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Harlyn Dive School

  Regular Dive Sites

 

1) Harlyn Bay- Cataclews

 An excellent novice dive site or second dive. It is usual to get in the water next to Tide Teller rock and swim North and then West around Cataclews Point, and then send up a DSMB and be picked up by the boat. Max depth is around 14m. We would expect to see Lobsters, Edible Crabs, Spider Crabs, Velvet Swimming Crabs, TomPot Blennies, Peacock Worms, Ballan Wrasse, Pollack, Leopard Gobies. Often we see Congers, Dog Fish, Bass, Mullet, Sea Bream, Cuttlefish

Site can be dived at any time as current generally goes with the dive direction

As site is sheltered from the general swell it can often be dived when all else is blown out. It takes 15 mins by boat to reach

2) Newland Reef

A spectacular reef dive with large deep gullies. Usually done as a drift dive but for more novice divers can be dived at slack which is  high or low water. Depth can be chosen between 15 and 32 metres though on a strong tide it is possible to be pushed towards the deeper edge.

This site has one of the most amazing colonies of Pink Sea Fans, some several metres in height. The wildlife trust says they are rare- not here they not.

We would expect to see Lobsters, Edible Crabs, Spider Crabs, Velvet Swimming Crabs, TomPot Blennies, Peacock Worms, Ballan Wrasse, Pollack, Leopard Gobies. Often we see Congers, Dog Fish, Bass, Mullet, Sea Bream, Cuttlefish and various hard and soft corals and sponges.

We also find a lot of bullets and shell cases from Hurricane fighters as the island was used for target practice in the last war.

It takes about 10 mins by boat to reach.

3) Port Gaverne

An excellent novice dive site or second dive. This site can be shore dived or boat dived. The site is on the East side of the inlet around the small island at the end of The Main. We usually put the divers in at the entrance to the gully (The Gut) between the headland (The Main) and the Island, the Gut is full of life but can sometimes have a strong surge if any swell is running.

We would expect to see Lobsters, Edible Crabs, Spider Crabs, Velvet Swimming Crabs, TomPot Blennies, Peacock Worms, Ballan Wrasse, Pollack, Leopard Gobies. Often we see Congers, Dog Fish, Bass, Mullet, Sea Bream, Cuttlefish and various hard and soft corals and sponges.

Max depth is around 14m and can be dived at any state of tide. It is reasonably sheltered from the South West winds, but West through to North East is exposed.

 

4) Caister

A relatively modern wreck (mid 70’s) well broken up but still interesting. It positioned near the entrance to Port Isaac (as in Doc Martin). Max depth is 14m and it is usual to enter the water on the wreck and have a good poke around the plating and metal then to follow the reef westwards where some interesting swim through’s and gullies can be found. You would then deploy a DSMB and be picked up by the boat.

The normal array of life is to be seen.

5) Sphene

Our most popular wreck, 22m low water and 28m high. She is positioned 1 ½ miles out from Port Quin and takes about 10 - 15mins by boat. Relatively intact, the bows stand up with the chain still on top (roof was ripped of by a trawl some years ago) and you can see the damage where in 1947 she hit the Mouls (Puffin Island). Mid ships she has collapsed down and to the starboard side but plenty of holes where congers can be seen. Towards the stern you reach a bulkhead and then the single boiler, behind which you find the steam engine which is now split between 2 cylinders. Part of the engine room roof still overhangs and the stern is fairly intact with the hand rail still in place. Swim around the stern and you find the rudder and propeller.

The wreck is usually festooned in life, in fact after a dive in near 20m of vis the divers said to me that ‘vis was crap’- too many fish. Congers, ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, giant Pollack, Bib, whiting and crabs, lobsters are always to be seen. From time to time we also see trigger fish and angler fish and John Dory. The Sphene must be dived at slack which is 1 hour after high or low Newquay

6) Cow and Calf – Port Quin

Near to the entrance to Port Quin lies 2 rocks- Cow and Calf. This is an excellent 2nd dive with plenty to see. Not deep, around 10m depending on tide, it can be dived at any state of tide. It takes 10 -15 mins to reach by boat. It has the usual array of life in abundance. Last season we saw lots of DogFish, Cuttlefish and on one occasion Orcas!

7) Arthur Town

Closest wreck to our launch site at Rock. She was carrying scrap iron and old engine blocks when overwhelmed by the sea. Although much of the ships hull has corroded away she still holds a ships shape as all the cargo has concreted together. From the engine room back it is now missing after a mishap during salvage in the 70’s blew up a torpedo she was carrying. Quite a small wreck you can go around it several times, but look out for some huge congers and often Trigger Fish plus the usual array of life. 15m low water and 20m high water means open water/ ocean divers can dive this wreck, slack being 30 mins before high or low water Newquay. Takes 5 -10 mins by boat.

8) Runswick

An excellent not too deep wreck, positioned against the Quies, the islands a mile or so off Trevose Head. Max 22 m and very tidal, she must be dived on slack which is high or low water Newquay plus a few minutes and only last a short time. DSMBs are a must so not a novice dive but ok if with an experienced diver.

The ship was fairly large and you can see 2 large boilers standing on end, the rest is well broken but extensive. Site has little protection from waves and weather so can only be dived in calm seas ideally on neap tides. Takes 20- 25 mins by boat.

9) Saphire

One of my personal favourites this wreck was a u-boat torpedo casualty. She lies in 30 m low water so is not a novice dive. Must be dived on slack which is 1 hour after high or low Newquay. The stern still has rudder and iron prop in place. The ship between stern and Boilers has fallen to the starboard side. At the boilers she opens up, engine is still inside wreckage. Forwards she has broken up and flattened until you reach the bows where the winch gear can be seen. As usual congers can always be seen along with a variety of fish life. Usually a large shoal of Pouting just forward of boilers. Port holes can still be found as can other bits of brass. Takes 20-25 mins by boat.

