Scuba Diving in Shoreham-by-Sea, 1 hour from London
For many divers living in London a quick dive means jumping in the car and travelling to an inland dive site off the M25. Battling their way across London on a train or car it can take a good hour to reach these sites. If the weather is nice the lakes can be really busy and open water students can often kick up the silt.
What many London based scuba divers don’t realise is that in roughly the same amount of time they could be loading their kit on to a dive boat in Shoreham-by-Sea. The direct train from Clapham Junction takes a smidgen over an hour and the marina is less than a 5 minute walk away from the station. If you prefer to drive it takes about 40 minutes from the M25/M23 turning, and there is loads of parking when you arrive.
There is some great diving off the UK South Coast which includes wrecks from various wars and battles, reefs, large Eels, crabs, lobsters, dog fish, pollock, cod, flat fish and even the occasional octopus.
For those who have never tried diving in the UK but have stuck to warmer water, there will be some familiar sea-life; anenomies, wrasse, rays, cuttlefish, dead man’s fingers, feather stars, sea cucumbers, sea fans, sponges and starfish. When you are wrapped up in a good fitting dry suit then you can be just as warm as your 3mm in the Maldives!
‘Buccaneer’ the dive boat comfortably accommodates 10 divers and their kit, and Chris the Skipper has been diving these waters for the last 20 years so can pick the best site for the divers abilities on the boat. The boat has a small cabin with a kettle to provide hot drinks.
Oyster Diving’s monthly trips will include the services of one of our Divemasters or Instructors on hand to assist and offer advise, provide a dive brief and can act as a guide, similar to those you find abroad. If you’ve never dived off a boat in the UK then you might want to consider signing up to a Boat Diver course at the same time.
On returning to the Marina we hop in to the friendly folk Yacht Club for some well-earned refreshments including some reasonably priced meals. If the weather is really nice then we might pop to the local pub on the river which offers a BBQ in their scenic beer garden.
09.30 30th April – season starter shallow wreck
10.00 14th May – wreck dive
08.30 11th June – morning dive
13.00 30th July – afternoon dive
11.45 13th August – wreck dive
09.45 10th September – wreck dive
09.30 1st October – drift dive
11.00 5th November – Bonfire night special – wreck dive followed by Fireworks and Bonfire on the beach
09.30 31st December – last UK sea dive of the year
The price is £55 for non-members and includes tank & weight hire and an Oyster Diving guide should you need it. Club members (£60/annum) receive a £5 discount.