31 December 2008

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a happy New Year to all MDers and their dive buddies. Let's hope that we can make 2009 an active diving year , have fun and support all those who support us and our diving mania!

Its no doubt going to be a tough year with a serious recession on the cards, so let's not forget those who we rely on as they too rely on us as customers. In particular we should not forget the friendship , goodwill and willingness of those who contributed to the socials we have enjoyed , such as the Christmas Party. In particular:-

Graeme at Ocean View
Steve at Channel Divers
Mick at Seazones

Newhaven Shore Dive ~ 4th Jan

THIS DIVE IS GOING AHEAD!!!!!
SEE YOU ALL THERE

This will still be going ahead as long as we don`t get any hurricanes, typhoons or tsunamis in the mean time! Meet at 14.00hrs ready to dive at 14.45hrs , if its blown or latte maybe a mass dive in sheltered waters then off for a beer in the Marina? Only a tenner? It was crystal clear yesterday!

Any way see you guys next year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

30 December 2008

Green Diver

I met-up with MDer Trekker (aka John) today and he told me of his Christmas present - he's going to spend ten days diving Ningaloo Reef , Western Australia in March next year. That news alone was enough for me to become a Green Diver , green with envy that is! Of course I thought I'd do a quick 'Google' to see what was on offer and the first 'Gallery' I came across was THIS ONE.

Take a look and let me know if I'm still the only Green Diver!

29 December 2008

Bowling - Action Needed NOW!!!!

Ok guys. The Bowling is BOOKED!

Tuesday 20th January 2009 at 7.30pm!
Brighton Bowlplex, Brighton Marina

OV have approx 20 bowlers!!! Can we match that???

I now need your money! £14.99 pp - Chris will email all MDers with the payment arrangements / details.

26 December 2008

Holiday headwear anyone?

I have been asked if i will be ordering any Scaps this year and the answer is YES.
These have been invaluable to me this year and should be a must in any divers kit for that extra layer without the need for a hood especially abroad or for those follically challenged who get burn`t heads while snorkelling
Please have a look at the link for colours then post what you would like then pay me in cash/cheque for £20 on the bowling night then we`ll order by the end of the month
if you look hard enough on the Scap site you may see a familiar face modelling underwater- no prizes for the right answer!!

http://www.thescap.com/products.html

High Water Slack at Newhaven Arm

Can anyone give me the definitive answer to this please? I have been given many different answers from 1.5hrs -0.5hrs before highwater, and how long is slack before it turns.
Seeing as this is home waters for you guy's, 'll ask here!

[Matt , nothing like a good old thorny question on Boxing Day to revive the ailing grey matter! Slack times are a science of their own! I took a look at the PADI website for the answer, it's crammed full of usefull information dive planning as you would expect (;-)) , so check out THIS!]

25 December 2008

Well ? Who Got the Best Diving Present ?

I know some of you will have already unwrapped your prezzies so thought I'd better start this post 'early' , no doubt the 'traditionalists' will be waiting until HM The Queen has done her speech!

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas Take 2


Looks like Tracey beat me to it and I would like agree with what Tracey says but also say that yes its been a brilliant year in lots of ways and Like Tracey I havent dived as much as I would have liked mainly due to the weather but those I have done have been exceptional.

The highlights for me were meeting Mr and Mrs Jack and the success with the Adopt a Wreck Award, but added to that the new friends we have made with Divers from Ocean View and RDC.

Hopefully 2009 will see Meridian Divers grow but equally as important that with any growth is we dont forget where we have come from and support others in the same way we have been supported throughout this year.

So I would also like to say a very big thank you to all the people both within MD and everyone else who have made this a very special year for me and I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and I look forward to diving and all the other stuff with you next year I think you are all great people, people which I class as great friends without exception.

I cant wait to film and edit the 2009 round up

Tad

PS

And to the ...bags that nicked my car and kit I hope all your teeth fall out and you choke on your xmas dinner you wont keep me out of the water.

Merry Christmas!!!

I would just like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas & jolly New Year!

I've not done as much diving as I'd have liked this year but one thing I have got this year is lots of new buddies! I would like to thank everyone I've dived with and those who have organised dives, weekends, trips away and socials and to also thank everyone who has attended!!!

Certainly socially it has been a great year and with the bowling already planned for January, 2009 looks set to be the same - let's just hope that we get a bit more diving too!


Merry Christmas!!!!!!

21 December 2008

Newhaven Shore Dive ~ Sunday 4th Jan 2009

Matt is planning a shore dive at Newhaven on Sunday 4th January . Harbour Arm (West) , West Beach / Gullies options . Details to follow . Hope the weather will provide some viz and not an grand impression of a Latte Coffee! If interested let Matt know / add a comment!

20 December 2008

T R Thompson Presentation ~ Friday 9th Jan 2008

For One Night Only ...

OK, you've read the blog, seen the film and got the T Shirt - but NOW you can have the whole story presented to you by master story teller 'Tad' at Ocean View , 7.30pm , Friday 9th January 2009.

For one night only Tad is making a guest appearance at OV to share his experiences behind the lens, the tales of intrigue and daring, the highs and the lows of adopt a wreck project management. Yep, one night only - any atheists should reconsider their beliefs ! One night only? That must be some sort of Divine intervention?

19 December 2008

Swanage Trip ~16-17th May 2009

Hi all,

As the trip is full can I please have full payment £85 (diving only) by the end of January. Dives include Kyarra, Aleolian sky and drifts

http://www.diversdownswanage.co.uk/

Camping Site below :

http://www.woodyhyde.co.uk/prices.html

Divers
1.matt PAID
2.sean
3.anna
4.trez
5. chris-p PAID
6.jimbob
7. steve l
8. tad
9.tracy
10. gary s
11. prometheus
12.george

Plymouth Trip ~ 5th-7th June 2009

The trip is the same one I sorted this year for the absurd deal of £135 for the whole deal with Steve. Details here:-

http://scyllareefdivecharter.co.uk/DIVE-CHARTER-PLYMOUTH-MOUNTBATTEN

This trip is open to all now for the remaining spaces, when trip is full Iwill ask for the full amount of trip £135 per diver (Simon will find out about non divers) :-
1.Matt
2. Sean
3. Tracy
4. Anna
5. Steve
6. George
7. Caroline
8. Tad (to confirm)
9. Trez
10. Simon + Linda
11.
12.

18 December 2008

Round up of Meridian Divers and Friends 2008

This is the video and photo round up shown at the christmas dinner. Now I know the music isnt everyones cup of tea, but tough its staying !!

Bowling ~ 20th January 2009

Just a reminder that the next MD event is the bowling evening - 20th January 2009. Really need some more MDs to make up the numbers!!! OV have about 19 so far!!!!!!

It will be held at Brighton Bowlplex, time to be confirmed but looking at around 7.30ish. Food will be buffet and the cost is £14.99 per person. This includes the buffet, shoe hire and 2 games of bowling.

All ages are welcome so bring the kids along (they're probably better than a lot of us!)

We are going to provisionally book this next week but will need to know definate numbers by 4th January 2009.

Christmas Party Comments........

Doh! Done Xmas Party post ... it doesn't look anything like it dis on the screen I was working on ! Never mind you get the idea!!

Top Christmas Dinner Party !


Well, if a round of applause for the staff at the Tudor House Restuarant, Alfriston is any guide I think it's fair to say everyone at the third MD Christmas Dinner had a very enjoyable dinner!

Personally I thought the meal was even better than the dinner we had enjoyed back in July at our Mr Jack Commemorative Dive Dinner.

