All the latest news, conditions reports and articles for Scuba Diving across South Wales and internationally.
Scuba Diving Conditions Report for South Wales, Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli region
Date – 05th July 2018
ACTIVITIES – Scuba Diving, Sub Aqua, Scuba, Free Diving, Snorkelling
LOCAL AREA – South Wales, Cardiff CF105BZ , Porthcawl CF365DH, Swansea SA20AY , Bridgend CF311BB, Southerndown CF320RN, Ogmore by Sea CF320PH, Llantwitt Major , Oxwich Bay SA31LS, Aberavon SA12 6QP, Stackpole Quay SA715DZ, Llanelli SA154SG,
SITE LOCATION – Sker Beach, Limeslade Bay, langland Bay, Oxwich Bay, Stackpole Quay
WEATHER – Very warm and sunny again, light winds and temperatures from 15 – 24 degrees (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2648385?day=2) (https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/gcjqmsw80)
WATER TEMPERATURE – 16 Degrees
WIND – Light winds for the next few days, maybe picking up gusting to a maximum of 12 mph, directions will vary day after day with no predominate direction (https://magicseaweed.com/Southerndown-Surf-Report/4321/)
SEA STATE AND SWELL – Calm seas, throughout the region over the next few days, slight chop on heavier wind days. (https://magicseaweed.com/Southerndown-Surf-Report/4321/)
SWELL – 1ft -2ft Max
Scuba Diving Report for South Wales, Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Porthcawl, Port talbot, Stcakpole Quay
Great diving conditions at the moment across the region, its definitely time to get your fins on and get in the water, the snorkelling is good as well, all sites are better on the incoming tide especially 3 hours after the low tide. Visibility is good and seas are calm and warmer.
We were diving at Sker point last week off Kenfig sands, a very hard dive and based on Scientific research for the local nature reserve, myself, Daniel Lewis and Stewart Brooke all completed the dive which is usually conducted by professional divers once every year.
As for our PADI Open Water Divers and PADI Advanced Open Water Divers the conditions are perfect to get with our guides and get in the water for some fantastic sea pleasure diving
Unfortunately conditions for Scuba Diving on the South Wales coast aren’t particularly good this weekend. Friday and Saturday sees strong winds and reasonable swell along the whole of the coast. This will make conditions incredibly difficult before, during and after the dive. Although conditions will improve on Sunday with the wind dropping right down and the swell a little smaller the effect of the previous weeks conditions on visibility will not have cleared.
Your two options for a dive this weekend are; book a ticket and head somewhere warm, calm and pretty (Southern Europe can be reached in a couple of hours) or head to one of the inland dive sites in South Wales are close by. Chepstow is the deepest inland dive site in the UK and Vobster Quay in Sommerset also offers you the chance to dive without being so affected by weather conditions.
Last weekend saw us back in the swimming pool in Hebron Hall, Cardiff running our PADI Open Water Referral course. It was a very busy day as a number of people look to get their PADI diving qualifications before they head off on their summer holidays. Whilst the training is on hold this weekend a number of the students will be up at Chepstow next week to complete the PADI Open Water Diver course and become qualified to dive anywhere in the world and join this wonderful community.
The conditions should be a lot calmer this weekend that last. Swell is set to be low along the South Wales coast and although there is a strong wind it is set to be in a Northerly or Easterly direction (Offshore). The main issue you will likely find is the visibility as the conditions have been fairly unsettled over the last few days, but that doesn’t mean diving is off. You just need to make sure you’ve properly planned your dive and take the correct equipment.
Water temperatures are still low as expected at this time of year so you will need to ensure you have the correct thermal protection, such as dry suit, good quality undersuit, hood, gloves. You also need to think about the thermal protection before and after the dives.
You may find better visibility and one of the inland dive sites in or near South Wales, such as Chepstow or Vobster Quay so they are always an option, but you will still need to properly plan your dives and thermal protection. In fact the water temperature in the inland sites may even be colder than the sea.
