30 September 2007

More GOZO pictures ......

Cat Herding I ~ can you please get in line?

The Dive Team ( or Cat Herding II ~ Always easier when a beer bribe is involved! )

GOZO Dive Trip ~ 22nd to 29th September 2007

Divers prepare to enter the Blue Hole

A Stair case in the Karwalla Wreck at 37m

Ernie explores the entrance to Cathedral Cave

Cathedral Cave

Ernie gets bent ....by blue light!

Meridian Divers added a string of dramatic Mediterranean cave and cavern dives to their log books in an energetic seven day trip to the island of Gozo organised by Newhaven Divers Ltd. In doing so all divers gained their Rock Climbing Diver Specialty as some of the most sought after dives sites are not easily accessed. My personal favourite was the Cathedral Cave a substantial cave with an underwater entrance that divers can surface within to find a huge domed rock ceiling iluminated from underneath by the electric blue light defracted through the sea, fantastic ! Of course to get to it you had to descent about seventy steps cut out of the rock to reach the bottom of a deep gorge that then required a 15 minute surface swim in zero vis water before meeting crystal clear water and a wall leadingto the cave. Climbing back up those steps in dive kit seemed to justify a larger portion of pasta at the following meal!

Other highlights were the Blue Hole (involving a descent through the still waters of the Hole before exiting into the surrounding sea through a submerged arch), the Inland Sea ( a shallow lagoon leading to a deep and long tunnel through the rock to sheers walls on the coast of the island) and the Karwalla Wreck ( allowing a 37m swim through the length of the ship, followed by a long slow ascent along the surrounding reef).

We were guests of Gozo Aqua Sports (that's GAS for short!) and were accommodated in two three bedroom apartments a very short distance from the harbour side in Marsalforn on the North side of the island. With no shortage of harbour side restaurants and a friendly hostelry nearby we managed to replace the calories that the rock climbing burnt off (and a few more besides!).

A tremendous week of dramatic dives all very different from most of those we had done in the past. It's really good to get some variety in your log books but I'll let the pictures do the talking!

21 September 2007

Sink One 4 Seaford (7)

DIVER magazine (October 2007, Page 17) carries the story of the Tony Fowler's plan to sink one or more ex-RN Frigates of the coast of Seaford.

The story repeats much that has been reported here but adds that Tony is planning to host a presentation at Seaford by a representative of the Scylla project .

Meridian Divers eagerly awaits details of the date/venue for the presentation!

19 September 2007

T.R.Thompson wreck clip 3

nice little clip from the project dive showing the mooring bollards

18 September 2007

Jims mysterious thingy

In response to Jims question here is a photo taken of the thingy in jims clip taken by Chris in 2004 it apears to be part of the engine system.
Any other offers ?

Anyone know what these are?

Wondered if anyone knew what these posts are. I haven't noticed them before on the Thompson.
There was another one slightly further on identical to the first one in the video.

16 September 2007

Plan B Operated!

Plan A was to go for a dive off the Newhaven West Arm and have a BBQ to follow, alas, the weather forced us into a Plan B! The South Westerly wind was forcing a few small white horses up the side of the Harbour Arm and left the first twenty metres of the water a coffee brown colour as the waves stirred up the bottom! So the diving was off. Thoughts of a BBQ on the beach were equally unappealing so we took shelter and refreshment in the Coral Cabin while the MDers gathered.

Plan B was then hatched and put in to place ... it was off to Plumpton Green for an impromptu garden based BBQ .... shame to waste all that food & drink and we had a thirteen MDers with a gap in the diary!

The rescue plan worked exceptionally well, a huge gas fire BBQ grill made short work of the cooking tasks and with Simon & Tad weilding the tongs we were soon tucking into more food than was good for us.

15 September 2007

T.R.Thompson wreck clip 2

re posted due to the clip being lost due a certain Mr C.P

2nd clip from T.R.T Video taken on 8th Sept project dive.
Shows Chris measuring the deck anchor and other bits of deck machinery.

T.R.Thompson Dive ~ 12th Sept

Wednesday morning I met with Andy at Brighton Marina for a Dive on the Thompson from Steve Johnson's Channel Diver. The only problem was that Steve's new boat had blown a gear box and he was still waiting for it to be repaired. Not to worry Steve had made arrangement's for the full compliment of divers to be transferred to the identical boat Sea Breeze.

Wednesday was one of those very special days when nature treats you very well.The sea was flat and mirror like,the sun was bright and warm not a cloud to be seen. On arriving at the T.R.T site the shot was dropped and peering over the side you could see the shotline disappearing quite a few metres down which promised excellent viz on the wreck below.

We were not disappointed the 10m viz allowed us plenty of opportunity to explore the stern thoroughly down to the prop, gun,boilers,engines,railings, etc. The biggest frustration was that 4 days earlier we had dived the TRT with a video camera and the conditions had been very dark with a lot of fluff in the water.Today in these conditions we didn't have the camera which is a real shame. All to quickly it was time to come to the surface and the luxury of a tailgate lift to put us back on board.

Dive 2 was a very gentle drift on ships ledge about 2 miles off of Brighton.

The ledge is a 2m underwater cliff full of life and very scenic. We were entertained by numerous large and very inquisitive cuttlefish, congers, large plaice and all the other usual suspects. It was the first time I had done this particular dive and would definitely do it again.

We also found a very large anchor which proved of interest to the skipper Terry Lee it appears no-one is aware of this.

Dive 1: TRT
Max depth 34m
Dive time 40 minutes
water temp 19.c on the bottom

Dive 2: Ship Ledge
Max depth 14.9m
Dive time 44 minutes
water temp 19.c

Good news is that Channel Diver is now fixed and Steve is planning to fit bigger engines over the winter period.


