Club Dive Trip – Cornwall – May 2023
Joe organised a club trip to Cornwall in May of this year during the school half term. We specifically picked this time so that club members with families could enjoy some diving and also spend time with their families. Five club members travelled with their families and the format seemed to work very well.
We planned to dive out of Porthkerris, which is on the east side of the Lizard peninsular, using the club RIBs and has some great diving. However, the pesky winds conspired against us and blew strongly and incessantly from the east all week, making Porthkerris undiveable. Fortunately, Joe had a backup plan and that was to launch from Mullion Cove on the sheltered west of the Lizard and dive there. We’ve not launched from Mullion Cove before but it proved to be fine (if a bit of a bumpy slipway) – the locals were very friendly and there was a loo and café too. There is reasonable car parking but it was back a bit from the beach about 300m (although we could drop our kit at the slipway).
We took both club RIBs. We dived every day and we completed 101 dives. We had a maximum of 13 club members diving at any one time and four club members experienced their first UK sea dives. The diving was on rocky reefs in 10 to 25m of water and there was little current at most sites. We had about 7 to 10m viz and most of our boat rides were just a few minutes from the cove. There are some wrecks locally, some of which are historic wrecks, but they are very broken up and quite shallow. We didn’t dive any wrecks during the week, partially because of the swell. The reefs are pretty with lots of squishy life but surprisingly few lobsters and crabs. There were lots of fish and we caught a few pollock and mackerel for our dinner. It was nice to see a few crayfish about as these disappeared in the 1980s due to overfishing and are just starting to return. We recovered a couple of lobster pots for the local fishermen which went down well.
Most of us stayed in a caravan site near Kennack Sands. This proved to be ideal as there was a compressor on site and we managed to get our bottles filled here most days. Porthkerris also has a compressor.
I think everyone had a great time, including the families. We did lots of diving. Our novice divers gained a lot of experience and did really well. We took some of the kids out fishing and for a bomb in the boats which they thoroughly enjoyed. We enjoyed some great food including a quirky but lovely Thai (at the Jumunjy restaurant) , some fresh pollock and a very tasty lobster.
My thanks to Joe for doing most of the organising and dealing with the rearrangements due to the easterly winds and to Joe and Rick for towing the boats. Everyone helped with cylinder filling, cooking meals, launching the boats, etc which made it a real pleasure to organise the diving.
Cornwall is a great place to go diving and I’m sure we will return in the not-too-distant future.