28 February 2007

Meridian Divers Meeting of 28th Feb 2007

The meeting was held in the Berwick Inn and 12 divers were present, new 'member' Ken P was welcomed. The meeting discussed the dive trip research that had been undertaken since the last meeting . A summary of the trip planning research will be circulated as soon as possible, it is hoped that from the summary a smaller selection of destinations will be identified for trips.

Sheila will produce full minutes for later circulation. Drinks & snacks were quaffed as usual and fingers were crossed for an active season. Alan has taken over the role of gathering equipment for servicing by Ocean View at Lancing, he left at the end of the evening with a car loaded with dive kit! Thanks Alan !

Wraysbury Water-Voles Sighted

Wraysbury is a miniature lake (or large pond) just off Junction 13 of the M25. But the glamour doesn't stop there. Underwater sights include containers, taxis, a blue boat, silt, fresh-water mussels and clams, and parts of trees. Surely no Red Sea resort can boast similar attractions?

For 32 whole minutes on Sunday 25th February this body of fresh water was also host to a curious-looking three-bodied, three-headed diver (see picture). King Tad of the North was flanked by Jim and Matt, eager to protect him from the on-rushing schools of lake-friggles. A sunken river-boat was the main non-silt-based highlight. Its head was admired but not used, even though it was far cleaner than the porta-loos being used by desperate waddling divers, top-side.
  • Hero of the half-hour: Jim, who used inch-perfect navigation to return the trio back to their launch platform. Or a few feet to the right of it.

  • Special guest star: a fat swan, sporting a heavy, black-footed limp as it lurched over the gravel and launched itself onto the water.

  • Special mention: Heathrow airport, for providing the aerial display of unsettlingly huge jets a mere 1000 feet above.

  • Dive stats: 6 quid a head, cheap sausage sarnies, plenty of tea and cheesy chips on tap*, a mini-dive-shop on site, and the occasional cantankerous swan. Average depth: 7m. Drive time to site: 90 minutes. Dive time at site: 30 minutes. Faff time before and after: 200,831 minutes.

* Part of our surface cover team demanding supplies

Tad Answers Members Questions at PADI Forum

Intsructor Development Course Staff Instructor Tad impressed his colleagues by answering members questions at the PADI Members Forum at Croydon on 22nd February. Shame he didn't take his jacket off though , then all would have seen the Meridian Divers emblem on his shirt. He might know his diving but we will have to work on his marketing skills.

Well done Tad!

Where's The Air ?

Getting gas - starting a list for local public supply :-

Ocean View Diving - South Street, Lancing
Air & Nitrox
Air fills - £2.50 (offer a 6 fills for the cost of five where a pre-paid card is used).

Iles World of Diving - Ferry Road , Shoreham
Air Only
3 litre pony - £2.00
7, 10, 12 & 15 litre - £3.00

Wittering Divers - Portland Road , Hove
Air & Nitrox

Add comments with any others!

23 February 2007

Diving World ~ A Roller Coaster Time

It's all happening this year. One of our founding blog members has sent me a news story about Dr Jules Eden (Dive Doctor ) being suspended by the General Medical Council for a 'cavalier attitude' . Oooops! The GMC is not known for knee-jerk or ill-considered actions, another space to watch. Dr Jules worked with the London Diving Chamber, no , it's NOT the one we use, we visit London Hyperbaric Medicine.



22 February 2007

Ol'Boyz Reunion at the PADI Members Forum

It was good to meet with some ol'dive pros and catch-up on all the local news over a cup of coffee at the PADI Members Forum held at Croydon this evening. Ken and Ray H with Del M (Assistant Instructors) along with Tad , Al and myself had a pleasant evening chatting and were briefed by PADI Regional Manager Graham Owen. It's a fairly long haul upto Croydon for the Forum but Graham joined the Meridian Diver crew for a drink and a chat after the event so we squeezed a little more value out of the trip!

Naturally invitations to join this blog have been extended to Ken, Ray and Del (along with clan members Simon) , so I'm hoping that we'll see 'da boyz' listed as contributors pretty soon.

PADI reported a drop in Open Water certifications in the UK during 2006 and as a result will be promoting more entry courses this year. Graham was upbeat about the UK industry saying that he was currently seeing more Dive Centres open than were closing.

As a matter of interest another delegate at the Forum was the Instructor who during 2006 was seeking to buy the Newhaven centre. The Forum is a good place to network with other dive enthusiasts and I think we will see some divers making visits to East Sussex as a result!

20 February 2007

Horsea Island ~ Inland Diving Site 24th February


Simon-T is planning a visit to Horsea Island on Saturday 24th February ( I think!) short notice but I guess for the fleet of foot there is an opportunity to tag along!

Simon , if that is the case, perhaps you could add a detail or two by way of a comment?

18 February 2007

New Local Wreck!

Six people have been rescued from their motor yacht that burst into flames two miles off the coast in West Sussex.

The yacht has apparently now broken into and sunk.


15 February 2007

Link to NAS Training Course Diary

The following link will take you to the NAS training course diary :-


for those interested in following their NAS 'career'.

Search Me !

Now that this blog has a number of posts , it's worth reminding uers of the 'Search' function at the top left of the header . The function can be used to quickly search the content of all posts.

Give it a try!

14 February 2007

Wraysbury Diving Sunday 25th February

For the hardy souls that have expressed an interest in Diving at Wraysbury on Sunday 25th.
The gates open at 9.ooam but car parking can be a bit restrictive depending on how busy the site is.

