31 March 2008

Nice Night View of the Marsa Alam Hotel

The Port Ghalib website has an attractive picture of the Coral Beach Diving Hotel (Now known as the Marina Lodge) and some info :-


Wraysbury pictures. 30/03/08

30 March 2008

Sponsoring Kate to Run!

I'm taking part in the 5k 'Race for Life' to raise money for Cancer Research UK and would really welcome your support. Please take a moment to sponsor me. It's really easy - you can donate online by credit or debit card at the following address:


All donations are secure and sent electronically to Cancer Research UK. If you are a UK taxpayer, Cancer Research's partner Justgiving will automatically reclaim 28% Gift Aid on your donation at no cost to you - making it worth even more. Please join me in supporting Race for Life and a fabulous cause!

Thanks and best wishes,

Another Sunday at Wraysbury

The sun shone and the weather was warm which was a big surprise considering the weather forecast for today.

3 of us from MD had 2 enjoyable dives at the packed Wraysbury lake . As the sea dives were cancelled today this proved a good alternative for the dive junkies amongst us

A full write up with video clips and pictures to follow shortly.


29 March 2008

Wreck of the T R Thompson ~ MD / NAS Project

Tad will be speaking on BBC Southern Counties on Monday 31st March shortly after 08.25am , he will be highlighting the Meridian Divers Adopt-A-Wreck project which is being undertaken with the Nautical Archaeology Society "Diving into History" Project Officer Ian Barefoot. Ian is registered author for the Meridian Divers blog and a former work colleague of mine.
Sadly the Adopt-A-Wreck initiative of the NAS comes to an end in July 2008 but Meridian Divers will continue with it's project irrespective of the NAS reaching the end of its Heritage Lottery Funding.
The Meridian Divers TRT project is certain to generate continued interest amongst other local divers. Meridian Divers publish their findings on the wreck on the project blog (see Links at the top right hand side of the this blog) and are always happy to receive updates on the wreck from others who are prepared to contribute to the project.

28 March 2008

Sea Zones 30th March

Just in case a miracle happens Mick from Sea Zones has emailed me this:-

Hi All, I have 2 spaces.
DATE OF DIVE -Sunday 30th March 2008.(Only £30)
WRECK - Lancer 2
DEPTH - 24m to bottom of wreck 18m to top (LW slack) followed by a drift dive.
ROPES OFF - 9:45 and back in by 3.45pm (approx)

If you want to come ring or text Mick on 07729 277651 or drop me an e-mail.

The day will consist of:
Arrival - All meet at Newhaven's West Quay (FREE parking) only 100m from the boat.
Load up - Don't huff and puff use our kit trolley to move your kit the 100m to the boat
Dive briefing - Full briefings on our MCA coded hard boat, dive procedures and the WRECK details
The wreck dive - Complete the dive to the full depth or go shallower to the top of the wreck.
The drift dive - With a FREE cup of Tea, Coffee or Chocolate and a Scones while you complete a relaxing surface interval. We then will do the a drift dive on our way back to the marina.
Departure - Get back home or spend the rest of the day on a nice visit to Eastbourne or Brighton.

If this date does not suit, look at the online diary if you want to see other spaces and dates available



27 March 2008

Post Marsa Alam Jolly ~19th April

Hi all,
Matt here, I`ve set the date for the so called jolly for the Saturday 19th April. If i could have names and if poss deposits as quite a large group have said there up for going out I`ll book it up [curry ok for everyone?]

Hope your all see you soon, Matt

[posted on behalf of Matt]

Wraysbury ~ Diversion Due To The Weather Gods

Due to the Weather not playing ball and being decidely British and due to this the planned Selsey dip being canned. There are plans afoot still to get wet on Sunday 30th and not just by the rain.

Wraysbury once again could be the order of the day. I knows its not the same but the urge to submerge is becoming overwhelming and must be satisfied. Therefore Simon and myself are planning to meet around middayish at Wraysbury to chill our grubby little mits off and to model the latest in 1960's cousteauesque swimwear.

It would be great if some other hardy souls would sign up and join in the fun.

Please leave a comment


PADI Enriched Air ~ Nitrox Specialty

If anyone is interested in completing the PADI Enriched Air ~ Nitrox Specialty add a comment or contact me by email.

26 March 2008

Film Night at Arlington

The film night turned-out to be our best attended meeting since Meridian Divers began in 2006. Nineteen divers, lured-in by a buffet and Projectionist Tad's choice of diving movies braved the Arlington wilderness to enjoy a very social evening. It was great to see divers from Ocean View and Rother Diving Club, not only because the essence of Meridian Divers is networking to make things happen but also because their enthusiasm looks like it will mean all places on our proposed trips will be filled!

