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Design: Anosova Elena

Ushkanie islands

This is a small archipelago that consists on four islands. On one of the island there is a rookery of Baikal seal. This is especially protected area of Zabaikalsky National Park. The entrance is paid but this is a small fee for the pleasure to dive there.

Ушканьи острова

1. Bolshoy Ushkaniy (The BIG USHKAN) ISLAND

A dive boat is anchored opposite the ranger house (depth - 10-12 meters). The lake floor is of stones covered in sponges. On the left hand side - huge stones - some of them are marble. There are also areas where the lake floor is of marble


2. Pastbishe (A Pasture)

A ship is anchored (12-15 meters deep) to the south from Island Dolgiy.

A sand lake floor with flat stone platforms turning into a drop off. The drop off edge is from 4 meters in the north to 25 meters in the south. The drop off is typically Ushkan. 

3. Dolgiy (Long) Island

Diving from a drifting boat. A volcanic schistose steep drop off lined with cracks - very similar to the one next to Krugliy Island. Underwater tunnels.

The areas between islands Krugliy and Dolgiy as well as Krugliy and Tonkiy resemble alleys and meadows and are assosiated with nerpa playgrounds.

Dolgiy Island

4. Pyramidka (The Pyramid), Krugliy (Round) Island

Diving from a drifting boat. Ushkan Islands drop offs have their peculiarities, which make them look different from those in the Olkhon. The drop off relief looks like cooled lava. In fact, these are calc-silicate marble rocks and the water polished them to look so unusual.

The drop off in the dive site is of schistose rocks lined with cracks, passages and grottos. At the depth of 80 meters the relief changes into a steep benchy inclination. In the northern part of the site is «a tower with windows and gates» - small grottos and rifts. We usually start diving on this site from this point. The tower is deep in water, so it can serve as a place for Open Water as well as Trimix divers. Further away from the tower there are picturesque reliefs at different depths with grottos (at 25 meters). Then runs an amphitheater beginning with a stone slope in its northern part which continues with a nice sand inclination. Then begins a benchy schistose drop off. In the southern part of the site on the edge of the offshore area at the depth of 4-10 meters there are huge calc-silicate marble stones, lined with deep cracks.

Great places for deep dives are in the southern and northern parts of the dive site. We made here 90-meter-deep dives. 

Пирамидка (Круглый).

Pyramid (Krugly). Plumage

Pyramid (Kruugly). Plumage

5. Tonkiy (Thin) Island

Nerpa’s sealery. It is possible to visit and dive the place after National Park fee payment. Getting ready for a dive in the eastern part of the island, then a long surface swim round the island; submerging in the proximity of the sealery. When the weather is absolutely calm it is impossible to get close to nerpas on an open-scheme apparatus.

Dives from the island part opposite to the sealery are also possible. A picturesque sand inclination with typical Ushkan rock relief. Stones covered in sponges.

Island Tonkiy

Tonkiy island. Baikal seal