A clue that the food was exceptionally good was that the MD group are not know for being shy , retiring or quiet ....but yep, it went quiet three times during the evening - just after each course was served!



The 'Diving Dinner' ambience was built by our own videographer and editor , Tad.

Nicki reminded us just how many hours Tad had spent slaving over a hot computer to create a DVD of video and still shots depicting the MD exploits through out the year.


Tad's work was projected on to a screen and the music provided a backdrop to the clatter of cutlery & chinking of glasses!



Linda & Simon get my personal vote of thanks for donating a bottle of Fine Champagne Cognac VSOP to the raffle.

Excellent decision, as was my decision to buy just the right raffle ticket! Cheers!

Still there were plenty of other prizes donated , including places Channel Diver and Sea Zones dive charter boats.

Ocean View Diving donated an Air / Nitrox fill card which will also always be a welcome gift!



They say a picture paints a thousand words - well if that's the case , may be I should let some of the photos speak for themselves .

They do seem to tell a story of people having a great time!

This shot shows Sean discussing 'Bottom Time' with Tracey - Divers eh? Always chatting about some technical matter of another!






And, similarly this shows Matt impressing on other divers the need to keep close to your buddies in poor visibility and in particular to ensure you wear distinctive headgear to aid identification!




















Sheila and Ernie were pressed into service as Raffle Organisers. Sheila of course arranged for Ernie to win a major prize just about as fast as she could - well may it was just good luck but Ernie won the "Mr Jack Prize" an electronic photo frame ! Ha ha, all you have got to do now Ernie is take a nice picture or two to put on it!
The Meridian Divers Photo Competition was run and 50 images from the MD blog were projected , votes were taken and the winning photo , by a margin was a photo of "Parsley" the puppy owned by Debbie & Stuart and taken by Tracey! It was a shock result for professional cameraman Steve who had bet a drink from the bar for everyone present if his underwater shots didn't win - nice one Steve - mine's a port & brandy ... large! Tracey went home with more than she bargained for - er, the Photographer of the Year award I mean!
Several other compeitions were decided with Tad being presented with the NAS Adopt -A-Wreck Decanter on behalf of MD for his work on the project AND.... he also won the Meridian Diver of the Year award & trophy for his efforts across the raneg of activities (mind you I think his video work has really been worth a trophy on it's own).
Matt won the MD Pier Diver of the Year accolade , for having dived four different UK piers in the year! I'm sure someone will break that record next year! That's if all the piers don't fall down or burn down!









The Grand Raffle saw many , many winners - far too many to show ALL the photos but not to be left empty handed , Nicki bagged a super MOSCHINO perfum prize.


Santa Claus is usually depicted wearing a red suit so methinks Sheila had that image in her mind when she became cheif raffle caller and prize manager!
Tina's thinking "OK what am I going to do with a free ride on Channel Diver - apart from give it to Matt for his Christmas present"?





Only fair then that Steve , who donated the place on Channel Diver should himself be a winner - looks like one of Sheila's 'secret' prizes - hope you will find in coming in handy Steve!











This shot is of course no reflection of Paul's personal hygiene - it was just a complete coincidence that he should win the pack of assorted smellies! That should make your Christmas more bareable Mandy!









The growing 'Clan Parsons' weren't to be outdone either , I lost count how many prizes they won but I thought I use this photo of Nick with his navigational aid. Knowing how much Nick likes boats this prize will remind him that the left side of the boat with the red light is the PORT side!







Matt puts on a brave face - that lovely Champagne Cognac has already been bagged , it was enough to make him turn to gin!
Poor lad , take care it's mother's ruin you know!









Judging by the smile on Debbie's face she thinks she knows what's inside this long narrow package. Shiela , who is having a laugh at the idea actually does know what's in there - sorry Debbie better luck next time!









Sean had a very clear idea of what prize he wanted - and looking at the smile on his face he must have been promised it.


All told the evening was really fun , the food was super , the staff attentive, the atmosphere lively and most importantly the company excellent. It was also good to see a couple of our dive buddies who coldn't make the whole evening pop-in for a Christmas Drink. Sadly , due to work another couple of MD chums couldn't make it and Matt C , who is only briefly back in the UK from Malta also (sadly) missed a great night out!
Best wishes to all Meridian Divers and their families for a very happy Christmas and New Year. We hope to see you all in the water and at the socials next year - and don't forget the Bowling Challenge fast approaching! It's going to be a challenge to do a better Christmas Dinner next year - but ...we are up for it!

15 December 2008

Polo shirts & Fleeces Update

There here.

I will be bringing them to the dinner . Payment required on delivery (£16.00 Polo shirts and £25.00 Fleeces)

Thanks.

Ernie

MD Christmas Dinner at The Tudor House Restaurant

Hi y'all,

We're getting close now ... to the MD Christmas Dinner at the Tudor House Restaurant , High Street , Alfriston , East Sussex on Wednesday 17th December.

For those of you who need a little help in finding it click HERE

For those of you who want some last minute info on the place click HERE

The rendezvous time is 7.30pm for drinks in readiness for 8.00pm at the table!

There is adequate parking in Alfriston but you may have to walk a few hundred metres! Take care if there is rain !

Looking forward to seeing you all there. In addition to the raffle, several MD challenges / competitions will be decided on the night! With awards & trophies to the winners. The raffle has a good selection of prizes including:-

* Air / Nitrox Card from Ocean View Diving
* A Place on a Boat Charter from Sea Zones
* A Place on a Boat Charter from Channel Diver
* The 'Mr Jack' Prize (Donated by Mr Norman Jack)
* Diving Equipment
* A bottle of Brandy
* A bottle of Gin

(Don't forget you can add more to the raffle prizes if you wish! All donations gratefully received)

13 December 2008

Polo Shirts and Fleeces

Polo shirts and fleeces should be ready to bring to the dinner on Wednesday.
I have sent an Email to everyone who has ordered one.
It is not too late to order if you wish to be stylish. The cost is £16.00 for the Polo Shirts and £25.00 for the fleeces.
Ernie

12 December 2008

Extreme Underwater Ironing

Anyone up for some household chores?
I'm thinking about going.

http://www.ndac.co.uk/extremeironing/

"On the 10th January 2009 the National Diving & Activity Centre and Yorkshire Divers will be hosting a Guinness World Record Extreme Ironing Event. You are invited to take part in this event and raise money For the RNLI; a charity providing 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The sport that is 'extreme ironing' is an outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an 'extreme' sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. It involves taking an iron and board to remote locations and ironing a few items of laundry. Our Guinness World Record attempt will be for the most number of divers underwater ironing at the same time.

The present record is currently held at 72 by an Australian group - we think that you can do better than that, so here is your opportunity to join in!"

07 December 2008

Party on down!

Last night The Holiday Inn in Brighton did not know what had hit them as 30 members of Ocean View descended on them at their Party Night.
Myself, Sean and Trez trekked over to Brighton and met up with everyone in the lounge bar. By time we arrived most had passed out due to the alcohol - well, the prices of them anyway. Matt was revived after having to part with nearly £12 for 2 drinks!





With a little help from the local Off-Licence things soon got going and we all took our seats to be fed and entertained. Divided over 3 tables, it was deemed from the start that our table would be the noisiest and we did not disappoint! Following a meal that was ok, and 2 free bottles of sparkling wine (one courtesy of Holiday Inn, the other thanks to Wendy and her winning the game of heads & tails!!) the music started and we put on our dancing shoes.


All to soon, us oldies found it too much (let's face it - one glass & I'm out of it!) and we had to leave the younger ones (and those who were passed caring!) to it!


