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Scuba Diving South Coast England, UK, Europe
Dive Site: Swanage Pier
Location: Swanage Bay
Description: Pier dive
Depth: 4 metres (13 feet)
Visibility: 2 metres (7 feet)
A dive on Swanage Pier will rarely be the same twice. Sometimes you will see nothing at all, yet other times life can be prolific with shoals of pollack, hundreds of spider and edible crabs, anemones with their tentacles wafting in the current and snails and hermit crabs going about there business. Towards the far end of the pier there is a bench if you need to take a seat and there are numerous girders littering the seafloor. The posts of the pier posts are covered in barnacles and kelp and if the marine creatures are proving elusive, try picking up some of the rubble to see if anything scuttles from view. The pier is a good place to do skills and serves as an excellent base for a dive club who have the use of a rib. Parking costs £6 per day and divers have to pay £1.50, all of which goes back into the maintenanace of the pier. Fills are available on the pier from Divers Down and there is a small shop selling food and drinks at reasonable prices.
A cheap diving holiday for those on a budget like myself. Local camping costs from £10 to £15 a night, depending on the size of the party and is often discounted the more nights you book. I recommend Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park. Situated 20 minutes walk from Swanage Beach, its facilities are second to none but with tents, make sure you ask for a level pitch. Tel 01929 422823, book early as they are very popular. As most of the local dive boats depart from Swanage Pier you can dive under the pier then from a boat throughout the day. May I recommend Peter: 01929 423551 or 07977 142661. He owns the biggest RIB I have ever seen. Full wheelhouse and a diver's lift astern, also very quick. He charges £15 per diver per trip. Very reasonable. He is also a locally very experienced skipper.
Please note: dive site directory cannot endorse any recommendations that have been made by divers leaving contributions on the directory.
I came here in August 2005, shortly after completing my Advanced Open Water course. The vis was pretty bad 2-3m! This was an OK dive, but not a great one. To be fair though, it does say above that sometimes you can see loads and sometimes not a lot! As the tide went out it became difficult to make it back to the steps with the increased swell. We had to return early on the second dive as my buddy was affected by this increased swell and became a little sea-sick.
I have dived from Swanage many times and a dive under the pier is one of my favourite dives. You can get up to 6 meters viz, plenty to see and no pressure! Nice easy dive, a good warm up dive for the early season. The sunlight pierces through the water each side of the pier when you are under it, absolutely gorgeous!!!
Dived the Kyarra at just after lunch and the pier made a great finish to the day, had at least 10 mtrs vis and loads of life, chased a massive lobby and tugged a few lines that were crabbing!!!
I've dived this site loads of times, it's a great dive and I've never had bad viz. Lots to see, which is always surprising so well worth a visit. A really good shore dive and one of my favorites, you can always take the family as a day out and still get some diving in.
Barry Francis (BSAC)
I visited this site as my first UK dive site after completing my certification in the Caribbean; I saw very few fish (some flat-fish), but the water was quite warm so the dive was quite comfortable, with 3m vis. Overall this was a good dive and I hope to return.
Matt, PADI Open Water
I always dive Swanage Pier and every time it's different. You can see lots of interesting life along the bottom and around you, there's even a John Dory down there.
Fantastic dive - I've dived mainly in the Red Sea but was blown away by the variety of "stuff" to be found on a dive no deeper than 4m at best! Highly recommened :-)
I dive at Swanage Pier throughout the year and it is a great dive. The viz can vary depending on the conditions but it is usually 3 - 5 metres. As has been said already there is always plenty to see I have even seen John Dory, a triggerfish and a black headed blenny. Simply a really good shore dive.
Andy Tic Tac | 07/04/2009
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