Andy Torbet Names His Favourites

21 May 2013
To celebrate the launch of ukdivesite.com we spoke to extreme diver and all round action man Andy Torbet, fresh from diving glacial lakes and avoiding Polar Bears for BBC2's Operation Iceberg, about which UK dive/snorkel sites would make his best of list.

Best Snorkel Site: It's a hard one. After completing 88 snorkels during my Britain by Snorkel project I've seem some crackers but I'd have to say Swanage Pier, by day and night, takes some beating for it's easy, safe access and mix of man-made structures and wildlife.

Best Shore Dive: I love exploring so any dive that's in a new, remote area where no one else has ever dived. I love living out of my car for days at a time and plopping in wherever looks new. The North West coast of Scotland is great for this - up around Cape Wrath or some of the less well known little islands and promontories.

Best Tech Dive: I'm usually keen on my project, whatever that is. At the moment it's finishing off exploring a flooded mine in Wales where no one has been since it closed down over 80 years ago. It's still full of old tracks, cart, machinery and tool - it's like wreck diving but without the weather issues. Although I'm starting another wreck diving project soon in the English Channel on an un-dived, unidentified wreck.

Best Boat Dive: Tricky, very tricky - The Eddystone Lighthouse can be stunning, especially as a backdrop or even the Mewstone outside Dartmouth but mostly because I get there on a free ride on Monty's boat and the rest of the gang are with us. That's one big advantage of boats - they are pretty sociable. The finest bit of kayak diving I did was completed by myself and Dan Bolt where we spent 10 hours paddling and diving on 7 shipwrecks having set off from Salcombe and finished in Thurlstone. Awesome scenery and a months worth of wrecks in a day!

Best Wreck Dive: I'm usually going tech'ed up with trimix and a CCR so my favourite wreck diving is on an unexplored, deep wreck which there are still plenty of out there around the UK. I do think the HMS Port Napier is the finest wreck to snorkel/freedive though.

Best Inland Site: Ah, who not to offend. Ok the honest answer is this; There is nowhere perfect, yet. I'm a Scotsman who has adopted the West Country so it's the sites down in the South West I tend to go for. I like the fact I can park next to the water at Vobster so days of kit wrangling are well served, but NDAC has the depth needed in a lot of the training I do. There is also Cromhall, a place unknown to most unless you're from Bristol, the owner Simon is a relaxed, friendly guy and has been supportive when I've just needed to dip for 5 minutes to weight or bubble check a new piece of kit, it's also 15 minutes from my house. It's pretty basic but if all you need is a convenient body of water to shake out, test kit with minimum fuss it does the job.

You can catch up with Andy's past projects and latest exploits by visiting his website www.AndyTorbet.com or by following him on Facebook and Twitter