Matt is compiling a gallery and I will be taking cash or cheques for those photos that should NEVER be shown!!!!





05 December 2008

Thanks Buds!

Just one more image from the South Male Atoll showing my dive buds and, er OK, me! And a chance to thank them for their company and good buddying!



This photo was taken after the House Reef (North) dive and shows L to R : Marlis, André , Guenther, and I. It was taken as we exited by some hapless passer by who was pressed into photograhic service! Yes, I know , don't put your mask on your head! But when you have little hair you have to mask it somehow , boom boom!

04 December 2008

Christmas Dinner ~ 17th December

Just to let MDers know, I have now sent the menu choices to the Tudor House Restaurant (there have been no changes notified to me following my 'check' email of 9th November).

I believe that there are one or two people who wish to attend but who haven't yet notified me of their meal choices or paid . If there is someone who has not given me their choices & their cheque they are NOT included on the list sent to the restaurant.

If this applies to you and you do want to attend you should contact me immediately.

03 December 2008

Stolen Kit

Late this afternoon My car was stolen from outside my house in Walderslade. Having dropped off my Twins to be filled my Dive Rite wings & 3 sets of scubapro regs, weight belt black Gates dry suit and a box of assorted equipment were still in the boot of my car. The car was stolen within an hour of getting home and still day light the car was stolen by a window being smashed.

If you see any dive kit being advertised or hear of anything being sold on the cheap I would appreciate you letting me know.

Tad

Last Chance to Party!!!!

Ocean View are having the party of the year this Saturday and there are still a few places left.

It would be great if some Meridian Divers could join us at The Holiday Inn, Brighton. Price is £29.95 for 3 course meal & juice fm disco (There's also the entertainment (Trez, Tracey & Anna - need I say more!!!!)

If you want to join us, give Graeme/OV a call on 01903 767224

02 December 2008

Life on the South Male Atoll

I am hugely conscious that in writing this dive report I might be tempted to mirror that time honoured start of school term essay 'What I did in my summer holidays' but to do so would be so 'me, me, me' that I would run the disturbing risk of upsetting some faint heart! So to prevent that awful occurrence I'm going to write about a mate who recently went diving in the South Male Atoll.


My Mate (MM) (not to be confused with a yeast extract sandwich spread) , went diving with Ocean Venture Diving (OVD) based on the tiny ilsand of Fihalhohi on the South-West of South Male Atoll. OVD is a German operated SSI Platinum Dive Centre. The SSI agency was created by some divers who were part of PADI but decided to go their own way. They are a very friendly bunch and some of the staff have been on the island for many years.

MM did nine dives which is not a lot in a fortnight but he didn't want to upset my wife, er, I mean his wife, by being underwater too much! A quick summary of his dives was:-

1. House Reef (South ), 67 Mins , Max Depth 18.3m
2. Banner Reef, 54 Mins, Max Depth 20.7m
3. Rannalhi Bodul Giri, 52 Mins , Max Depth 22m
4. Kandoma Beru, 52 Mins, Max Depth 20.6m
5. Vaageli Faru Tila, 36mins, Max Depth 29.9m
6. Rannahli Bodul Faru North , 49 Mins, Max Depth 18.6m
7. Endiri Giri , 51 Mins, Max Depth 23.2m
8. House Reef (North), 62 Mins, Max Depth 16.8m
9. Guradoo Kuda Kandu, 50 Mins, Max Depth 25.3m

The visibility was mostly in the 15 to 20m range with a couple of dives a little less. The water was a little warmer than Stoney at 28 Deg C every day. All diving was done on 12 Litre Aluminium tanks filled with air (though Nitrox was available - but with an old gas gulper like MM there was not much point having Nitrox in 12 Litre tanks , 'cos the gas went before the NDL!).


Some of the dives were in current , some a moderate current which kept the old biffer puffing away as white tip reef sharks effortlessly headed straight into it with barely any movement in their fins. The coral in some of the dives has (sadly) seen better days but the often strong currents in the Maldives does give you the chance of seeing some bigger life. So White Tips & Napolean Wrasse were reasonably easy to spot. Spotting black tip reef sharks was even easier for MM as they swam around the shoreline all the time.



The island has readily accessible snorkeling and diving alsmost around it's entire circumference and snorkelling over the drop-off almost every day it was possible to see almost as much as by diving , just less of the bigger stuff! That said rays & turtles are regularly seen whilst snorkeling.


All boat diving is done from Dhonis (wide, shallow keel, wooden boats with cover from the sun) and the Dhonis daily criss cross the Atoll going from East to West Sides. A slow Dhoni ride across the width of the entire atoll would take about 45 minutes.

I believe MM enjoyed his little stay on the island , a gin & tonic on the beach watching the sun go down seemed to round off a days hard graft wrestling with all that heavy SCUBA stuff.


Oh - and here (above) is the obligatory Clown Fish shot! Apologies on behalf of MM for that further self-indulgence!



More Local Diving ~ Sovereign Divers

Congratulations to Sovereign Divers on the start-up of their new blog.

In recent years there has almost been a rebirth of local diving, with new firms, new clubs , new boats and lots of new blogs, it's very encouraging (especially in the economic climate) . The local growth in diving & diving facilities may give boost to the 'sink-one' campaign, which could yet become a 'Sink-one-for-Sussex' scale project.

01 December 2008

T R Thompson - 14th December 2008 - Update

Channel Diver is now full for this dive. The following are booked on.
1. Ernie
2. Tracey
3. Sean
4. Gary
5. Terry
Fingers crossed for the weather now!
Ernie

Shark Dive ~ Brighton Sea Life Centre ~ Sunday 14th Dec

Unfortunately i have 2 spaces for this dive experience on the above date for reasons that can`t be helped.
The cost of this dive is £90 payable to OV but £95 if paying by card
For the price of your ticket you also recieve full admission for 2 people to watch/record your shark experience,so once your dive is finished feel free to tour the sea life centre and see there new attractions
This is a unique chance to dive with a variety of sharks plus not forgetting the stars of the show the 2 very large turtles also many different species of fish without the need to fly halfway round the world.
If you are intrested in this dive please post your comment or contact me or Ocean view

ps. if you don`t get on this dive i`m more than happy to run some more dive`s next year if i get enough intrest.

30 November 2008

Pembrokeshire June 2009

Due to lack of support and strigent booking arrangements (i.e. we had to fill the boat) this trip has unfortunately had to be cancelled. Sorry guys and gals.
Ernie

Meridian Divers and Ocean View at Stoney cove

Highlights from the Dives at Stoney Cove on Thursday

29 November 2008

So how was your diving this year?

Despite the weather I have managed 48 dives this year. Had my last one on Thursday and will start up again next year now, as December is sooo busy. It would be nice to see what all you MDers and OVers have achieved. This is what I did:
1 dive in Belgium, Nemo 33
25 dives in UK sea
2 dives in The Med, Corfu
5 dives in The Red Sea, Taba
9 dives in Wraysbury
2 dives in NDAC, Chepstow
2 dives in Vobster
2 dives in Stoney.
Many thanks to all my buddies and fellow divers, my best dive year by far!!!

Linda managed 1 dive in The Med and 2 in The Red Sea
Matthew, son, managed 5 dives in The Red Sea
Megan, daughter, managed 1 dive in Thailand and 2 dives in The Red Sea

And you??

