Dive Port en Bessin – a small fishing village situated to the south west of the Bay de Seine in between the landing beaches of Gold & Omaha & the famous cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc where the American Rangers went ashore to destroy the gun batteries and took a battering themselves. The harbour is mainly a fishing port with a large fleet of French fishing trawlers operating from it, they go out daily and returning the same day to land their catch of fresh fish to the market.
There is no real marina here you just lay along the town quay in amongst the other visiting boats and trawlers. If it all gets too busy we rack up along side each other and climb accross the boats and up onto the quayside. The town is quite small with the main area being around the port, there are bars, restaurants & shops along the quayside with the theme very much about the sea & sea food although other quisine is available in all restaurants.
There are several hotels in the town ranging from the Hotel Ibis. the Kings Hotel. and the Hotel De La Marine. There are other hotels available & a Camp Site in the surrounding area but one to check out is The Hotel Mercure. with its heated swimming pools, fitness centre & golf course. There is also Portland Camping.
The reason we enjoy operating from Port en Bessin is that the harbour location offers us great access to the middle & western areas to the Seine Bay. It is quite a tidal affected harbour with access only available 2hrs either side of High Water so timmings are paramount especially if the second dive of the day is the High Water slack as we need to get back to harbour before the lock gates are closed.
Just a 15 minute walk from the Port is the shipwreck museum of Port en Bessin, It is situated on the outskirts of town in a large open area easily identified from a distance by the Alied flags flying from the large cranes. This museum is well worth a visit as it has taken the past 60+ years of clearing the obstructions in the Bay to make it safe for shipping and diving in the area, this has allowed the museum owner the opertunity to collect and preserve the artifacts that you now see in his museum.
Sherman Bulldozer M5A1 Stuart M7 Priest
Here you can see the remains of war, there are tanks, armoured vehicles, big guns, landing crafts, deck guns from submarines and one of the few Valentine amphibious tanks that failed on the 6th June 1944. Inside the museum there are artefacts from the many ships that met their end in 1944 and these include the ships bells from HMS Quorn & HMS Isis, there are also the ships naval crests on display and Steering Helms, Telegraphs & Compass Binaccles. You can see munitions & shell cases of all caliber and personnal objects. There is also a video show that can be watched showing the salvage over the years.
There are lots of unknown targets that we have still to look at and groups willing to be adventurous diving guinea pigs the results can be rewarding
There are lots of wrecks to choose from when diving over in Normandie, many unidentified and most very rarely dived. The marine life is absolutely incredible, teaming with fish, crabs, lobsters, and free swimming congers. The only thing is, the reason that there is so much to see and look at, is because the French have a strict law which states, that no one shall, whilst diving with aqualung remove anything from the seabed or especially from any ship wreck, be it metal or edible. And this is a strict rule which applies to everyone, so please