Porthkerris Newsletter 2023
Happy New Year! It has been so quiet here at Porthkerris and we are looking forward to everyone again when we open at the end of March when the Universities arrive for their annual training. The first Porthkerris daffodil appeared a few days ago which is a sign that the dive season is not far away! Bookings have been flying in and it looks like its going to be another busy year.
Dive Project Cornwall
We have been so proud to host this amazing project run by Andy Forster. Following a competition to enter, 20 schools are chosen to enable 20 of their pupils to come to Porthkerris and learn to dive. We have set up a special camping area for them to stay for 6 nights. Various organisations, such as the Marine Conservation Society and the Falmouth Marine School are invited to give presentations to the students. The feedback from the students and teachers has been amazing. Some of them hadn’t ever seen the sea, let alone dived in it. The project continues on 16th April through to 5th August. Dive Centres can also get involved in the project being a host to their chosen school in the area. For more information see www.diveprojectcornwall.co.uk
After several years of working at Porthkerris we say a sad farewell to Shannon who has gone to broaden her horizons in a different line of work. She is only down the road so still a part of the Porthkerris family. Shannon has been a much-valued member of the team working in the dive shop/office and during her time here has progressed from doing her Dive master internship here to becoming a dive instructor.
Thanks to the amazing instructor David Roberts we did lots of courses last year….Open water, advanced open water, Rescue, Drysuit etc as well as heaps of try dives and guided dives. Our Dive master interns Aaron, Aimee, Ben, Harvey, Jess, and Tom all passed with flying colours and were a great part of the Porthkerris team. David always prefers to be in the sea rather on land and has well thousands of dives to his name. He got married to the wonderful Heather at the end of last year.
Our fantastic Skipper Dave will be back at Porthkerris this year after the birth of his little boy in March.
Harvey, Rico and Luca ran the compressor room last year and did such a great job. Luca and Rico will all be back again this year, with Rico continuing with his Dive Master Internship and Luca instructing Freediving. Harvey is having such a great time Dive Mastering in Thailand, that he has decided to stay out abit longer!
Bart came back for a second year to run the beach café and provide hungry divers with delicious food. He will be back again this year and has some new ideas for the menu. Any suggestions for new ideas are also greatly received.
Sophie has been behind the scenes in charge of changeovers, making sure all the accommodation here is clean, comfortable and welcoming. Her baby is due in a couple of months so will be on maternity leave this year.
Georgina and her crew will continue running Aquacity Freediving at Porthkerris teaching freediving courses and organising freediving trips off the boats, such as trips to Fraggle Rock to dive with the seals.
We kept Mike busy running the Celtic Cat and as a reward have let him buy new shiny engines for it! It is also being refurbished too and will be ready for its first charter of the year at the end of April.
We also run a sheep and cattle farm here at Porthkerris so have been kept busy out of season with all the cows calving. The last one was a couple of days ago and now we are getting ready for the lambing season which starts next month. We also added 5 boer goats to our flock who are also due to kid next month, so there should be 4 cute babies running around this year! What with all these animals plus peacocks, chickens and of course Charlie the Cat and our dogs, Margo and Puff, Porthkerris is a great place not just for divers, but also their families to explore.
We have spaces throughout the year for dive master interns. We advise that they spend at least 6 weeks here at Porthkerris to get the maximum out of the experience.
As Shannon will no longer we with us, we will also be looking for someone to help run the office and dive shop. It’s a full-time position (weekends essential) and is from March to the end of October.
We will also be looking for someone to cover Sophies maternity leave this year. This position will be from April to the end of October. Hours are variable depending on changeover dates.
As Harvey will not we with us this dive season, we will also be looking for someone to run the compressor room and general work around the dive centre. It’s a full-time position (weekends essential) and is from March to the end of October.
Dive Project Cornwall are also looking for volunteers to help out with the project which is a great opportunity for people to be involved in this exciting new project.
Accommodation on site may also available. For more information, please drop me an email.
As usual we have seen an abundance of marine life here at Porthkerris. We are so lucky to be situated in a Special area of Conservation and on the doorstep of the Manacles Marine Conservation Zone. In the last few weeks we have seen hundreds of dolphins, a fin whale and even a humpback whale in the bay here. The seals are enjoying the peace and quiet here and are often seen sleeping on the beach.
Film Location Work
Porthkerris is also a film location venue and in the past we have hosted an array of productions. Here are a few of them:
Bundaberg Rum advert
Devon and Cornwall (True North)
Cornwall Air Ambulance (Beagle)
Blowfish - Marine adventure series (Off The Fence Productions)
Hugh's Three Hungry Boys
Tall Ships Race
Its such exciting news that the Tall Ships Race will be back in the area this year between the 15th and 18th August. We will be doing boat trips out to see the ships https://www.falmouth.co.uk/tallships/
Our dive shop is just about to be re stocked so we can supply our customers with great quality dive gear, free dive gear, clothing, fishing gear and gifts etc. Our suppliers include: Beaver, Fourth Element, Mares, Scuba Pro, Typhoon, WSB and amazing books from authors and marine photographers like Paul Naylor and Will Appleyard. We are in the process of designing a new Porthkerris clothing range too.
Bookings for accommodation, camping and charters are coming in fast and furious. Weekends can get very booked up in advance (especially accommodation and the Celtic Cat), so if you do want a weekend booking then let us know ASAP so we can get you pencilled in. Our prices have increased slightly this year in line with all our cost increases and the fact that we rarely increase them! We are still keeping them all as reasonable as possible.
Unfortunately we have not run any Basking Shark trips now for about 8 years due to hardly seeing them around here anymore. We started doing Blue Shark trips a few years ago and these have proved to be immensely popular. We do these on the Celtic Cat Between June and September. We are very strict on only doing these trips when the conditions are right. We arrange them either last minute (i.e. 4 days in advance) when we know that the conditions are favourable and the boat is available. Or a group of divers can book the whole boat for a dive trip and if the conditions are right at the time and everyone agrees they can change it to a shark trip.
See you all again soon!
We can’t wait to see everyone again soon and looking forward to meeting new clubs, dive Centres and individuals who are new to Porthkerris. Although the Shop/office down at the Beach doesn’t officially open until the end of March when our first Universities start to arrive for their annual training, I am working in the warmth up at the house and am always at the end of the phone or email to take bookings and answer questions etc.
Much love and best wishes from Jo and the rest of the wonderful Porthkerris team xx