The Andola was a 2045 ton, 84m long fully rigged sailing ship. It hit the Manacles Reef on 31/01/1895 in bad weather. Now well broken and lying quite flat it is an easy shallow dive, at a maximum depth of around 8-9m.
The Helford Pool is a natural pool in the Helford river where it narrows between Helford village and the Helford Passage. It is best dived just after high water on a spring tide. This increases the chance of better visibility and creates an exhilarating drift dive, out of the pool and into the estuary. Starting the dive at the west end of the pit, the drift will slowly take you to the east end where it will force you out into the shallows, past Maerl beds, and, depending on whether you swim north, east or south, you’ll end up in the Bone Yard, the Voluntary Marine Conservation Area or the Oyster Farm.
Over the years, lots of bits and pieces have ended up in the pool. Bottles of all ages are very common.
St Just Pool refers to an area within the Carrick Roads, it’s where the deep river channel turns from south to west causing a deep pool. Although we wouldn’t class it as one of our better dive sites, it is in an extremely sheltered area. With depths ranging from 4m to 30m, it is a ‘fall back’ dive site for when the sea is too rough to venture out. It usually has some interesting life including Thornback Rays, Hermit Crabs and Variegated Scallops. Rumour has it that there is some remains of a Sunderland Flying Boat in there somewhere, although we’ve never seen it, yet.
Kat’s Wall is a small area within St Just Pool that is covered in marine life. The dive starts at between 15-18m, the top of the wall is around 20m, the bottom at 25. The quantity of marine life is amazing.
Falmouth has a wide range of dives sites in all depths. Here is a list of our local dive sites between 12-18m deep.
- East Narrows Wall
- Stanwood Wreck
- St Just Pool
- Hera Wreck
- Rock Island Bridge Wreck (HW)
- Volnay Wreck (LW)
- Bizzies Reef
- Old Wall Reef
- Manacles Reef
- Lady Dalhousie Wreck
- Helford Pool and Drift Dive
Trefusis Head is a very shallow reef within the Carrick Roads. Over the years several ships have come to grief there. The Queen dates back to Wellington’s battles with the French in the early 1800’s. It was carrying women, children and wounded soldiers when it came into Falmouth for shelter in 1814. The cables parted in a south easterly gale and it crashed onto the rocks. There is little left but every now and then a button or something small is found on the rocks. It is actually the site of the largest loss of human life at sea in Cornwall. read more →
Newporth Head is a shallow reef and gully system near Stack Point. Records state that the boat the Squirel came ashore there, we have found no evidence of this but it is a nice easy light and bright dive.
Falmouth has a wide range of dives sites in all depths. Here is a list of our local dive sites less than 12m deep.
- Trefusis Head, HMS Torrid & The Queen
- East Narrows Maerl Beds
- Fraggle Rock and Fraggle Cave (swim through)
- Pendennis U-boats
- Seal Caves
- Ponus wreck
- Shore's Rock
- Newporth Head
- Ben Asdale wreck
- Andromeda wreck
- Helford River Voluntary Special Area of Conservation
- Rock Island Brdige wreck
- Bay of Panama wreck
- Andola wreck
- Gull Rock and Caves
Dives 4,6 and 9 can be done as shore dives, they are much easier by boat though.
There are many pinnacles on the Manacles that have areas within this range, I haven't included them as the best bits are below 15m.
Shore’s Rock is a small rock island with many long sand bottomed gullies around it. Two underwater stacks break the surface at low water and are impressive under the surface. Some of the gullies are lined with jewel anemones. There’s even some unidentified wreckage on site.
Maximum depth is around 8m, dive able at any state of the tide.
Fraggle Rock, so called because it was in view in the opening sequence of the program of the same name, is a shallow reef dive with a swim through cave running through it.The cave isn’t deep or long, with an exit part way, it is suitable for all levels. Amazing topography with large undercuts, a long gully with some wreck remains and some wildlife inside the cave, not usually found so shallow. read more →
Killigerran Head is a shallow reef dive with deep gullies and a pebble sea bed. Usually covered in fish life there is a lot to see, the shallow depth and bright pebble sea bed make it a very bright site to dive which can give some exceptional visibility.