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PLACES TO DIVE UK COASTAL DIVES

Portland
Like an old friend, Portland Harbour is always there for you turn to when you want to have some fun, try something new or just relax and take things easy. Ian Legge reports -

If I could build the perfect dive site, it would include scenic drifts, wrecks of various sizes, abundant sea life, shallow areas, but also access to deep-water sites and have plenty of shops to pick up those small items you really need. Thankfully, someone got in before me and created Portland Harbour......read more

 
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Steven Watson
posted : September 26, 2006

Crowdedant; Sorry, the hotel across from the Aqua is indeed the Breakwater and not the Bridgewater; got a little mixed up on that one. The dives where with Dive Dorset; located on the public car park and quay next to the Aqua Hotel. I was there again last weekend (September 23 &24). The diving was a little better this time with vis inside the harbour around 4m, outside the harbour on a drift dive at 26m it was about 3m. The boat skipper was excellent this time; he gave a choice of sites on each of the four trips. Many thanks for your recommendations, I have other plans for the rest of this year but will give consideration to advice next year.

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Crowdedant
posted : September 26, 2006

Steve. May I ask who you done the dives with? I have dived with Fathom and Blues loads of times and always found them to be excellent. I recomend the Breakwater Hotel across from Aqua. Rooms are good and the price includes a pretty good breakfast. I agree that the Countess is one of the better wrecks to see there and know what you mean about the vis. It is usually better that you described but not always. I would also recomend the reef in Balaclava Bay as a good dive. Plenty to see there as well including another wreck!

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Steven Watson
posted : September 05, 2006

Spent Friday through to Sunday at the Aqua Hotel in early August with a group from my local club. Basic but clean Bunk House accommodation, friendly staff, but, breakfast service and food was appalling; we ate at the Bridgewater Hotel across the road for most of our meals. We had two off boat dives on the Saturday; a drift dive in Castle Ope Cove and a wreck dive on the Dredger. The visibility was 2m down to almost zero in places, but managed to see an enormous crab the size of a dinner plate. The boat skipper insisted upon SMBs throughout both dives, with the low vis it was easy to get entangled in one of the other groupís line. I think he could have been more tolerant and tracked the dive from the surface bubbles and only requested SMBs on ascent. Spent the evening in Weymouth pub crawling (not too much alcohol though) and finished off with a bag of fish & chips. Two more dives on Sunday; first wreck dive on the Landing Craft, uneventful due to poor vis. Second wreck dive to the Countess of Erne; excellent! Vis variable but lots to see, without doubt the best dive of the weekend. The boat skipper wasnít very helpful again; some of us had to surface swim a good hundred yards back to the boat. One thing I did find very helpful though was the rear diver lift. Back to quayside pack away the gear to face the four hour journey back home. Overall despite a few grumbles it was a very good weekend. Many thanks to dive buddies Jules & Steve.

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