Stoney Cove Adventures for Meridian and Ocean View Divers

Its been nearly 20 years since I first visited Stoney Cove and since then this iconic inland site has transformed from a rough and ready ex quarry filled with cold fresh water into a well set up and run diving facility which is visited by thousands of divers from across the UK regularly. The site in Leicestershire was probably the first of its kind in the UK and love it or hate it many people still travel hundreds of miles to train ,play or test kit in its clear dark depths.

Over the years the site has placed many in water attractions at various points and depths to keep the visiting divers interested and being an ex quarry there is still evidence of the machinery and buildings that supported the working of the quarry before it was abandoned and allowed to fill with water.

So on Thursday 4 divers from Meridian divers and Ocean View trekked the 150 miles to have a midweek adventure within the coves clear green waters.

After a very early start I met up with Simon at Three Bridges and travelled up in his car we had arranged to meet Gary and Terry from Ocean View on site so with much reluctance we stopped on the M40 to fuel up our finely honed physiques with a cooked breakfast which would help keep us warm during the coming dives.

A clear run saw us at Stoney around 10 am with Garry and Terry already there and in the water. With the car park nearly empty parking close to an entry /exit point wasn't a problem.
With a stiff cold wind blowing I felt the enthusiasm starting to drain but we forced ourselves to kit up and get down to the waters edge. The OV boys were on their way back up after completing their first dives and with a brief exchange of whats it like how cold is it etc etc We jumped in and surface swam to the buoy marking the Stanegarth.

The vis was at least 10m and with the water temp a tepid 10.c conditions were very comfortable. We whizzed down the shot and explored the Stanegarth both inside and out then followed a compass bearing back towards the bottom of the drop off and the wrecks of the VW van and the Westland Helicopter. We then ascended the quarry wall to the Nautilus mock up and swam underneath the pub. We then worked our way back across to the Viscount cockpit before watching a huge shoal of roach meander across the quarry floor.

51 minutes later we surfaced and met up the G&T for a quick chat and coffee and warm up in the refurbished changing rooms.

The 2nd Dive saw all 4 of us diving together which took us to the submerged block house and back. Having done the most the inwater attractions on the first dive Simon and I had seen all we needed to see after 30 mins and decided to call it a day leaving G&T to carry on.

Now it may seem a bit daft to travel on round trip of 300 miles just to dive an inland site but diving is diving and although diving in the sea can never be replaced Stoney is a pretty good alternative when you need a midwinter scuba fix.

With G&T deciding on whether to share a shower or spend another 20p on separate ones, we said our goodbyes and headed back down South.

Stoney Cove has been accussed of being dangerous, as with all underwater enviroments there is always an element of risk. Proper risk management ,training , correct equipment and taking in enviromental considerations when planning a dive, help reduce those risks.

In the case of Stoney Cove, the biggest risk probably comes from the very cold water in the site during the winter months and the fact that the site is used by thousands of divers each year means that there will always be incidents.

The company that runs the facilty definately puts the safety of its customers as the highest priority, its down to you to respect the rules and dive within your own limits and the limits of your training.

Thanks to Simon for driving and Gary and Terry

Video Highlights to follows shortly

Tad

27 November 2008

Swanage~16-17th May 2009

hi all,
will be looking for payment in January for this trip £85 pp but feel free to pay early if you can spare it
list below
http://www.diversdownswanage.co.uk/
http://www.woodyhyde.co.uk/prices.html
Divers
1.matt
2.sean
3.anna
4.trez
5. chris-p
6.jimbob
7. steve l
8. tad
9.tracy
10. gary s
11. prometheus
12.george

Plymouth trip ~ 5-7th June 09

just a quick one here first to gauge who wants in on this trip.
The trip is the same one i sorted this year for the absurd deal of £135 for the whole deal with Steve details here http://scyllareefdivecharter.co.uk/DIVE-CHARTER-PLYMOUTH-MOUNTBATTEN
12 divers in total but as promised the divers that were with me in October have first refusal so can i have those names first then i throw it open to all
1.Matt
2. Sean
3. Tracy
4. Anna
5. Steve
6. George
7. Caroline
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

Kit Servicing

Now that the cold weather is upon us, many of you may be thinking of hanging up your kit for winter - or taking the opportunity to get it serviced!

Graeme at OV is upholding the arrangement MD had with Den and will give a 10 % discount on kit servicing.

As I am over there most Wednesdays, I am more than happy to take any kit over & bring it back. All I ask is that you bring your kit to me!

Ideally, we could do a job lot in January - if you bring any kit & instructions to the MD meeting at end of January, this will ensure it is all done and back with testing time before some of us head off to the warmer waters in April.

The Challenge is on! MD vs OV

The Date........ Tuesday 20th January 2009
The Venue .....Bowlplex Brighton
The Time .......TBA

Ok guys, it's time to dig out those ol' bowling shirts, girls to file their nails down and all to slip on those oh so glamourous shoes!

The time has come for MD & OV to go head to head!

For the tidy sum of £14.99 pp, you will get 2 games of bowling, a 'delicious' meal or buffet (Bowlplex description!) and a certificate for the winner (and loser!)

There is no limit on numbers and all family and friends are welcome. Ideally we would aim to have 5 or 6 to a lane & make up a couple of teams - it may even be that we have a Meridian Team, OV Team and a team for us schizophrenics that like to split ourselves between the two.

Please add a comment if you are interested - will be collecting money beginning of January

Vobster

Hi all, just to let you know, about 8 Ocean View divers will be bimbling their way over to Vobster on Sunday morning, for- yes you've guessed it another early morning start! If any of you are free then come on down we'll be the bleary eyed yet keen ones that are eager to get into the brrr and burny face water!! Hope to see you there

25 November 2008

Stoney Cove ~ To Go or Not To Go??

Unfortunately, due to various reasons, Sean, Matt, Anna and I are no longer able to make it this Thursday (promise you all valid reasons and nothing to do with Mr Frost greeting us each morning!)

We have thought about re-arranging but I have just spoken to Tad and he and Simon are still going. As Tad is bit out on a limb where he lives, car sharing would not be easy but you could still meet up. Please either contact Tad direct or add comment to blog.

Sorry guys, will try & set something else up soon - still Tad's Soup Dragon Dive to look forward to.

Look forward to your report guys

24 November 2008

Jack Family Xmas Raffle Donation

We have just received a donation towards the xmas raffle from T.R.Thompson relatives Norman & Mary Jack . I thought it would be an idea to put this donation to a permanent award that can be given out each year. This is only an idea but would like the thoughts of everyone else.

A big thank you to Norman & Mary for their generous donation

23 November 2008

T R Thompson - 14th December 2008

If anyone else is interested in diving the T R Thompson on 14th December could you please post your comment so we can book the spaces while they are still available. This will probably be our last chance to dive the old girl this year.
Tracey and I are already booked.
Ernie

Meridian Divers Polo Shirts and Fleeces

If you haven't already ordered your polo shirts and fleeces can you please do so by no later than 30th November. Please check original posting for sizes and prices.
Ernie

Xmas Dinner Raffle

Mick Luff of Seazones has donated a very tasty prize for our Xmas Raffle !
Many thanks to Mick.

