31 October 2007

Meridian Divers Meeting & HMS Scylla Talk

Nick Murns giving the HMS Scylla presentation.

The Meridian Divers meeting of 31st October was held at the Arlington Village Hall. The Hall was a new venue for one of our meetings and it was chosen to provide more space for our guest speaker, Mr Nick Murns. For five years Nick, who is a Programme Director, was the Project Manager for the sinking of HMS Scylla near Plymouth. Many Meridian Divers have dived the Scylla but were blissfully unaware of the sheer scale and complexity of the project , Nick and colleagues overcame obstacle after obstacle , social, economic, political, environmental, financial and legal to achieve success. It was clearly an awesome task but driven to success by the pure passion for diving of those involved in getting the momentum going. If Nick isn't an expert in local and central government procedures he certainly sounds like he is!

Nick is a keen diver and has travelled around the world , not least to Canada, Australia & New Zealand to dive some of the most famous artificial reefs. Nicks packed presentation included video footage of the sinking of several warships. During the questions and answers both before and after the presentation Nick demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of what issues are likely to be critical to the Sink One For Seaford Project. As a number of those present will be involved in the public meeting on Friday 2nd Novemeber at Seaford I think they will have picked-up plenty of points to think about.

The usual business of the meeting was kept to a minimum to afford the maximum time to the presentation. Notes of the meeting will be circulated in due course.

30 October 2007

BBC at Stoney Cove

I know we have a meeting Wednesday night but if you have a VCR or sky plus etc set it to record the Nature of Britain at 9.00pm on BBC1, as some of the footage has been filmed at Stoney Cove, showing the Perch and Pike that inhabit the now flooded quarry.

Looks pretty good from what I have seen, may whet your appetites for the 13th November.


23 October 2007

Thistlegorm Wreck Closed to Divers for a Month

For those of you who are planning a Red Sea trip between November 15th and December 15th and who wanted to dive the Thistlegorm, you could be out of luck.

According to Diver magazine the world famous wreck will be out of bounds to divers. The reason for this is that permanent mooring buoys are going to placed around the site to prevent further damage to the wreck caused by dive boats mooring to the wreck itself.

Plans are also in place to drill holes on the wreck to allow the bubbles from scuba to escape more easily as air pockets inside the wreck bring about rapid decay.

Also planned is a rethink on how dives to the wreck are going to be briefed and undertaken.

For those of us that have dived the Thistlegorm and who may have unwittingly contributed to the damage, it is great to see that action is now being taken to preserve this amazing wreck for the future.


Source Diver Magazine November edition

19 October 2007

T.R. Thompson Shipwreck

another clip from TRT project dive showing boilers,parts of the engine and railings. I couldnt get the light to work at this point of the dive hence why its so dark

Stoney Cove

I know we have been talking about a Stoney Trip for a while so here are some prospective dates which I have marked in my diary and hopefully you can mark in yours. These are just suggested dates and are midweek due to Stoney being far too busy at weekends. If you have any other dates or preferences such as Vobster quay please add a comment.

Wed -7th Nov
Tue- 13th Nov - Now selected for the trip !
Tue-27th Nov
wed- 28th Nov
Thur- 29th Nov


18 October 2007

Sink One 4 Seaford Project (10) ~ Meeting Timetable

(click image to enlarge)

Details of the timetable for the SO4S public Meeting being held at the Seaford Baptist Church on Friday 2nd October. Wear your Meridian Divers Polo Shirts for free entry!

15 October 2007

Meridian Divers Christmas Dinner ~ Wed 19th Dec

Just a reminder that the Meridian Divers Christmas Dinner is arranged for:

Wednesday 19th December

A three course dinner at £24.95. The full menu choices and details will be circulated by email today (15th October) . If you would like to book a place it would be a good idea to to so as soon as possible as it's mid October and over half the available places have gone!

If you don't receive the details by email within 24hours and would like to find out more / join in , please email me or add a comment to the blog!

14 October 2007

Where does all the Spidge go?

A photo of a shop windo in Marseille gives a clue. This place was packed out with spidge from any number of vessels. There were several telegraphs with "Glasgow" and "Liverpool" on their dials , brass divers helmets, piles of portholes, navigation lights, search lights etc. Probably the best collection I have seen (mind you a visit to a south London divers home still takes the biscuit for the sheer number of ships bells he had accumulated!). I thought about buying a divers helmet but it may have taken my baggage limit into orbit and my bank account well into the rouge!

10 October 2007

Totally Shameless

This may appear to be a Meridian Diver posing on a ships anchor with yachts in a harbour behind him and standing only a hundred metres away from a diving memorabilia shop stuffed full with brass Telegraphs, ships wheels and bells, but there is an ulterior motive in posting the shot!
Ah ha, you say, it's just his way of introducing that he's been to see an early experimental diving bell in France. Well no, the England Rugby shirt is a clue, and if I tell you the diving bell is in Marseille you'll know that I'm shamelessly showing-off that I was in the Stadium when England beat Australia and also the following day when South Africa beat Fiji! Someone's got to do it!!

