Surrounded by cliffs on the north coast on the north coast of Jersey, Bouley Bay is a small and scenic bay. It is popular with scuba divers, with its deep water providing a home to an abundance of marine life, all easily accessed from its pebble beach, slipway or harbour wall steps. It is sheltered from all but north easterly winds, allowing year round diving. And to top it off it has all the facilities divers need – our dive centre for equipment, air fills and pre and post dive chat, Mad Mary’s beach café for post dive refreshment, not to mention the Black Dog pub. Sport Diver magazine wrote “a hotel, pub and a dive centre sitting side by side, all within a stone’s throw of the sea. Surely this has to be a diver’s dream come true?”
But Bouley Bay isn’t only popular with divers. The Marine Conservation Society has recommended Bouley Bay for excellent water quality for many years, and the Bay attracts snorkellers, swimmers (with a pontoon anchored in the centre of the bay), kayakers, or just those who want to spend a quiet day on the beach. The harbour pier is a popular spot for fisherman, and kids love exploring the rockpools and gulleys around L’Islet.
For the walkers, the north coast cliff path dips down into Bouley Bay before climbing steeply away again, towards White Rock and Rozel Bay to the East or Bonne Nuit Bay to the West. The steeply winding road that provides stunning views as you drive down to the bay also plays host to the Bouley Bay Hill Climb, which attracts competitors and spectators from the UK and Europe.
Mad Mary’s beach café is well known for its friendly welcome, not to mention its fresh crab sandwiches, and many dives have been logged whilst sat at a table at Mary’s watching the comings and goings in the bay. On a clear day you can see the coast of Normandy and very occasionally the local pod of dolphins that are often seen swimming past the harbour entrance will venture into the Bay itself.
One sight you may hope not to see is ‘Le Chien de Bouley’, the legendary Black Dog which would roam the area terrifying anyone unfortunate to cross its path. It was said to be a huge beast with long sharp teeth and eyes the size of saucers. As it roamed it dragged its chain behind it, and just the mention of this being heard was enough for locals to lock themselves in their homes. The lack of prying eyes would have been was fortunate for the smugglers that were reputed to use the Bay to land their illicit goods… Nowadays the Black Dog pub, which takes it’s name from the legend, is a far less terrifying prospect!