The Looe & Lundy dive trips were discussed after the film show and details will be circulated by email as soon as possible.

The Selsey dive planned for 30th March has been cancelled due to anticipated poor weather on top of poor coastal weather in the last week or so.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

If you feel like watching a funny quirky film then have a look at 'The Life Aquatic' Staring Bill Murray. The film is about a group of oceanic explorers called Team Zissou who embark on a journey to hunt down the "Jaguar Shark" that ate one of their crew members. Determined to avenge the death of his dear friend, team leader Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) is melancholic about the journey he's about to make. Meanwhile, financial troubles and nostalgia for the past make Zissou behave like a reckless play boy. along with some very different and psychedelic under water scenes and an all star cast including Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Cate Blanchet, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum and Michael Gambon. I found this film very amusing in places and hilarious in others. Very tongue in cheek and a send up of the Jacque Cousteau films. I would recommend this film for it quirky nature and unbalivabilty.

25 March 2008

Lundy Dive Week-end

MD planned a Lundy dive trip for 2008 but booking a boat charter has proved tricky for a variety of different reasons , Steve L has identified what might well be a suitable date / boat and I have circulated details by email. If we are quick & can get co-ordinated (plus have the time & money!) we could still make this happen this year. Several people have been looking to co-ordinate the trip so this post is not intended to confuse any plans in hand but merely flag-up an opportunity that won't last long! If interested add a comment. If you have not seen the email let me know !

Expressions of interest (only) :-
1. Simon T
2.Debbie M
3. Stuart H
4. Trez
6. Mike T (RDC)
7. Ian S (RDC)
8. Nicky H (RDC)
9. Tony S (RDC)
10. Sean G
11. Tom D

23 March 2008

Film Night Movie - 26th March at Arlington

Film for the night will be Hitlers Lost Sub . The story of a U-Boat Discovered of the coast of the USA. This is the Sub that the book and forthcoming Movie Shadow Divers is based on.

I will also bring a couple of Cousteau Movies along just in case the this isnt a popular choice!
Also showing if we have time will be a DVD showing dives on Subs sunk around the UK including the Holland sunk off Beachy Head and the M2 off Portland.

Starting to sound like an anorak now.


Post Marsa Alam Jolly!

Matt is organising a post -holiday night ( I think it's an excuse for a jolly!) and has asked me to count our 'mob' in.

No date set but probably looking at sometime in next 2 - 3 weeks, probably a Friday and will be over Lancing way.

Anyone interested, add a comment or email me.

20 March 2008

And, More from Marsa Alam

L-R: Trez, Sean, Matt, Tracey, Chris, Jo, Sue, Trev, Kim, Tina, Laura, Chrissie, Paul

Further to Chris's blog i would like to echo what a great time i had Marsa Alam, great diving and lots of fun under the Egyptian sun with new friends...


Anyone with a slight knowledge of algebra will have worked out that if MD is equal to Meridian Divers and MA is equal to Marsa Alam then MSD will equal Master Scuba Divers! Meridian Divers Tracey, Therese , Paul and I tagged-on to the Ocena View trip to Marsa Alam for five days of two -tank boat diving . The last time I went I managed to photograph the 'star' of the area, Dennis the Dugong but this time it was not possible to visit his happy (sea grass) hunting ground! Highlights of the trip were dives at Shaab Samadai (Dolphin Reef) and Elphinstone and Tracey and Paul completed specialities that qualify them as Master Scuba Divers - well done ! Tracey is also contemplating a bottle opening speciality after a bit of a struggle with a coke bottle! It was quite windy for the first few days of the trip but this settled down a bit as the week went on, water temperature was 22 degrees Centigrade and air temperature reached 27 degrees.

In all there were about 25 of us in the wider group and as a result of the numbers , Emperor Divers contracted in an ex-liveaboard boat "Sea Dreams" to give us plenty of space. On board we had three Emperor Divers Instructors and three other Instructors (in the group) . Small world as it is one of the Emperor Divers Instructors was Sarah Isles from Shoreham.

The link-up with Ocena View worked well and it was good to make friends with some new buddies, some of which have already shown interest in putting their names forward for joint trips (such as France 2009). I think my most enjoyable day was the Shaab Samadai dives, I had previously only snorkeled there but there are some lovely swim-throughs and pinnacles one of which has a delightful Red Sea Anemone City !

The sea was FULL of plankton, particularly from about 8-12m in depth, and quite lively stuff it was too with several divers displaying some reddened skin as a result ! The vinegar came in handy!

