31 May 2008

Northern France Dive Trip ~ August 2009

Anyone interested in doing France next year - I MUST have your cheques by Thursday 5th June! I am diving with Steve on Friday and will give them to him then - this will secure our week. We WILL LOSE this trip if we don't pay up!!!! Anyone who has not got my address - just email, text or add a comment.


28 May 2008

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 28th May 2008

Photo by Tad!

Well it was billed as being as much about eating as meeting and that's how it turned-out! Our start time of 7.30pm worked well, apparently there had been a huge rush for dinners at Coopers Restaurant, Stone Cross a short while before, so it was fortunate that when the hungry Meridian Divers arrived the way had cleared for carvery roasts all round! I think everyone was impressed with the deal , plenty of good nosh at a very very reasonable price! So good was the deal that we thought we'd better tuck-in before the 'business' of the meeting! So pleasant was the evening that after our dinner is was (just!) warm enough to venture in to the gardens with our drinks to discuss our diving plans! After all that hard work it was back inside the Restuarant for coffees and general chat. I reckon the coffees must have worked 'cos even after all that food in a warm restaurant no-one dozed-off! Sheila (as ever) will put some notes of the meeting together and circulate them, but needless to say we were pleased at the successful progress of the existing dive plans and would now be concentrating on tucking-in some local boat dives. Details of the next social , the BBQ on 8th of June were discussed, this event will be going ahead as planned and would make a good opportunity to discuss buddying at Looe & Lundy along with doing a a shore dive!

27 May 2008

Looe Diving Trip ~ 5th & 6th July 2008

There is one space left on the trip to Looe on 5th & 6th July 2008. The cost is £88.00 for 4 dives and bed and breakfast accommodation is £45.00 per night. If you are interested please leave a comment with your details.

25 May 2008


More by luck than good judgement this little blighter was apprehended and put behind bars having been lured by the smell of salt water to make his way towards one of HM Naval Dockyards.
The price of keeping our salt water gnome-free is eternal vigilance.

Blockade Runner ~ Indianna Johnson!

Local dive boat skipper Steve Johnson made the national newspapers (Mail on Sunday 25th May) for escaping from the blockaded port of Cherbourg! Well done to Steve for not tolerating an unacceptable situation. Let's hope Steve's bid for freedom doesn't hinder any of his future trips to Northern France.

More info on:-

Skive Dive Society

Calling all skivers. I have a list of possible mid week dives with Channeldiver.

Wednesday 16th July - Blanefield out of Brighton (8 spaces)
Monday 4th August - Alunia out of Eastbourne (8 spaces)
Tuesday 5th August - Oceana out of Eastbourne (6 spaces)

Any of your workshy divers interested please let me know ASAP.

Remember the Society motto 'anything is better than work'.


24 May 2008

Channel Diver 24th May ~ 1pm Ropes Off

How does the weather know it's a Bank Holiday Week-End? The 1pm ropes-off for Channel Diver , which was destined for the T R Thompson has been canned due to anticipated high winds!
Blast! (or something like that!) Oh well, next time!

22 May 2008

Next Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wed 28th May

The next MD meeting will be held at Coopers Restaurant, Hailsham Road, Stone Cross, East Sussex at 7.30pm . Dinner will be available , so probably more eating than meeting! Details being sent out by email with the Agenda.

I'll be ringing each of you by phone telling you to attend , nah, don't be silly , only joking! But do let us know if you are able to make it 'cos we need to reserve places!

21 May 2008

Selsey 'Pier' Dive ~ May BH week-end!

Well, the feedback from a number of you is that with the roads in Sussex as they are and the limited parking in Selsey , it is folly to try to dive there on a Bank Holiday weekend! That may be true and I think most if not all have decided to drop that plan as a result! Sad, but there will be another day!

[Update: 4 divers are diving the pier Sat 24th - see comment!]

A couple of boats with week-end placces have been posted (below) , if anyone is 'up' for something this w/e do add a post / comment.

High Tides this w/e at Newhaven are around:-
Sat 24th - 14:36hrs BST
Sun 25th - 15:15hrs BST
Mon 26th - 16:02hrs BST

DIVER Magazine ~ June 2008 Edition

Thanks to Steve L for spotting this one! DIVER magazine has a small news piece on the T R Thompson project on Page 20 of the June 2008 edition. DIVER have covered the project in the past . Indeed some while ago I persuaded John Liddiard to come dive the wreck with us with a view to doing a Wreck Tour, sadly the weather blew us out! Still that particular dive plan, as I recall, did encourage a lot of divers to get their Nitrox qualification!

20 May 2008

Channel Diver ~ Saturday 24th May (Brighton)

Spotted the following, I can't make it but in case anyone is interested.

