Trio of new faces take the business plunge with former Morven dive centre

Dave Lowry, one of the three new proprietors of a dive centre on Morvern, says there is much to see in the underwater world in the local area. Photograph: Highland Basecamp. NO F33 Highland Basecamp Lochaline Dave_10
Dave Lowry, one of the three new proprietors of a dive centre on Morvern, says there is much to see in the underwater world in the local area. Photograph: Highland Basecamp. NO F33 Highland Basecamp Lochaline Dave_10

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When it comes to starting a new business, you are often advised not to jump straight in at the deep end, but that advice was clearly not intended for the likes of the trio of new faces that have taken over the running of a former diving centre on Morvern.

There are few more stunning dive sites in British coastal waters than the Sound of Mull and in June former professional photographer and adventurer Dave Lowry, along with professional diving instructors Fee Zanke and Fraser Cameron, reopened the former Lochaline Dive Centre under a new name and branding as Highland Basecamp.

Fraser Cameron. Photograph: Highland Basecamp. NO F33 Highland Basecamp Lochaline Fraser_02
Fraser Cameron. Photograph: Highland Basecamp.

The change of name reflects the new direction for the business which is to provide a centre for people to enjoy not just the world-class diving in the waters off Morvern but also other outdoor pursuits such as cycling, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Fraser and Fee both relocated from Iceland, while Dave made the switch from London and they say they have been made to feel so welcome since they arrived on the peninsula.

Highland Basecamp's bunkhouse at Lochaline. Photograph: Highland Basecamp. NO F33 Highland Basecamp Lochaline Building_07
Highland Basecamp’s bunkhouse at Lochaline. Photograph: Highland Basecamp.

Highland Basecamp opened its doors back in June, although current efforts have been very much focused on refurbishing the 12-bedroom bunkhouse and Dave, Fraser and Fee, hope that very soon they will be running dive tours from their own boat, Defiance.

Fee Zanke. Photograph: Highland Basecamp. NO F33 Highland Basecamp Lochaline Fee_11
Fee Zanke. Photograph: Highland Basecamp.

However, until its own dive boat comes into operation, Highland Basecamp is happily recommending another local nearby diving firm, Lochaline Boat Charters, which they say has been very supportive of the three newcomers to the area.

Dave explained: ‘We took over the premises on June 17 and everyone in the local area has been very welcoming.

‘Most people will have known the premises as an out and out dive centre before, but we’re looking to broaden its appeal to people who may wish to get into the outdoors doing other pursuits as well.

We’d all been looking for the right place to do our own businesses and when this site became available we jumped at the opportunity.

‘We’ve had a lot of interest from divers, dive groups and other so far. One really nice thing is that dive groups and clubs that had been coming here for years previously have been back in touch to book stays.

At the moment a lot of our efforts are being spent on upgrading and refurbishing our bunkhouse.’

Fee – pronounced more like the Gaelic word Fae – added: ‘There are so many shipwrecks here in the Sound of Mull, as well as fantastic marine life – this area keeps pulling people back because it is just such a magical place to dive.

‘What we’d love to do is introduce more local people to what they have right here on their doorsteps just under the waves.’