10) Rumps Reef- Maria Assumpta

A lovely shallowish reef dive- max 15-20 m, also the site of the wreck Maria Assumpta which was a wooden sailing vessel (Tall Ship) that hit the rocks early summer 1998 (I think). There is little to nothing left of the wreck now however it is still a very nice dive with plenty of life. Best dived on an incoming tide as this assists with the swim eastwards. DSMB a must. There is also some wreckage (metal plating) around the entrance to Seven Souls Cove where most divers surface. Usually plenty of crab and lobster to be seen. On one occasion last season divers reported seeing 14 or more lobsters. Takes 5-10 mins by boat.

11) Trevose Head

Trevose head is a very exposed site but nonetheless interesting dive. Over the years large boulders as big as houses have fallen into the sea from the high cliffs making for a very rocky reef dive. Life is not as prolific as some sites but it is very scenic in its own way. Depths are from 15 -20 m, shallower if you stay close to the headland. Although it will have a tide a strange phenomena causes the water closer to the headland here to move more slowly or even be still. Weather needs to be calm with no significant swell. It takes 20 mins by boat.

12) Germaine

The Germaine is a second world war casualty and lies in 40m low water. She is well collapsed only the boilers and engine stand high. Prop is in place and you can easily follow prop shaft back to the engine. At the bows there are several boxes of anti air craft heads but I have not yet found any shell cases though they must be there. Port holes are still found from time to time. Takes 15 mins by boat.

 

13) U-1021

 

U-1021 was caught in a mine field off Trevose head in 1945. It has been filmed for a TV program, Deep Wreck Mysteries. The wreck is deep 50 metres to the seabed and is very spectacular. The bows are blown clean off and lie in line with the main hull. Along side can be seen the mine anchor! Dives off this depth are only for the very experienced usually involving Trimix

 

 

Popular Newquay Sites

We will often operate from Newquay harbour and here are a few popular sites

13) Milky Rough Reef

A really nice shallow reef sheltered from the worst of any south westerlies it can be dived at any state of tide in a max depth of 12m -15m. It is full of life some of it exceptionally large, star fish 2ft across! As it is a nearly circular reef surrounded by sand navigation is simple- stay on reef. It makes an ideal 2nd dive or novice dive, not a bad one for letting newly qualified divers of the leash for the first time! On this site I once saw Trigger fish the size of a dustbin lid wriggle into a crack in a rock and lock themselves in with their triggers- hence the name! There are also several gullies/swim through’s. It takes less than 5 mins from Newquay harbour

14) Poll Texas Reef

A slightly deeper reef not far from Newquay (about 5- 10 mins) in max 22 m low water, ideally dived at slack -1 hour after high or low. It has a pinnacle shaped like a witches hat that comes up from 22 m to 8m with a vertical wall on the north east side covered in pink sea fans (rare so they say) We would normally dive around this wall, head seaward until reef meets sand and then return to the wall and head landwards until air supply on reserve. DSMB required. Around the wall it is a congregation point for some large Pollock, Bass etc

15) Syracusa

The Syracusa sank in a storm in 1898 with the loss of all on board. She is in 30m low water and is starting to break up. She is about a 5 -10 min boat ride from Newquay and needs diving at slack which is about 1 hour after high or low Newquay. Wreck has plenty of life and is a good introduction to the 30m range of diving.

 

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This is by no means the limit of diving on the North Coast of Cornwall but gives a good selection for those who have not dived here before, I have also followed with a quick list of some other sites but no description, generally to be dived 1 hour after high/low Newquay depth quoted low water.

 

To date this year we have dived 27 DIFFERENT  wrecks in North Cornwall with loads more still to do- give us a good summer of weather I reckon we can top 40

 

SS Milly 40m 20-25 mins from Padstow

Girdleness 35m 45 mins from Padstow

Wisbech 49m 30 mins from Padstow

Svint 50m 15 mins from Padstow

Esra Weston 54m 30 mins from Padstow - Liberty Ship

HMCS Regina 55m 30 mins from Padstow - Canadian Corvette

UB65 56m 30 mins from Padstow - 1st world war u-boat

Lake Owens 54m 20 mins from Padstow

U1021 50m 25mins from Padstow - 2nd world war u-boat

U325 54m 30 mins from Padstow - 2nd world war u-boat

Portugal 51m 25mins from Padstow

Indus 42m 15 mins from Padstow

Rewa 56m 45 mins from Padstow - Liner converted to a hospital ship

Depute Gaston Dumnesmil 56m 30 mins from Padstow

Poldown 35m 25 mins from Padstow

Anna Sophie 40m 20 mins from Padstow

Tagona 37m 35 mins from Padstow

Carasa 40m 35mins from Padstow

Hilversum 48m 35mins from Padstow

Humbergate 51m 25mins from Padstow

Brava 53m 25mins from Padstow

Orfordness 35m 20 mins from Newquay

Train Wreck (St Chamond) 25m 40 mins from Newquay

Inner Gulland reef 20- 30m 20 mins from Padstow

Outer Gulland Reef 20-50m 20 mins from Padstow

 

Plus many many more

 

 

 

 

Harlyn Beach

 

Harlyn

Training at Harlyn- courtesy M.P.Colley.com

 

Newland Reef Gullies- Courtesy Severine Bar

 

SS Sphene -Boiler on right

 

 

Arthur Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hutch on U1021. Courtesy M.P.Colley.com

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