Last week saw us back in Hebron Hall, Cardiff running the PADI Open Water course and PADI Rescue Diver course. Both courses were a real success and we look forward to welcoming all of the students back when they complete the open water part of their course.
Our next PADI Open Water course is due to run on 4th March, so if you are thinking about starting you SCUBA diving adventures, get in touch and we can talk you through all of the options, prices and availability.
Get your passport, book a flight and get out of the UK! That’s our best advice for getting a coastal dive this weekend. We’ve got huge winds over the next couple of days across South Wales, and once that calms down, the swell takes over, quite possibly reaching over 10ft at times. Even if you could get into and out of the water successfully with all that water movement, visibility is going to be affected and will likely impact the enjoyment of your dive.
If you can’t fly off to an exotic destination at a moments notice, your best bet for a dive this weekend is to head to one of the inland sites in or near South Wales, such Chepstow or Vobster Quay. They’ll be far less effected by all of the environmental conditions, so your main concern will be water temperature. Good quality thermal protection will be a must; dry suits, hoods, gloves, etc and you’ll also need to think about how to stay and get warm whilst you are on the surface.
We’re back in the swimming pool in Hebron Hall, Cardiff on Saturday with two PADI courses. We’ve got the PADI Open Water course running, which is the start of the students journey into Scuba Diving and we’re also running the PADI Rescue Diver course for a number of students from Cardiff University.
The PADI Rescue Diver course teaches the students some basic first aid, rescue techniques (both self rescue and rescue of others) and a better understanding of the technical aspects of diving. After the 2 month break from courses whilst we were off diving with the Sharks in South Africa all of the instructors and Divemasters are excited to get back into it!
Generally Scuba Diving conditions in South Wales are pretty good this weekend, except for the obvious elephant in the room; the freezing temperatures. The sea is looking calm, with virtually no swell expected, wind is reasonably strong but in an Easterly direction so you will be afforded some protection for the South Wales landscape and we have had a good few days of settled conditions, so you should even get acceptable visibility.
All that being said, it is cold, really, really cold. So, if you are going to venture out of a Scuba Diving trip you will need to ensure all of your equipment is in perfect condition, be extra cautious in any dive as the cold can affect your air consumption and nitrogen absorption and ensure you have access to back up equipment, which you should anyway diving with a buddy. Thermal protection is absolutely vital; hoods, gloves, dry suits and lots of layers underneath are all going to be required. You also need to think about your thermal protection for before and after the dive.
Whether you dive the South Wales coast or choose to dive an inland site, you are all going to be coming up against the same challenge, temperature, so plan properly and most of all, stay safe
We’re all excited for our Christmas Jumper try dive this Saturday at Hebron Hall in Cardiff. We’ve got a number of children coming along to get their first experience of diving and it’s completely appropriate we have so many children as all of the funds we raise will be donated to the Save the Children charity. You’re welcome to come along and support us, between 08:00 and 12:00, or simply send in a donation if you wish.
This is our last diving event of the year. Our instructors and some of our students are heading out to South Africa on 4th January 2017 on one of our unbeatable diving trips. They’ll be doing a number of dives in a few locations, with the pinnacle being diving with the ultimate; Sharks!
We’ll be back in February with the PADI Advanced Open Water, PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Rescue Diver courses, so if you want to make 2017 the year you learn to dive or get back into diving, get in touch and book your course today
CAUTIONS – Temperature! Thermal protection is absolutely vital, proper dive planning is critical and properly maintained equipment key. Stay warm and stay safe!
Scuba Diving Conditions could be tricky this weekend. Swell could reach 3ft – 4ft and we’re going to have some strong Northerlies, gusting up to 24knots. Whilst the offshore wind is better than an onshore, the strength of it could still create some choppy conditions and effect the visibility.
If you can find a sheltered bay, you may see acceptable conditions, however tidal times are also working against us this weekend, with high tide being 08:05 and 20:20 on Saturday, being able to dive on slack water is going to involve a very early morning or night dive, which is only for the qualified and experienced divers.
