All the latest news, conditions reports and articles for Scuba Diving across South Wales and internationally.
Get your passport, book a flight and get out of the UK! That’s our best advice for getting a coastal dive this weekend. We’ve got huge winds over the next couple of days across South Wales, and once that calms down, the swell takes over, quite possibly reaching over 10ft at times. Even if you could get into and out of the water successfully with all that water movement, visibility is going to be affected and will likely impact the enjoyment of your dive.
If you can’t fly off to an exotic destination at a moments notice, your best bet for a dive this weekend is to head to one of the inland sites in or near South Wales, such Chepstow or Vobster Quay. They’ll be far less effected by all of the environmental conditions, so your main concern will be water temperature. Good quality thermal protection will be a must; dry suits, hoods, gloves, etc and you’ll also need to think about how to stay and get warm whilst you are on the surface.
We’re back in the swimming pool in Hebron Hall, Cardiff on Saturday with two PADI courses. We’ve got the PADI Open Water course running, which is the start of the students journey into Scuba Diving and we’re also running the PADI Rescue Diver course for a number of students from Cardiff University.
The PADI Rescue Diver course teaches the students some basic first aid, rescue techniques (both self rescue and rescue of others) and a better understanding of the technical aspects of diving. After the 2 month break from courses whilst we were off diving with the Sharks in South Africa all of the instructors and Divemasters are excited to get back into it!
We’re in for a tough weekend as far as Scuba Diving on the South Wales coast. The swell isn’t too big, although Saturday could be up to 4ft – 5ft but we’ve got strong onshore winds, meaning increased water movement which could cause visibility issues.
Whilst the tide isn’t as big as it can be on the South Wales coast, high tide will still be between 8m and 8.3m and low of 2.8m across the weekend, so there is still a large movement of water between low and high tide, which could also contribute to visibility issues. Sheltered, easterly facing bays may provide enough protection from the conditions for the more experienced divers. Oxwich Bay is Swansea may be an option.
Of course you always of the option of heading inland. In South Wales we’re lucky enough to have The National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) in Chepstow which will almost guarantee you a dive, and although an inland site there is plenty to see with sunken boats, planes, helicopters and much more!
If you do decide to go with an offshore dive, make sure you account for the rule of twelfths, diving on the incoming tide and ensure you’ve properly planned both you entry and exit points.
There are no diving courses for us this week after last weeks PADI Open Water Diver completion dives and PADI Rescue Diver open water section. We’ve also run the Emergency First Responder course required for the PADI Rescue Diver course which provides students with a level of first aid to deal with a number of situations as first on scene – and not just diving accidents.
We’ll be back in Hebron Hall in Cardiff soon, starting another group of students on their Scuba Diving adventure.
CAUTIONS – As is always the case, throughout the year, in South Wales we’ll still need to take precautions with regards to thermal protection (wetsuits, drysuits, hoods, gloves). Although the tidal movement is smaller than it can be here is South Wales, there will still be a large movement of water between high and low. Plan you dive, entry and exit points and times accordingly.
Scuba Diving Conditions for Cardiff, Swansea, South Wales and West Wales areas . Well all I can say is that it hasn’t really been the best year for wether and subsequently Scuba Diving on the Coastline of South Wales. We have had alot of rain and wind and swell throughout the summer and the temperature has been cold through out and it hasn’t changed this week either. Ther is still rain and wind and the conditions are not great from Cardiff up to Stackpole Quay in Pembrokshire. The best options again will be on the West Wales coastline in pembrokeshire especially Martins Haven and St Brides Bay. They are protected from the wind and swell so get better conditions throughout the year. Hopefully September and October will start to bring lighter conditions so we can get back in the water when the temperture is still comfortable.
