Saturday, 10 June 2017

Summer Snorkelling

There is nothing better than being on a beach on sunny summer afternoon. How often have you sat on the beach, enjoyed an ice cream or gone for a paddle? Many of us snorkel when on holiday but for some reason do not consider exploring the seas back in the UK. I am often told by people that they really enjoy snorkelling and watching the marine life whilst relaxing on the water; but they seem surprised when I suggest doing it here!

OK,  I will admit that our waters can be a little cooler than some of the holiday destinations that you may visit. However, with the right equipment you can explore the myriad of life you can find on our shores in comfort. Often you do not need to go far from the beach - an afternoon exploring the life along our groynes reveals a world that most people do not even know is there. You can watch young blennies sunbathe, anemones feed, prawns soak up the rays, crabs hunt and pipefish rest just metres from the beach.

Sunset at the RNLI Boat House
The marine life in the UK tends to be shy: rather than being bright bold colours it tends to camouflage. Better to avoid prying eyes! Once you know what you are looking for it is amazing just how much there is. An easy way to learn how to find the life is to have a guide, show you where to look and that is where we are delighted to help.   

For the last two years Mulberry Divers have been running guided snorkel tours from Selsey. In our first year concentrating on sites we could reach from the shore and then last year we introduced the chance to visit and snorkel some of the great sites accessible by boat. This summer our programme will cover both shore and boat events.

Great Conditions at Selsey
Mulberry Divers start the programme each year with events that are part of Selsey Walking and Outdoor Festival - a celebration of enjoying the outdoors. Walking, cycling and snorkelling are just some of the events on offer. This year we ran an evening tour on the 31st May, it was a great way to end a sunny day and we got to explore the Lifeboat Station for the last time. When the day changes to night, the life in the water changes; we find fish looking for resting places for the night and the hunters come out to feed. Selsey is famous for crab and lobster and they are much more active at night, one twilight evening we were lucky enough to watch a lobster catch a fish for tea and eat it.

The boat trips will visit some of the shallow wreck and reef sites. Last summer we took a ride out to the Inner Mulberry. This is part of the Mulberry Harbours used for the WWII D-Day landings. At certain times it is exposed and offers a good size site to snorkel and explore. The beacon marking it is also covered in life and small blennies were hiding amongst the barnacles.

The schedule this year is spread primarily throughout July and August to take advantage of the summer weather. We will be offering tours in the evenings and during the day. It makes a fun family day and we welcome children over 10, they need to be accompanied by an adult please if they are under 14. The shore tours are suitable for all levels of experience we just ask that you be a reasonable swimmer. The boat tours require some snorkelling experience and to be a confident swimmer. If you do not have your own equipment we can hire what you need to stay warm and have fun.

If you would like more information on dates you can find details on the website. To book a place you can either call or email the Dive Centre. We would love to show you the amount of life easily accessible from our shores.