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Lundy Island UK
mo - 12/10/2007 12:11 PM
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Category: Travel
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Lundy Island UKThe diving season on Lundy is short but spectacular. The visiblity is good enough for diving from the end of April to the end of September. The tides of the Bristol Channel are fierce but the island lies N-S in a tidal stream that is mostly E-W, so there is always some part of the island with slack water. Dive the west side on the ebb and the east side on the flood. Below the surface of the sea there is magnificent scenery and a huge variety of marinelife, some of which is unique to the British Isles. For this reason the waters around Lundy are designated as a Statutory Marine Reserve (the first in the country). There are many types of fish including basking sharks in the summer months and the unique population of red banded fish (a metre long, shaped like an eel with a red band and a single dorsal fin the whole length of their body - they live in burrows in the mud). Crabs, lobsters and crayfish are still common but their populations have been affected by commercial fishing.There are huge numbers of sea urchins and starfish and the population of jewel anemones rarely fails to amaze the visiting diver. Common and lesser octopus are also regularly seen.

There are shipwrecks of course - 137 to be precise - the battleship Montagu lies close into the South West tip of the island - she ran aground on Shutter Point in May 1906 in thick fog whilst making trials of the new wireless telegraphy apparatus. Much of her was salvaged but there are still huge sections of armour plate, parts of the gun turrets and 12in diameter shells. The small coaster `Robert` foundered off the east side in 1975 when her cargo of anthracite duff shifted. She is now a man made reef covered in plumose anemones and populated by shoals of pollack and solitary wrasse. Angler fish can be found on the sea bed around her and conger eels lurk in holes in her keel. Nearby is the wreck of the `Iona` - an American Confederate paddle steamer designated as a Protected Wreck (A licence is needed to dive here - see the Marine Nature Reserve zones). There is the Carmen Filomena, the Earl of Jersey, Ethel, The Heroine and many others all with their own atmosphere, history and population of sea life.

Hope some of you will get to enjoy diving Lundy Island