20 November 2008

City of Waterford- Sunday 16th November

Well it looks like its fallen to the man of few words to write up this cracking dive. The famous five went out after lashings of ginger beer and shouts of "come diving John Sergent all is forgiven." After a nice choppy ride out to the site on seazones, accompanied by our two techy friends that insisted on shouting huey duey and louis over the side, we arrived at the wreck and were met by Channel Diver, who had dropped a shot line already saving us a job. The A-team (A.K.A Silver tongued 007 Sean, Mish Money Penny Tracey and Tres - Destroyer of all things good and holy!)dropped in and with 3-4m vis it became apparent that this was going to be a great dive and we swam over the hull, and it was at this point Sean was seen to be wrangling with a giant conger eel shouting whose your daddy now! Ok maybe not, but it was nice to see such an abundance of Marine life including bib, pollack, bream, crab and the conger eel, which sean watched respecfully from a distance, hiding behind Tracey! All to soon it was time to deploy the SMB and work our way back to Seazones. Once back on board we eagerly awaited Matt's report, knowing him to be a useful source of information for future divers only to find that he and Steve decided at 30m that the wreck had disappeared in a freak underwater storm-Matt, wrong location for the Bermuda triangle mate! Never mind he consoled himself with more lashings of ginger beer and wuvly wuvly scones - cheers Mick. As for Matt's buddy Steve, what can we say great drive from London and who knows ...next time mate-go get em tiger!
Original report written by sean as follows: " it was a great dive , went down, got wet, came back, lovely" New report edited by Anna!

Stoney Cove - 27 Novembrrrrrrrrr!

Hi all nutters

A few of us got together last night and after a number of hours deliberation, it has been decided that we will aim to meet at Stoney around 10-10.30 (dependant on traffic!)

For those who wish to drive up in convey, Matt & co are meeting me & co at the 6.45am (must be mad) at the BP garage at bottom of A23 (where it meets (A27)

It does seem that MD/OV divers will be storming in and taking over Stoney that day but what the hell - come and join us- the more the merrier!

See you there

12 November 2008

BBC Programme ~ Oceans

I'm probably (no, I am ) very biased but I thought the BBC coverage of the TRT work was more engrossing than the BBC2 programme 'Oceans' broadcast this evening. And, even if that is a somewhat minority view, I imagine that many will think the first 'Oceans' programme to be pretty lightweight! Lots of giggly fun and I'd have been really happy to be joining-in , but, what was it actually trying to achieve? One whale gives a breath sample and it wasn't even driving! I suppose that after the major success of 'Blue Planet' and 'Coast' I have come to expect a lot! I'll be watching the reviews with interest!

I'm hoping that there will be more substance in future episodes. It's becoming quite tiresome in diving programmes to have the participants keep telling us how dangerous it all is and how worried they become when the comms fail. Comms failure? We don't even have comms to start with!

Come on MDers , get those HSE Scuba Diver quals and get out there on those expeditions!

Christmas Dinner Raffle

Don't forget to bring your raffle prizes to the meeting on the 26th. Lets make it a raffle, as well as dinner, to remember and even raise some money.

Meridian Divers ~ Back on the BBC South East!

It can't be long before we have our own dressing rooms at BBC South East! Yes, Meridian Divers were back on the telly - again!

The BBC South East programme ran the story of our success in the NAS Adopt-a-Wreck Awards and used some of the 'footage' from the 'Mr Jack ' dive!

[Expired link removed as no longer current! - Blast!]
~<>~
Oh! And our award was on the BBC radio too!

11 November 2008

Update - 16th November Seazones

All 6 divers requesting spaces are booked on to Seazones (2 spaces available if ayone else wants to join us). The plan is to dive the City of Waterford. Meet Newhaven Marina 10:00. Ropes of 10:45. Dive 12:30ish. Back in port 15:00ish.
Weather looks good at the moment and I will check with Mick Saturday afternoon and text you all to confirm on or off.
Ernie

Dry Divers Under Pressure

7 divers, 40m dive, all get narked, and not one of us got our wet hair... How is this possible I hear you cry. Well it was all possible thanks to London Hyperbaric Medicine and their hyperbaric chamber (guess the clue was in the name!).

7 divers made the trip to Whips Cross Hospital last Sunday the 9th Nov to take part in a re-compression chamber awareness course. We arrived at the hospital around ten and met up with our host and instructor Jane and our chamber attendant Wayne. Jane and Wayne then ran us through the safety procedures for the chamber and what we could or could not take in with us. Which was very little including our cloths and to my surprise you cant take explosives in either! So I packed the semtex back into my bag and we all change into very fetching cotton scrubs so as not to be combustible when sealed into a small metal tube fill with pure O2... We were then loaded into the chamber and Wayne (our guide for the dive ) firmly closed the door and ran us through what would happen next. Which was that we descended to 40m in 10 mins ears popping all the way. The one major difference was that apart from the obvious lack of rubber and equipment the chamber became very warm 32 degrees to be precise. If you have ever felt a cylinder just after having been filled you will know what i mean. By the time we cleared thirty metres most of us were feeling the effects of narcosis helped along by the fact that all our voices sounded like we had be breathing from a helium balloon. Very funny!! once at forty Wayne got us to do some simple tasks and arithmetic to demonstrate how the narcosis had effected us. We spent 10 minutes at forty metres before being slowly brought back to surface pressure. For the last nine minuets of the dive we were all put on 100% O2 to flush out any nitrogen that we had built up (Thanks Matt for pointing out that "the pure O2 we were breathing is expensive and that we should make the most of it by taking very deep breaths"!). Of course on the way back the chamber had the reverse affect to the decent and got very cold. Fortunately Wayne had brought some jumpers but only enough for the ladies (smooth bugger!). Having all safely arrived back at the surface and packed away our DSMBs... we were unloaded from the chamber. Jane then ran us through the affects of DI and how to avoid getting one and how they treat it if you do get one, after which Wayne finished our trip by showed us how the chamber works.

I think we would all like to say a big thank you to Chris for organizing the trip and to say if you haven't done one yet think about going on the next trip it a great day out and a very fun dive...

PS. sorry about the photo it was take on a mobile phone so not great quality.

10 November 2008

Soup Dragon Dive


For those of you who are young enough to remember the Clangers on TV and the friendly Soup Dragon that inhabited their small round planet, I am putting together a dive in their honour.

The dive will consist of a dip in one of the inland sites in Kent and then when your cold enough its all back to my place for Hot bowls of my home made Clanger soup and fresh crusty clanger bread and for those that like a beer or ten ,there will be some of that too.
Why? I hear you all asking and I reply why not.
I am looking at one weekend in January and all are welcome, in fact the more the merrier. If we choose a saturday then there is enough room if anyone wishes to stay over.

If you are interested in the clangers just type Clangers in Youtube and see for yourselves


Tad

09 November 2008

Big Anchors !

Since I have been diving I have certainly come across some big anchors! Some in the water, some not! Some have left a lasting memory on me whilst others fade amongst all the lesser anchors it has been my lot to observe!

You might be forgiven for thinking that it's not worth dwelling too long upon the anchors we chance to encounter but you might be wrong! The NAS is soon to launch the :-

BIG ANCHOR PROJECT

and everyone is invited to photograph & record anchors to populate a lottery funded database. Of course being something of an anorak I will send a few photos in to their website which you can check out by clicking HERE!

May be Meridian Divers should have it's own competion for Christmas that can tie-in with this project? Perhaps a prize for identifying the biggest anchor on any of the boats we've dived from?



~ <> ~


And as this post has caught you're collective imaginations, I'll add a silly challenge. The Big Anchor below was photographed at a major port in Europe! Readers can add a comments with guesses as to country and then when that is established comments to identify the City / Port can be added. The winner is the first comment to identify the City/Port! The prize will be a drink at the next appropriate MD Meeting!

Meridian Divers ~ Xmas Dinner ~ Meal Choices

I have emailed my list of all the meal choices that I have recorded for those of you coming to the Tudor House Restuarant on the 17th December.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF I HAVE ANY OF YOUR CHOICES SHOWN INCORRECTLY!

If you are attending and you don't receive the 'check list' let me know by email or add a comment!