We stayed at the Coral Beach Diving Hotel which is an ideal location directly on the Port Ghalib Harbour. In a few years the Harbour is destined to be a huge tourist attraction with hotels and shops springing-up, though at present tourist numbers (in March) are quite low.

French Week 2009 Part 2

Ok Guys,

I've had Chris, Tad & Therese come back to me re France. Really need some more names this week if we want to get this off the ground. Minimum of 10 - Maximum of 12. Price £330 pp for boat - accommodation & travel will be looked into once we have confirmed names and booked. I know Therese and I and the guys from OV are happy to camp and have a jolly round the camp fire!!

I do have a couple of guys from Ocean View who want to join us and am putting it on their forum so if you want to do it - email or add a comment.

I am looking at week commencing 3rd August - choice of Fe'camp or Dieppe.

Will need to book this within next couple of weeks to secure place.


1 Tracey
2 Trez
3 Tad
4 Chris
5 Matt (OV)
6 Sean (OV)


18 March 2008

MD Divers Come Clean

It's a fair cop. Ernie and I have bagged our first 2008 pier and are the official front runners in the Meridian pier race.

We set off at 11ish yesterday morning on the newest, cleanest most user friendly day boat we had ever been on. Massive amounts of room to leave kit and even a covered changing area with comfy seats and yet more storage. The skipper, Steve of Channel Divers was a top man, with coffee and chockie biscuits freely available.

Our first port of call was the wreck, Indiana, apparently. Ernie and I dropped down the line into cold vichysoisse, hit the bottom, signalled "A-ok" and promptly lost each other. Eight minutes later I was enjoying the use of the electric lift, mmm easy-peasey.Met Ernie on the boat and he talked me into another go. This time we stuck together like limpets and had a 23 minute bimble in the 9 degree "water". We bumped into a couple of wrasse and numerous bits of protuding metal. Then back up to play on the lift again.

We managed to dive longer than the other 6 hardy souls and it was decided to can the drift dive. One of the other divers suggested we had a go at the Palace pier on the way back to the Marina. Ernie wasn't so keen, but once the pier challenge was mentioned we knew it had to be done.

Splash, incredibly there was less visability, now we were in pea soup and you could actually see further with your eyes shut. Like a pair of out of sync. nodding donkeys, we bounced from the bottom to the surface missing each other. Eventually we met at the bottom and headed East, after about 5 mins and 2 bruised heads we gave up and returned to the lift. A very nice days diving apart from the diving was bad!

Cheers Simon

Mystery Divers in Pier and Wreck Blackout

A little bird told me that 2 of our hardy bunch have braved the elements for the first wreck dives and pier dives of the year,diving from Nauticat out of Brighton

The report I heard from the leak, that there was a massive 6" inches of visibility on the wreck which proved interesting for the dynamic duo, plus virtually nil Viz on Brighton pier.

Still it counts for the great MD 2008 dive a UK pier challenge and puts the pair firmly in the lead.

I and I am sure you are, looking forward to seeing a full report on their adventures, appearing on the Blog asap.


10 March 2008

Radio Star !

I just happened to be listening to BBC Radio Newcastle (or Wear, as it is known on the www) earlier this evening when whose voice should pop-up ? None other than our very own Tad! Tad was telling the good people of the North East all about our NAS Project on the T R Thompson. There was obviously no 'serious weather warning' stories in that part of the country today as the presenters were asking question after question and Tad got a lot more air-time during the prime drive-time slot than we would have otherwise expected. Well done Tad, nicely done. A Recording of the piece may be played at the next meeting .... all depends on whether or not Tad can raise enough money to bribe me not to!

Joint Events with Rother Diving Club

A while back I emailed another local dive Club with an Invite to our Film night and other social events such as BBQ's etc and also the possibilty of sharing spaces on dives where we have places. Rother Diving club Kindly placed this invite on their web news letter and yesterday at Lids I bumped into Nicky and Tony from the Rother Diving Committee.

Here is the email from Nicky I received today all very positive stuff.
My only beef is that I used to live 5 mins walk away from the pool now I dont dammit

Hi Tad,

Thanks for the email, I have forwarded info to all our members regarding your film night and hopefully I will get back to you soon with confirmation of numbers. We hope to host a similar evening soon and would also like to extend a warm invitation to Meridian divers to attend too. I will keep you posted on that one also.

