27 June 2007

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 27th June

Despite it being another atrocious June evening in terms of the rain a hardy ten divers attended the Meridian Divers meeting and dutifully worked there way through the agenda (thank you Shiela!).

Tad brought along samples of the new Meridian Divers Polo Shirts and the first orders were placed , if the weather ever lets us go diving I am sure we will look very smart!

PADI have contacted us over the rescue performed by Ernie B and have said that they will ensure the comments on the rescue will be entered entered into their recognistion programme. Again, well done Ernie , your rescue training paid-off!

I was pleased to report an unrelated meeting with the HSE Diving Inspector who has written to comment on the "outstanding documentation" that we now have in place under the Approved Codes of Practice. This documentation represents a complete re-write of the documentation that I previously used in training. The HSE have referred a copy of my health and safety presentation to PADI as the HSE are continually seeking to raise standards. PADI have written to me suggesting that I independently produce a training package on the HSE requirements. This is all very encouraging .

Simon gave a report on the Swanage Dive trip which is all set to be a dive trip in 2008 (just get the feeling the restuarants were part of the decision making there!!).

Meridian Divers are in the process of checking out some local swimming pools which can be used for training and practice. A check-out session is being arranged for 'members' next Wednesday evening and an email with details will be circulated. Meridian Divers now have access to a lot of diving equipment which will be a benefit.

Dives and social events were planned so even if the weather is poor we will have a busy schedule for the rest of the year.

Notes of the meeting will be circulated as soon as possible.

21 June 2007

More on the MD polo Shirts

Hopefully this should please those in touch with their feminine side. The MD polo shirts are available in Cranberry/Pink & Red (& many other colours) and the HB121 Cranberry/Fuchia & Red

The Fuchia colour is a dark pink and comes in sizes 10-18. The darker colour will show up the logo better as the lettering is in white.

I will bring a sample of the logo to the meeting next week, but for now see above.


20 June 2007

Next Meridian Divers Meeting

The next Meridian Divers meeting will be at the:
Berwick Inn
7.30pm on Wednesday 27th June
Looking forward to seeing you there !

19 June 2007

Swanage Dive Trip

Well here it is .....that place of divers pilgrimage , the Pier at Swanage. Some would say that you cannot truly call yourself a UK diver until you have dived the Pier. Well that might be a load of ol'tosh but Swanage is a lovely week-end dive trip location. It's in ready striking distance from those living on or near the Merdian line on the south coast.

There are plenty of good B&Bs at reasonable prices, loads of places to eat, a pleasant bay, a promenade that meets most divers needs (good cheap food and drink!) and of course there is a diver centre with gas station actually on the Pier. The Pier has free trolleys to carry your dive kit and the dive boats tie-up a few yards from the dive centre. It's convenience diving!

Our trip (15th & 16th) turned out to be a great social but weather, last minute cancellations, equipment and other events took some of the shine of the diving ! Never one to be too concerned about my nosh I just happen to mention in passing that the Anchor Inn does a tasty dish of scallops and the Italian restaurant down the road presented a very enjoyable bowl of mussels in a white wine sauce!

Several of us stayed at Buddies B&B where hosts, Lesley & Jason looked after our needs with enthusiasm. They say they are diver friendly and they are! Here I go again .... the breakfasts were all you could possibly ask for ! Jason is a Divemaster and operates dive tours through his business http://www.scubadivingtours.co.uk/ . Interestingly Jason knows an old acquaintance of ours....Amro Shehata of the MV Valerie fame! Small world eh?

Personally my diving was limited to two dives on the Kyarra. Swanage's most famous wreck. During our stay divers were pulling up perfume bottles from the wreck just as they have been doing for decades, there seems to be plenty more to find! The second dive was better than the first and gave us a nice slow cruise from the bow to nearly the stern. Visibility was around 4m with our max depth at 28.7m. The sea conditions on surfacing from the second dive, on Sunday, were much better than Saturdays when it was almost possible to hide a dive boat between the waves.

