Alternative Names: The Boomerang, The Swellies
Type of Dive: The Menai Straits is a great drift dive if you dive with someone who has experience in doing it right.
Suggested Experience: Experienced diver.
Travel directions: From Birmingham154 Miles 2 hrs 40 Mins Google map
Lat & Long: 53.21989,-4.16216 Postcode LL57 2HZ Google
Tides: Timing is critical on this dive if you want to avoid a walk home. Dive at neaps, slack water is about three hours before Liverpool low water slack you need to be entering the water about 20 minutes before that. Tide tables Tidetimes
Site entry/exit: You can enter Anglesey via either bridge and make your way to the bottom of the Menai bridge (the north of the two) on the Anglesey side
Underwater directions: You will drift SW for about 20 minutes, then about 5 minutes of slack and then the current reverses and takes you NE back to the start. A good indication for the right time to enter the water is to wait until the water level is within a metre off the end of the wall. The seabed is a mixture of gravel, bare rock and boulders. There is a wreck called the Conway between the two bridges in an area known as The Swellies - it's closer to the suspension bridge & on the mainland side of the Straits.
Air & Nitrox: Mike's at Trearrdur Bay. Anglesay divers
Site Hazards: The Menai Strait should be avoided on spring-tides when currents can reach up to eight knots and watch for surface traffic.
Nearest Public phone: Contact me
Mobile Network service: Most work here
Other comments: The telephone cable runs across the straits between the two yellow markers, it's about 4 inches in diameter and easy to spot. It's a good idea to locate the telephone cable and simply follow it until you are about 15m and then let go and drift away. On the return journey watch out for the cable again and when you hit it follow it SE back towards your entry point.
Caroline Sampson from Anglesey Divers would also recommend that people only drift in the Straits if they have boat cover or are extremely experienced, or they could end up walking a long way back to their starting point! Slack stops and starts with a click of a finger, it's that quick and gets up to speed very quickly. Divers would find it hard to navigate the cable underwater when the tide is running, so it would be difficult to reach 15 meters depth and then ‘let go’ and let the tide take you. It would be better to treat the Menai as a slack water dive unless divers have boat cover and then the boat can drop them in the appropriate area for the drift dive.
Pub: The Anglesay arms
Cafe: None close to here
Thanks To: Caroline Sampson
Created by: James Young.
Divesite map: Contact me
Dive reports: The Menai Straits offers exciting sheltered drift diving with rich marine life during NEAP tides. Enter the water below the Anglesey Arms, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, 2-3 hrs. before Liverpool L.W.slack and swim into the middle of the channel. Submerge as the current eases off and drift for about 0.5 miles, explore the Swellie rock and then drift back with the flood tide - finally surfacing somewhere near to your starting point. (Use a compass to make sure you stay on the North Side on the way back) Very little boat traffic at low water but take care in case the odd one comes by! This dive has become known as the 'boomerang' dive and during Winter months with S.W. winds, the visibility on night dives can be incredibly good (10-20 metres!) when visibility is the sea is poor. There are several access points but one is GPS 53 13.290N 004 09.785W.
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