After the last few weeks of good diving conditions in South Wales, this weekend your best bet is to head to an inland site, removing the tidal problems and swell. There has been a noticeable drop in temperatures in the last week or so here is South Wales, so you’ll need to take extra precautions when it comes to thermal protection. Although the water is holding it’s temperature somewhat, inland sites will probably be around the 10°C – 12°C you need to consider thermal protection for when you are out of the water too.
It’s been a busy week for us at Ocean Quest and the weekend is full too. Our instructors and divemasters performed a number survey dives of some lakes to see if we could offer nearby residents the PADI Open Water Diver course on site. On Saturday we’re back to Hebron Hall in Cardiff, running the first two parts of our PADI Open Water Diver course. We also have the final part of the PADI Open Water Diver next weekend and PADI Advanced Open Water course later in the month too!
CAUTIONS – Water temperatures are starting to drop and the air temperature has dropped significantly over the last week or two. You’ll need to think about your thermal protection both whilst in the water and after exiting. Hoods, Gloves, Semi-dry or Dry suits. Windproof jackets and lots of layers for when you’ve finished your dive too.
Looks like we could be seeing another weekend of positive conditions for Scuba Diving in South Wales this weekend. Swell size is looking like it should be around the 2ft – 3ft range and winds are fairly gentle. Wind direction should also be more offshore over the weekend, meaning the South Wales coast will be afforded a little bit of protection, helping to keep the visibility – a key requirement for an enjoyable scuba dive – reasonable.
Tide size is fairly average for the South Wales coast, or Bristol Channel, with low tide around 3m – 4m and high tide around 8m. Whilst that isn’t a huge tidal range for South Wales, it is still a massive volume of water moving, so you will still need to ensure you are planning your dives around the tidal movement, remembering the rule of twelfths. You want to be looking to dive the incoming tide, so this weekend, that means a morning dive with high tide being 10:50 on Saturday and 11:55 on Sunday.
Keep in mind that temperatures, both air and sea, are starting to drop now, so you’ll need to be thinking about the level of thermal protection you require, both during, before and after your dive. We’re getting into the dry suit season for coastal dives and hoods and gloves are going to start being required too. You’ll also want to ensure you are able to keep warm before any dive and warm up after your dive too – whilst the wind should be fairly gentle, there will be a noticeable wind chill.
Last weekend we ran the confined water dives and theory section of the PADI Open Water Diver course in Cardiff. There’s no training this weekend, but we’ll be taking our students down to Chepstow this month to complete the open water section of the PADI Open Water Diver course and allowing them to become fully qualified to scuba dive anywhere in the world up to 18m.
We’re also looking to run an Advanced Open Water course in the coming weeks, so if you are interested in taking your scuba diving training to the next level then give us a call and we can provide you with more details. The PADI Advanced Open Water course will help you improve you buoyancy, dive to 30m deep and give you a chance to practice you diving with fully qualified PADI instructors.
CAUTIONS – Water temperatures are starting to drop now as the air temperature starts to decrease. You’ll need to think about your thermal protection both whilst in the water and after exiting. Hoods, Gloves, Semi-dry or Dry suits. Windproof jackets and lots of layers for when you’ve finished your dive too.
We’ve had some lovely weather across South Wales this week and this is good news for visibility. We are expecting conditions to become much tougher this weekend, particularly on the South Coast as swell and wind both pick up gradually across the weekend, Sunday afternoon will see 30+ knot gusts and 6ft – 9ft swell. If you can get down for Friday, you may find acceptable conditions across all of the dive sites, including Limeslade Bay or Oxwich Bay. The usual dive sites in West Wales will also be an option, such as Martins Haven and St Brides Bay, again particularly on Friday.
Whilst conditions may be acceptable early on Saturday morning, particularly further west, you may find the tides aren’t going to play the game and with changeable conditions expected, you will be better heading to any of the inland dive sites in the South Wales area, such as Chepstow or Vobster Quay in Somerset.
