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Scuba diving in the blue lagoon...
Words & Pictures - Mark Deane
A lot of people have similar preconceived ideas that diving in the Britain is dark, dangerous, cold and there is nothing worth seeing anyway. Quite the contrary. Here in Pembrokeshire we have a unique environment - this is the only coastal marine reserve in the UK. There is an abundance of varied and fascinating sea creatures, many small coves and reefs to explore, hundreds of shipwrecks (many still undiscovered) that in turn become home to more species.
As for combating the temperature, it’s actually not as cold as one might think most of the time. We use thicker suits or dry suit systems in any case.
The visibility varies and depends on the location, prevailing winds, swells, run off and plankton blooms. Some of the best visibility to be had is offshore when the wind is low.
Divers that regularily train, participate in diving projects or join diving clubs keep up their pursuit, stay in practice, purchase their own kit and generally get much more out of their diving.
A local shore dive that is accessible pretty much whatever the weather is the “Blue Lagoon” at Aberieddy. This is an old quarry, connected to the sea, but is actually confined water and not affected by the tide too much except on springs. The location is beautiful, the water a deep blue, great cliffs and, on this particular day, we had sunshine and a curious seal to share the lagoon with.
It’s a bit of a trek getting up the path with all the gear, but well worth it, diving is the sport you want to keep in shape for !
The visibility is usually about 4 meters, not brilliant but adequate. The sunlight dancing off the walls covered in; limpets, “Dead Man’s Fingers” (a soft coral) and anemones. We see spider crabs, blennies, edible crabs and some gorgeous golden brown swaying kelp.
On the far side of the lagoon you can see some of the old structures of the quarry - kind of spooky in the half-light. It usually takes about 20 minutes to circumnavigate the lagoon. It is best to stay at about 14 meters as if you go deeper there is a layer of silt that the sunlight does not penetrate and it gets quite dark, also the water down there is quite foul !