Ocean View Christmas Party ~ 6th December

The Juice FM party nights at the fantastic Holiday Inn Brighton Seafront are very popular, but good news, Graeme hasreserved 30 places on Saturday 6th December. This will be on a 1st come 1st served basis but he will need a £10 deposit per person (or payment in full) to reserve the space. Graeme also has the option of reserving another 20 spaces if demand is high, but hurry as they will not be available for very long!

The package is priced at £29.95 inc VAT per person, and includes:

* Three course meal
* Coffee and mince pies
* Festive novelties and decoration
* Juice FM DJ and disco
* Discount hour on selected drinks from 6pm-7pm

if interested contact Graeme, Matt or the Ocean View shop direct.

Wanna 'Go Pro'?

Calling any divers who want to 'Go Pro'! One of our MDers is looking at going pro and it may be that others are also interested. In the PADI world going 'Pro' means getting your Divemaster qualification, but in practice , in terms of employment, relatively few Divemasters , even those 'at work' are actually employed or receive a wage. The same is true of many (but not all) PADI Instructors who to a considerable extent are not paid employees.

Of course, in the world of diving being a 'professional' has a much wider range of meaning. There are allsorts of professional divers who are not engaged with recreational diving instruction, such as research divers, media divers, commercial divers and police divers to name but a few. On top of that there are all kinds of different technologies beyond SCUBA involved in diving , surface supply being an eaxmple. So going 'Pro' offers huge potential beyong recreational instruction.

A starting place for professional diving is the HSE Scuba Diver qualification. This qualification allows employment in non-recreational instruction circumstances, for example taking part in a underwater media project. A different Codes of Practice and requirements applies to such work albeit it may be conducted on SCUBA. A cameraman or safety diver involved in a professional media project requires qualifications not available as part of PADI training for example.

Andark Diving offers the HSE SCUBA Diver course and an appropriate qualification would potentially open the door to wider diving experience and for employment or contracted work. If you are interested in this kind of development take a look at the following link:-

http://www.andark.co.uk/site/diver_training/hse/default.aspx

If you ever looked at underwater documentaries on television and thought 'I'd love to do that!' then may be you should be thinking about really going 'Pro'!

Next Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wed 26th November

The next Meridian Divers Meeting will be held at the Berwick Inn, Berwick at 7.30pm on Wednesday 26th November. The Inn is under new management and judging by our last meeting ,when they were extremely accommodating and pleasant towards as a group , we should find that we are welcome to hold our meetings there!

Stop Press! Meridian Divers in the Chamber

As I write a party of Meridian Divers are in the 'pot' . No it's not that kind of party! They are all at London Hyperbaric Medicine for a recompression awareness course. I first organised divers training visits to the Chamber in 2005 and several trips since then has seen continued enthusiasm for this well regarded trip. It's also very gratifying to see that other diving groups have also appreciated the value of this training.

Full report on the visit in due course.

08 November 2008

Update - 16th November Seazones

We have 5 places taken on this dive but need 1 more for the boat to go out. Time is running short, so if you are thinking of diving on this trip get your comment in ASAP.
Ernie

1. Ernie
2. Tracey
3. Therese
4. Steve (City of Waterford)
5. Sean
6. Matt

NAS Honours the Meridian Divers "T R Thompson" Project

Meridian Divers, Tad, Sheila & Chris were delighted to be invited to the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) 2008 Annual Conference held on Saturday 8th November at "ACTION STATIONS" in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, itself the home of HMS Victory.


The Conference, supported by PADI, BSAC, SAA, English Heritage, Historic Scotland and others, had a packed Agenda with some of the leading UK and overseas archaeologists. With such an eminent and erudite line-up of speakers one might reasonably wonder why Meridian Divers were invited.


Well the answer is simple, the NAS wished to honour Meridian Diver's for their Adopt A Wreck Project (see linked blog , link top right of this page). On behalf of the NAS, Mr Ray Sutcliffe FSA read out a glowing citation on the work of Meridian Divers and the extent to which the project had traced living relatives of the Steamship T R Thompson, sunk in 1918. The citation included a special reference to the succesful use of the broadcast media which had promoted maritime heritage.


Tad , on behalf of Meridian Divers was called to the dias and presented with a Certificate and a engraved glass wine decanter. The Certificate , for 'Runners-Up' in the 2008 Adopt a Wreck Awards was all the more meaningful to Meridian Divers as it surpassed the Certificates of Merit awarded to several other impressive projects. After the presentation several members of the NAS came forward to add their personal endorsement of the Project. It was a very proud day in the history of Meridian Divers and provides some independent and authoritative support for our work. It was particularly pleasing to know that PADI Internal was a member of the Judging Panel for this year's award. The PADI web site has previously carried reports of the projects progress.
. The engraved decanter

. The base of the engraved decanter Meridian Divers would like to thank all those who have contributed to the T R Thompson Project.

Northern Cyprus ~ Maritime Heritage


Many divers will appreciate that Cyprus is currently governed by two different states with their respective territories separated by a United Nations 'Buffer Zone'. A presentation made to the Nautical Archaeology Society at their 2008 Annual Conference by Assistant Professor Matthew Harpster emphasised how this situation created a highly peculiar legal situation in respect of Maritime Heritage & archaeology. To try to resolve this situation Prof Harpster had designed a training course for Cypriots. The political situation dictated that the course be presented in the UN "Buffer Zone" as this encouraged citizens of both parts of Cyprus to participate. The course was developed using advice provided by the Nauitical Archaeology Society. Prof Harpster showed a photograph of the students on his course, many were UK ex-patriots but there were divers from both the Greek and Turkish sides of the island.

The island of Cyprus has many maritime heritage sites and it's very encouraging to see that training is being provided to local divers. So it was good to see Ghengis, an Instructor who trained locally in East Sussex and who now operates a diving centre in Northern Cyprus standing amongst the Group! Well done Ghengis for taking part. (Ghengis is in centre of the front row, dressed all in blue denim).

Thank You Graeme!


A BIG thank you to Ocean View's new proprietor, Graeme, who has kindly donated an Ocean View gas fill card to Meridian Divers for use as a prize in the MD Christmas Dinner on 17th December. Graeme is pictured handing the prize to Sheila (MD's Hon Sec!)


05 November 2008

Red Sea Wrecks ~ Log Book Drawings

For all those who are headed-off to the Red Sea Liveaboard in April 2009 you might like a few line drawings of wrecks we are likely to see on the 'Northern Itinerary' . At this stage we don't know the exact route (and that may be weather dependent in any case!) But here are a few small sketches to get you in the mood!










Now with Added Newhaven

The Sink One 4 Seaford project has widened it's appeal by the inclusion of 'Newhaven' in it's title which has shown as "Sink One 4 Seaford And Newhaven ".

This seems to make a lot of sense as divers wanting to dive a purposely sunk naval vessel off the coast of Seaford are likely to make use of the Port of Newhaven. There has been some concern voiced at public meetings as to quite how far the benefits any economic regeneration from the project would extend. A central issue seems to have been 'how many divers who would stay overnight in the area ?' as day-tripping divers would have less positive economic impact as they would not pay for accommodation and probably purchase less refreshments / meals etc.

Of course an increase in divers using the Port of Newhaven would benefit related businesses in or around the Port, so it does make good sense to recognise Newhaven in the project name.

With the certainty of a recession on the horizon, the owners of the Port of Newhaven and the various developers will likely have got cold feet in respect of the much discussed major developments of the Port. Certainly there were plenty of people, up to a few months ago, confidently predicting that the Port developments would go ahead with visible improvements . I don't think many would bet much on that prospect at the moment.

