Skomer Island boasts a range of diving sites whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver. Here you’ll find intact wrecks, cliff dives to 45m, drift diving, shallow reefs, lots of seal activity during certain times of the year and also a huge variety of bird life that has a habit of dive bombing you during your safety stops!
Rye Rocks are a group of rocks on the west side of North Haven on Skomer Island, and are quite often inhabited by seals that are just hanging out. At low to mid water the rocks are visible, although on a high tide you may just see them breaking the water.
The reef system that supports these rocks runs out of North Haven in a North Easterly direction with various nooks, crannies and gullies running throughout the length of this, what I’d call a finger reef. If you drop in on the North Haven side, there is a shallow wall that you can follow to start with, but it does break up in places, so keep close to the wall and boulders and keep following them along. Along the way you’ll find the rare gorgonian sea fans to the bedrock, so be careful! These marine inhabitants only growgrowing at 90 a couple of cms a year, and are unique in that they are only found in a handful of areas in the UK. Lots of holes for the usual array of lobsters and other crustaceans, including quite a few crayfish. At the ‘fingertip’, as you start heading back towards Skomer Island, it is quite shear with a max depth of about 25m before it starts sloping away in the sand back out towards the wreck of the Lucy. At this point, between the top of the wall at 12m and the bottom at 25m, you’ll often find the seals playing around. They like the shallow and deep contrast. Continue the dive back in, but again stay close to the wall and broken up areas as the only thing you’ll find out to the east of this finger reef is sand! You may be fortunate enough to come across the bow mast of the Lucy, which is in about 12-15m of water. Finish you dive in amongst shallow boulders that are just to the West of ‘Rye Rocks’. Very kelpy but lots to see here.
TIPS: Slack water is two and a half hours after high/low water at Milford Haven, the same as the Lucy, although ‘Rye Rocks’ can be dived most of the time. Be careful of currents during spring tides, and have a look at the site to see what side to drop the divers in based on which way the current is running. Depth is 25m max on the tip but the rest of the time is between 10m and 15m. Always carry a delayed SMB with you as when your doing your safety stops you will have a habit of drifting, and this area has varying amounts of boat traffic. Novice divers are okay here providing its neap tides and there’s not much current.
Hope some of you out there get to enjoy this dive site