photos. But I am looking forward to getting back into the water in Scotland. I found the cold water dives to be more enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to trying out my drysuit once it arrives in a few weeks.
TBH I envy you. The west coast of Scotland boasts fantastic diving.
 

Edward3c

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Hello! Recently qualified (back in March) as a BSAC Ocean Diver, taking my training in the Scottish highlands. Since then I've had a few dive weekends in the Highlands and recently tried warm water diving in Egypt.

Been browsing this forum the past couple weeks trying to decide on which drysuit to invest in; thought I may as well create an account.
Hi Thomas,

Where abouts on the West Coast. I'm the DO of Fyne-divers BSAC 2393. My drysuit is in for repairs, but I'll be out diving again mid August. Always looking for new dive buddies.

Are you going to do the Advanced Ocean Diver course to get your 30m ticket?
 
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thomas404

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Hi Thomas,

Where abouts on the West Coast. I'm the DO of Fyne-divers BSAC 2393. My drysuit is in for repairs, but I'll be out diving again mid August. Always looking for new dive buddies.

Are you going to do the Advanced Ocean Diver course to get your 30m ticket?
I'm actually based on the East Coast; St Andrews University SAC. My club doesn't dive as often as I'd like, so having other dive buddies would be good. I'm planning on diving some weekends mid-end August over on the West Coast.

I'm looking to get more experienced and go straight for Sports Diver - hoping to have this sorted by early 2023 but we'll see what happens. If not then I'll at least try and get Advanced OD for my 30m. Fingers crossed I get my drysuit soon so I can get quite a few dives in over the coming months without dealing with leaky rentals.
 

Edward3c

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I'm actually based on the East Coast; St Andrews University SAC. My club doesn't dive as often as I'd like, so having other dive buddies would be good. I'm planning on diving some weekends mid-end August over on the West Coast.

I'm looking to get more experienced and go straight for Sports Diver - hoping to have this sorted by early 2023 but we'll see what happens. If not then I'll at least try and get Advanced OD for my 30m. Fingers crossed I get my drysuit soon so I can get quite a few dives in over the coming months without dealing with leaky rentals.
The cost of going fro OD to AOD then AOD to SD is the same as OD to SD.

As a OD your limited to 20m
As a AOD you can go to 30m.

I can run the courses through Fyne-divers.

However, just going diving is good to. I get my suit back around the 12th Aug.

Have you looked at the BSAC discount for buying a drysuit.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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