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Outer Breakwater & Crab Row, Isle of Man dive site - courtesy of Mann Scuba Divers

Isle of Man Scuba Diving

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: Outer Breakwater & Crab Row

Location: Port Erin, Isle of Man

Description: Reef / shore dive

Depth: 12 metres max (40 feet)

Visibility: Up to 10 metres (30 feet)

Rating: ***

The old outer breakwater lies ruined under the water and the old t-blocks create a very sheltered bay on a low tide, one of the main reasons why this is a popular training ground. Port Erin's local dive, affectionately known as Crab Row, is sheltered from most weather except W to SW winds which can unfortunately reduce the visibility. There are two choices at this site; either enter the water at the jetty steps (near the RNLI station) and journey west out towards the old breakwater or enter at the old breakwater steps (in front of the marine biological station) and journey east. Your max. depth will be around 12 metres and it's an easy dive for navigation. If starting from the old breakwater descend along the boulder slope and then head east. If you keep the rocks of your right and keep an eye on that compass you cannot go wrong. One point to note is that you will need to ascend a little to clear the lifeboat slip before you continue you journey eastward towards the jetty. If you start from the small jetty take a bearing and keep the rocks on your left.

You will have a great view of conger eels, wrasse (including cuckoo, ballan and corkwing) and plenty of tompots hiding in all those holes (so take a small torch!). The t-blocks form loads of nooks and crannies to stick your head in to hunt for marine life. At night this site comes alive with squat lobsters feeding along the seabed and if you're lucky, you will sight small bright orange octopus. Your main hazard at this site is boat traffic during the summer (SMBs are advisable). There is also a large amount of fishing line on the seabed which it is advisable not to touch due to fish hooks caught in the line just waiting to snag a passing diver!

Rob Bathgate

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