The future of the Port , for many many years, has been characteised by a 'stop-go-stop-go-stop' round of ideas. Some ideas have materialised , like all the new housing, whereas , other ideas have been stopped mid-way, arguably leaving a deficit. For example, how we all miss the Coral Cabin for our post-dive bacon butties!

Wherever we are on the stop-go cycle the Port & users have to work with what they are left with , constantly adapting to the prevailing circumstances however uncertain. Quite Darwinian in a sort of evolutionary way! I think we will continue new species emerging for some while yet. Evolution is fascinating but it does produce some implausible entities - the duck-billed platypus for example!

[For a critical assessment of the Port click : Here]

Meridian Divers Dive The City Of Waterford part 2

Part 2 of thw Highlights from Sundays dive on the City of Waterford

04 November 2008

Swanage~16-17th May 2009

Hello all,
after the last meeting i`ve spoken to Divers down at Swanage and prebooked 2 days diving on there hard boat "SMOOTHHOUND".
The weekend`s diving is for 12 divers and the itinerary is as follow`s Sat 16th may ropes off 08.45am to dive the KYARRA then a 2nd dive in the area then Sun 17th ropes off 09.30am to dive the AEOLIAN SKY + 2nd dive the cost is £85 pp which is payable up front .
Accomadation and travel i will leave to you guy`s to sort out as i think there are a few different ideas about where to stay and i for one is going where it`s cheapest so i have found a campsite a mile from the seafront to stay at and i know a few of you have your own b+b recommendations.
Links to sites below
http://www.diversdownswanage.co.uk/
http://www.woodyhyde.co.uk/prices.html
Divers
1.matt
2.sean
3.anna
4.trez
5. chris-p
6.jimbob
7. steve l
8. tad
9.tracy
10. gary s
11. prometheus
12.george
Reserve list
1.
2.
3.
4.

Meridian Divers Dive The City Of Waterford part 1

Part 1 of the highlights from Sundays dive on the City of Waterford

T R Thompson - 14th December 2008

Channel Diver is scheduled to dive the T R Thompson on Sunday 14th December 2008. Ropes off at 10:00. If you are interested please post a comment.

1. Ernie
2. Tracey
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Ernie

Seazones 16th November 2008

Is anyone interested in diving from Seazones on Sunday 16th November, one dive at a cost of £20.00. We need 6 divers at least to secure the boat at this price. If you are interested post a comment and any preference of what you would like to dive.

1. Ernie
2. Tracey
3. Therese
4. Steve L (City of Waterford)
5.
6.
7.
8.

Ernie

03 November 2008

Skive Dive Society ~ Blanefield Wreck 29th October

A freezing cold Wednesday 29th October saw two of Meridian Divers most prolific skivers (Simon and Ernie) loading their kit on Channel Diver . As she slipped out into the icy seas, much stamping of feet and muttering of brass monkeys was heard.
At the site the shot was as usual expertly placed by Steve. Simon and I then slipped beneath the waves. At 12 metres the light was failing fast and on reaching the bottom at 34 metres it was dark.
The water clarity was quite good so with torches we could see well. We made our way around the stern and back over the decks to the boilers and engines. The wreck was covered with a thick blanket of fish and large lobsters were seen.
All too soon it was time to make our ascent. On reboarding Channel Diver it soon became very obvious that it was warmer in the water than out! A few snow flurries gave us the hint, but Steve came to the rescue with a very welcome cup of soup.
The second dive was under Brighton Pier. Not much to report apart from a very startled eel.
Ernie

Stoney Cove (or should that be Stoney Cold!)

Ok all you intrepid divers, this is where we sort the boys from the men as they say! A fantastic day out at good ol' Stoney (of course it'll be fantastic - have you seen who's going!!??!!) Looking at Thursday 27th November 2008. Those that are interested, add to blog or email me and we'll finalise details in couple weeks.

Meridian Divers Polo Shirts and Fleeces

As discussed at the last meeting we are going to order Polo Shirts for the Red Sea Trip (with Meridian Divers Logo + Red Sea 2009) and Fleeces (with Meridian Divers Logo only). Choice of colour is navy or navy.

Prices will be finalised when we know how many we are going to order. The approx. price of the polo shirts is £16.00 and fleeces £25.00. Obviously the more we order the cheaper they will be.

Mens sizes are XS (34-36") S (36-38") M (38"-40") L (40"-42") XL (42-44") 2XL (44"-46") 3X (46"-48")

Ladies sizes are XS (30") S (32") M (34") L (36") XL (38") 2XL (40")

If you wish to order please post a comment with item and size.

Ernie

Dive Pembrokeshire (Fishguard) 13/14th June 2009

To be able to secure the boat at this years prices, we need 12 divers @ £80.00 per person for 4 dives. So far the following have expressed an interest:

1.Steve L
2. Tracey
3. Therese
4. Tad
5. Ernie
6. Sheila
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

You will be responsible for booking your own accommodation (we have details of B & B's) and will need to pay your £80.00 as soon as the boat is full.
We would be diving with Celtic Diving and their web site is http://www.celticdiving.co.uk/ You will find plenty of information and videos to tempt you.
If you are interested please post a comment.

City Of Waterford Dive 2nd November with Channel Diver


You know when you expect the worse and then you have a pleasant surprise well Sundays dive on the City of Waterford was a great example of that.

After the appalling weather on Saturday I was expecting the trip out to the Waterford on Channel Diver on Sunday to be cancelled but a text from Uncle Ernie Saturday evening confirmed the trip was going ahead but I still didn't hold out much hope for a decent dive.

Sunday morning in Chatham dawned damp and foggy, but as I headed down to Brighton , early morning sunshine promised a much better day, although I still wasn't hopeful about conditions underwater.

Meeting up with fellow Meridian Divers Uncle Ernie Tracey and Jim plus Mac Jim's mate from up north we boarded a full Channel Diver and headed out to the Waterford Site.

The other divers aboard included divers I had met earlier on the year on dives on the Thompson and I received some good feedback on the TRT Blog and videos .

Looking at the water colour heading out I still wasn't hopeful but what the heck the weather was warm and sunny, the company was great and was at sea again.

On arriving at the site Steve dropped the shot and guess what there was promise of some visibility so with a mixed bag of twinsets rebreathers and singles with ponies it was time to kit up and enter the water I ummed and aarghed about taking the camera in and decided it was worth a try although I felt I was being a bit hopeful..

With the shot disappearing into the gloom below we started our descent with Ernie,Tracey and myself buddied together I was expecting lights out at about 10m but soon it became very apparent that this was going to be a cracker. We hit the wreck at about 31m there was plenty of ambient light and vis was between 4-5m and the wreck was stuffed full of life.

Its been 8 years since I last dived the Waterford so orientation took a little time, but we were soon heading towards the stern gently gliding over deck machinery,holds, engines and the Crab family. Being a newer wreck than most of the other wrecks off East Sussex (sunk in a collision in 1948) the Waterford is still pretty much intact with some of the superstructure still evident at the stern and some of the wooden planking still on the decks. One thing that was noticeable was the temperature on the bottom still 14.c very cosy. With Uncle Ernie and Tracey proving the lighting I attempted to capture on video the Marine Vista that lay out before us, having to fight our way through the shoals of bib meandering across the the wreck.

With all of us on Nitrox we had we a enough time to pretty much cover most of the wreck although we didn't make the bows but before long it was time to pop up the blob and return to the surface and a cup of the hot stuff.

