Shore Diving

Guernsey has a varied and rugged coastline. From the low-lying areas in the North offering gentle sloping bays, to the sheer cliffs and steep drop-offs on the south coast.

Due to the strength of tidal streams around the island, divers must be very cautious when planning to dive from the shore. The currents around Guernsey can change almost instantly from the calm and benign to raging torrents. For this reason, going with someone who has appropriate knowledge is a must.

Over the years we have offered free guided shore dives for our students and customers several times a week when the demand is there. We can offer fully guided dives on demand, or advice and a buddy for those that want to run the dive themselves, but have the peace of mind of diving with an experienced diver or Divemaster / Instructor. For more information please see here or contact us.

Shore diving around Guernsey offers a great variety of conditions, geography and fish life. A few of the sites we visit are listed below.

 

Havelet Bay – Max 15m

This is the most popular shore diving site on the island. Situated right next to St Peter Port Harbour ( & Dive Guernsey) on the Eastern coast of the island, it offers good protection from all but South-easterly winds. Great for training as it provides a very stable controlled environment – in other words, you can be pretty sure what you are going to get. It offers a good range of sea life and for those willing to venture out that bit further, a good chance of finding a feed of scallops or a flatfish on the gravel especially on a night dive.

Pros

  • Easy access for the diver, with parking on site – within easy walking distance of the Dive Guernsey bunker
  • Greatest depth of the popular shore sites
  • Either no, or very mild current
  • Easy route planning and navigation due to being enclosed on 2 sides – should never be any surface swims!
  •  Varied bottom types – Reef, boulders, sand, gravel and a string weed “forest”
  • Great for night dives due to slipway and area being lit
  • Maximum depth 15m
  • Kiosk nearby for refreshment

Cons

  • Busy bay with lots of marine traffic. Surface marker is a must in the summer months – be sure to use one if you are not sure.
  • Used regularly for rod fishing
  • Bottom is covered in seaweed during summer months – good for life, bad for visibility

 

Saints Bay – Max 12m

This is a lovely idyllic bay on the South Coast, access means that it’s not very busy save from a few fisherman and walkers. It offers good protection from winds from the North and currents at all states of tides, provided that you stick to the right areas. Like all south coast diving, a swell from or following bad weather will likely cause bad visibility. When conditions are good though, Saints can prove to be one of the best shore dives.

Pros 

  • Lovely bay provides a nice setting on a sunny day
  • Good protection from current at all states of tide
  • A great amount of sea life in the summer months
  • Little marine traffic – just a few small boats moored in the “Saints harbour”
  • Easy / Moderate access at any state of tide via steps or slipway

Cons

  • Open to Southerly winds
  • Difficult vehicle access and limited parking
  • Can be hit or miss with visibility

 

Rousse Pier – Max 10m

Situated on the North-west coast in Grande Havre Bay, this site provides a certain amount of shelter from Easterly and Southerly winds and has plenty of reef, sand and gravel to explore. Though never at a dangerous level, current can be present at many states of tide.

Pros

  • Easy access and plenty of parking
  • Kiosk on site for refreshments
  • A good amount of sea life
  • Small amount of marine traffic

Cons

  • Affected by Westerly and Southern Swells, which can make entry / exit difficult and lower visibility
  • Levels of current
  • Very shallow at low tide – 2 or 3 meters
  • Navigation is more difficult that either Havelet or Saints due to layout

 

Chouet Bay – Max 12m

Situated on the Northern side of Grande Harve, Chouet offers all the bottom types and can have large numbers of sea life.

Pros

  • Easy access and plenty of parking
  • Kiosk close by for refreshments
  • A good amount of sea life
  • Small amount of marine traffic
  • Moderately easy navigation

Cons

  • Affected by Westerly and Southern Swells, which can make entry / exit difficult and lower visibility
  • Difficult entry and exit over boulders / stones

 

Wells – Max 20m

Located on the West coast, this is probably the most challenging shore dive that we regularly undertake. It’s accessible at all states of tide, but access is only easy around high water on a neap tide.

Pros

  • Plenty of parking close to entry / exit site
  • Visibility can be excellent due to the depth
  • A great area for photography or finding spider crabs in late spring

Cons

  • Affected by Westerly and Southern Swells, which can make entry / exit difficult and lower visibility
  • Difficult entry / exit if conditions or tide isn’t perfect
  • Navigation is more difficult than either Havelet or Saints due to layout
  • Tidal conditions not fully known

 

Other bays that we dive infrequently are:

  • Fermain
  • Petit Bot
  • Portelet
  • Cobo
  • Grande Rocques
  • Pembroke