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Falmouth Diving

Scuba diving > UK diving > England > Cornwall > Falmouth diving
Falmouth dive guide
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The Falmouth Bay in Cornwall has excellent diving and is a sheltered location. Falmouth diving offers great wreck and shore diving. It has natural reefs and the Gulf Stream warms its waters. Encounters with seals, dolphins, basking sharks and pilot whales are common here. The aquatic life is abundant and the availability of both shallow and deeper dive sites give a great opportunity to both novices and advanced divers to get the most satisfaction out of the dives.

Air temperature during the year 4C - 22C (39 - 71F) Visibility often averaging 6-10 metres (20 - 33 feet) Coldest time: November to April Warmest time: June to August. Possible to dive all year round Best time to dive July to October

Gyllyngvase Beach is a nice beach with good facilities, great snorkelling and some wreckage. It's ideal for families. Located west of Castle beach it offers good shallow diving just off the beach.
The scenic and wreck diving here is good
and the marine life abundant. Further out divers can get to the Ponus, the wreckage of an oil tanker that went down in 1916.

Castle Beach has some good shore diving and snorkeling.
The best time to dive
is at high tide. On reaching Castle Beach look for the ramp. About 50 metres (164 feet) west of the ramp there's a break in the rocks which gives the best access. You can the follow one of the shallow breaks in the rock that will bring you to a sandy bottom with islands of rock. Some of the marine life here includes dogfish, cuttlefish and plaice. On the eastern side of this site you may find remains of a WW1 U-Boat. Although there's very little left of this wreckage it still makes an interesting dive spot and at low waters snorkelling is possible but make sure not to get caught in the high waters.

Swanpool Beach offers good shallow shore diving with the depth going to about 7 metres (23 feet) which makes it ideal for snorkeling. The beach is shallow and sandy, just follow the reefs, either to the left or right.

Pendennis Point can be accessed from the east or west end. It has lots of marine life but in summer can be a little kelpy. There are rocks and kelp and lots of nooks. Beware though, access can be difficult with rocks to scramble over and climbing out on steep rock. Also, there's a lot of boat traffic here so special attention must be paid. Divers are advised to use an smb and keep to one side or the other.

Silver Steps is the most popular location for shore diving in the Falmouth area. Access is easy and there's a good variety of marine life. This site has steel steps that lead to the access beach which explains it's name. This is a very easy dive suitable for training and for novices and the marine life includes cuttlefish and occasionally seen are sea horses. The remains of some German U-boats can also be seen here.

The Volnay is the wreck of a steamship that went down while transporting ammunition and luxury goods. During the dive you can spot wooden packing case material and lead balls. The marine life around this wreck include the cuckoo wrasse and sea urchins.

The SS Mohegan went down in 1898 and a lot of people perished in the accident. The depth of this wreck is estimated between 15 and 28 metres (49 and 91 feet). Brightly colored plumrose and jewel anemones are present here.

The SS Stanwood is the wreckage of a steamship that went down in 1939 when her cargo of coal caught fire. She lies on the North Bank slope in Carrick Roads. Despite the heavy salvaging operations that took place you can still see lumps of coal and large sections of the wreckage. There are large schools of fish on this site, plumrose anemones and congers.

The Hera went down in 1914. She was a German barque that was going from Chile to Falmouth with a cargo of nitrates. She is a beautiful wreck and lies at a shallow depth of about 18 metres (59 feet). Big sections of the hull and the masts are still intact. Encounters with the ballan wrasse and large pollock are common on this site. You may also see jewel, dahlia and plumrose anemones. A worthwhile dive.

The U-Boats were allocated to the Falmouth fo gunnery exercises when the WW1 ended. They were moored off Gyllngvase Beach and a November storm once struck breaking their moorings and driving them onto the rocks. They now lie at a depth of about 9 metres (29 feet) and you can explore different sections including a solitary boiler.

The Ponus is a 5077 ton tanker that sunk in November 1916 on Gyllyngvase Reef while transporting oil. She caught fire and then burned for 3 days. Large wrasse hang around the wreck and the reef has gullies which have lots of pollock and cuttlefish.

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