Alternative Names: Harper's wreck as it's near Harper's point.
Type of Dive: A shore dive on a wrecked fishing boat called the MFV Altair which sunk in a mooring accident near Harper's point Oban. The Puffin dive centre 200m away has all the facilities you need for a diving weekend in one place so makes for a very good dive trip.
Suggested Experience: Capable of diving to 42m in silty conditions
Travel directions: From the north entering Oban on the A85 (Main road along the seafront) past the pier and turn left into Stevenson street, at the first roundabout turn right into Albany street it changes names to Alma crescent then Gallanach road for 2 miles and you will see Puffin dive centre on your right.
Parking directions: There is a large free carpark opposite Puffin dive centre with a handy toilet block. (white building)
Lat & Long: 56.392944, -5.515750 Postcode PA34 4QH Google
Tides: Tide tables
Depth: The wreck is lying bow at deepest 42m and stern to the shore at 38m
Site entry/exit: Walk along the shore to the wall and enter the water as in the picture below. As you round the corner from this wall you'll see 2 large metal cylinders/pipes sticking out of the water with metal sticking out between them the wreck has a small pink buoy attached and you can surface swim over to this.
Underwater directions: If the buoy isn't present descend and swim straight out from the metal projecting out between the 2 pipes on the shore. The bottom shelves away steeply, stony initially and turning to very gloopy thick mud at 20m. Here you will find a forest of 1m-tall sea pens continuing to over 30m. At 38-40m you will reach the stern with its rudder and propeller, the rudder still turned to starboard. It might pay to zigzag down the slope to make missing the wreck less likely. The boat sits upright with a slight list to starboard and although missing most of the wheelhouse and a few bits of outer hull is fairly intact. It's covered in plumose anemones, sea squirts and feather stars and has large shoals of small fish over it and a few largish pollack. It's a very small boat and the visibility can be awful but even at 40m your eyes eventually adjust. The deck and open hold have several old creels but it doesn't look like a creel boat so I suspect these found their way there at a later date. Working back up the slope keep the slope on your left and you will end up in the bay at Puffin where you can exit at the slip. Beware of boat traffic here. Expect a bit of current on the corner near the wreck but not too much.
Air & Nitrox: Self-fill coin operated £5 per fill regardless of cylinder size which is very good for fills when the dive centre is closed.
Site Hazards: Occasional boat traffic, Depth, Silt.
Nearest Public phone: None close to here.
Mobile Network service: Most networks work here.
Other comments: Good fin control is needed to avoid kicking up the silt on the wreck and killing the viz.
Pub: The Oban Inn
Thanks To: Claire Hurren
Links: None I can find.
Created by: Mike dive
Underwater Photos: By Mike dive
Dive sitemap: By Mike dive
Dive Report: Comment in the box below.