Whilst writing, on behalf of Rother Diving club, I would also like to invite any of you or your members the chance to use Battle Abbey Pool in Hastings Rd, Bexhill (next to the College) on a Monday evening with us between 8.30pm and 9.30pm(costs currently only £2.50 a session)- a good chance to check out any equipment before open water diving starts again! Then we all slope off to The Bell in Bexhill Old Town afterwards for a de-brief over a beer! No need to book just come along we will be holding some skills nights soon involving nets, lights off and Wendy houses! So please feel free to come and join the fun.(The pool will be closed for refurbishment for approx. 4 weeks commencing 24th March but all will be resuming as before by end of April).

Please feel free to contact me with any queries or anything that might be of further interest to us all or check out our website: http://www.rotherdivingclub.co.uk/

Look forwards to seeing you soon,

Warm regards,

Rother Diving Club

Well lets take up the offer and hopefully some of the Rother guys will be at our film night. This is not about training or trying to recruit new members its about like minded people getting together sharing experiences and opportunites and having a goodtime.
The more we can share social events with other Divers and groups can only be a good thing .


Some pictures from Wrasbury and Vobster.

Sadly all freshwater, a bit experimental and no wildlife.
Underwater 2008 - Click on image to open gallery

I'm doing the GUEF course in April and a couple of fellow victims and I have been trying to get some basics covered before the course. There's been some interesting dives, frozen fingers, ice cream headaches, plenty of cups of tea and I've learnt some interesting new skills. At Vobster our instructor for April was sitting on the quayside. Under her beady eye we hurried into the water and got under sharpish. Checking my depth I blushed with shame and spent the next couple of minutes struggling to fit the compass, dive timer and computer which had been in my pocket. Tricky underwater.

09 March 2008

LIDS Dive Show

Having just got back from the Dive show at Excell I thought I would just put finger to key pad and tap out a few thoughts.

The London International Dive Show is held at Excell this time every year and I have been for the last 3. I met up with some other Meridian Divers and had a stroll around the plethora of stalls and stands plying their wares from Holidays to kit Books to training everything for the diver is catered for.

The down side was the expensive car parking, entry fee's and the extortionate price of refreshments, do put a downer on things slightly.

It was good to catch up with a few faces from the past and share a bit of banter. Just goes to show that the love of diving can overide a lot of the negative stuff that goes on and actually there's enough room for everybody to do their own thing. At the end of the day Diving is Diving and wherever you dive and whoever you dive with the chances are that you will have friends for life.


07 March 2008

Movie Night

Has Director Tad narrowed down the choice of film/films (are there any age restrictions!!!???!!)? I'll bring the popcorn - can anyone remember if there's a microwave? The popcorn will be freshly made if there is! (along with the sun tan!!)

Might be good idea if we all said what we bringing?

06 March 2008

French Week 2009

Hi guys,

Had email back from Steve re diving Northern France next year. His dates are:

Monday 13th - Friday 17th - Fe'Camp
Monday 27th - Friday 31st - Dieppe

Monday 3rd - Friday 7th - Fe'Camp or Dieppe
Monday 24th - Friday 28th - Fe'Camp or Dieppe

Please please, pretty please! Can I have preferences asap - Steve will only confirm booking when a deposit is received. Some of us have been saying for the last couple of years that this is a trip we want to do so lets do it!!!!!

Cost is around £330 pp plus accommodation - we could look at local hotel or singing nightly round the ol' camp fire! Either way, I'm sure it'll be fun!

I have been enquiring re hiring Mini-bus and still looking as prices seem to vary drastically!
Will hopefully have more info by next MD meeting - tho I do have an important engagement with Marsa Alam!!

05 March 2008

Sea Zones 8th March ~09:30 28M max

This has gone to plan B
We'll be at Wraysbury from 0930.

I'm booked on Sea zones out of Newhaven on Saturday.
Not sure what we are doing but max depth will be 28M. 8th March-11.42 slack
The meet times would be approx 2/3 hours before depending on what we dive. Will post meeting times etc when I get them. 09:45 at a guess.
I think Mick has four spaces left. If anyone is interested contact Mick
07729 277651
If it doesn't go ahead, we might be diverting to Wraysbury for some bobbing about.
Will confirm when I find out.

03 March 2008

Meridian Divers Through the Looking Glass at Nemo 33

A Few clips frm the Nemo trip looking in from the Cafe

01 March 2008

Details for Sea Zones Dive 11th May

Hi Tad,

Thanks for the call Thursday!

We can dive the TRT on the LW slack (Depth 30m) and then follow it with a drift on our way back in.I will pencil you in awaiting deposit, but provisionally It will be 7.45 meet and 8.30 ropes off.

Give me a call on the Saturday to check weather and when you arrive call on my mobile and I will bring up the kit trolley for you.

Looking forward to talking again.

Sea Zones

A nice early start for the early birds