I opted out of the second dive on the ledges due to only having a limited amount of gas on the first dive but Ernie and Jim went in and had a 30 minute bimble until they ran out of reef . Again a respectable couple of metres vis.

As I said at the beginning I had expected the worse but what I got was one of the better dives of the year. It just goes to show that you can never assume anything when it comes to diving in the UK or as Uncle Ernie says" just stick with me and you will be alright "
I cant wait to dive the Waterford again I had forgotten what a great dive it was.

Video highlights will be posted in a couple of days. Really glad I took the camera down now.

Tad

02 November 2008

Where to go on saturday

Hey all, Imogen and I are off this saturday diving. Our only problem is we don't know where or what time or if we are shore or boat diving! I know for those of you that know us both you will be so surprised to here that we haven't got a clue when or where we are going!!! Is anyone else out this coming saturday and if so we would love to pop along and join you, pop a comment down if you are going to be splashing around! (By the way Tad how was the City of Waterford today?)

Raffle - Christmas Dinner

As discussed at the meeting we are holding a raffle at the Chrismas Dinner and we are looking for donations of prizes.

If you would like to donate a prize please put a comment on the blog and either bring it to the next meeting or at the dinner.

Many thanks in anticipation of your generosity.

01 November 2008

Meridian Divers Christmas Dinner ~ 17th December

Thank you to all of you that have now given me your cheques , the 'admin' for the evening is almost complete. There are twenty seven guests on the list and I very nearly have all your cheques and your meal choices. I anticipate banking the cheques next week (shock horror!) . After that any late bookings may have to deal directly with the Restaurant.

Their details are available on: The Tudor House Restaurant

It should be a first class evening .

I will soon email out the full meal choice list to ensure that I have your choices recorded correctly. The evening will be a good opportunity to meet-up with all the 2009 Red Sea Liveabord Divers (but there will be plenty more opportunities!).

Recompression Chamber Visit ~ 9th November

'Joining Instructions' for all those taking part have been emailed out today. If you are on this trip and haven't received the details - add a comment or drop me an email!

Please read the instructions carefully - especially if you want the PADI Specialty Certification!

29 October 2008

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wednesday 29th October

Well what a sombre quiet little gathering it was - NOT! Fourteen exuberant divers high on some sort of mixed gas or so it might have seemed. The Berwick Inn managed to cope with us very well , our custom was welcome on a cold Wednesday evening! I think we helped spread some good cheer! And what splendid progress ~ absolutely inundated with cheques for MD events! Christmas Dinner & Red Sea numbers continue to grow, Simon's signed-up for his Divemaster Course, boat dives , pool hire options and affliliation programmes were put up for discussion with a view to keeping us all active through the 'off-season'. A mid-week trip to Stoney Cove in November will soon be posted and Ernie gave a brief insight on the dark & cool dive to the Blanefield earlier today. Jims planning a Wraysbury trip this week-end (after his Sovereign Centre pool dives with Eastbourne BSAC) . Sheila will (yet again - thanks) be writing up the notes and circulating them soon. Looks like we'll all be kept busy & entertained almost makes me wish I wasn't back out to the Maldives soon , well may be not almost!

A special welcome to Parsley our newest member and clearly a well qualified and vocal GSD!

Wraysbury Saturday 1st November

Hello all.
I'm meeting a couple of people at Wraysbury on Saturday to try out some kit and generally practice breathing underwater. If anyone fancies it we will be there from 09:30
Jim

28 October 2008

PADI/SITA Seminar Bristol


for all those that are DM or above you maybe intersted in this
Could be worth sending an MD contigent along. Maybe you planning on becoming a DM and would like to come along (Simon)

If you're planning your diary for 2009 make Monday 9th February a date to come to Bristol for this annual industry seminar.
It's an opportunity to mingle with industry colleagues, and hear presentations on topics affecting our market from other industry stakeholders.
There's also an industry dinner where you can let your hair down after a good day's networking.
Interested?

PADI

post a comment if interested

26 October 2008

MD Christmas Dinner ~ Raffle

A raffle of prizes will take place at the Christmas Dinner , more details to follow after the next MD meeting on 29th October but for now our thanks go to OCEAN VIEW for their generous donation of prizes.

MD Pier-Diver of the Year!

A pier diving challenge was set-out early in the year, the winner will be announced at the MD Christmas Dinner.

Challengers are asked to add their names to this post or email me if they are rather shy! Simple rules again , the MDer who has dived the MOST Piers (different Piers, not numbers of Pier dives!) during the period 1st january 2008 to 10th December 2008 (inc) will be the winner! In the event of a tie , the most MDer with the most pier dives will win!

Any UK pier is eligible. Diving glory awaits!

MD Photo Competition ~ More!

I thought I had better create some system of judging now that the deadline is approaching fast and to work out some rules (may be not as comprehensive as an Approved Code of Practice :-))!!

A small prize will be awarded at the MD Christmas Dinner so it makes sense to have all those who attend the Dinners as the 'voters'!

I think the simplest way is 'first past the post' i.e. everyone at the Dinner will get one vote and the photo with the most votes wins!

ONLY photos that are directly shown in post on the Blog between 1st January 2008 and 10th December 2008 will be eligible (allows time to collate the images for voting). Photos on linked albums or others sites do not qualify. Photos must be taken by a MDer. Qualifying photos will be shown at the Dinner.

Should be a bit of fun!

Halloween Party ~ Friday 31st October

We have all been invited to join in on Ocean View`s Halloween party on the above date at the Ocean View Club at @19.00-19.30pm,entry is £2.50 or free if in fancy dress should be good fun and come and say 'Hello' !

Who`s Going Pro?

I have been reliably informed that another MD`er is starting down the going pro route, I would like to say good luck and look forward to working with you.

22 October 2008

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wed 29th October

The next Meridian Divers Meeting will be held at the Berwick Inn, Berwick at 7.30pm on Wednesday 29th October 2008. An agenda will be circulated by email. Please add a comment if you do not receive a copy within three days.

The MD Christmas Dinner & Recompression Chamber Visit will be amongst the items discussed.

21 October 2008

Scuba Industries Trade Association


The sharp eyed amongst you will have seen that our 'links' section (right side of screen) has carried a link to SITA, the Scuba Industries Trade Association.

SITA have laudable aims and these include :-

To promote, market and represent the Manufacture, Retail and Training sectors of the Scuba Diving Industry and to advise on Government and Local Authority Regulations and to work together to improve the safety standards and encompass the Conservation aspect in Scuba Diving.

I have been a associate member of SITA since 2005, they have been very helpful in providing safety information and information on European & International Standards. Their website provides plenty of good information for divers including a guide on risk assessment. Worth a look.

Red Sea Trip 2/4/08-9/4/09 - Update

I have managed to get an extension to 20th November 2008, for deposits for the Red Sea Trip. So if you are interested or want any further information please post a comment.
The following are already booked on the trip.

1. Chris
2. Terry
3. Mandy
4. Paul
5. Linda
6. Simon
7. Ernie
8. Sheila
9. Therese
10. Tracey
11. Sean
12. Gary

[Updated 9/2/09]

20 October 2008

Meridian Divers Blog ~ Always Pleasing!

Thanks to Susan Pleydell for her comments as attached to the RIDDOR posting (below) . The blog has attracted tremendous support and , perhaps a larger and wider following and readers than even we could ever have imagined. Our blog members are at the highest level they have ever been and the number of diving & dive social opportunities we are creating together is also at an all time high. Well done MDers!

19 October 2008

Photo comp



Can I play?, images taken in Spain about a month ago .Fuji f30 .