Borth-east (Buryat) shore of the Baikal is very beautiful. Khakusy, Barguzinsky Rezerve, Frolikha, Chivirkuysky Bay, Barguzinsky Bay, Turka, the River Selenga mouth, etc. are magnificent places, but in terms of underwater views east Baikal is of little interest, but for several places.
1. Canyon Tiya
The canyon is to the right from the Tiya River source in the city of Severobaikalsk. Diving here is almost always in the conditions of no visibility, so diving here is of no use, but sometimes the visibility can be great, and we have a chance to admire one of the most beautiful and great Lake Baikal canyons.
2. Ayaya Bay
Ayaya Bay is very beautiful. It is also of interest thanks to the proximity of Lake Frolikha. The path taking to the lake is quite difficult to walk on, as it runs through a marshy land. Relict fishes can be found in the lake. It is possible to arrange diving in the lake with the aim of seeing the fishes, it will take 3-4 hours to carry the dive gear to the lake. You might be lucky to make a picture of the unique fishes. However, keep in mind that hiking with the gear might be exhausting.
Dives in the northern part of the bay might be also of interest. A ship is anchored (depth - 10 meters). There are not very many sponges, because of south-west wind called Koultouk that can be very strong and causes unrest in the water, which breaks the sponges. A lot of species for macro pictures: bullheads, Lake Baikal shrimps.
Not far from Ayaya Bay is a unique place - Khakusy. With unique vast sand beaches, and the most important - with great hot springs. The springs are made into swimming pools with wooden walls.
3. The River Kabanya Mouth
It is interesting to dive the place where the river flows into the Baikal. There is a big drop in the place where the river and the lake meet, so the depth changes from 1.5 to 5 meters. The current here gets weaker, but you can still feel it is there. Huge tree snags. It is convenient to get hold of one of them and stay in the current, waiting for a school of graylings or even Brachymystax lenoks.
The ship has to be anchored opposite the river mouth (depth 5-6 meters).
4. Bolshaya Cheremshanaya
The Bolshaya Cheremshanaya River flows into the Baikal, forming a powerful current. A dive boat is anchored on the left hand side of the river (in the place where it flows into the lake). There are very many graylings and Brachymystax lenoks here. We might try to get closer to the riverbed from underwater, the visibility rate drops down, but the probability of running across rare fish species increases.
Lake floor of stone. Rare single twigs of sponges.
1. The River Bolshoy Chivirkuy Mouth
They say, Chivirkuy Bay is the most beautiful place in the Baikal. We wouldn’t be so categorical, especially because we believe there are lots of places in the Baikal worth the title. Chivirkuy is a big bay with several smaller bays in it. The water here is very warm in the end of the summer. Luxurious beaches in cosy bays, warm water - a fairy tale in Siberia. There are also a lot of different fish species: huge pike-perches, perches, carps, and, of course, graylings and omuls. If you are interested in seeing the fish, it is recommended to dive here in June, when the water is cold and clear or to make night dives, but the best way is to try free diving. Then you get a 99% guarantee that you will run across a fish.
Chivirkuy dive sites change depending on the season, as the fishes migrates actively. You can opt for diving in Bay Zmeevaya, by the way, there are hot springs there, so one can have a hot bath after diving. We can make dives in bays Krutaya and Krokhalinaya, or in the greater Chivirkuy next to Belaya Skala (The White Rock) or next to Lokhmatiy Island. Underwater landscapes in these places are of no great interest, but there is a high probability of running across a big fish - a pike-perch, a perch or an ide fish.
When in Chivirkuy Bay within a safari framework, we can skip diving and just enjoy relaxing in the sun or hot spring baths, fishing or engage into bird watching and admiring the views.
However, if someone feels like diving, we can arrange it, say, in the mouth of the River Bolshoy Chivirkuy, where we are sure to get the view of the Baikal (not Chivirkuy) underwater landscapes and run across the Baikal fish species - graylings and omuls. The ship is to be anchored opposite the River Bolshoy Chivirkuy (in about 200 meters from the mouth, depth - 7-8 meters). If you go further - it will be too shallow, as the river brings lots of sand with its waters. The sandy bottom is especially beautiful on a sunny day. Along the stone shore in the northern part of the site there are big stones.
The dive site is located to the north from Cape Markova on the peninsula Sviatoy Nos. A typical peninsula dive site, from the greater Baikal side. An inclination of stones of different shapes and structures: some are like cooled lava, some are smooth and some are just huge pieces of rocks. This relief starts at the depth of 4-6 meters and runs to 8-12 meters. Further down the inclination is of smaller stones or sand.
Almost no sponges, almost no fauna representatives, though these places are rich in fish, it is on a very rare occasion that we run across a school of graylings or omuls here.
2. Sviatoy Nos (the tip of the peninsula)
A ship is anchored in the vast offshore area on the part of the peninsula overlooking the greater Baikal.
Long stone benches covered in very high sponges. At the depth of 30-35 meters they turn into a sand inclination. Bullheads, the Baikal shrimps.
It might be considered the best dive site of the peninsula.
3. Beliy Canyon (White Canyon)
The place has received its name after the white canyon on the surface, but there is no canyon underwater. The ship is anchored in a small offshore area or dives are made from a drifting ship.
The shallow waters of the offshore area are 4-8 meters deep, its bottom is of schistose rocks. Starting from the depth of 8 meters a benchy drop off begins. When moving to the east along the wall you mill note that it is getting more and more cracked and it runs in steep benches into the depth. Maximum depth is not identified - nobody dived here deep, in fact, nobody dives here at all but for the divers who take part in BaikalTek safaris of the Baikal (which is also true for a many other sites described here). We hope these drop offs are very deep, because they are in the proximity of the deepest point of Barguzin Bay (1,200 meters), besides, sonic depth finders identified the depth of over 100 meters in the distance of 10 meters from the shore.
Huge colonies of sponges, a few bullheads and Lake Baikal shrimps. On the whole - a typical underwater view of the Sviatoy Nos peninsula, overlooking Barguzin Bay.
So far these are the most interesting dive sites. However, the Baikal is still to be explored. You might be the one to take part in the expeditions. There are sunken villages and ships, underwater volcanoes waiting to be found. There are simply places, where nobody has ever dived. Good luck!