31 January 2007
A US company promised to help secure visas and to help with the legal paperwork needed for Dustin to buy a diving equipment shop in Naples, on the Florida coast.
30 January 2007
Some of you will remember me as the lanky trainee DM, those who haven't sampled my awesome tea-making abilities won't. Last July I buggered off to join the Navy as a Clearance Diver. For those that are interested, here's the story so far;
Got myself on a train to Plymouth for my 8 weeks basic training at HMS Raleigh. Ironed some clothes, cleaned some stuff, marched a bit, got shouted at by men in vests with excessive hair gel and no body fat, learnt to tie knots and do various other nautical type things, fired rifles, cleaned rifles, marched with rifles. Scooped the awards for being top dog and getting the best exam result and then ended up with two more weeks of seamanship - learned how to make a noose in case of further seamanship courses.
After lots of waiting around and time down the gym, the day finally came for diver selection. 17 people turned up for 12 places on the course. 4 people made it to the end and I was one of them. It wasn't soul destroying, but it was certainly enough to make your bottom lip wobble at times. Soul destroying comes much later in the course during Live-In week. We didn't do much diving, but got plenty of in water time. When you're not actually in the water, you're running to the water, running to make you tired before getting in the water, or falling through the air from 6m before hitting the water. I honestly had no idea I had so much snot to drip everywhere until that week.
The diving course itself started off with OSDS, Open Space Diving System, using Kirby Morgan 17K Helmets and 18B Bandmasks. Great stuff, dead comfy and all the air you could ever want. Not great if you have to hit a chain with a hammer and chisel for 50 minutes. Or if the nose block swivels around and inserts itself into one of your nostrils though, or if your buddy drags you to the surface by grabbing your chest hair through your drysuit in a rescue scenario. Other jobs associated with OSDS include attendant - dressing the diver, controlling the divers umbilical hose and communicating through lifeline signals when voice comms aren't working, and panel operator - keeping the diver supplied with air, managing the pressure reducer and communicating with the divers via voice whilst the staff simulate blown hoses and run you ragged replacing cylinders and changing over various bits and pieces.
Following on from OSDS you get the underwater engineering package. Drilling, cutting and wondering whether you're going to be electrocuted when sparking up the Broco thermic lance - which has to be one of the coolest tools in the world, never has cutting through an RSJ been so fun. Stomping around the bottom in boots and a 17K helmet is a good laugh too, like being on the moon.
Moving onto the more traditional kit now, SABA Mod.1 - all new and revamped. Pretty bog standard scuba gear, 12.2l cylinder with a 3l Pony controlled by a switchblock to allow easy changeover to bailout - sweet, and an AGA Divator full facemask with Comms. All pretty straightforward stuff, set-up in a flash, easy to charge and maintain - complete opposite of OSDS so maximum diving time - a good thing you would think. But only good until you get bored of swimming up and down the same jackstay in Horsea lake for an hour at a time, 7 times a day, between the hours of 0800 and 2230. But hey, i'm probably winning the Meridien Divers Competition jobby, 20+ dives so far this year.
Well, thats about as far as i've got because they broke me. This week I should have been doing ships hull searches, but I've damaged my achilles tendon so now i'm off course and waiting for the next one to start in February. So back to square one! Great, another couple of months before they let me loose on the rebreathers.
Thankfully I can still dive with my injury, as it only effects my running, so I aim to go back to Sussex and hit the wrecks again while i'm waiting on my new course. If anyone fancies a dive sometime, let me know.
Hope everyone is well and maybe i'll see you in the water soon!
All the best,
29 January 2007
Seawork is the largest international commercial maritime exhibition and business forum ever held in a European working port environment (Southampton).
Dr Frances Dipper, author of the book: “British Sea Fishes”.
The course will run from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 25th March at the Hastings Shipwreck & Coastal Heritage Centre. Cost £30.
Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis by the organiser. If you are interested add a comment / email me ASAP. I intend to go.
Planning to attend:-
4. Matt C
5. Shiela B
6. Ernie B
27 January 2007
Here we go again , when it gets all cold and unpleasant round here it's time to pull-out the remaining diving tokens and head-off to the dive playground. It's not gonna score me any points on the Meridian Divers UK Dive challenge but it's nevertheless gotta be done ! Hope to get a few nice piccies for the blog and that some of you Merds are busy planning some UK trips ready for the next get-together!
