Maloe sea (The Small Sea)
Dive sites of the Small Sea (Maloe Sea) are notable for their shallow waters and not good visibility but they may be very scenic then know where and when to dive.
First of all this is the best place for ice diving jeep trips in winter and spring periods. There are a lot of compression cracks that are very interesting to dive since they form many fanciful underwater constructions, ice hummocks, caverns – all are very interesting to investigate. At the same time the infrastructure on Olkhon Island in Khuzhir village is qute developed compare to other regions of the lake. So it is good place to base camp. Look for winter diving trips in special section of the web page.
1. BURKHAN (SHAMANKA)
A dive boat is anchored (5-7 meters deep offshore area) opposite the symbol of Lake Baikal - rock Burkhan (Shamanka). The offshore bottom is of huge stones, but 20-30 meters further away from the shore the bottom becomes sandy. Perches, bullheads.
A popular place during Jeep Ice Safaris. A combination of cracks in the ice, ice formations and underwater stones make unique landscapes every winter. Diving next to the most mysterious and remarkable place in the Baikal adds more extreme to the process.
2. IZOKHOI ISLAND (ELENKA)
A small island in the middle of Maloye Morye. A dive boat is anchored on any side of the island, depth 5-8 meters. Huge stones next to the island. Further away from the island the lake floor is of smaller stones with some huge ones covered in sponges. Bullheads, perches.
It is recommended that the group moves round the island.
3. BAROKCHIN ISLAND
A dive boat is anchored on the western side of island Borokchin (depth - 10-15 meters). The lake floor is of sand with some huge stones. Closer to the shore the lake floor turns into that of stones only with some small colonies of sponges. Next to the shore - huge stones. Bullheads, perches.
4. ZAMOGOY ISLAND
A dive boat is anchored on the northern side of island Zamogoy (depth - 7-9 meters). The lake floor is of sand with some huge stones covered in sponges. Closer to the shore the lake floor turns into that of stones with massive colonies of sponges. Next to the shore - huge stones. Bullheads, perches.
Boat moors to shore on the southern side of the cape. The slope is pebbly then stony, coverd with sponges.
The dive site is located in the Straight of Olkhonskiye Vorota (Olkhon Gates). The dive boat is anchored opposite Cape Ul’utay (depth - 7-12 meters), to the left from bay Zagly. The inclination is sandy, with quite massive sponges. Next to the shore - huge stones, also covered in lots of sponges. Currents are not rare here - usually they move in the direction of the Baikal, out of Olkhonskiye Vorota. Very many bullheads.
7. ZAGLY BAY
A place for night dives. A dive boat is anchored in any convenient place in the bay. The lake floor is covered in weeds. Pike-perches, perches, roaches.
8. The Cable
Adjacent to Olkhon segment of underwater electric cable. A dive boat is anchored in the offshore area overlooking the greater Baikal (depth 7-12 meters). The inclination is initially sandy, then huge stones, covered in sponges. There are often currents going out of the straight into the sea. It is curious to see how underwater electic cable is mounted on the lake floor. Lots of bullheads.
9. Bay Sennaya in Olkhonskiye Vorota (Olkhon Gates)
It is not by chance that we especially point it out that Bay Sennaya is in Olkhon Gates, because there are many different bays of the same name in the Baikal, as well as there are several Tolstiy capes and Gannet capes.
A dive boat is anchored (depth 12-16 meters) in the left hand side of the bay. The dive begins with a big stone amphitheater. We move further away out of the bay. A stone inclination covered in multiple colonies of sponges. Lots of bullheads.
10. Bay Zmeyevaya
This bay is in the greater Baikal. We put it into the category of Maloye Morye dive sites, because shore diving is of interest here and we usually make them while we are diving in Maloye Morye (our base camps are in tourist bases «Veter Stranstviy» (The Wind of Travel) and «Khadarta»). The beauty of diving here begins on the shore - we drive our jeeps to the bay along a narrow steep-sided rift. Magnificent views from the rift sides make one anticipate fantastic diving. Huge sponges underwater make diving really amazing.
The fact that our way to the place takes time and energy makes us arrange two dives in the area with a lunch in the open air to sustain our phisical resourses between the dives.