Alternative Names: Porthkerris Reef, Drawna reef.
Type of Dive: Shore dive and snorkelling.
Suggested experience: Trainee upwards
Travel directions: Google
Parking directions: In the car park at the dive centre. Google £2 per car and £3 per diver.
Distance from Helston: 13 Miles 30 Mins Exeter: 113 Miles 2 hrs 30 Mins
Lat & Long: N50.06578 W -5.06499
Tides: Tide tables Drawna rocks can be dived at all states of the tide and nestle under high cliffs and are protected from all but Easterly Winds, therefore, in the summer, when the prevailing winds are occasionally very strong from the south-west, Porthkerris is generally flat calm.
Site entry/exit: Hold onto the handrail and head for the shingle beach. (watch out as the rocks are usually slippy)
Underwater directions: Take a bearing on the two angular rocks (to the left when you are facing the sea) and head out towards the rocks and the reef runs roughly parallel to the shore North-South, with depths of 5-8m on the inside, and deepening to 13-17m on the outside. When you reach the end of the Drawna rocks, you'll come across a large gully, formed between the main reef and the most southerly rock. It is possible to swim through here on a slack or flood tide but can be hard work on an ebbing tide as the water rushes out to sea. For this reason, some divers prefer to reverse the dive route on a falling tide. There is large Ballan wrasse here. At the northern point where most people carry on round Drawna rocks, mainly because they do not know that there is another reef that runs east from the northern tip. It’s best not to go there on a spring tide, especially out of slack water. Head along the south side of the Reef as this part of the reef has a lot less kelp and a lot more life.
Site Hazards: Boats and currents between the Island and the shore. Watch out for the currents on the seaward side during springs, check the tide tables.
Nearest Public phone: At the dive centre.
Mobile Network service:
Other comments: This is a great place for a dive club to go for a weekend or even a week as there is plenty of good diving here. This is a fantastic dive for photographers to take your camera. There have been more than 100 recorded shipwrecks in this relatively small area and the dive centre has a dive boat so there is plenty of choice for all sorts of diver.
Pub: Trengilly Wartha
Created by: Porthkerris divers
Cafe: At the dive centre
Air & Nitrox: Porthkerris divers
Surface Photos: Contact me
Underwater Photos: Utube
Dive Report: Jane Wilkinson 28/12/10 For those days when the weather prevents a boat trip, an excellent alternative is the shore dive from the beach. The best entry point is at the northern end of the beach where the dive centre has thoughtfully put a handrail to guide you over the steepest part of the rocks.
As you follow the reef out, the depth quickly increases to around 15m. Following the reef, to its farthest point, it bottoms out at around 25m. Although this dive can be done at any state of the tide, care needs to be taken once you are the seaward side of these rocks during spring tides.
Often reputed to be the best shore dive in Cornwall, it certainly lives up to its reputation with the huge variety of sea life present. Filter-feeding animals abound on the furthest rock faces making the most of the passing currents that bring them sustenance, while large Ballan and corkwing wrasse glide silently about amongst the shallower seaweed forests. Cuttlefish lurk in corners, lifting two tentacles to wave defiantly at you if you invade their space, and the usual male cuckoo wrasse lurks at arm's length darting off every time the ‘big eye’ of your camera lens appears.
With the dive centre also offering a launch and rescue service for club boats and those exploring the coastline, Porthkerris is an ideal place to stay. Having all the facilities one requires for a diving weekend in one place is rare in the UK and so makes for a very relaxed break.
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