When working out high and low tide don't forget to set the Daylight Savings setting!
Torbay has a 5m tidal range at Springs, and the currents can be strong and unpredictable.
Generally slack can be found 2 hours before and 4 hours after High Water. This varies between Springs and Neaps.
Teignmouth, Torquay, Paignton & Brixham all have slips
Call Torquay harbour on VHF 14.
There's a webcam overlooking the harbour - check it out here.
At Torbay BSAC we have our own compressor, but this is for members only - we cannot supply air commercially.
Air fills (and usually Nitrox) are available from the following: -
- Venture Sports, 371 Torquay Road, Preston, Paignton, TQ3 2BT. Tel 01803 523023
- Teign Dive Centre, Quay Road, Teignmouth, TQ14 8ER. Tel: 01626 773965
If you find yourself afloat to the East of Berry Head (all of Torbay & Teignmouth etc.), call Solent Coastguard. MMSI- 002320011, Telephone: 02392 552100
If you are to the West of Berry Head (Dartmouth direction), call Falmouth Coastguard. MMSI- 002320014, Telephone: 01326 317575
CoastWatch: NCI Torbay
Torbay has a Coast Watch station on Daddyhole Plain (above and to the west of Meadfoot Beach). They can be contacted on VHF 65 for radio checks and weather information, but they cannot log dive plans - you must continue to use the Coastguard for this. See the link below for details. They also have a live webcam looking out over Thatcher Rock and across the bay.
Weather & Visibility
Generally you can dive Torbay comfortably with any wind direction other than an Easterly. Because the Bay faces due East, any wind with an easterly component will drive swells into the bay and disturb the bottom silt, reducing visibility very quickly. It usually takes 3-4 days to clear again, maybe a little less with Spring tides.
Water-skiing is a popular pastime in the bay. Yellow 5kt marker buoys denote areas where boat traffic is discouraged or where vessels must not exceed 5kts. There are marked lanes for water-skiers to approach the beach to pick up & drop off. It is sensible to avoid diving in the vicinity of these!
Wet-bikes, jet-skis, paddle boards & kayaks are also popular in the bay. Good surface cover and a highly visible SMB are advisable. Remember many of these folk will not recognise an A-flag when they see one! Beware.
Devon & Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
Please note that as of 2015, permits are required for any take from the sea in Torbay IFCA area. See the IFCA website for more details on permits.
Torbay boasts some lovely areas of Sea Grass - this marine flowering plant is a protected species and there are restrictions to boating and anchoring in the areas where it grows. You are free to dive it, and you may be lucky and spot a seahorse, but mind your buoyancy and do not anchor!
An eco-mooring buoy has now been established in Fishcombe Cove, Brixham to protect the sea grass beds in this location. More information here. This is a new innovation that may be extended to other areas.
Receiver of Wreck
There are regulations regarding the removal of items from the seabed - check with the Marine Management Organisation to see if you need to apply for a marine license. Any items that are recovered need to be reported to the Receiver of Wreck within 28 days of recovery.