Diving in the Channel Islands

The Channel Islands are an aptly named group of islands that reside in the English Channel, roughly between Normandy, France, and Dorset. England. There are two major islands that make up the Channel Islands, Jersey, and Guernsey, although what is considered Guernsey administratively also includes the islands of Alderney, Sark, and a few smaller islands. All told, there are seven Channel Islands that are inhabited by people, and 13 additional islands that are either uninhabited or only temporarily inhabited. These islands range in size from 118 square kilometers (Jersey) to islands that are less than a quarter square kilometer. Here the underwater life is fantastic, ranging from basking sharks and wrasses to seahares, scallops and colorful dragonets. That’s just for starters. Here dolphins and porpoises often chase dive vessels and you can also spot marbled electric rays and tiny seahorses. The waters are warmer, visibility is excellent and there are pristine reef sites to explore, while the islands’ rugged coastlines keep dives interesting. Keep in mind that with huge tidal ranges you should seek local advice before diving.

Aquatic Life in Channel Islands

The Channel Island region is a great place to dive in the UK to see a wide range of underwater species, especially in the winter months when the water temperatures around the Channel Islands stay much warmer than the temperatures do off the coast of the UK mainland. The reefs in this area are abundant and they are home to many types of marine life like rays, wrasse, flatfish, cuttlefish, pouting and conger eel. There are seals at play in this area as well and you can enjoy reefs and pinnacles, and see anemones, sponges and fan corals.