After a winter of pool training, the early-season trips of most diving clubs are directed towards getting the new crop of divers into the water and building some basic experience.
Then we get further into the season and the emphasis moves more towards the experienced divers. The new and up-and-coming divers may join the trips, but training is no longer the primary objective. So what are some of our favourite locations, once the training phase is complete

Bristol-based Severnside Sub-Aqua Clubs usual trip at this time of year is to the Manacles on the Lizard, but in 2004 the members decided to try Penzance for a change.
We had good reports from four club-members who took a boat there the previous season, says diving officer Chris Ingham. And he emphasises the level of planning for the trip: Bob Bryant spent many an evening trawling the Internet and ringing local dive clubs about the area, and managed to produce some nice A4 sheets with info on the sites in the area and maps.
Accommodation was a mix of camping and static caravans about 20 minutes from Penzance. Club-member Phil Shean comments: It was a bit early in the year for camping but some people prefer it. Static caravans were reasonably priced and comfortable and warm. There was lots of room to park boats on trailers and the site-owner was diver-friendly.
As a club, Severnside is well-equipped with club RIBs and members RIBs. There were 16 divers on the trip and we took four boats belonging to club-members, says Chris. There were a few other divers around, but it was mostly quiet. Launching on the slip at Penzance was a doddle.
We had excellent weather close in, but it wasnt flat, so longer drives like Wolf Rock were out of the question.
They did make it to the Runnelstone, although Phil reckons it was one of the shallower dives that came out top. For me, the best dive was at Logans Gully, because I dived with a seal. Personally, I wouldnt bother with the wreck of the Primrose again because Ive dived it a few times now.
Chris has a couple of final tips for clubs planning a trip: Its worth doing at least once to see what its like. Traffic is always a nightmare on bank holidays, so bear this in mind when you plan your journey.
  • Severnside Sub-Aqua Club, www.severnsidesac.com
  • Air from Bill Bowen on Penzance Pier, 01736 752135.

  • Penzance Dives  
    Logans Gully: Logan Rock is a rocking stone above Castle Treveen Point. Just to the west of the point, a series of ridges and gullies run out to the south-west, with gullies running north-west to south-east, depths ranging from 10-25m.
    Primrose: Small 272 ton coaster Primrose struck Low Lee Ledges off Penlee Point on 23 August, 1906, when approaching Newlyn with a cargo of coal.
    Runnelstone: Granite reef south of Gwennap Head, the Runnelstone used to break the surface until the 6094 steamship City of Westminster broke the top off on 3 November, 1923. Wreck can be found among others directly west of the rock.
    Wolf Rock: Remote granite pinnacle, marked by a lighthouse, 8 miles south-west of Lands End. The lighthouse is surrounded by a shallow reef which then drops rapidly to 60 or 70m. Plenty of marine life on reef, but no wreckage. The many ships wrecked on Wolf Rock have all sunk in the surrounding deep water.

    The boiler of the Moorview beneath the Runnelstone
    a RIB out of Penzance
    and an anglerfish on the Runnelstone
    taking a close look at plumose anemones in Logans Gully