This is our first trip to Cornwall to dive but we have had very good reports of the area its beautiful diving environment and all the critters we may get to see that don’t venture up country, we are hoping to catch sight of a basking shark if we are lucky and maybe a John Dory or two.
We arrived on Friday night and met up with others from the group for our evening meal all eagerly awaiting our introduction to the dive site and our boat. The following morning we rose early and breakfasted some partaking more than others of our hosts excellent cuisine. The weather was good but a might windy and it seemed it may turn out to be a rough ride on the boat.
Porthkerris Divers are located in a secluded beach owned by the dive centre and they operate two boats from here, The Celtic Cat and The Celtic Kitten, we were booked on the Kitten the smaller of the two which was ample to accommodate our group of nine divers today with one more joining us tomorrow.
The plan for the first dive was a short ride out to the wreck of the Volnay but this proved to be a bit much for some who succumbed to seasickness (due to the big breakfast maybe) so those of us who were up to it dropped in down the shot line that the skipper had got right on the boilers of the wreck which were covered in marine life you didn’t need to stray far to have a good dive, the visibility was a bit limited but using good buddy techniques we were able to explore the wreck and discover some of its inhabitants.
The second dive of the day proved to be a smaller group as the weather had not improved and the waves were too much for the earlier seasickness sufferers. On this dive we headed out once more towards the Manacles and a wreck called the Mohegan, again the skipper dropped the shot line directly onto the boilers which were massive and again covered in marine life with plumose anemones spread like flowers in a garden waving in the current and plenty of fish around taking shelter including Bib Pollack Poor Cod and some nice big Ling.
We talked some of the divers into a third dive of the day a gentle shallow dive in the Helford river estuary and it proved to be a good choice as we saw plenty of critters including large edible crabs hermit crabs with its parasitic anemone some large Dog whelks a few trumpet anemones lots of Scallops some of which were willing to dance for us, a large flat fish which we suspect is a sole but will check in our books, and to top it off two cuttlefish one of which took quite a liking to John waving fingers thinking that maybe it had found a mate.
On surfacing the other divers on the boat are shouting at us to look for the dolphins that are swimming around us but they are just out of sight so we get aboard quickly to check them out they love to play in the wake of the boat and proceed to show off jumping and spinning through figure of eight waves as we spin round creating circles for them and enjoy the spectacle of their acrobatics, what a fantastic end to a great days diving.
Sunday and the weather is being kind the swell from yesterday is gone and the sea is flat so all divers look set for a good day. The first dive is a reef dive called Chahalis by Black Rock just off the coast from Covarack loads of starfish and dragonets darting about and several species of gobies including black and leopard spotted varieties. A nice dive and plenty to see if you investigate the nooks and crannies and search between the kelp.
Our second dive is on the pinnacles of the manacles which we treated as a wall dive due to the current it is covered in jewel anemones squirts and sponges and is teeming with fish including Rock Cooks, Ballan Wrasse, Cuckoo Wrasse and Goldsinny’s.
We are watching out for the basking sharks as today the sea is calm enough for them and they were spotted yesterday by the ladies of the shore patrol, but we were not lucky this time, oh well I suppose that means that we will have to come back again for another weekend, maybe next year.