26 January 2007
a new broadband TV channel dedicated to the diving and underwater world.
Check out www.theunderwaterchannel.tv looks like this could be worth it.
source Diver magazine February edition.
25 January 2007
I'm looking to do a weeks worth of diving between 1/7 and 8/7. I'm open to ideas , UK or abroad. Any potential buddies for that week let me know ! Pretty sure I'll be doing something somewhere but what that is exactly is anyone's guess! Might even do some training!
24 January 2007
SAT 3rd B'ton DUKE OF BUCCLEUGH 58 8.00
SUN 4th B'ton CITY OF WATERFORD 36 10.00
FRI 9th B'ton IKEDA 26 7.00
SAT 17th B'ton TR THOMPSON 34 8.00
SUN 18th B'ton UNIDENTIFIED WRECK 36 8.30
SAT 31st B'ton QUAIL 45 9.00
MON 2nd B'ton BRAUNTON 36 10.00
WED 4th B'ton ARIEL 32 11.00
FRI 6th E'bourne OCEANA - P & O Liner 28 12.15
SAT 7th E'bourne ALAUNIA - Cunard Liner 36 7.45
SUN 8th E'bourne LALEN MENDI 33 8.15
MON 9th E'bourne SEAFORD FERRY 45 8.15
WED 11th B'ton MOLDAVIA 50 9.00
FRI 13th B'ton CITY OF WATERFORD 33 7.00
SAT 14th B'ton CITY OF LONDON 30 8.00
SUN 15th B'ton LONGSHIPS TRIMIX 63 15.00
MON 16th B'ton FORTUNA 34 9.30
WED 18th B'ton PENTRYCH 25 11.00
FRI 20th B'ton UNIDENTIFIED WRECK 36 11.30
SAT 21st B'ton TR THOMPSOM 34 13.30
MON 23rd B'ton TYCHO 33 8.45
WED 25th B'ton WARILDA 50 10.00
FRI 27th E'bourne VILLE DE BORDEAU & IRISBROOK 48 8.15
SAT 28th E'bourne HMS ARIADNE 28 8.15
SAT 28th E'bourne OCEANA - P & O Liner 25 15.15
I'm looking to do the ones highlighted in red!
22 January 2007
I am interested in doing a try dive can anyone help?????. I am a fully fledged PADI has been and after recent encouragement from my mate the Tadster i have decided to come out of retirement to come and see the escaped convicts including Chris P and Nick.
I am told there is a sound bunch of people on this site that dive because they enjoy it?? sounds goo to me. Am looking forward to meeting y'all @ the Berwick arms at end of Feb.
21 January 2007
Details of their 'Members Dives' on :-
18 January 2007
Luckily they did not! The ship is listed as carrying a 'dangerous cargo' and that's the last thing we want washing around in the clear(er) waters of Cornwall!
Not looking so good now from an environmental point of view:-
15 January 2007
Caught 2 baby shark, 1.5 metres long, totally unexpected! Real fighters, I'm not sure what species they were, but for some reason, holding them thrashing in your hands on the surface whilst trying to remove a hook is a lot scarier that diving with much bigger ones!
Both were safely returned to the depths...
Which reminds me, for my birthday last year I was bought a dive in the Kelly Tarlton shark tank (local aquarium). There are several very large stingray, bronze whaler, 7-gill and a wobbegong (Australian) shark.
At one point in the dive, I had a large ray under me, and another above me. The water is only 3m deep. Ironically, this was the day before Steve Irwin died...
14 January 2007
Feedback on this idea from the invitees will be handy. If it works I'll extend the invites to all those 'blog authors'.
I'm an old dog for these new tricks! But if there is a chocolate drop in it for me I'll be on my back with my paws in the air just a soon as you can say "good boy!"
Well an idea has sprung to mind and it could be something that we could publicise and perhaps open up to other divers. I suggest a photo competition which could be held over 1 or 2 days organised by us and perhaps get some sort of co-operation from Brighton pier owners, The Argus and Brighton City Council, and maybe get a sponsor for the prizes.
Obviously we cant plan the weather and Viz but if we look at doing something around August we could stand a better chance of good conditions.
There could be 2 categories
1) Below the pier (underwater)
2) On the pier or sea level.
How we organise the formatting of the shots ie digital /film developing would need to be discussed along with who will judge the competition.
I know there are some pretty good snappers amongst us so the competition could be hot.
