Seven divers from Putney SAC headed down to Cornwall at the start of September, for what is becoming an annual long weekend towards the end of the dive season. The destination this time: Porthkerris Divers, a well-known operation sat almost on top of the Manacles, an incredible reef system near the southernmost point of the country.
The weather promised a lot for this trip – beautiful sunny skies and calm winds. We got a lot of rain. But that didn’t stop us diving! Not only did we get our two scheduled dives a day in, but we even managed to get out for a couple of shore dives in the area.
And the diving is pretty spectacular. The Manacles are full of pinnacles teeming with life, both stationary and mobile. Unlike other places around the south coast, everything here either seems to be really big – huge spider and edible crabs, massive seafans, some really fat cuttlefish – or really small. I’ve never seen so many baby fish around…and a little baby jellyfish!
One of the best dives we did was in the Helford River, just north of Porthkerris. It’s a flat seabed with not much to recommend it…except for the spider crabs, hermit crabs, more cuttlefish than you can shake a dive knife at, scallops…and thornback rays. Need I go on? At a maximum depth of 8m it’s a nice long dive.
The Porthkerris Divers outfit is a great one too. We were on the shuttle Celtic Kitten skippered by Dave, who has an excellent knowledge of the area. and the best bit about being on a shuttle? In between dives we came back to shore for diver fuel at the cafe. Cheesy chips anyone?
Despite the weather it was another successful trip for Putney SAC. So what’s next??