In my last post about freediving dive sites we covered the southern end of Newquay, Pentire and fistral. If we move north a little bit we get 2 more really great spots.
The headland north of Fistral beach is called Towan headland and it is surrounded by great freediving locations.
The deepest is the area which surrounds the reef known as the Cribbar. This stretches out as an underwater continuation of the headland itself. At high tide, on the further reaches of the reef the water will be about 25m deep and has a prolific array of fish which frequent the reef. Only dive-able on a slack tide and when there is no swell this is an amazing spot and well worth the wait. There is also a wreck near the end of the reef. Its very likely that you will be joined by some seals whilst on your dive so dont get a shock if you are not the only one at the bottom. There is another sneaky little spot which you can get a really sheltered dive in (only 8m deep), which is an inkwell shaped tiny cove, nestled in to the rocks on the headland, you will know it when you find it. In the below picture you can see Fistral beach to the center and the Headland hotel sitting on the left.
The next spot is a very protected area, not deep (about 10m at high tide but really fun and consistent. Its the area which runs along the northern edges of the headland and is hidden from almost all swells and the prevailing wind. Locally its called the Gazzle, and its well know by anyone who scuba dives or has done a spot of coasteering in Newquay. You can find more local seals and plenty of fish to look at. This is actually a marine conservation area and there is a seahorse breeding area here, so be careful with your fins. I have also seen lots of cuttlefish swimming gently along its boundaries. Be careful of boat traffic though as the fishermen drop their crab pots in this area and you occasionally get tourists on jet skis coming over from Lusty glaze.
Both of these spots are best accessed from the Towan headland carpark, with entry to the gazzle from the old lifeboat slipway or the rock slipway on the western end. Cribbar is best accessed from either Little Fistral beach or from the tip of the headland.