Falmouth's
Reef Dives

A simple guide to Falmouth's Reef Dives
Mark Milburn
April, 2014

Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !1Mark ...
Reef / Non Wreck Dives
Endless choices
Falmouth has a lot of non wreck dives worth doing, even without
including the Manac...
The East Narrows is a popular dive, mainly because it is so close to
Falmouth and dive-able in an easterly wind. The dive ...
Next on the way out of Falmouth is Fraggle Rock. Named so by locals,
after it was used in the opening sequence of Jim Hens...
have some stunning visibility. Another 8m dive, if you wander off you
may get 10m.
A few miles further east and we reach G...
Where Gerrans Bay meets Falmouth Bay, at the west end of the Bizzies
reef is the Old Wall. The Old Wall is a slowly shelvi...
The Helford river has a few non wreck dive options. Most of the river is
a voluntary special area of conservation, mainly ...
Scallops are found around the river bed, but, the river is a private
fishery, technically any scallops removed is classed a...
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Falmouth's reef dives

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A simple guide to some of the reef dives around Falmouth. Falmouth's Reef Dives, Cornwall by Mark Milburn, Atlantic Scuba.

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Falmouth's reef dives

  1. 1. Falmouth's Reef Dives A simple guide to Falmouth's Reef Dives Mark Milburn April, 2014
 Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !1Mark Milburn
  2. 2. Reef / Non Wreck Dives Endless choices Falmouth has a lot of non wreck dives worth doing, even without including the Manacles. The Manacles has it's own guide, as it is a big area with many sites to dive. In this simple guide we'll be looking at dive sites around Falmouth, that are not wreck based. From shallow caves to sites where you can find cannon balls fired from a local castle, Falmouth has a lot to offer. We will include Gerrans Bay as well as Falmouth Bay, as it is so close to Falmouth itself. Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !2Mark Milburn
  3. 3. The East Narrows is a popular dive, mainly because it is so close to Falmouth and dive-able in an easterly wind. The dive normally starts on top of the bank, between 6-15m. Most will then descend down the slope to the bottom of the channel, a maximum depth of 38m at high water on spring tides. For a hundred metres or so there is a wall dive from 15-33m, with lots of life tucked into the nooks and crannies. Sandy slopes can take you down, along the wall and back up again. The dive is best finished in the shallows to the east, on the Maerl beds, not only is it best but required by the harbour authority. The Maerl beds are full of small critters like squat lobsters and prawns, at night a hundred eyes stare back at you from within the Maerl. Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !3Mark Milburn
  4. 4. Next on the way out of Falmouth is Fraggle Rock. Named so by locals, after it was used in the opening sequence of Jim Henson's program. The area is shallow but quite full of life. There is also a tunnel cave through Fraggle Rock, about 25m long, with an exit in the ceiling half way through. Behind the cave is a shallow gully with some nice overhangs and a small arch. Maximum depth around the area is around 8m. Out to the left, eastwards, the first site of interest is the Seal Caves. A couple of shallow caves, where a few seals are known to hang out at high tide, we see them there more often than not. Maximum depth is around 8m. A little further we have Shore's Rock, a small rock island with some very nice gullies. A perfect place for a chilled out relaxing dive, or ambient light photography. Maximum depth again, is about 8m. Next we have Killigerran Head, another shallow reef with some interesting topography. A gully close to the land has been known to Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !4Mark Milburn
  5. 5. have some stunning visibility. Another 8m dive, if you wander off you may get 10m. A few miles further east and we reach Gull Rock and the Whelps Reef. The Whelps is a row of rock pinnacles, gradually disappearing off deeper as you go south. Covered in jewel anemones and dead mans fingers, it is a very scenic dive with a maximum depth of around 30m. On the way back from Gerrans Bay, we come across the Bizzies reef. The inner Bizzies is a pair of very shallow pinnacles, just a few metres deep, the outer Bizzies is at the edge of the reef at around 36m. Covered in dead mans fingers as well as red fingers, combined the Bizzies are an impressive huge sprawling reef. Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !5Mark Milburn
  6. 6. Where Gerrans Bay meets Falmouth Bay, at the west end of the Bizzies reef is the Old Wall. The Old Wall is a slowly shelving pinnacle, best described as more like a small hill. Around the Old Wall the depth is between 30-36m on most sides except the north side where it reaches about 17m. The top of the old wall is around 12m at low water. Falmouth Bay's seabed is mainly flat and sandy, there are few rocky outcrops, the ones that are there, are not too exciting, except the Wrigglers. The Wrigglers are two pinnacles that stand up nearly 20m from the 44m seabed, although most divers prefer to dive deep wrecks, these deep pinnacles are worth diving. The other areas that are of interest are the cannon ball site and the Helford river. The cannon ball site is a area just over a mile south of Pendennis Castle. Believed to be the approximate location of a floating target, hundreds of cannon balls have been found over the years, there's still plenty left. The area is quite unique for marine life, millions of brittle starfish cover the sea bed like a quilt in places, there's also plenty of other little critters. Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !6Mark Milburn
  7. 7. The Helford river has a few non wreck dive options. Most of the river is a voluntary special area of conservation, mainly for the sea grass beds. The sea grass stretches from just west of Durgan beach, to the east of Grebe beach, on the north side of the river. Most of the sea grass is in less than 5m of water. The river bed itself is a mixture of coarse sand, shells and stones, almost in bands lying east west along the river. Home to a wide range of life that you don't get on the local reefs, Thornback rays and dogfish are common. Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !7Mark Milburn
  8. 8. Scallops are found around the river bed, but, the river is a private fishery, technically any scallops removed is classed as theft. Another option is the Helford pool, an 18m deep pit that seems to have collected bottles and other things over the years. Dived just after high water it makes a pleasant drift dive, finishing up in the shallows of the river, at around 5-6m. The last site in this guide is Pencra reef. Not the most exciting of places but in the shallows is Tol Peg, a shallow rock formation that almost looks like an old quay side. Three square sides covered in jewel anemones, it's pleasant enough, especially if you like the squidgy stuff. Sponsored by Falmouth Reef Dives, Page !8Mark Milburn

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