The Isles of Scilly offer some of the best scenic diving in the
U.K. They consist of over 150 islands and rocky islets of which
only 5 are inhabited. The islands cover about 10 miles by 6 miles
and, as a general rule, have deep water (60m+) outside and shallow
inside. Diving around the islands is a mixture of reef and wrecks
in usually excellent visibility, with sheltered opportunities
in almost all wind directions. A variety of canyons, stepped
reefs and sheer walls are home to a colourful variety of abundant
marine life from Jewel Anemones to Fan Corals and Sponges. A
long history of shipwrecks in the islands has provided a wide variety
of wreck diving ranging from the mid-1600's to more recent years,
from wooden sailing ships to steel ships.
The reefs range from areas of steep-sided canyons to sheer 50m
walls or stepped reefs (where it is easy for all grades of diver
to pick their depth). Many of the reefs are in places where the
tide can run strong, creating very rich areas of marine life. Walls
of Jewel Anemones, Fan Corals, Ross Coral, Dead Man's Fingers,
Plumose Anemones, Sponges and much more. All create a landscape
that differs from reef to reef but is always full of colour and,
in the usual good visibility, a sight not to be missed.
There is also the chance to dive with the Grey Seals: the chance
to see these wild animals and at times play with them is a superb
This footage is taken from a dive on Peter's Rock.
The Isles of Scilly has a long 'association' with shipwrecks.
Many of these wrecks are of older wooden sailing ships; although
the ship's structure has rotted long ago in most cases, there are
still many artefacts to see including cannon balls, shot, anchors
and the ships' fixtures and fittings. There are also many steel
wrecks that have many identifiable areas, although the winter storms
have caused some of the shallower ones to break up. A lot of the
wrecks have growths of colourful marine life.
(Please note that the modern wrecks were salvaged in the past and
it is therefore very unlikely that you will find trophies!)
Moonshadow and Morvoren are equipped with VHF, Sounder, Radar and
DGPS. The vessels are licensed and the crew have MCA and local
licenses. The skippers are both BSAC Advanced Instructors.
Onboard equipment includes: O2 Admin, large first aid kit, mobile
phone. A cooker to make hot drinks (supplied) between dives. Weights
and a set of equipment for emergency loan are kept on board. Some
equipment is for sale.
The day's departure times are flexible and the skipper will decide
these depending on when you can get the best dive, taking into
account weather and tides. On a day we leave early it is often
possible to drop the party on another island. Shelter can be found
in the islands in most weathers. In the rare occurrence of such
poor conditions that a good safe site is not available we will
cancel the day's trip.
We use over 155 top sites, all of which we have dived ourselves.
This means we can brief, on arrival at site, on: depths, tides,
where to go and what to see (in great detail on most wrecks), best
direction for marine life on reefs, and safety and advice about
the dive, the conditions, and entry / exit from the water.
Our compressors are triple filtered and use oils compatible with
O2 cleaned cylinders. Nitrox is not available on the islands due
to transport fees that would result in very high fill charges.
The hardboat bookings are usually for 6 days, Sunday to Friday.
The prices quoted are for 2 dives a day. Hot drinks are supplied
Morvoren Charters, prices for 2016 (excluding modest air costs) are:
groups of 9-10, £337 for groups of 7-8. Please note that we are unable to supply second cylinders.
Moonshadow Charters, prices for 2016:
£220 per person for 6 days diving for 9-12 divers, excluding air. For groups of 8 or less there is a minimum boat price of £1980 per week. 4 or 5 day weeks considered. Please note that we are unable to provide second cylinders.
Air £4.25 per cylinder, £2.25 for pony cylinders. Please note that Nitrox is not available on the islands.
Hard boat diving charters from St Martin's are offered on Morvoren,
a powerful Offshore 105, by Tim Allsop who has more than 20 years
local diving and boating experience. This charter service provides
access to diving sites throughout the islands.
Tim Allsop is an experienced dive skipper and diving
instructor. A BSAC Advanced Instructor and First Class Diver,
he also has MCA and local licenses to operate Morvoren, a powerful
Offshore 105, in these challenging and rewarding waters. The
skipper has full knowledge of more than 155 Isles of Scilly sites
- as a diver and as a skipper. A great many of these sites, already
classics, were discovered by ScillyDiving and new diving gems
are discovered every year.
The detailed knowledge means that the skipper can be certain
of selecting the best sites in the prevailing conditions, ensuring
a high quality choice for the charter group. This experience
of the reefs, wrecks, tides and sea states also means that
the skipper can brief divers on ways to get the best possible
boat diving charters from St Mary's are offered by Jo Williams
on Moonshadow, a Lochin 33.
Jo Williams is a BSAC Advanced Diver and Advanced Instructor
and has a full local licence. Now in her 12th season on Mooshadow she has over 17 years charter experience
with extensive local knowledge of sites and conditions. Moonshadow
has a very spacious deck with cylinder rack and a large inner cabin.
There is a very easy stride entry and easy climb ladder exit. Onboard
equipment includes VHF, Sounder, Radar, GPS, and O2 kit. There
is also a flushable toilet on board. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are supplied.
Moonshadow Diving now has its own compressor. As a joint venture with David McBride from Tiberon Diving Charters and with funding aid from the 'Local Action Group' we now have a new Bauer compressor installed in our store on the quayside.
We also run a licensed 6.3m / 115hp RIB, fully equipped, for smaller
groups of up to 6. Trips can be arranged on a one dive daily basis
or a 2 dives a day week's charter.
The RIB is staffed by a licensed boatman and Advanced Diver / Instructor
with extensive knowledge of sites and conditions.
To charter the RIB costs £300 per day for 2 dives. Air fills £3.90
per cylinder. Please note that
Nitrox is not available on the islands. We can provide air fills for non charter customers at a cost of £4.90 per cylinder.
A comprehensive brief
will be given at all sites. On board safety equipment includes
Oxygen Administration, first aid kit, VHF Radio, Sounder, GPS
and O2. Hot drinks are supplied.
Because the trips are relatively short (all sites are within
the islands) divers have little time to get cold, and shelter
is easy to find between dives.