It was good to see Sheila & Ernie on the trip but sad that four divers were unable to join us through events having booked. We certainly had a good time 'debriefing' the dives in the evening !

15 June 2007

Pinch more than an Inch

As requested the sizes for the Meridian polo shirts in inches. There is a minimum run for these of 15 so please order one or more!
XS = 34''
Small = 36''
Med = 38''/40''
Large = 42''
XL = 44''/46''
XXL = 48''
3XL = 50''/52''
suits you sir !

13 June 2007

Meridian Diver Polo shirts

Hi all
At the last MD meeting we discussed the Meridian diver polo shirts. The designers have now come back to me with costs (very very good).
Could all those who have an interest in purchasing one of these soon to be very desirable items
let me know the sizes (S M L XL ) and the quantity you require.

You can have any colour you like as long as it is Navy Blue due to the set up costs.

If you do want a shirt drop me an email at paradive@tadtaberer43.fsnet.co.uk costs will be around £16 (payable up front with order) with surplus funds going into MD funds as discussed at the last meeting.


10 June 2007

PADI Assistant Instructor Performs Textbook Rescue

Meridian Diver Ernie B, a PADI Asst Instructor, had his rescue skills tested for real on 9th June. Thankfully he was not found wanting and without a shadow of a doubt if it wasn’t for his prompt actions and diving skills his buddy, Sheila, might have suffered a severe injury. Meridian Divers don’t have a medal to award but if they did Ernie would surely get it.

Ernie and Sheila descended on a shot line that had been placed on the wreck by another dive boat, on reaching the bottom at around 20m they released the shot line and were about to start their tour when his buddy signalled "Up". As Ernie and Sheila started to launch their Delayed Surface Marker Buoy the attentive and observant Ernie became concerned for the condition of Sheila, he then saw her condition deteriorate and as a result immediately employed his PADI training to recover an unresponsive diver from under water. In textbook fashion he immediately conducted a controlled positive buoyancy ascent (as described in the Rescue Course: Rescue Exercise 6) and brought her to the surface where she was assisted by dive boat crews. Ernie’s buddy was given Oxygen and rushed back to Newhaven aboard the dive boat.

Ernie and Sheila were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Ernie was released quickly however his buddy who had inhaled water was kept in longer for observations. Neither diver required hyperbaric treatment. Ernie’s fast thinking saved the day, his efforts were supported by the dive boats present. The full rescue was co-ordinated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency who responded to the dive boat's emergency call and arranged the ambulance and hospital co-ordination along with the RNLI attendance. The Royal Navy diving doctor was, through MCA engagement, able to give a full brief to the hospital. A text book rescue, which prevented a far more serious outcome.

Meridian Divers will be contacting PADI to commend Ernie and others on their response.

Wreck of the Brisbane ~ 9th June 2007

Another lovely sunny day and seven divers with two crew went to sea to dive the wreck of the Brisbane on a low tide. On arrival at the dive site "MV Sea Zones" had shotted the the wreck and were putting divers down. They were happy with our divers using their shot line and our divers went down in a 2 , 3 , 2 pattern.

The sea was flat calm and the vis was pretty good at about 3 to 4 m. This is the tale of the 3 diver buddy team! The wreck stood in 24m of water and the uppermost points were at about 17 to 18 metres. So a nice shallow dive on a benign sea!

We arrived at the wreck amidships on the port side. From there we slowly made our way to the bow which was very well defined and stood proud of the sea bed. The plating on the bows sides was pretty much intact but both sides had a pattern of small holes allowing us to peep into the wreck. The forecastle area of the wreck was reduced to a framework.

It was a luck dive for Keeley B ( a student of one of the Sussex universties) because she had lost her large halogen dive lamp on the wreck. We found this lamp and later returned it to her. Now that was luck Keeley!

Our team of three followed the port gunwhale to the bow then descended to the bottom before returning to the deck and tracking aftwards along the starboard side. It was a superb dive with the low depth helping to give us a very long bottom time. There was little or no current and the visibilty was very good for the time of year.