We are stiil trining through out the season and through out the year with people atttending our Scuba Diving Courses fron Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend, Newport and through out South Wales. This weekend we are teaching the PADI Open Water Diver Course and the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course. On the course are David, Stuart, Grace and Sally on the PADI Open Water Diver and Stuart, Jacob and Luke and the PADI Advanced Course. They will be completeing the course over the weekend with their instructors Dan, Paul, Chris and Jo. So good luck to all of them
Scuba Diving Conditions in Cardiff, Swansea, South Wales and West Wales for the up coming week as usual is looking varied across the region. The exposed tidal areas of Cardiff, Swansea and South Wales are not looking good at all. We have big winds and bigger Swell conditions to cope with and this is affecting the Scuba Diving conditions badly. The visibility is minimal and the undertows, rip currents and inshore currents will be very unpredictable for the next few days. All divers with the basic qualifications such as PADI Open Water Diver, BSAC Ocean Diver should not be in the water in these areas unless under supervision by and experienced qualified diver. PADI Rescue Diver and BSAC Sports Diver would be better suited to the conditions in the area at the moment.
The best option for diving over the next few days would be West Wales in the protected areas of Martins Haven, St Brides Bay in Pembrokeshire. They are far better protected from the wind and the swell conditions and will offer by far the safest and clearest conditions for all qualified divers.
We are teaching the PADI Open water Diver Course at the moment in Cardiff, Swansea and South Wales areas, the course will allow a diver to certify to be able to dive up to 18 meters anywhere in the world, our advice is always for the newly qualified diver to be under supervision so they be protected whilst learning the basics of there new diving experience.
Conditions and Events Report for Scuba Diving in South and West Wales near Cardiff, Swansea, Lydstep and Pembrokshire – well summers hear and the conditions are terrible for diving in the South Wales region, high winds, bad weather, storms, heavy rain and Big sea swells and again hindering the coastal areas in the region for Scuba Diving. Sites near Cardiff and Swansea are definitely a no go with bad visibility and poor conditions.
If there was anywhere to dive this coming week it would be West Wales in protected areas such as Martins Haven and St Brides Bay by Dale and haverfordwest. These sites would be better dived on the late afternoon incoming tides and when the bays are in full flood to protect from the adverse conditions.
Divers should to qualified to the PADI Advanced or PADI Rescue Diver level or the similar level in other licences for this weeks diving profile. We are running the PADI Open Water Diver Course at Hebron Hall in Dinas Powys on 6th June. The Open Water Dives will then be run in July for the full qualification.
Scuba Diving in the South Wales area over the next few days will be variable, we have just returned from a trip of a lifetime from the Caribbean where the water temperature was 29 degrees and back home at the moment it is 7 degrees which I must say quite cold even for a hardened divers like us.
So be prepared to wrap up warm, Dry Suit or good semi dry suit, gloves, hood, thermal rash vests, boots and a flask of hot coffee. The wind is high on the weekend so this will add to the cold factor.
The best areas for the conditions will be West Wales around the Skomer Island area with the winds and swell being less and the conditions clearing quicker for more suitable diving conditions.
We were instructing the PADI Open Water Diver Course in Hebron Hall in Cardiff on the weekend with a group of 18 students from all over South Wales including Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Bridgend.
They will be looking to complete their 4 PADI Open Water Dives in the near future, were going to let the water warm up for them a little first.
Throughout some of our previous blogs we have stated how diving can take you to many wonderful and unique places, where you can experience a wide variety of new, exotic things. Today I would like to give you an example of one of these experiences. In June next year we will be taking 26 students from the local university in Cardiff, to a protected environmental sight in Spain. The 26 students will be staying in a villa next to the marina, where they will be volunteering on the protected diving sight for a week. This will give them experience within the discipline of their study, providing them with amazing experiance in their future field of work. This will involve maintaining the site as well as diving the area and studying the wildlife.
6 of the students will then stay on for a month as part of a volunteer course. They will be staying in a small house, in the middle of the forestry area 4 kilometers away from the marina. This will be an amazing experience as the house, although relatively close to the neighbouring town, has a feeling of isolation as it is amidst the trees, by itself in the forestry.
None of this would be possible without them first completing the PADI Open water course which set on the path to further developing their skills. They all took the course in the South Wales area near Cardiff, Swansea and Newport. These basic skills allowed them to develop and engage with opportunities such as the experience they will soon undertake.
Cardiff Bay Diving and Watersports was established in Cardiff Bay on West Bute Street on 27th March 1998, the center was established to offer Scuba Diving Course’ s through the PADI and BSAC systems offering the PADI Open Water Diver Programme and the BSAC Sports Diver Programme, we also offered Kayaking and watersports in the newly developed Bay area of Cardiff.
