Dive Newquay and the North Coast
Surfing and diving don’t really go together, but when the sea is calm there are several dive sites in and around Newquay or up the coast towards Padstow that suit all levels of divers. The towns harbour area and around to the old lifeboat slip are sheltered and easily accessible for those staying in the town itself, you might even be joined by one of the grey seals that often visit..
For those with access to a boat or who want to join a dive school, the coastline, and out to sea, is littered with wrecks of ships attempting to make their way up or down the Bristol Channel or across to South Wales, including some in very deep water.
In March 1897 this 1243 ton German steamship was wrecked just off Newquay in a fierce gale. She was carrying a cargo of coal, much of which still lies on the seabed off Towan Head.
The bow section is still mostly intact, and the two boilers remain standing with the prop shaft still on its mounts, leading back to the iron prop with the rudder lying flat in the sand. Elsewhere there are many other bits of the ship still to be seen.
The wreck lies in 35 m of water and is recommended only for advanced divers.
Although you will see marine life around the wreck, it is the actual wreck and its bow section that draw divers to it.
Two large island lie off of Trevose Head, north of Newquay. They provide a great dive in waters from 15m to 20m deep, and if you stay in behind the islands, are sheltered from south westerly winds. The marine life is better than many of the other sites on the north coast with large brightly coloured dahlia anemones and a wide variety of fish.
On the north eastern side of the islands can be found the wreck of the Runswick, a steamship torpedoed by a German U Boat in April 1918. Most of the wreck is scattered but two boilers can still be seen, one sitting upright on the seabed.
3:Porth Rock Reef
Just off Trevalgue Head at the eastern end of Newquay Bay lies a hidden rock that is ideal for shallow dives and photography. At 15m at the deepest point this is suitable even for novice divers who have some experience of open water.
Gullies and tunnels radiating out from the rock contain a huge variety of marine life including corals and crustaceans. In the summer, spider crabs in their hundreds have been known to congregate here to breed.
Nearby the Milky Rough Reef is a shallow sheltered reef full of exceptionally large star fish up to 2ft across. It is a circular reef surrounded by sand and is another ideal novice dive. There are also several gullies to swim through.