The Brisbane is a big wreck and after such a good dive I think we must think about diving her more often!

The ride back to Newhaven was more novel than usual but landed us back on the quayside in time the usual post-dive debrief over and egg and bacon butty at the Coral Cafe!

Max depth 24m , bottom time 54 minutes.

08 June 2007

Lancer II Weekend ~ 2nd & 3rd June 2007

Saturday 02/06/07
Lancer II
Arrived on the wreckless seabed, followed the anchor's drag marks, bounced the anchor along the seabed and wondered how many divers I was flying like kites. Reached the end of the drag marks and still no wreck. I was just working out how to get my kites to do a loop when Stephan saved them with some inspired compass work. A patch of darker water became a shoal of Bib. The shoal became the bow of the Lancer, a pebble dashed wall of pink and white Plumose anemones. Marsh mallows. Circling the bows we headed aft. Checked out the sea life apartments in the boiler tubes, crab and blennie neighbours. Hope they've got adequate parking, nothing worse than having to lug your kit for miles because of inadequate parking facilities. Some of the tubes were empty, second homers presumably. I'm musing about great crab hooks filling the skies of Newhaven and hoicking residents off their balconies and out of their flats when Stephen spots the biggest crab I've ever seen, huge barnacled claws, then a lobster who didn't seem to have any claws at all. Up the DSMB through sphere and teardrop shaped plankton, every metre or so a couple of strings with a tiny jelly fish type thing on the end, pulsating iridescent fringes. Must come up with a signal for "Not over there, here, here on the end of my finger"

Splash point gullies - 2m viz
We plough through the soup peering at sea life and each other. Fan worms withdraw into their tubes, velvet swimming crabs hunker down in their crevices and a couple of intimate edible crabs blush, "Excuse me, terribly sorry"

Sunday 03/06/07
Lancer II
Into the waves, drop down a couple of metres, then back up for extra weight for some, down again but a sticky ear slows things down, I'm about to give up and surface when it equalises. At the bottom of the shot a lobster and a lump of wreckage away from the main wreck. Chris launches the anchor on a lift bag, and reels off to find the wreck, Tad lifts the line clear of the wreckage and looks like a dog owner in the park. Chris' regulator woofs in the distance and a cloud of silt billows out of the murk, he's found a bone? Chris returns and we try the opposite direction. Bib hug the wreck and lead the way. Ascending the hull we find what could have been a spare anchor. Peering into a hole I spot a conger, point it out to Chris but fail to realise he can't see it from his angle and watch with growing concern as he pokes his head in the hole tickling it's nose with his exhaust bubbles. Must come up with a signal for "Not over there, here, here on the end of my finger"

Bimble, bimble, Tompot blennies pout for pictures, blob and up.
Plankton fields forever.
Surface to discover the Sussex coast being erased by a fog bank, white cliffs of Beachy head, splash point and then Newhaven disappear. Returning to a marina encompassed by fog. Newhaven is transformed. The hills seem to crowd the harbour, I feel like I'm in Cornwall.


05 June 2007

Web Fame!

May be this www thingy is better than we thought! Whenever I search the web for things I find thousands of links that take me all over the place. But, luckily it seems there are people out there who can work it better than me or may just have a certain knack when it comes to fishing around for info. I had an email from a diver called Dave who had a try dive in Greece who said:-

"I found you on the web, saw pics of xmas party and was intrigued when you wrote about" what we are" or was it "who we are" , it seems to me that dive shops want to put you through padi and then leave you to your own devices find a boat and a buddy or join their club for a fee, last year I did a try dive on holiday and thought i might learn, but once qualified where would I go diving, so i thought if i came to one of your meetings you might be able to offer advice"

Dave must have had one heck of a try dive if he has had to confront all those concerns so soon in his diving career. Of course I sent him an invite to come along to the good ol'Berwick. So just may be we'll seem him and he won't remain the 'Mystery Diver'.

PADI UK Diving Promotional Video

For your info PADI have produced a video promoting UK diving , it's now on You Tube and you can visit it via the link below:-