Any thoughts,ideas, suggestions good idea, bad idea?
I am just trying to get my head around this blog stuff.
I had a recent Diving Experience in Merimbula NSW 2007. I managed to get the wife in the water diving (Yeah ,Yeah I know she's the only one who will dive with me). We or I decided that the dives would be local shore dives. Caroline wanted to do the Tasman Hauler a 30 metre boat dive (which is a good dive although I only did it the once this time). However I digress, The two dives we did together were in a water temp of 17-18C max depth about 15 metres around the Wharf a popular fishing spot locally.
Lovely giant stride into the blue of the rocks, a few problems with the weight but nothing to worry about. Plenty of fish, shoals of the buggers, who knows what type they were?
The dive goes down in a series of 3 steps and the ridges run west to east so you would have to be a complete dick to lose your way. Vis was 15 metres approx but not bad for an estuary. the only thing I felt troubled with was the pinging sound the local spear fishermen make firing their arrows.
Caroline performed very well since she had not been in the water for nearly 3 years with her suit on. Needs a bit of practice dumping air but who does'nt (ME I Suppose). I as usual got some good snaps with the digital, but the technology is defeating me transfering them to the computer thingy. I will work on that.
I managed to dive the Tasman Hauler again and this time did a penetration of the wreck, it was tight in some of the companionways and contary to popular belief there are obstructions and snags and bits hanging down and once a boat load of divers go through the vis is non existent. No fish on the wreck and a bit cool in the water a distinct thermo at 10 metres. I naturally was wearing my hood and a new 5mm one all in one (splashing out) but my guide was a skinhead he looked a bit blue. I was tempted to use the dry suit but the temp in the boat was 30C that day. A bit warm.
Anyway other news, the fires are still on, an area the size of wales burnt plus a lightning strike started a blaze about 3 kms from us. No worries the wind is drawing it south. I have picked out the emergency generator that i want. Caroline say's, is that thing really necessary! Women! they don't like mechanicals.
Big news, we are returning to Blighty this year, the whole family. Leaving Oz on the 23rd of June (confirmed) arriving 22nd ish then off up to the north east to see the folks for a week before driving down to the south east to catch up with others. Going back to the southern hempishere on the 21st of July.
Robbo ~ I'm sure we'll get you wet if we get our hands on you!
13 January 2007
Whilst we have some thinking to do on fiting all the different trip dates on a calendar I will email the network with some Swanage dates / details to be thinking about. There may be more , this was a first 'trawl'!
The following taken from the Channel Diver website outlines the prices if you join the boat in France :-
Courceulles, Port en Bessin, St Vaast or Cherbourgh:
6 Day Diving Holidays, Diving the D Day wrecks of France in the Baie De Seine
All trips are based on a minimum of 10 divers & a maximum of 12
6 Days Diving - £350 per person, 10 Divers (plus accommodation & food)
6 Days Diving - £330 per person, 11 Divers (plus accommodation & food)
6 Days Diving - £325 per person, 12 Divers (plus accommodation & food)
We'd need to cost out the travel to France , B&B etc but what an opportunity. Steve's boats are big catamaran's and ideal for trips of this scale.
This WON'T happen unless there is enough interest to make it happen. Prospects were discussed at the last meeting. If you are of the mind to spend that much time / money on a French trip add a comment. Getting a suitable date is always the hard bit , but unless it's planned early it's never going happen!
I will add on this post the ORDER in which the cheques are received, that order will be the priority for a place. There are a maximum of eight places!
13th Jan - The Chamber have confirmed our booking for 4th February (gradually getting there !)
22nd Jan - List updated !
27th Jan - Trip FULL!
1. Chris P
2. Clinton N
3. Mandy G
4. Paul G
5. Simon T
6. John D
7. Paul R
8. Andy R
12 January 2007
Nice bit of work!
The boy done well, but is it any surprise, just look at who certified him as an Advance Open Water Diver (modesty forbids!) :-)
11 January 2007
As a rule of thumb, if a diver's involvement in , a recreational at work diving project (other than as a fee-paying member of the public) is required for that project to go ahead, then they need to have a medical certificate issued by an HSE Approved Medical Eaxminer of Divers!
This is irrespective of diving certification level !
This rule of thumb applies to volunteers , however, ther may be situations when an unpaid volunter taking part in a recreational at work diving project would not be considerded to be at work themselves.