The company was established by Lee Garbett a PADI and BSAC Scuba Diving Instructor with a huge passion for the water and everything about it, originally from Walsall in the West Midlands he couldnt have been further from the Sea, but after a near fatal drowning event on the West Wales Coast at a very early age, he realised the water is where he wanted to be.
In 2002 the center was created in Porthcawl moving closer to the Sea where they wanted to be and changed the company name to Ocean Quest to create an organisation offering Scuba Diving, Instruction, Retail, Surfing, Kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing, and all related watersports.
Over the 16 years of operations Cardiff Bay Diving and Watersports and Ocean Quest have Instructed 1000’s of people to Scuba Dive around the Glode, in 2004 they won the PADI Key Man Award for the Best center in PADI International and have been a PADI 5 Star International Dive Center since creation.
We would like to thank all the people we have trained and have visited us over the next 16 years, our passion in still and always will be the water so we will be here writting our next birthday review for many years to come.
When starting out on the journey to learn to dive many people believe it will be stress full and very difficult to become an Open Water Diver wether certified with PADI International, British Sub Aqua Club, NAUI, CMAS, SSI, SSA, SDI or any other certifying body for Scuba Diving Instruction.
All the systems have one thing in common, they all teach people how to Scuba Dive and diving is pretty generic in its format, we put together our Scuba equipment, we put it on, we check it with our buddy, we get in the water, we float and check again, we descend under the water, we clear our ears and most importantly of all we obtain neutral buoyancy, this is the main concept of learning to scuba dive, neutral buoyancy is the art of stopping, controlling and levelling in the water to obtain the perfect position and depth for your dive. It is total weightlessness only felt by astronaughts flying through space.
Neutral Bouyancy initially is the main reason to dive, not the fish or the sea but the feeling of hanging and hovering with perfect neutral buoyancy is truly amazing, a feeling I still love to this day and I have been diving for 20 years. So really learning to dive and being an accomplished diver is about hanging, hoverering and chilling out underwater. Anyone can do this above the age of 10 years old, that is why diving is so amazing, it can be taken up at any time of life and will become the ultimate journey to follow.
Our next course of underwater astronaughts is being held in Hebron Hall in Cardiff on the 1st March, students will learn all the basis concepts of Scuba Diving befre going into the Open Water, but the main concept they will learn will be Neutral Buoyancy.
On Saturday we completed our first course of the year it was the PADI Rescue diver course with our student Divers Haley and Paul from Cardiff and Maria from Swansea. The water was cold down to 6 degrees but the students were fantastic and the completed all the sections of the course to obtain there Open Water Diver Qualification.
This weekend we are Scuba Diving on the beautiful Swansea Coastline, there are several dive sites in this area the first site to mention is Limeslade Bay in the Mumbles, this is quite a tidal site and is best tide an hour or two before high tide, access can also be a little tricky with a steep shelving bank down to sea level. The dive can be worth it though with an abundance of marine life including many soft coral, sea sponges and squirts, crab, lobster, crustanceans as well as many fish species such as bass, cod and Pollock. This weekend we are diving the site to assess the access for training students in the bay on their PADI Open Water and Advanced Dive qualifications.
The next dive site to look at is Langland Bay again in the Mumbles in Swansea, this has all the same plus points as Limeslade but easier access and facilities but is far more prone to swell and surf conditions. This is also true for Oxwich Bay, which can be a fantastic dive site, with easy beach access, car parking and restaurant facilities, again though this can be prone to swell and surf conditions. Next week we will go into depth explaining this site and the wreck which is positioned on the point of the bay.
Ocean Quest is South Wales Premier PADI Dive Centre, established in 1998 across Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Bridgend and South Wales. Ocean Quest is the longest running Scuba Diving Training facility in South Wales.
Ocean Quest has won numerous awards within the Scuba Diving and Watersports Industry including the prestigious PADI International Key Man Centre of the year award, the most prestigious acknowledgement awarded by PADI International
Queen Alexander Dock,
Cross Common Road,
Ocean Quest Ltd
49 New Road,