Some More Gozo Shots ......

The Gozo Dive Team above the Blue Hole!
The Gozo Dive Team descending rapidly!

Sink One 4 Seaford Project (9) ~ Meridian Divers

It's really good to see the Sink One 4 Seaford project gaining momentum and support. It's a very ambitious project but could generate plenty of opportunities locally. The project web site has expanded and now includes a supporters / sponsors page which contains a link to this blog, check out the link:-


The S14S project team have asked if Meridian Divers will support their work at the public meeting on 2nd of November at Seaford. They would appreciate a good turn-out and would be particularly keen to see us in our Meridian Divers Polo Shirts as it is important that local divers show support for the project. Let me know by email or adding a comment to this posting if you are able to make it. Bring your cameras as we'll have a snap or two for the blog!

04 October 2007

Cuttlefish Under Brighton Pier

The following link will take you to DiveaDay TV and to a short video of cuttle fish:-


Now why isn't it that light when we dive under the Pier! There are a variety of other dive videos on the site and maybe, when we get great viz on the TRT we'll upload one of our own!

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 3rd October 2007

It's probably about time we had a party thrown for us by the Berwick Inn as I'm sure Meridian Divers custom is keeping their accounts in the black! Looking at the size of one diver's dinner may be their profits are so much after all!

The meeting had a show of Gozo Dive Trip images and feedback on the group's last BBQ which after poor weather was transferred to Plompton Green.

Simon took more bookings for the MD Christmas Dinner but the private room we have arranged this year is limited to 36 places so don't hang around in getting your £5 deposits to Simon. Strictly first-come-first-served! A similar principle will apply to the NEMO 33 Brussels Trip next February, luckily one of our number has family in Brussels and we are getting recommendations about suitable accommodation via that route. Other 'out-of-season' activities were discussed and a PADI Equipment Specialty is being made available for Merdian Divers. If interested add a comment / drop me an email.

Simon & Linda were congratulated on completing their Enriched Air Diver Specialty and Simon becomes the first Meridian Divers Master Scuba Diver (MDMSD), well done Simon!

Our Guest Speaker gave us a very thorough briefing on the 'Sink-One-For-Seaford' (SOFS) project and circulated copies of presentations and documents that are being used in support of the project. The project, if implemented, would have a dramatic impact on the local diving infrastructure and facilities. The project has for some months envisaged a new diving centre and with the current port developments in Newhaven that process may be hastened, indeed a the two projects may well go hand in hand. A wide variety of Dive Centres support diving on HMS Scylla and should the SOFS project come to fruition it would be reasonable to assume that the range of local diving services would increase giving divers even more local choice. If the project get's a green light it should bring investment to the area with a concomitant growth in dive boat charter operations, diving centres and of, course, catering and bed and breakfast outfits. With the news that the Coral Cafe is to close we need a purveyor of bacon butties.

A variety of named RN vessels were mentioned as possible artificial reefs, most are named after cities , shame we don't have a HMS Exceptional Visibility to sink ....we could do with some of that!

Meridian Divers were invited to take part in a dive on the Scylla as a sort of prelude to what might be possible in Seaford. If you are interested in such a dive let me know. A number of us have dived the Scylla before.

Full notes of the meeting will be circulated in due course.

03 October 2007

Sink One 4 Seaford Project (8)

A public meeting to discuss the proposals to sink one or more warships off the coast of Seaford is to be held at the Baptist Church , Seaford at 6.30pm on Friday 2nd November. Meridian Divers have been invited to attend. It will no doubt be an opportunity to learn more about this ambitious project and a chance to meet up with other local divers with a similar interest.

The 'Sink One For Seaford' project could spawn a wide range of new developments in the area, for example a new dive centre and a new slipway. The Scylla project took over five years to come to fruition so, as all good divers know, it's not wise to hold your breath. The SOFS project is now seeking £3000 to fund initial research work. This is a very small sum of money and I would imagine that local businesses, who might stand to gain from sinking of a frigate would be quick to put their hands in their pockets! It would be disappointing if that was not the case as the project is very much at the confidence building stage.

As a separate and unrelated development to the above public meeting, the project manager for the Scylla project contacted me after having seen our blog and has very kindly offered to speak to Meridian Divers about his five year involvement in the Scylla project. I am certain he would be able to give us a fascinating insight into the complexities of these projects. They are definately not plain sailing!

02 October 2007

Alaunia dive?

Anyone fancy diving the Alaunia and Brodrick from Eastbourne at the end of the month?

27th October 2007 (Sat Meet 10:00 Alaunia 34m + Brodrick 24m)

Boat is the Sussex from Eastbourne Sovereign Harbour.