Surprising diving in Cornwall

St Keverne in the Lizard, Cornwall

You don’t have to go abroad to get great scenic diving, it’s all there in Cornwall. The food’s not bad either, according to Andy!

Cornwall Expedition 7-10th August

by Andy

Thursday night

Bill & I arrived first and decided to just chill out and enjoy the rest of the day. Clive & Christine followed a few hours later, then Pete & Annette  – thoroughly annoyed at being stuck in the car for over 8hrs. We decided to go to one of the local pubs, The White Hart, for a meal, a drink or 3 and a catch up. Those of you who have been before will know that there is a very low signal for mobile & wi-fi connections, hence a lack of communication. On walking back, Pete realised he’d missed calls from our party including Ian who, after months of Carol organising and emailing us to let us know of the plan said ‘Oh, I didn’t realise we were diving Friday’. He hadn’t even left yet! But he did join us the following day.

Friday morning, 1st day of diving

After having a relaxed breakfast and briefing on how to find the dive site (avoiding the sweet old lady who lives along the road who is seriously annoyed at all the traffic and isn’t afraid of letting visitors know it in none too polite a manner. None of us have met her but I’m sure she’d fit in well with the curry club!) we were asked to go a  longer way round. Bill and I set off through the narrow streets of St Keverne and very nearly had a head on collision with Dan who had just arrived that morning. He followed us, arriving in time for the first dive of the trip – the Vase on the Manacles. Unfortunately, Clive & Christine had to pull out and head home early due to a flood in their house.

I was looking forward to the dive but, being the UK, the vis  wasn’t great. Afterwards, Karl was just happy to be back on the surface and still with us after a kit malfunction at depth. We went back to shore for air fills and a leisurely lunch,  provided by Tracy, who’s in charge of the galley and makes excellent cakes. She was happy to see us until she got to know our fondness for the gateau which put her under constant baking strain. Come Monday afternoon I’m sure she was glad to see the back of us!

Dive 2: Volnay

A diver with a barrel jellyfish

Hass with a barrel jellyfish – spot the difference.

This was a wreck dive and again I was buddying with Hass. We had a good look around but the vis wasn’t great so we decided to ascend early – a wise move; on doing our 3@6 (safety stop) we saw a large barrel jelly fish which was pretty much the same size as Hass – that put a smile on his face. Back to Parc an Grouse for a wash ‘n’ scrub, we then made our way to the Green House Restaurant for an excellent dinner. Being the only decent restaurant for miles, it’s very popular with the locals and visitors alike.

Saturday morning

The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Hugh had turned up at 1am and was up and ready to go. Carol had to go to the local hospital for a check up, and this  ultimately cost her rest of the trip; the doctor’s advice was not to dive or drink alcohol. Our first dive was The Spyridon, a small wreck which was also close to the Mohegan wreck. Dave, our skipper, briefed us and in we went, down the shot and off to explore. Dan and I had a good look round then agreed to go off in search of the Mohegan. After managing to get my compass bearing we finned away into the unknown. After 4 minutes (which Dave said it would take) we were concerned we were going the wrong way. We kept with it though, and bingo – we hit the site, which was surprisingly good (the fact that we found it, that is). There’s lots to see and rummage around in, much to Dan’s delight.

Dive 2: Black Point ,Coverack

This was an enjoyable dive – mostly because when we got back onto the boat Dave spotted a group of Risso Dolphins passing by which put a smile on everyone’s face.

Sunday morning

‘What a difference a day makes’ as Hass put it. The sun disappeared, as did Hugh. This time we did the Mohigan for real, much to Dan’s delight, as he couldn’t wait to get back down there in all the nooks and crannies he’d missed last time. Both of us enjoyed ourselves, there was plenty of life around and other things to explore,

Dive 2: the Penwyn wall dive

This time Dan finally remembered his go-pro and was glad he did. Once down there we found crabs hidden in cracks and all sorts of marine life to entertain us till we had to ascend. This didn’t go well for Dan who had a new DSMB; unfortunately, it got tangled up so he had to let go. On returning to shore we had a fine example by one of our more seasoned divers of how (not) to keep your kit together so as not to trip anyone up. Upon asking Annette if it belonged to her, she had no hesitation in grassing up her lover, Pete. You should be ashamed of yourself Pete (all you newbies please note this fine example of what not to do).

Dinner that night was much better. Carol had made a booking at Roskilly’s, the local farm / ice cream café / shop which went down well with all who attended (especially me, with 2 milkshakes and a smile on my face). On the way back to our digs, we walked through Roskilly’s moonlit gardens which were very nice and well kept.

Monday

Our first dive was Ragland reef. Myself, Dan & Ian were buddied and this was by far the best dive of the trip. Upon descending we came across life everywhere. This included a couple of big lobsters, crabs and spider crabs. After exhausting our air, and Ian, we started our ascent and got to our safety stop. After fighting to keep my buoyancy under control with the strong current, I began to head to the surface – which worked in my favour as a dolphin came flying past. When Dan and Ian were getting on the lift to the boat our friend came back and just hovered underneath them. I took some photos and told the boys what I was up to – they promptly stuck their heads back in to get a good look. Karl decided it was too good an opportunity to miss and jumped back in. He was later smiling from ear to ear when the dolphin joined us racing back to shore in the waves, jumping and having a great time. Hass, who missed this dive, was more pissed off than in EL Gouna as he didn’t want to drive back after diving and get tired (wise move).

Dive 2 Lowland

This was to be our last dive in Cornwall and didn’t quite live up to the first dive. A little current, not much life but plenty of kelp so myself and my buddies decided to leave early and return to the boat. On the way back we got to see a group of dolphins swimming past, much to Hass’s delight after coming on the boat too. After returning to shore we had a debrief and said goodbye to Tracy; we’d eaten so many of her cakes she’d actually run out of flour! Those of us who were leaving hit the road and the rest of us stayed a while enjoying the sun.

That evening, Carol had  booked a table at the lifeboat house in Coverack which overlooked the harbour. A very nice view to end the evening and the dinner was good as the company. Thank you, Carol. We all had a great time can’t wait to go back next year.

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