Cost is £6 per day and airfills are available on site

Directions available at www.wraysbury.ws or tel 01784-488007

would anyone like to suggest a meeting time? I thought around 10.30 am

Water temperature is approx 5-6.C mmmmm


13 February 2007

Once A Diver Always A Diver ~ Taba Egypt

Once a Diver , always a Diver, at least I think that was what my instructor said! And as Leopards don't change their spots I thought I'd give it another go!

Just back from a week at Taba, Egypt. Taba is in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, near the border with Israel. From Taba you can easily see Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. I managed to tuck-in six dives with a Dive Centre that serves the area "Red Sea Waterworld" . It was hardly their peak seaon which meant they took out a full sized day boat with only three divers on board! Despite so few day boat divers they were happy to take the boat up the coast to Fara'un Island , a small fortfied island with some nice dives off it's shores. The watchers became the watched as a submarine like glass-bottomed boated glided above us..

The dive guides were able to give a more personal service than may have been the case in busier times of year and I averaged 52mins per dive, with max depths ranging from 18m to 29m.

Very nice casual break with some good diving but with sites not as spectacular as those seen in Marsa Alam .

12 February 2007

I want one of these !!!!

The C-Quester, as it is officially known, costs around £40,000. Small change, no doubt, for the diver who has everything and still wants more. It provides all the excitement of scuba diving without leaving the comfort of an air-conditioned cabin.
Those who have taken the controls liken the experience to 'flying through water'. The first mass-produced commercially available submarine, the C-Quester, comes from a company calling itself UBoat Worx. It is designed and produced in Holland.
The sub, which weighs up to 1.8-tons, can be launched from a yacht or slipped into the sea from a harbour-side ramp. The pilot climbs in through a hatch in the top, rather like a racing driver levering himself into his car, and steers using a joystick.
Inside the cabin, the pressure remains the same as that on land, meaning pilots and passengers (in the two-seater model £61,000) do not have to worry about the bends. Air quality is also assured, with a filtration system removing spent air and pumping in oxygen.

When the pilot wishes to descend, he opens flaps on the back of the board which lets water into the hollow hold beneath him. This allows the sub to reach depths of 164ft.
The motors power the submarine back to the top, with the water being expelled from the hull just before it reaches the surface. A spokesman from the manufacturer said: "Passengers can experience the wonder of diving and the beauty of the oceans without having to obtain a scuba diving qualification. "We have sold them to people who love to dive or have a big boat and also to people who see them as a toy."

Obviously some people have far too much money but if you want to buy me an xmas present this year look no further,

Source Daily Mail 9th February 2007

11 February 2007

Clearance Diver course photos

Hello all,
For those of you interested, here are a few photos from my old course;

Horsea Lake.

The lads, note switchblock on BCD used to select bailout cylinder.

Diving with SABA Mod. 1, black device attached to mask is a cylinder pressure sensor, activated at 50 bar

Beginning hull search.

Found a limpet mine.

Safe diving, see you all beneath the waves!

07 February 2007

Wraysbury Diving

As mentioned at the last group meeting I am planning a trip tp Wraysbury towards the end of the month.

Anyone interested please could you let me know the prefered date. I was thinking of a Sunday as most people are free.

Who knows if this weather continues it could turn into an ice dive. Anyhow the water will be warmer than the air temperature.

I will be taking my Aga Divator full face mask ( see picture above) anyone who would like to give it a go will be more than welcome.


05 February 2007

Egypt Trip ~ November 2007 ?

Having spoken with Chris P over the weekend it was agreed that I research the potential for a Diving trip to Sharm in November 2007

I shall contact various Companies to see what they can offer, at the moment I shall be looking at a straightforward Dive trip with Day boats and not consider any additional courses

Interested parties to let me by adding a comment to this post:

1. Clinton
2. Trekker
3. Chris-P

04 February 2007

Recompression Chamber Aware Divers!

Eight divers spent the day with London Hyperbaric Medicine on 4th Feb undertaking their Recompression Chamber Awareness Course.

The course is always regarded as a success by those who participate and gives divers :-

a). A 'dry' dive to 40 metres (for a longer bottom time than the would normally be able to conduct as no-decompression divers)

b). A test to make bring home the effects of Nitrogen Narcosis ( the effects of narcosis are more apparent in a 'dry' dive).

c). An insight into DCI and recompression chamber treatment that should help reduce any anxiety if they or a dive buddy ever need treatment for real.

02 February 2007

Next Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 28th February

The next Merds meet (usual venue) is:-

Wednesday 28th February
Hoping the the dive planners have been busy!

News from DAN

Dear Diving Friend,

If you have not yet made plans for the festive period around April 7-8, 2007, we have a good and unusual suggestion for you to use some of your free time diving as well as learning about the safety of diving!

DAN Europe organized a big international scientific and diving research event in a very special place! You will have the opportunity to learn about the most recent advances in recreational diving research , directly from the leading international scientists and researchers.
A selected group of divers will also be trained as DAN Research Specialists, who will be able to operate through the DAN Europe Diving Safety Laboratory and organise research dives in their region.

On top of that, you will have the opportunity to become a Research Diver and experience a dive in one of the most peculiar and unique "warm-water" diving sites in continental Europe!
Participation in the lectures and certification as Research Diver are free of charge!
Consider this and keep your April 7-8, 2007 weekend free for this event!

Very shortly DAN Europe will be circulating more detailed information and the complete program of the event! Stay Tuned!