13 September 2007

Diving on T.R.Thompson wreck

Short clip from the T.R.Thompson project dive.
The clip is torward the end of the dive where there was more light.
If you would like the full version let me have a plain dvd disc

It was a shame we didint have the camera on wednesday 12th the viz was 10m with plenty of light full report to follow.

12 September 2007

GOZO Dive Trip 22nd~29th September

Last remain place on this trip taken by ...... Tad!

Welcome aboard Tad.

RNLI Newhaven Callout ~ Sunday 9th September

Thanks to Diving Diva for this update. The following is an extract from the RNLI Newhaven web site:-

The lifeboat left the side on exercise and was 0.5 NM south of Cuckmere Haven when we received a VHF call from a dive RIB reporting that 2 divers had surfaced without a stop from a 38m dive due to equipment failure and required assistance. The lifeboat proceeded at full speed and arrived on scene 6.5 NM south of Cuckmere at 11:37. Solent CG had been informed and Coastguard Rescue Helo "Whisky Bravo" was diverted from an exercise off Littlehampton. The 2 divers who were on oxygen were taken aboard the lifeboat to prepare for the helo transfer. "Whisky Bravo" arrived on scene at 11:53 and the lifeboat made full speed to the west to facilitate the airlift. Both divers were lifted into the helo by 12:03 when they were taken to Portsmouth for treatment. The lifeboat returned to station at 12:05 arriving back alongside at 12:50.

There a couple of pictures of the Helicopter air lift on the website , see:-


Hope that all divers involved are OK. I don't think any Merdian Divers were diving but await confirmation.

09 September 2007

Meridian Divers BBQ2 ~ Sunday 16th September

Meridian Divers and chums are invited to the MD BBQ 2 being held on the West Beach, Newhaven on Sunday 16th September.

As per the successful plan for BBQ1 the basic schedule is turn-up, get the BBQ gear set-up, go for a shore dive (those that want to dive) then get stuck-in the refreshements!

Fingers crossed for good weather! The afternoon high tide at Newhaven is 2.32pm (BST) with a 6.2m tide. So may be a good time to meet-up would be 1pm (ish!) . As always it's bring food & drink for yourself and for a few others!

If you want to let others know what you're bringing you can add a comment to this post and in any case it's also helpful to know who is attending and who is diving!

1. Sheila &
2. Ernie: Prawns & BBQ Kit (Ernie Diving)
3. Deborah: Sauasages, Gazebo & BBQ Kit
4. Chris &
5. Sue: Spare Ribs, French Bread & butter (Chris Diving)
6. Tad &
7. Nicki: Home-made Beefburgers
8. Diving Diva: Finger Nibbles.
9. Simon T &
10. Linda T: pudding plus a rice or pasta salad and maybe a potato salad!
11. Jimbob: Relish

08 September 2007

T R Thompson Dive ~ 8th September

This turned out to be an excellent dive! As we sped off to the TRT there was a fair mist hanging over the sea. Arriving at the TRT , the wreck was shot leading us quickly to the midhsips , near the boilers.

TRT Bollards

The viz was around 5m and allowed Tad to take a long video of the dive and me to take a lot of stills using ambient light only. Ernie & Jim in another buddy pair also shot some video. Our mission on the dive was to measure & photo the deck anchor and the Gun. Mission accomplished! Diving on Nitrox 32% gave me a good long dive and plenty of spare NDL.

Now looking forward to seeing the video! With a bit of good luck we'll add a link to this blog!

07 September 2007

MENCAP ~ Halloween Dive ~ 28th October

MENCAP are holding another fund raising dive ... distant for most of us as it is being held at Peterborough!

Details on :- http://www.mencap.org.uk/html/fundraising/events/dive/dive.asp

05 September 2007

Seaford Reef Project

Many thanks Chaps for your comments and I note you have a team working on a submission for inclusion in my formal proposal- brilliant. Regarding the cost of an inshore reef, yes of course this is a major major issue. However I don't know where Tony Fowler got the "26£m+" figure from- the point here is that neither the EA or any other body has ever sat down and done a serious costing! Also being de-facto permanent in nature, when the cost of the existing scheme is considered ("150k£ per annum and rising quickly) and the economic cost to Seaford and the wider district over say 50-100 years is taken into account, the reef cost actually may not be quite as much an issue as first appears to be the case.Anyway, thanks again for your support, look forward to hearing from you again. Kind regards, Jim Skinner

Objectives for TRT Dive

As we didnt get chance to discuss the objectives for the forthcoming TRT dive
here is a brief list for those of you planning to come on the dive assuming the weather etc allows.

Photograph as much of the wreck as possible - if you have a camera and are happy to dive with it please bring it conditions allowing

Video - Video as much of the wreck as possible

Measure gun
Measure deck anchor

Video and photography is the main priority

There are still some spaces left


03 September 2007

Littlehampton Dive Trip ~ 2nd September

Well it might appear calm and gentle aboard Copperhead Diver II as we make our way down the River Arun to the sea but let me say it was anything but peace and tranquility as we motored over the lumpy waters to the site of HMS Northcoates.
I have the blisters & bruises that come with hanging on to the front end of a RIB to stop yourself falling out as it leaps from wave to wave! You could say an exciting ride , well you could but if you did you'd have a mouth full of sea water! Still all good fun!
The viz and current were disappointing on this dive , I guess one day we'll get to have a good look at this upright armed trawler, just not sure when that will be with Neptune and other gods conspiring against us this season!