The good news is that by about March 2007 a new Approved Medical Examiner of Divers will be avialable in Newhaven. More details asap!
It was so nice to see everyone at the Christmas Party and keep up the brilliant work. Nick and I are training for the London Marathon which is at the end of April. But after that we are really looking forward to doing some fun diving !
Alexxx and Nick
So, I see all of your emails about this blog (why do I hear nothing for months and then suddenly you're all yammering away?!) and so have something interesting to do! Yey!
As Frank mentioned, we dived the Poor Knights 27-29th of December, and, WOW, you all need to give it a go! It is a little like the Red Sea in the colour and amount of life, and the vis can be excellent, but the life is in pockets in certain areas and around pinnacles, rather than everywhere.
Huge shoals of fish, blue maomao, snapper, trigger fish 2 spot demoiselles and many more follow you around the reefs as your fins kick minute particles of algae off the kelp. If you stop, they frequently surround you. There are eagle rays, short tailed rays and long tailed rays up to 2 metres across with tails 3 times as long as their bodies. There are also several marine frogs, about 1 foot across, but they don't move much...
There's even the odd John Dory or two floating around. Mighty tasty eating, but the Knights are a marine reserve. They are extremely unafraid (not to mention slow) and will swim right next to you.
I even got bitten on the knuckles by a demoiselle defending it's eggs as I was carelessly pointing out an orange and white nudibranch to Brendon, ouch! The eggs are hard to see and look like small air bubbles on the rocks.
There are many caves, crevices and arches to explore and the sea bed varies from ancient volcanic rock covered in kelp to white sand.
I would show you some photos, but I gave up trying to focus my MX-10 many years ago (no comments, Chris!).
Water temp was about 23 on the surface and 17-18 whilst diving, but it's been a really odd and slow Summer this year, it should be much warmer.
And, Frank, they are called the Poor Knights because apparently Captian Cook thought they looked like 2 dead knights lain to rest. Personally, I think he was on drugs or had bloody bad eyesight (or both!). There are 2 main islands and they are pretty spectacular. They include the worlds largest sea-cave. As our 45 foot cat, Knight Diver, entered, I thought I was looking at 2 radio controlled boats inside. Then I realised that there were people on them! I didn't appreciate the scale of the cave. Dropping a dive weight onto the metal deck behind us sounded like a shotgun going off, the acoustics are amazing! Apparently, they've had mini music concerts on boats in there.
From the boat on the journey between Tutukaka and the Knights, you can see dolphin, shark, whales and sunfish. I didn't understand just how large sunfish can be - they are monstrous!
We also regularly dive in the Hauraki Gulf from our boat, leaving from Takapuna across to the large Volcanic island (hopefully extinct) called Rangitoto, past the next 2 islands, Motutapu and Rakino and then to a group of small islands and rocks referred to as The Noisies. You can still see some great sights and there are a lot of maze-like ancient lava flows to explore, you can get quite lost :-)
A nice, big goody-bag gets used for scallop and crayfish...
Speaking of our boat, I couldn't resist adding some pics. It's called, of course, "Red Sea" and is a 5.4m Fyran Rebel with a 90hp Yamaha 2-stroke. If you look very closely at the GPS you'll see where we live...
Did I mention that the water temp mid-Winter was about 12 degrees? 7mm heaven...
Surprisingly, dive shops over here are very limited on spares and nick-nacks. So, when are you coming out and bringing us some stuff?!
10 January 2007
Not sure if you'll want to whizz back for a UK puddle dive but we'd be happy to hear of what's occurring in your neck of the woods!
For those of you who have experienced the hard boats and have dived from Channel Diving over the last couple of seasons you will be delighted to know that Steve Johnson owner of CD has purchased and launched his new boat.
The new boat is berthed at Brighton Marina and a full itinerary for the forthcoming 2007 is now ready for your perusal.
The new boat like the old is a Catamaran with diver lift at the rear (Luxury) and a lot more cabin space to shelter from the weather.
Those of you who have dived with Steve will have enjoyed the professional service and hassle-free trips plus the donuts and bikkies.