We usually run our PADI Open Water Diver pool sessions on the first Saturday of each month, however there is a change of plan this month. A number of or instructors are out in L’Estartit, Spain on one of our infamous Dive Expeditions. This means our PADI Open Water Diver confined water sessions will be taking place next weekend, where we’ll be starting the next batch of students on their underwater adventures.
CAUTIONS – It’s summer and we’ve had some beautiful weather in South Wales sea temperatures will still only be around the 12 degree mark, so we’ll need to take precautions with regards to thermal protection (wetsuits, drysuits, hoods, gloves).
We’re in for a tough weekend as far as Scuba Diving on the South Wales coast. The swell isn’t too big, although Saturday could be up to 4ft – 5ft but we’ve got strong onshore winds, meaning increased water movement which could cause visibility issues.
Whilst the tide isn’t as big as it can be on the South Wales coast, high tide will still be between 8m and 8.3m and low of 2.8m across the weekend, so there is still a large movement of water between low and high tide, which could also contribute to visibility issues. Sheltered, easterly facing bays may provide enough protection from the conditions for the more experienced divers. Oxwich Bay is Swansea may be an option.
Of course you always of the option of heading inland. In South Wales we’re lucky enough to have The National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) in Chepstow which will almost guarantee you a dive, and although an inland site there is plenty to see with sunken boats, planes, helicopters and much more!
If you do decide to go with an offshore dive, make sure you account for the rule of twelfths, diving on the incoming tide and ensure you’ve properly planned both you entry and exit points.
There are no diving courses for us this week after last weeks PADI Open Water Diver completion dives and PADI Rescue Diver open water section. We’ve also run the Emergency First Responder course required for the PADI Rescue Diver course which provides students with a level of first aid to deal with a number of situations as first on scene – and not just diving accidents.
We’ll be back in Hebron Hall in Cardiff soon, starting another group of students on their Scuba Diving adventure.
CAUTIONS – As is always the case, throughout the year, in South Wales we’ll still need to take precautions with regards to thermal protection (wetsuits, drysuits, hoods, gloves). Although the tidal movement is smaller than it can be here is South Wales, there will still be a large movement of water between high and low. Plan you dive, entry and exit points and times accordingly.
We could see acceptable conditions for Scuba Diving on the South Wales coast this weekend. Swell is set to be low and we have North / North East winds, which should keep the swell low. We have had some fairly unsettled conditions recently and are expecting some more heavy rain on Friday so visibility could be a problem.
For the best conditions head to the more sheltered bays, such as Stackpole Quay and Oxwich Bay and always remember the rule of twelfths, ensuring you dive on the incoming tide. Be aware of wind direction changing, Southerlies and Westerlies could lead to unacceptable conditions, and increasing swell size, particularly for a shore dive.
If you want to be confident of getting a dive in, the best option is to head inland. The National Diving and Activity Centre (NDAC) in Chepstow will offer diving less affected by the environmental conditions.
The instructors have been travelling all over the UK these last weeks, putting on PADI Open Water Diver courses for schools across the South East of England. This weekend they’re having a break from training but will be back next weekend taking students through the referral part of the PADI Open Water Diver qualification. We also have some Advanced Open Water course coming up in June.
CAUTIONS – We’re still going to need to take sensible precautions with regards to thermal protection as water temperatures are still going to be quite low. If you are planning to dive off the coast in South Wales, ensure you are aware of the changing conditions, making sure you know the conditions for both the beginning and the end of the dive.
Ocean Quest is South Wales Premier PADI Dive Centre, established in 1998 across Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Bridgend and South Wales. Ocean Quest is the longest running Scuba Diving Training facility in South Wales.
Ocean Quest has won numerous awards within the Scuba Diving and Watersports Industry including the prestigious PADI International Key Man Centre of the year award, the most prestigious acknowledgement awarded by PADI International
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