Lundy Trip Gets a ‘Seal’ of Approval!

Trip report by Debbie. Photos by Debbie, James & Nick

Organising your first club dive trip can be a little daunting but as a trainee dive leader this was something I felt ready to do. 

At the dive show in 2019 I met a skipper based in Ilfracombe who took divers out to dive off the coast of Lundy.  I did my research and decided that this was the perfect trip for me to organise as the dives were suitable for all levels of diver and it was different to other trips previously organised by the club.  We agreed on a weekend and I made all the arrangements. 

Unfortunately 2020 has not been a good year for diving and our trip was scheduled to happen during the travel restrictions.  We decided to reschedule the trip and in order to be COVID compliant we had to find a new hotel where everyone could have their own room.  After much planning and with the weather in our favour we finally set off, forgetting how busy the roads to the south west are in school summer holidays!

Despite this all 12 of us arrived at the dock early Saturday morning happy, excited and looking forward to diving.  It took about an hour and a half to make the 13 mile crossing from Ilfracombe to Lundy Island, unfortunately the forecast rain made an appearance on our journey over to the island which stayed with us for most of the day. 

On arrival at Lundy we were greeted by easterly winds which ruled out many of the dive sites.  The skipper had warned that we would need to keep our dive plan flexible to cope with this, luckily the skipper found a sheltered spot in Jennie’s Cove

We all got ready and jumped in the viz and section on marine life was amazing.  We explored the reef for about 40 minutes with a maximum depth of 22 meters. 

We all paused for lunch regrettably the sea conditions were too much for two of our divers including my daughter who decided that it was time to feed the fish!

The second dive site was the Knoll Pins we were greeted by a couple of cheeky looking seals on the surface.  My daughter rallied around and jumped in with me and we spent over 50 minutes exploring the knoll pins going to a maximum depth of 15 meters.  The seals made numerous appearances but were too busy to interact with us.  Again there was an abundance of amazing marine life 

That evening we all enjoyed a meal out followed by an early night so we were fresh for the next day’s diving.  We met early at the dock of Sunday morning but we were down to 10 divers as the two who had struggled with seasickness decided to stay on dryland.  This was a shame as the sea was much calmer and there were no dreaded easterly winds. 

This made it possible to dive our first choice wreck the Robert.  We arrived at the wreck on the low water slack and as we descended down the shot line we were greeted by an amazing intact wreck on her side absolutely full of life.  We explored the wreck for 36 minutes descending to a maxim depth of 26 meters.  We spotted numerous crabs, fish. lobster, eels and a hungry starfish eating a dead crab.  

After a break for lunch our last dive was to be with the seals, the skipper positioned the boat so we could see all the seals resting on the rocks.  The seals were vocal about the incoming tide and seamed grumpy about their resting place disappearing underwater.  

My buddy and I jumped in and we spent over 70 minutes exploring the Threequarter Wall Bay and the Pins, at first we saw loads of seals and while they were watching us they didn’t interact with us.  Other divers on the boat were luckier and the seals checked them out.  Again the viz was amazing and the underwater marine life was stunning.