Lundy, North Devon - 21st - 23rd June 2024

Lundy lies off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic ocean meets the Bristol Channel, with nothing between it and America!

Twelve adventurous divers from ECSAC braved the Friday traffic to head down to Ilfracombe for a weekend’s diving in the waters surrounding Lundy (Old Norse for ‘Puffin Island’). Our boat was to be the Barbra B operated by Lundy Diving and skippered by Ben Bengey, son of the late Andrew Bengey (known to many who have dived in the area). 

After meeting in Ilfracombe and checking out the local Weatherspoon’s, we stayed at the Ocean Backpackers for a round of who can snore the loudest!

Saturday the 22nd of June


Saturday morning we met with the crew of the Barbra B and headed out into the rolling Bristol Channel. The Barbara B is a well equipped hard boat with overhang wheelhouse for shelter from the sun and wind (when required), a large deck area for kitting up, and divers lift at the stern.

Unfortunately, as we set off we were head on into the wind and the waves, however the conditions were fair and the wind was light. So, after just over an hour we arrived at the first dive site in the waters of Lundy.

Dive 1: Gannets Bay

A nice easy introduction to our time at Lundy, with a max depth of 10M. This was a dive over the kelp forest, with seals zooming around us.

Dive 2: Knoll Pins

The knoll pins are two granite pinnacles sticking up from a sandy seabed at 20M. The pins themselves were covered with all kinds of life, from soft corals, sponges through to lobsters and shoals of sand eels with a couple of pipefish hunting them. We were again lucky enough to have seals joining us on this dive, nibbling fins and showing us how easy it is to swim underwater. This is a great dive and definitely recommended with viz over 10M.

On our return to shore, we filled our cylinders at the local BSAC club. They run a fantastic service for the charter companies filling the cylinders while a few of us relaxed in their bar. We then regrouped and headed up the hill for a curry and a visit to a much better pub, the oldest in Ilfracombe, followed by round two of the snoring competition.

Sunday the 23rd of June


We were greeted by much calmer seas and the sail over to Lundy was done in no time. There were no dolphins escorting us, but we heard they did join a boat that departed 20 minutes before us – maybe next time! We arrived at the island to see it topped with clouds but really nice calm waters.


 Dive 3: Brazen Ward

This was a semi-circular bay, with a kelp forest and more seals buzzing around us. Everyone was treated to the most amazing interactions with the inquisitive seals. On this dive, one took quite a shine to Vladimir’s fins!

For those that found it, there was the last remains of a small wreck at the head of the bay. Venturing beyond the bay and further along the coastline lead to a lovely sequence of stepped shelves covered in life.

Dive 4: Carmine Filomena

A huge wreck, about 100M long, that sank in 1937. The shot line dropped us straight onto the prop shaft. As the wreck was so big, it was very easy to navigate and loads for everyone to explore. There were huge wrasse, pollack, spider crabs everywhere as well as numerous other life in all the crevices formed by the remains of the boat. This again is definitely a recommended dive site, but with the wreck being on the southern tip of the island, a good understanding of the local tides is essential or you’ll be whipped straight off it. Max depth was about 12M due to the low spring tide but the viz was up to 10M at times.

The return back to the mainland on Sunday afternoon was a calm as could be. The waves had completely dropped which made for an easy tip back, then it was time to pack up and grab a quick bite of food to revive us before the long drive home.

Lundy is such a good place to dive. The team at Lundy Diving know the area perfectly and are highly recommended for anyone running a trip to the area. We were lucky to have clear, sunny skies; fair winds, calm seas – and seals galore! You couldn’t wish for better trip conditions.

Thanks to ECSAC buddies Clemmie, Dave M, Alison, Loz, Nathan, Vladimir, Meg, Rosy, Janet, Jo and Ken  for making this such a fun trip. 

Underwater photographs – Meg.    Video clips – Vladmir & Alison

Ian H

Seal encounter  – Vladimir

Blue jellyfish – Alison

Eyelash worm- Alison