For the full 2007 itinerary check out:-
09 January 2007
There are spaces on Inspiration (8.5m coded RIB) for thefollowing individuals trips during 2007.
r/o = Ropes Off
Sun 25th Mar - Lisbon 35m - r/o 0945
Sat 14th Apr - Unknown (18) 31m - r/o 0815
Sat 14th Apr - Mohlen Pris (29m) - r/o 15:15
Sat 12th May - Unknown (39) 35m - r/o 0615
Sat 12th May - ASH (40m) - r/o 1345 (tbc)
Sun 13th May - Braunton 37m - r/o 0715
Sun 13th May - Oceana 24m - r/o 1445
Fri 22nd Jun - Mount Stewart 36m - r/o 1615
Sat 23rd Jun - Twins (Ville de Bordeau/Irisbrook) 46m max - r/o11:15
Sat 23rd Jun - T.R. Thomson 36m - r/o 1645
Sun 24th Jun - Rydal Hall 40m - r/o 1215
Sun 24th Jun - Oceana 30m r/o 1815
Sun 22nd Jul - Charles M 33m - r/o 1015
Sun 22nd Jul - Alaunia 36m - r/o 1615
Mon 23rd Jul - Blanefield - r/o 1645
Tue 24th Jul - Lullington 34m - r/o 1745
Prices are £25 for single dive £15 for second dive of day on alltrips up to 10miles from Eatsbourne - small increase for distances over10nm (MOST of the above are within the 10 mile limit)
Local Charter Schedules will be posted here as they are publised / known.
08 January 2007
Egyptian officials said the search is continuing for the four divers who went missing following a dive near the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam on Saturday morning. Two Russians, a Dutch diver and their Egyptian dive guide became separated from the boat during a dive 13km north of Marsa Alam, according to reports.
The Red Sea Association for Diving and Watersports said it remained optimistic that the divers would be found. Dozens of boats, including navy vessels and helicopters are assisting in the search. The water temperature in the southern resort at this time of year is between 21 and 23ºC.
Update 15/1/07: Looks like optimism was optimistic , search called off , divers NOT found!
We are still in Les Deux Alpes, France, running our ski 'chalet style' holidays during the winter, and we will be back in Ibiza again teaching diving and arranging dive holidays for people this summer.
Great to be on this Blog now as we can keep in touch with you much more often.
If we get back to Blighty this year we will get in touch and maybe we can all get wet together.
Some of you may not have our e mail address as we changed it when we started Scuba-Ski, so here it is. firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,
Pete and Lyn.
06 January 2007
The show normally pulls in a few boys and girls from East Sussex . If you are interested in linking-up with others , add a comment and I'll add you tio the list.
More information on :-
1. Diving Diva
3. Alan M
05 January 2007
No doubt will think of some trophy for the MDUKC , may be we'll ask Andy to engrave another ship's bells or something ! The rules are simple , who does the most open water dives in the UK in 2007, but dives must be logged , & be not less than 20 minutes duration, they can be in the Sea , in fresh water , from boats or the shore but NO Brighton Marina dives can be included unless undertaken on rebreathers!
Divers can post their number of qualifying dives on this blog any time before Midnight 31st December 2007 . The diver posting the most will be asked to show the logs, if they don't pass muster , the next highest has to show his/her log book until the Champion is found!
You can post as much / often as you like , so if you want to show-off your total and challenge the MerDs , you can add your (growing) total every week. I'll start the ball rolling ......
Chris P as at 5/1/07 has done ZERO qualifying dives ... game , er , on!
Diving Diva did 70 UK dives in 2006 - good score DD, but wrong year!!!
I hope all of you had a great xmas and new year etc etc.
For some of you Santa brought you some nice new toys that you are just crying to try out. So with this in mind I would like to organize a trip to one of inland sites asap.
I know its cold and gloomy but in some cases the goose has definately got fatter over the holidays so a brisk dip in about 5.c will work wonders in reducing the results of all your festive excesses.
The options are Wraysbury just of M25 www.wraysbury.ws
or Leybourne lakes near Maidstone Kent www.leybournelakedivecentre.co.uk
both sites are within about 1hour and 30 mins of us all.
I havent dived Wraysbury myself but Chris P and I had a dip at Leybourne last March.Obviously the weekends are best for most people but are also the busiest times at these sites.
Please let me know if you are interested and I will put something together towards the end of January.
04 January 2007
I have organised two previous trips to a recompression chamber in London for divers to undertake a 'dry' dive (or a ‘pot’ dive as some call it)!Everyone who has taken part has said they found it a good day out, and for those wanting an unusual PADI Specialty certification this is a super opportunity.I'm making preliminary enquiries about a trip on Sunday 4th February. If you are interested let me know / add a comment.