31 December 2007

Nearly the End of 2007! What will 2008 Bring?

We are very nearly at the end of 2007, just hours to go and we will soon see the pundits giving their predictions for 2008. Updating the blog ,as I am ,I thought it would be interesting to look at what was predicted for blogging during 2007.

One such pundit 'Modern Life' commented "Blogging will get harder - Well, not harder per se - but as more and more people cotton onto this 'get blog, get famous, make money' mentality (old media included) hopefully we'll see greater competition and more rivalry for blogging recognition." See:-


As time has passed it seems that it was a fairly accurate prediction. It's certainly not harder to blog and the increased use of blogs should be good for the blog reader. Whether blogs will make money, is of course, not something that will concern Meridian Divers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR from our North Cyprus Correspondent

Cengiz Bergun laterly of this parish sends his best wishes for the New Year from his North Cyprus Dive Centre. Looks like it's all progressing very well and it looks like you have a possé of ex-pat divers to help you!
Check out Cengiz and his Team on:-

30 December 2007

Cold Water Immersion Needed Desperately

Desperate from Walderslade seeks cold water immersion. Any suitable location considered.
Please post ideas for dates times and places asap.

22 December 2007

Happy Christmas to All

I would like to wish everyone who is linked with Meridian Divers and everyone else who may visit these pages a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year

21 December 2007

Meridian Divers 2nd Christmas Dinner

It was really good to see so many Meridian Divers at the Christmas Dinner on Wednesday 19th. The Dorset Arms served us proud with with some good food but , of course, the evening was special because of the company. It was really pleasing to see that many of you travelled some long distances on a bitterly cold evening to join in.

Jim H won the Meridian Divers 2007 UK Dive Challenge for the MDer with the most UK dives under his belt for 2007 (yes I suppose we should have waited until 31st December to declare a winner , but somehow I don't many dives will be taking place in the remaining time!) Congratulations Jim! We will have to think of getting a Trophy for this challenge 'cos no doubt the log books will be getting a bashing during 2008!

Sheila was presented with flowers for all her work in taking the minutes and organising us. Simon & Linda were thanked for all their efforts in putting the Dinner together, and I'll put on record my thanks for the unexpected but very welcome gift of a bottle of Brandy! That was a very considerate thought , thank you.

The next MD meeting in January will make a start on event planning, there are plenty of people interested in the NEMO 33 Brussels trip which should be a very fun week-end.

Let's hope that 2008 will bring us some better weather and some good viz! Until then best wishes for a very merry Christmas and a happy & healthy New Year.

18 December 2007

Filling Diving Cylinders

The HSE have issued Diving Information Notice No.10 that amongst other issues gives guidance on the filling of diving cylinders. The guidance includes:-

1. Filling to be completed by COMPETENT persons (competent means having approriate Knowledge , Skills and Training).

2. Operator should wear eye and hearing protection.

3. Restraining lines to be attached to charging whips.

This is interesting advice which no doubt should appear in risk assessments but I have not yet seen these measures in use at cylinder filling stations. The advice does not cover people other than the operator but it does flag up the safety benefit of having filling stations that separate customers from the location in which the filling is conducted.


Video of Live Rebreather Incident

Meridian Divers might be interested in following the link below to a video produced by SKY News that includes underwater filming of a live rebreather incident . It's a well produced video with full commentary . Whilst the incident revolves around rebreather problems one of the 'lessons learnt' is how long it took for the safety divers to recognise the seriousness of the problem and respond. A very interesting video.


Film Night

Now that the long winter nights have drawn in regular dive trips seem a long way off so bearing that in mind I am proposing holding a film night probably at Arlington Village Hall sometime in January.

We held a similar one a couple of years ago showing Cousteau's Silent World which proved to be popular. The evening could be combined with a meeting night and popcorn and snacks would be on the menu.

I have a selection of Diving related DVD's plus a projector so equipment is not a problem.

