Primarily focused on UK scuba diving, I feature articles and personal dive logs from home and abroad.
Plan the Dive - Dive the Wreck - Wreck the Plan.
Scuba Diving UK
Just Google the search phrase “best scuba diving locations” and your result will include various travel agencies and magazines wishing to whisk you away to distant lands where oceans are blue and waters are warm. Australia, Micronesia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Galapagos, the Caribbean and the Red Sea to name a few. Indeed, these locations have a lot to offer and my Truk Lagoon trip has fond memories, but you do not have to travel to distant shores to find a plethora of dive sites here in the UK. Granted the water is colder, darker, less visibility and a drysuit is a must, but there’s an abundance of sea life in British coastal waters and for the addicted wreck diver, where else in the world has the most concentration of shipwrecks from war and natural disaster?
UK Wreck Diving
Two world wars together with many centuries as an ocean going nation, have ensured a plentiful supply of wreck diving opportunities for UK wreck divers. There are an estimated 500,000 wrecks around the UK coast and some dating back almost 2,000 years. The First World War and the U-Boat activity that played a massive role in it, providing many wrecks for divers to research and explore. Some have become regular favourites of divers, others have yet to be discovered. The English Channel offers a large number of unknown and unexplored wrecks that keep UK divers occupied throughout the summer months. However, weather conditions and cooler water temperatures may dilute the the desires of some divers, mandating a typical diving season between April and October each year. Sea temperatures range from between 8degC the winter and 20degC in the summer. The more interesting and unexplored wrecks tend to be found in or close to the two shipping lanes in the middle of the channel. Here, depths range from about 40 meters in the east to in excess of 100 meters in the west. These tend to be challenging dives. However, the unknown wrecks that can be found compensate for the additional planning and logistics required. A most memorable dive to me was HMS Flirt, a Palmer three funnel, 30 knot destroyer sitting upright at some 40 metres at position 51 09′ 25.4″N, 001 43′ 22.6″E. Having found the Waveney II on fire, Flirt sent a boat to assist was fired upon by the Germans. The only survivors were those dispatched to aid Waveney II.