High tide at Torquay is 8 mins after Dartmouth high tide. When working out high and low tide don't forget to take account for Daylight Savings settings!
Torbay has a tidal range of 4 - 5m 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.
For information and Notices from the Harbour Master, visit the Tor Bay Harbour website. To contact Tor Bay Services concerning harbours and beaches, all 01803-208443 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm). For out of office hours emergencies, call SWISCo on 01803-701310.
There is a webcam overlooking Town Dock (see it here).
There's also a webcam overlooking the harbour in Torquay - check it out here and one overlooking the bay from the Livermead Cliff Hotel - see it here. Another useful webcam is at Brixham Breakwater - check it out here. If this is not working, you can try this camera in Brixham (this one switches between viewpoints). One of the most useful webcams is operated from the NCI station at Daddyhole Plain (see below) which scans the bay (see it here).
At Torbay BSAC we have our own compressor, but this is for members only - we cannot supply air commercially.
Air fills (and Nitrox) are available from the following: -
- Teign Dive Centre, Quay Road, Teignmouth, TQ14 8ER. Tel: 01626 773965
- Note that Venture Sports in Paignton stopped supplying air fills in October 2020 (we now have their compressor)
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. There is a live webcam looking out over Thatcher Rock and across the bay which seems to be back in operation again.
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.
Other Water Users
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. This is a new innovation that may be extended to other areas.
More information on sea grass is available at these websites:
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.
Local Dive Sites
To learn more about the local marine life, we recommend this book by Dr Paul Naylor, who also runs a very informative website that you can access here.
Paul also helped us with the Beacon Cove poster.