Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?
Register
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    TDF Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    129
    Likes (Given)
    103
    Likes (Received)
    72

    Diving Quiberon - Brittany

    Just back from a two week trip to Southern Brittany, staying near Quiberon. I'd asked a while back if anyone had recommendations but drew a blank so thought I'd write up a bit in case anyone else is going that way! Any questions, just ask but I've tried to cover the main points.

    Brittany is a lovely part of the world. Took the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo, and then a 2hr drive to Auray, in the Morbihan department. Was with wife and baby, so not a diving trip, but decided to try and wangle a few dives whilst out there.

    Early internet research indicated three dive centres, and tourist stuff when I got out there confirmed only the same three:


    France wants dive medicals by a doctor, no self-certification allowed. I used Dr Alastair Wilcockson in Portsmouth who was really good - never had a medical before for diving, so blood pressure, urine check, BMI, spirograph test on the lungs and heart checked with an all clear certificate on the FFESSM (Fédération Française d'études et de Sports Sous-Marins) forms so there were no worries about translation.

    Looking at the websites, Haliotis* seemed to be more set up for casual passing divers, so I emailed them before going out and booked a morning dive. Google translate is your friend for the emails - I can do French but its pretty rusty, and diving French was a whole new world...

    Rocked up - weather was bad and blown out, but came back two days later when all was calmer and all went ahead.

    Haliotis has a small building on the edge of Portivy, and runs a rib out from the harbour there. Everything was done in French, although when I struggled or looked blank, they did use some English. They did check my medical, my certification, and looked at my logbook. I was paired with a random French diver, but following the instructor who was keeping an eye on us whilst guiding another diver.

    The west coast of Quiberon is similar to Cornwall; granite, with lots of gullies and outcrops, kelp forest, tons of jewel anemones, cup corals, lots of pink sea fans, snake locks in the shallower sections, couple of nudibranch (small white dorids - not sure exactly what), a few urchins, spider crabs, lobster, crawfish, prawns, congers, octopus etc. Max depth 20m, Vis was about 5-6 m, water was 18 degrees.

    Really nice dive, very relaxed and worth doing.

    Thought I'd try visiting Carnac Plongée as we were there a day later. The place was closed (despite having a sign saying open 7 days a week), didn't respond to emails, and only got voicemail when called. A day or so later, I got a call back saying they had closed for the year, so probably only operate in the high season. Managed to wangle another dive back at Haliotis a few days later, different location, but similar sea life. Another random French diver pairing, and now trusted to head off and explore by ourselves.

    I'll try and post some images when I get time, but mainly shot video on a GoPro so will take a while to pull the right stuff off.

    Cost: £85 for a dive medical, and diving was EUR 50 each time (EUR 35 for the dive, EUR 15 for kit rental)
    Diving: lots of wildlife, similar to Cornwall / Devon, good vis, wish I'd taken my big camera
    Other: Plan ahead and email first! Nice beaches for long suffering partners to wait patiently for you on. Don't expect much English to be spoken. Not sure that many English (or other nationalities) divers go there. July/August is their main season, October was definitely low season.

    *not to be confused with Halitosis, especially when speaking to the owners...

  2. #2
    Tofu eating wokerato Chrisch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    9,585
    Likes (Given)
    1002
    Likes (Received)
    4215
    Thanks for posting - glad you enjoyed it. France has some great diving but it is somewhat different. Well worth the little bit of effort though.
    We give £350m a week to the EU. Let's give it to Dido Harding instead.

  3. #3
    TDF Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    129
    Likes (Given)
    103
    Likes (Received)
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisch View Post
    France has some great diving but it is somewhat different.
    Oh yes...! The buddy check consisted of someone staggering over from the other side of the rib, nodding at me, and rolling backwards as I was saying "Bonjour". About five minutes into the dive I realised his octopus was still tied in a knot and velcro'd to the inflation hose to stop it dragging in the mud when being carried out of the dive shack. He seemed surprised when I wanted a three min safety stop as well at the end of the dive. I was half expecting a bottle of wine to be produced at the end...

  4. #4
    Established TDF Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bedfordshire
    Posts
    3,978
    Likes (Given)
    1036
    Likes (Received)
    1928
    Blog Entries
    1
    For many years, most of the french divers didn't bother with contents gauges - they simply had restrictors on their cylinders. When it got hard to breath, you pulled a lever which removed the restriction and headed to the surface. Decompression stops - Quesque c'est?

  5. #5
    TDF Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    268
    Likes (Given)
    456
    Likes (Received)
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
    I was half expecting a bottle of wine to be produced at the end...
    In Italy we were often plied with wine and Jägermeister on our Sunday dives.....

  6. #6
    TDF Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    129
    Likes (Given)
    103
    Likes (Received)
    72
    I've had it in Croatia before, was actually quite a nice way to finish the day!

  7. #7
    TDF Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    268
    Likes (Given)
    456
    Likes (Received)
    162
    Quote Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
    I've had it in Croatia before, was actually quite a nice way to finish the day!
    For younger/newbie viewers this was in the olden days before we all became sensible and self-righteous.....

  8. #8
    TDF Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    129
    Likes (Given)
    103
    Likes (Received)
    72
    Quinoa and tofu smoothie anyone?

  9. #9
    Tofu eating wokerato Chrisch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Poole
    Posts
    9,585
    Likes (Given)
    1002
    Likes (Received)
    4215
    Quote Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
    Quinoa and tofu smoothie anyone?
    You would have to go to a pet food shop to get that in France. Red wine and cheese lunch is the sole reason I took up cave diving.
    We give £350m a week to the EU. Let's give it to Dido Harding instead.

  10. #10
    Established TDF Member Energy58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    London at the moment
    Posts
    2,127
    Likes (Given)
    343
    Likes (Received)
    584
    Quote Originally Posted by divechick View Post
    For younger/newbie viewers this was in the olden days before we all became sensible and self-righteous.....
    What!!! Is the deco beer dead????


 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •