Tenby (Wales) 6th - 8th August 2010

Trip report from RT, (highlights edited by IDC) Several divers were already at Tenby conducting some research. Unfortunately earlier in the week Lee’s truck had broken down meaning that we were unable to tow the boat to the other side of Pembrokeshire to do the planned diving at the weekend. Sarah and Rox turned up on the Thursday evening, but their car was unable to take 6 divers plus the boat, so I made the decision to carry on launching from Lydstep Bay and explore the area surrounding Tenby.

I had brought down the Tenby charts and Tide Almanac, so dive times and sites were quickly re-planned!

We were able to launch the boat each day using Lydstep Holiday Park’s tractor, however this did mean we had to be in by 18.00 even earlier on the Friday and Saturday as we needed to travel to Milford Haven to get air fills). Whilst this did not limit our diving, we did have to plan the type of dives that could be undertaken as the timing of slack tides meant we could only hit slack water once a day.


Lydstep Bay was the first site to be dived. I chose this location as it was relatively free from current and a good first dive for Sarah and Rox who hadn’t dived for a few weeks. Unfortunately the swell meant that Sarah was seasick and decided to forgo the first dive. Everyone else had a nice bimble, but there wasn’t too much to see so we decided to try a different location during the afternoon.

Caldey Sound (west) was the second dive site. I needed to do a final research dive in the area so Lee, Jon, Rox and Sarah went in together and they saw two thornback rays as well as a number of catsharks, whilst I counted shells for 80 minutes…


Lydstep Ledge was a lovely dive. It is a series of rock ledges jutting up from a relatively flat shelly seabed. Visibility was 5-10 metres for this and other dives. The ledge is full of soft corals, sponges, bryozoans and hydroids. We saw shoals of triggerfish (yes - triggerfish!) and catsharks, as well as lots of pollack and other varieties of marine life.

A drift dive along Caldey Sound was done – everybody saw more than 50 catsharks and more than a few tope! The catsharks appeared to be mating and there were numerous mermaids purses trailed around cobbles and shells. Drift estimated at 1-1.5 knots – it was almost impossible to stay in one place – even when finning hard!


On Sunday morning we dived Lydstep Point, the headland of Lydstep Bay. This was a pleasant dive (although not as spectacular as Saturday’s diving). Lee and Ruth found a tompot blenny, a few catsharks and a school of triggerfish. Hazel, Sarah and Rox found a bloom of spider crabs and scared each other silly with them.

Sunday afternoon was a request to go back to Lydstep Ledge. This was another pretty dive with catsharks and trigger fish, as well as flat fish, nudibranchs and some stunning scenery. As we surfaced first we could see Sarah, Rox and Hazel's fins from the surface during their safety stop.

Despite the problems at the beginning of the trip with truck breakdowns, limits on launch and recovery times, air fills being 40 minutes drive away and strong currents, the weekend turned out to contain some great diving, and I think everyone went away happy!

Additional details

Accommodation: Self catering caravan at Penally Court, Marsh Road, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Dyfed, SA70 7RB. TEL. 01834 844121

Launching: Lydstep Beach Holiday Park, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70 7SB
TEL. 01834 871871M
Tractor launch for £20 per day (launch and recovery), 0900-1800.

Air fills: Old Mill Diving Services, Ven Farm, Waterston Road, Milford Vaven, SA73 1DN Milford Haven.
TEL. 01646 690190, 0830-1800 every day except Thursdays.

See the gallery for full size piccies.

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