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Scuba Diving South Coast England, UK, Europe
Dive Site: Mussel Beds / Peveril Ledge
Location: Durlston Head, southwest of Swanage Bay
Depth: 22 metres max (72 feet)
Visibility: 5 - 15 metres (15 - 50 feet)
The visibility here varies depending on the time of year and weather conditions. The current can be quite rapid, so launch an SMB on the surface. The bedding in the rock has eroded to create gullies of varying depths that the current sweeps you up, down and over them. With a keen eye you may see cuttlefish, wrasse, plaice, crabs, anemones and starfish on the rocky bottom, but probably a distinct lack of mussels!
You can also dive further along the coast, just under the lighthouse. The current seems to be minimal in this area if you get in close to the cliff, and there are lots of large boulders breaking up the seabed. These are home to countless lobsters, crabs, squat lobsters and anemones and the shallow depth of the water makes this a very pretty dive site with lots of life. When I dived here in August with a water temperature of 16°C and vis of around 6m it felt positively tropical! Even in May the vis was good and the water nice and light. Max depth in the lighthouse area is 9m, with much of the seabed not exceeding 6m.
I have dived Peveril Ledge a couple of times and if you catch it right, which you have to! (Get local Knowledge!! Otherwise you could end up in France!) You can drift along the ledge for ages! Loads to see and a really pleasant dive.
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