Stoke Point (around 50° 17.24ÂN 4° 1.30ÂW)
The seabed off Stoke Point and to the west could well be described as South DevonÂs ÂSponge GardensÂ. When we get there, we look at the echo sounder for both depth and seabed structure Â there are extensive areas of coarse sand but also lots of sticking-up bits. DonÂt worry if you hit sand, you should fairly soon find one of the low reefs.
This is a great location for photography of colourful marine life and, if the tide is running, for a drift dive that is like the end of a games show where all the goodies come past you on a conveyor belt Â but you are the one thatÂs moving. There are depths to suit novice divers but the best rock formations and wildlife are deeper than 20 m below low water level. Pause and look where the sand covers low-lying rocks Â there are many species of sponges including some rare and scarce ones.
Stoke Point is a reasonably short trip in the Clubs RIBs out of Plymouth and is a typical dive for a Saturday morning, weekday or an evening dive in mid-summer. By Keith Hiscock
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All underwater images ©Keith Hiscock