Welcome to the Ullapool Sub Aqua Club website.
If you have ever dived in the North West of Scotland, or know somebody who has, it will certainly be remembered as a place for fantastic scenery above and below the waterline.
One of the most northerly dive clubs in the country, USAC was formed in 1988 and has a membership of around 25, divers and non divers alike. We are a relatively small branch of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club, but that doesn't stop us! In our membership we have 1 Regional Instructor and 5 Branch Instructors.
We always welcome new members, qualified divers or those who want to learn to spread their fins. Feel free to get in touch with us if you want more information about diving in this part of Scotland, want to learn to dive or want to do a try-dive with us in the local swimming pool.
Not content with getting into a rubber suit day after day, year after year, Darrell finally found his life calling and got into a nice sailors uniform and wore a pretty hat! Although not quite as it sounds he was more of an escort boy than a member of the village people as he took on board a commando and took part in a joint Army, Navy and Air Force exercise in the North Minch, while the rest of us ventured out for the first club dive of the year around Priest Island. Despite being cold it was very calm and the visibility was great, we dived on the inside of Priest island just over a shelf that dropped down to 30m. As three divers were beneath the surface, Darrell slowly came round the corner in stealth mode trying to avoid detection by the frigate, landing crafts, boarding parties, marines and helicopters that were all in the area buzzing about.
As the Frigate headed back to Ullapool to pick up a kidnapped bunch of Marines we were heading back to the wee pier, with bags of scallops and turbans on our heads...RHIB Tickler was not much of a match for the Navy, but as we turned to make a direct assault on her stern we were all faced with the sight of a warship turning bow onto us and starting to bear down on us! Diplomatic relations are not a strong point of anybody in the club, but it was about now that we thought we should turn back towards to the village. None of knew Morse code so when they started flashing lights at us the only way to respond was with a camera flash and out torches....so three torches all popped up and one camera flashed away at the Navy...as it turned out the flashing from the bridge turned out to be them firing missiles at us thinking we were the terrorists, not Darrell who at this point was happily munching on Bacon and Scallop sandwiches back at priest Island!!!
Among other things discussed at the meeting was club fees, and because several members of the club were unable to attend the AGM the new club committee will be having a meeting on Monday 28th February in the committee room of the village hall. The main point of discussion at this meeting will be whether or not to increase the subscription fees to the club, so all club members are encouraged (and asked) to come along to put your own views across so we as a club can decide on this.
Trying to pin everybody down to one weekend when they were available for both a Saturday and Sunday proved to be nearly as hard as trying to find peace in the Middle East. But we, unlike the politicians managed it and the weekend following the big storms in January all the new trainees and instructors gathered for what was going to be a mind and backside numbing weekend of theory lessons. Trying to cover all the theory material over one weekend was always going to be a hard task, but everybody had come prepared and had read up on the material beforehand....which made life easier for everybody. By the end of the first day everybody, BI's included, were pretty brain dead. But the real treat still lay ahead.... Bulhmann tables. Sunday proved to a bit more of an adventure than Saturday in the Leisure centre
Because of the big storms the power was going down for most of Sunday, which we only found out on Saturday evening. With the Leisure centre closing for the day we managed to all squeeze into the dining room of the hostel. While pans of water were put on the stove for tea and coffee, the generator banged away outside to provide power for the OHP and a couple of (clean) bed sheets stuck on the wall provided the white board.
Despite all this, the Bulhmann tables came out and jaws dropped, but very shortly the "oh my god" look disappeared from peoples faces as they realised it was much easier than it looked. Before long, everybody was conceiving the most complex dive profiles imaginable and working out the stops required. Given the length of the two days, everybody had a choice to make on Sunday evening....do the test now, or go home, do some revision and then do it in a couple of days time. Everybody chose the latter, so watch this space to find out how they all got on.
If you visit Scotland and you want to try diving for the first time, you will have a great experience. But you will have to find a trained and skilled instructor, otherwise your first diving lesson can turn into a disastrous situation. You might never want to dive again. Research for a coach in the area where you want to dive and get ready for an underwater adventure!
Explore the underwater world
Not everyone is attracted to the idea of scuba diving, but a good instructor will make you love this adventure under the water. Colourful corals, lovely fishes and blue waters are adorable, but you need some sense for adrenaline in order to dive and just flow underwater. The company you will dive with will affect your entire experience – and your future ones! In case the trainer can handle your nerves and put you at ease, he is a treasure and you will have a wonderful scuba diving lesson.
Ask your questions before actually diving. Do not be ashamed to ask some of the questions, you may end up regretting it. Keep in mind that knowledge is power – and this applies to scuba diving as well. You must understand the breathing techniques and your equipment before jumping. You can have a panic attack when you do not know how to breathe correctly under the water.
You will feel confident and comfortable when looking at the strange fishes that stare back at you, but you must remember to inhale and exhale. A patient and skilled diver will stand by your side for the entire time, so practice steady breathing in a relaxed atmosphere, in the boat, before jumping and diving in the clear waters of Scotland. Scuba diving is not as easy as talking on live sex chat, so remember to stay calm and relaxed because your dive buddy will take good care of you.
Do not panic under the water, it is the worst thing it can happen. In fact, you should avoid getting too emotional. Maintain your deep, relaxed breath and everything will be ok. Nothing in these waters can harm you, except for yourself. Maintain the eye contact with your dive buddy and he or she will hold your hands until you will feel free and able to admire the beauty of the underwater world that you are exploring.
Control your breath and stay relaxed
Have the right attitude when you will try scuba diving for the first time. Assess your goals, keep in mind to control your breath and make sure you will not go crazy once you will see yourself surrounded by a bunch of curious fishes. Yet remember that it will get better when you will be more experienced, so do not let yourself pulled back if water scares you when you first try to dive.
Get a glimpse of the sea around Scotland and you will fall in love with this type of experience. Venture open water accompanied by a trained diver and you will be delighted every second of your first scuba diving lesson!