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Gilstone reef is located a short distance east of St. Mary's southern and most prominent point Peninnis Head in the Scilly Isles, barely breaking the surface. Insignificant in its terrestrial outlook, below the waterline you will find a jewel in the Scilly's crown. Considered a superb dive by many scuba divers, probably many dives are needed on this reef to appreciate all its qualities. Starting down the shot line, descending to 17 meters, a whole vertical rock is on vew. A dense plastering of closed orange & yellow plumose anemones extend some 10m in height above and below, and about 10m across. The whole dive can be spent in the first 20m of the wall or less, but for those wishing to move on, a plateau is encountered at 20m covered in a sparse head of kelp fronds behind which are deep cut gullies leading into the rocks centre.

Dogfish can be encountered, but look into the water column for the numerous pollack, mackerel and in the fissures for the plentiful wrasse varieties. Towards ascent, follow the dive into the rock as it naturally goes upwards and provides for a great multilevel dive, enabling more time to be spent at around 8-10m. Fields of deep green kelp are interspersed with yet more rocks daubed in anemones and filter feeders, whilst numerous fish varieties.

Diving profileGilstone Reef

  • Level: Advanced
  • Depth: 8m to 23m
  • Seabed: Rock and gravel.
  • Average water Temperature: 7ºC - 16ºC
  • Visibility: Medium
  • Best season for diving: Summer
  • Closest hyperbaric chamber: -