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If you are diving Chesil Beach then you can expect a very pleasant dive spoilt by a hike over a shale mountain.  There are two sites I have dived off the beach The Royal Adelaide and a Landing Craft.  They attract Trigger Fish around September and it is almost worth the hike.

Chesil Cove is a few miles South and is a much easier dive.  I have dived it dozens of times and still enjoy it.  It is an ideal training area and a pleasant second dive after a morning offshore.  Their is convenient unloading point, a slip way down to the beach and the sea is only a hundred yards away.  Don't leave your car parked in the unloading area too long, it annoys other divers and the traffic wardens.  The car park by the Scuba Centre is only a few minutes walk away.

Underwater you will find the beach drops off rapidly to around 12m.  Initially the bottom is shale and their are a couple debris areas.  You then go through a kelp fringe with some large rocks and finally you get to sand clearings where the vis is usually best. You should be able to find a few varieties of wrasse, cuckoo and balun are common.  Juvenile Pollack, cuttle fish, spider crabs a plenty and possibly the odd lobster.  A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to find a Thorn back ray and another diver saw pipe fish.

Getting in and out can be a challenge.  Top tip is to put your fins on in the water out of the surf zone.  The easiest way to get out is to crawl, just make sure all your equipment is clipped up and not dangling about.  With practice you can remove your fins in the water and walk out.  This looks pretty cool when you manage it but is fraught with diver cred killing hazards.  Leave it to late removing your fins and you end up floundering around like a beached whale.  Too early and your feet won't touch bottom and you end up back out at sea.  However you decide to egress keep your reg in until you are well clear of the water line.

Safety first, always use an SMB, take a bearing off the shore and let your surface cover (or someone elses) know how long you intend to be.


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