Lundy and English Water’s Diving

English waters, you may think, hey you’re an Island Nation diving there must be a breeze, pop down to the coast, jump in the water …. oh I wish it were so simple!

I live about an hour and a half away from coastal waters worth diving in anyway, not too bad, durdle_door2_400x301and there are some quite nice shore dive sites, that if aren’t very challenging, are quite pretty.  Actually the water may not be that challenging but gettingDurdle to it often is! Durdle Door, in Dorset, looks pretty doesn’t it, on the right is where we come out of the water, but to get in the water we have to carry all our kit, tank, weights, wearing wet suit (or dry suit) about 30Kgs worth, from the top of the cliffs, down the path and steps, shown in the middle of the pic on the left! For the dive we follow the cliffs, out and round to the left of the pic, follow the cliffs round till you come to the “Door”. Then have to carry kit back up a similar cliffs. The good thing about that particular dive is, we were with 10 policemen, I was teaching 2 of them, not all divers, and they carried our kit up

Lundy Isles, N Cornwall
Lundy Isles, N Cornwall

the cliff for us! (me and my diving buddy, Mim, who also works for the Essex Police)

So Our diving weekend to Lundy to dive with seals was eagerly awaited, easy diving from a boat! Lundy is about 40 mins out from Ilfracombe, where we were staying, all the kit is loaded on ……. no walking is involved!

(Glossing over the  part where we had to get the kit down 4 fligThe trip homehts of stairs and on to the boat and not a policeman in sight!)

In September, the water is still fairly warm about 15* C but weather often cool, so it’s dry suit diving.

A dry suit as explained before keeps you warm, by keeping you dry, I wear un undersuit, a bit like a duvet, but you have to be able to put air in the suit too, even at 10 mtrs, you get suit squeeze, the air in the suit is compressed, and pinches, guys know about this better than women, the pinch can cause, erm ….. a “certain area”, a huge amount of discomfort, as the suit compresses around it. The FIRST thing a guy will do when he gets out of the water is to let air in the suit, and errrr …. shift “his bits” all around.[1]

Anyway I digress.Me, insane English Diver! Time for pretty pictures

Sea Anemone, or soft coral, actually this pics was taken on a wreck one of the first dives, at only about 10-12mtrs, very pretty shame it was closed! [2]

 Soft anemone, asleep, I think!




Me, Kitted out and not letting in any cold water! Dry suits do have bad habit of leaking for no apparent reason. But mines a good one and has only leaked on me once and that was my fault, I caught my bracelet in the wrist seal! I kept wondering why my arm felt funny, till I lifted it up, and whole armful of freezing cold water, poured into the rest of the suit!! lobster3

More pretty pictures[3]

Isn’t a Lobster pretty when it hasn’t been cooked![4] You have to be really careful, not to get your fingers close to these blighters, this one was pretty big, my hand, just about covered the claw area!

Jewel Anemone


Jewel Anemone, these are really like Chrystal tips, the flash on the camera makes them sparkle!






Sea Urchin also pretty at this point in it’s life …. dead that is! Alive their spines are a bugger if you stand on them, hard to get the tip out, and the wound will generally get infected! However, if you put them on a (gloved) hand you can watch the spines move, as it “walks”


And finally the whole reason we were there, drove 300 odd miles, each way, spent huge amounts of money, drank a couple of pubs out of Magnum, (and wine, and Stella) had a lot of laughs, learnt a few new things in and out of the water, [5] Got up at 7am, got sunburnt and cold at the same time …………



One of 2 seen under water on 6 dives![6]

[1]Air in a drysuit underwater gets compressed, it’s called squeeze, for that reason we have a HP hose connected to it from our cylinders, to pump air in as we go deeper, I’ve seen the results of a man diving without doing this (borrowed connector wouldn’t fit) his whole body looked like a roadmap made from bruises. If you think about what might happen to a man’s nuts under these conditions  ….. it’s enough to make your eyes water!

[2]The English Channel has some of the best wrecks in the world, with literally hundreds along the south coast!

[3] I have published some of these photos before. Didn’t know then, that I was going to blog English Diving!

[4] I can’t guarantee this one wasn’t later cooked, the captain was quite partial to lobster!

[5]There was 10 of us, 7 guys 3 girls, all very experienced divers, and a couple of what I’d call “extreme divers” that is they do 100 – 125mtr deep wreck dives, with mixed gases, long accelerated decompression, and REALLY know their stuff, it’s good to learn from these guys, they don’t look down on you, are ALWAYS willing to help and advise. I’m an instructor but when I stop learning, I stop being a good diver!

[6]The seals were there but it was such lovely warm, weather, after a long bout of cold, they were all sunbathing on the rocks!

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13 Responses to Lundy and English Water’s Diving

  1. Jen says:

    Oh Mand. You\’re definitely in your element here. Beautiful pictures. That rock in the second picture doesn\’t half look like it could be a dinosaur! It\’s so good coming here to read stuff like this. I\’m feeling a bit soppy anyway at the moment so this is a real kick. Thank you.

  2. Douglas says:

    Nie article, Mandy…

  3. Tom says:

    Beautiful, but in my head it still seems cold.

  4. Happy says:

    Oh yummy endnotes 🙂 Thank you for this post. I thought it would be just a trip to the beach…heeheehee. Given description of descent of cliffs I would have been up at the car reading a thick book of endnotes. Thank you so much for info about underwater adventures (& discomforts) which I have never been brave enough to try. Thank you also for the pictures of a world I have never seen. I really enjoyed this evening read. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm Mandy ~ Happy

  5. Robin says:

    Really great blog Mandy !! Love the photo\’s, Durdle Door is pretty , and I love the seal. At least you don\’t have to worry about shifting your bit\’s LOL… Very informative and very interesting, thank\’s for sharing.Take care,Robin

  6. Mandy says:

    @Jen, Thanks Jen, I read your good news and I\’m happy that you\’re Happy!

  7. Mandy says:

    @Doug ……….. are you feeling ok today, that\’s the shortest comment I\’ve ever seen you leave! but thankyou anyway

  8. Mandy says:

    @Tom ……….. It is cold! ……… I much prefer diving somewhere warm! but the buzz I get from a good dive makes up for the slight discomfort!

  9. Mandy says:

    @Happy …….. end notes, thank you for the idea, nicked directly from you, (embarrassed smiley) I used to do "footnotes" before but your style of end notes makes it clearer, what I\’m referring to!Glad you liked the blog Happy …… I\’m happy you\’re happy, Happy! 😉

  10. Mandy says:

    @Robin …. The Devon and Cornish coast is really lovely! we were camped right at the top, of those cliffs and view was spectacular! It\’s quite funny watching them rearrange, and the look of relief on their faces when the pressure\’s off! LOL

  11. Jen says:

    I think Happy has started a trend: (You should have put a copyright on it, Happy!) Endnotes. What a great idea;-)

  12. Ray says:

    Great blog Mandy, very interesting. I can imagine about the dry suit thing, and yes my eyes are watering. :0

  13. Zeynep says:

    I like the seal picture… Thanks for stopping by and sharing your expeiment. I think you both were looking at the same point. Love and peace, Zeynep xx

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