Description: This area is not actually part of the head but does warrant a mention. A dive is possible here on any tidal state. The maximum depth is 12m. Descending close to the rock face it is quite shallow, with a lot of gullies which make for an interesting dive. There are normally a number of seals around which keep a cautious distance. The rock formations give way, at 10m, to a flat sandy bottom. Numerous fish are to be found including wrasse, dogfish, pollack and flatfish, with the usual assortment of crabs, lobsters and other shellfish. Diving here is interesting and very safe, ideal for the novice.
Description: A dive here before mid-day can be as spectacular as a west coast dive. The high cliffs around the site are home for many nesting birds, which makes an interesting day out for the non-divers. A cave which runs through the rock for 15m normally has a few seals in residence. Remember if entering a cave, never block the exit, always swim close to the wall, and in single file.
Enter the water close to the “Landing Steps” and head out to sea along the reef. The kelp bed ends at 10m and the bottom continues to 15m. Alternatively, go through the cave and return back into the pond by rounding the point. There is an abundance of fish and fauna. The Pond is noted for the number of shellfish which can be seen.
Never dive at this spot when the tide is running south because the cave acts like a funnel with everything being sucked in and spat out the other side with quite spectacular results. Then dived in the right condition it is highly recommended.
Description: Known as the Gull Rock because of the number of nesting seagulls, it’s maximum depth is 10m. It opens into a sheltered bay area with a flat sandy bottom, a good area for a first dive. The further out to sea the greater the effect of the tidal current. Normally there are a lot of dogfish and sand dabs. This is also a good area for snorkel diving.
Description: Named Carraigwee because of the lichens which give the rocks a yellow colour, this is the deepest point at the head, with 20m high tide. Descend at the rock face and proceed along the bottom keeping the reef on your left side. Underwater, the reef heads almost due south, the further out the greater the tidal effect.
This is a very good dive with the reef being home for many creatures including large conger eels. It is again important to note diving in Carraigwee should only be undertaken when the tide is running south.
One possibility which is not discussed above is a drift dive around the head. This should only be attempted 2 hours either side of slack water and when weather conditions are ideal. It is also not suitable for novice divers. SMBs will be invaluable help to the coxswain. The drift dive can be an exhilarating experience and requires little effort. The bottom rises and falls as you’re being swept along with each glance revealing something new. The bottom has been swept clean of weed but does have an array of shellfish including mussels, whelk and winkles.