If you would be interested please add a comment


14 December 2007

Meeru Diving ~ Maldives

Following the personal recommendation of Meridian Diver Debs I headed out to a spot of diving from Meeru Island, North Male Atol, Maldives. It was a close call, Lakeside or Meeru but there was very little motorway driving in getting to Meeru and very few shops when you got there, that swung it for me!
I did nine dives with Ocean Pro Divers and apart from diving with the Mantas I tucked a PADI Diver Propulsion Vehicle Specialty into the diving CV. DPVs have their serious uses but need to be used sparingly / carefully on reef diving if you are not to terrify every living creature in the water including other divers!
Ocean Pro have a max dive time of 60mins and the Maldives has a max diving depth of 30m so it's not surprising that many of my dives were exactly 60mins long and none deeper than 28m.
The highlight for me was watching five huge Mantas playing follow the leader at a cleaning station. sadly no Whale Sharks ...but always reason to go back and try again! There were shed loads of small balck tip reef sharks swimming along the islands shores almost every day.
All very pleasant in 28 degrees of water but of course it's nice to come back to the UK and get a few low season dives watching out for elusive but graceful shopping trollies at their cleaning station just off a Motorway junction! Back to reality!

Lakeside Dive

"We get up to 10m Vis this time of year" The dive shop assistant told us. Peering over the side into the water it looked more like 6".

Ernie and myself turned up at Lakeside Dive centre to explore their lake on probably the coldest morning of the year so far. Equipped with our drysuits and camera we were going in whatever.

Once kitted up we gently worked our way along the lakeside wall trying not to slip on the ice and flopped back into the mirror calm lake. Ernie suddenly realised that perhaps he hadn't put his weight belt on and started to climb out and then realised he had mmmmm .

Once in we descended to the lake bottom and our first fears about the vis were proved right very dark and very murky we could just about see each other.

We swam around for about 30 mins not really seeing a lot with the exception of a few crayfish which was basically the highlight and occasionally bumping into things such as training platforms. It sort of reminded me of the old Ardingly reservoir training dive days.

I had tajen the video camera but all I managed to film was a greeny brown mess with nothing at all identifiable, so I wont be posting a vid clip but at least the camera didnt leak

Was it worth it? Yes any dive to me is worth the troublen even if it is cold and dark, especially when we still have at least 4-5 months to go before we can enjoy the good conditions at sea again.

With all the inland sites available there is no reason why we cant dive all year round> I feel a weekend trip to Vobster coming on.

ps. we finished the dive about 1.30 Ernie was still be dragged around the Lakeside shopping centre at 5pm. Go for it Sheila!!

Dive stats
Dive time 29 min
Depth 5.7m
Water Temp 7.c
Air Temp 2.c
Vis Max nil- to a very dark and murky 1m
Ernies credit card £ Thousands

10 December 2007

Seaford Beach management.

Latest news from Jim Skinner.......
"My submission calling for a change to Seaford Beach management has now been placed with both Seaford and Newhaven Town councils. I included your input so again thanks very much.
I am happy to say Newhaven TC have given it their full support, Seaford Town Council are due to consider it at their next full council meeting January 24th - the delay was at my request as I was away on holiday last week when they were going to discuss it. Perhaps you could let your club members know.
It will also be going to Lewes District Council hopefully soon and also perhaps ESCC."
Jim Skinner

03 December 2007

Bah Humbug dive at Lakeside

This time of year drives me nuts its not that I am against Xmas its just I that I fed up of going into shops shopping centres etc seeing loads of miserable staff and having to put up with Slade's xmas songs for the 100th time that day. So bearing that in mind a couple of us are heading of to one of the largest shopping centres in Europe for a dive on Wednesday 12th December

We are are heading for Lakeside in Thurrock which just happens to have its own Diving and watersports centre and very large lake right on its doorstep http://www.lakeside-diving.com/ .

The reason for doing this is for no other reason than to get wet and dive a site that we haven't dived before. Its going to be cold it, it may be a complete waste of time but we are going anyway. If you wish to join us please add a comment and I will add you to the list below.

Once you have finished your dive you can nip over the road fight the crowds and enjoy the bunfight that is xmas shopping and get yourselves into someones good book's.

Bah Humbug!!

Divers so far and me thinks the only ones (go on prove me wrong)

1.Ernie (Sheila is going shopping) Hide your credit card Ernie
2.Tad brrrrrr