By Tom Ingram

By Tom Ingram

11th May 2021

After some dive trip cancellations, we scrambled for an Early season Porthkerris trip to keep up the spirits!


The weekend before, the signs were for a great with 10 metres of visibility as reported on the Manacles! During that week the weather forecast for our weekend wasn’t looking good with a strengthening wind from the south/south-west. I know from experience that this doesn’t mean the usual trip cancellation as the geography at Porthkerris allows for diving at certain sites during strong south-westerly/westerly winds.


Friday was the calm before the storm and after a fantastic shore dive on Dawana Rocks in 8 metres of viz at 8 am in brilliant sunshine with Pete Eastland, our spirits were lifted and the past few months of lockdown quickly washed away! There was a great variety of life already showing up even this early in the season!


During the day we dived twice more on the shore dive and were joined in the afternoon by Tom and Mandy Bryer, keen to join in the fun!


Overnight the storm was upon us but we went to bed very hopefully of ropes off at 11 am to still go ahead!


Morning arrived and as hoped it was all systems go as the high cliffs created the protection we needed for a safe day of diving even in 50mph winds! We played even safer by deciding to dive the wreck of the Vonlay and then the Helford River in the afternoon. Viz on the vonlay a very respectable 4-5 metres and the river about 3!


Mandy had a first with finding a fantastic sea hare! While me, Pete and Liz found some amazing critters of our own!


Sunday improved enough for Dave the skipper to take us for a fabulous dive on Pancra Head (horseshoe reef) on the Manacles. Again 4-5 metres of viz even in the previous day’s winds!


After refuelling our tummies at the on-site cafe, we headed out again. This time without the girls (no I don’t mean Tom Bryer) to dive the Vase reef on the outer Manacles reef! A stunning cake shaped pinnacle dropping to 40+ metres and covered in stunning jewel anemones and dramatic drop-offs. Still, a bit choppy top side as we jumped in as it is a little further on this site, but more than safe enough under the circumstances! It turned out to be a fantastic dive with the “three amigos” as the girls called us!


An awesome note to finish the trip on!


Evening meals were take away from the Five Pilchards at the next bay around at Porthallo. Very nice too!