Smile Spaces Saturday 24th from Brighton on Channel Diver

Appleton club have Spaces available diving the City of Waterford this saturday 24th May

City of Waterford 36mtr 07.30am Brighton

To reserve a space call Byron 07971 566273 or me Steve 07970 674799

19 May 2008

Meridian Divers at N.D.A.C

Some of the clips from the weekend Dives at NDAC


Sea Zones Diving ~ Saturday 24th May

Mick Luff has 3 spaces for a dive on Saturday 24th May (Only £30) . There are 2 options we are looking at and will decide on the day which has best vis:-

Option 1
WRECK- Fortuna,
DEPTH- 34m to bottom of wreck (HW slack) followed by a drift dive on the way back in. ROPES OFF- 11:45

Option 2
WRECK-Celtic , DEPTH-29m to bottom of wreck (HW slack) followed by a drift dive on the way back in. ROPES OFF- 11:45

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


Grand Tour of Muddy Puddles ~ 17th & 18th May

Dive Team basking in the sunshine at Vobster Quay

Plan the Dive and Dive the Plan , that's what we do! Though sometimes we add a little extra to the plan! And so it was with our plan to dive the National Diving Activity Centre near Chepstow. We travelled to Wales on Friday evening (16th) and took up B&B accommodation in a beautiful valley where a field of horses and a couple of farm dogs befriended us (or we pestered them, one of the two)! Saturday morning was dull but dry as we made our way, using the courtesy buses, from the NDAC dive centre to their quarry based dive sites. Our first dive was on the BAE 146 aircraft at 26m , followed by a tour of a variety of other submereged attractions. The second dive that day started with a visit to the North Sea Diving Bell but ended in horror as we stumbled across a small but growing colony of Gnomes (see Go G.N.O.M.E post below).

On a 'wing and prayer' welcome to NDAC's North Sea Diving Bell

After taking stock of the Gnome pollution over a 'pint and a pie' back at Tour HQ , there was only one option. Relocate to Somerset and dive Vobster Quay on the Sunday. At Gnome Free Vobster we dived another aircraft fuselage , then refuelled on bacon & egg baps before diving through their tunnel to the Crushing Works and then onto an aircraft cockpit. I don't know if it was the absence of Gnomes but on Sunday the sun shone warmly and a huge rainbow trout came up to greet us on our safety stop.

Simon contemplates the Diving Bell

So is muddy puddle diving 'proper diving'? The answer is clearly 'yes', there are divers tackling deeper and more technical dives in quarries than I would want to do anywhere, but I don't think it's going to compete with diving in the sea as far as I can see from the views of Meridian Divers. It is nice, however, to be able to freely try-out different diving. Some divers are just 'plain against' fresh water inland sites and consider them not safe. It might seem extraordinary but even those divers will sanction using them when it's convenient! You need to keep an open mind, plan properly and decide for yourself!

Go G.N.O.M.E!

Pollution in the National Diving & Activity Centre - Chepstow

The grand tour of muddy puddles (17th & 18th May) brought some very strange fresh-water diving practices to light. Everyone knows that salt is vital to human life and it may be that the lack of salt in fresh water is causing fresh water diver enthusiasts all sorts of health problems. Is there any other explanation for the distorted thinking that results in the placing of models of members of a supernatural dwarfish subterranean race thought to guard the treasures of the earth underwater? What in Gnome's name is that all about? It looks as though it's too late to prevent this abberation in fresh water but there may be time to prevent this perverted pollution reaching salt water .

You can see how the little blighter above , far from guarding treasure has attracted other detritus in to the water. You allow a gnome in then it's old tyres , this is no way to support Project Aware and support marine environments. So sign-up to day to the Go G.N.O.M.E campaign.

G - Gnomes
N - Nautically
O - Offend
M - Marine
E - Environments

Go G.N.O.M.E and keep it real!

Two Page Sports DIVER Feature on Meridian Divers

SportDIVER Magazine , June 2008 , Pages 6 & 7

Sports DIVER Magazine , who have been following our work on the T R Thompson Wreck Project have devoted TWO FULL PAGES to the BBC coverage of the 90th Anniversary dive underatken by Meridian Divers . Thank you SportDIVER and Mark Evans (Editor) in particular. Congratulations to Tad for bringing the BBC and printed media coverage together so well to raise awareness of our maritime heritage. The project has also been supported by the Nautical Archaeology Society and PADI Project Aware.

SportDIVER, like the BBC have carried details of this blog and the project blog which we are hoping will result in more people adding information about the wreck and it's crew to the project. The wreck is often dived by local divers but sadly very little information is submitted from other divers to allow the project to advance further. We are keen to receive ANY information on the wreck. Updates can be made by adding a comment to this or th eproject blog. Comments will be submitted to the moderator before publication, no personal information is published without permission.

Click on the image to read the feature.

18 May 2008

Vobster Quay , Somerset ~ 10th May

Nine divers attended the Vobster day out and a good day was had by all. We managed a grand total of 3 dives at this well maintained dive site. The purpose of the visit was mainly for a check out dive for the guy`s that had new kit, ie ponies, dry suit`s, new reg`s and others that had recently passed their open water. The vis was very good at the start of the day[10m+] and to be fair still wasn`t bad at the end of the day after the hoardes of training divers had finished. We managed to get round all the submerged attraction`s.

The new air fill station was flat out all day with no probs giving very quick turn around, the shop was well stocked with essentials one diver bought a brand new set of fins £25 bargin! Food OK not brill, better to take own food and stop for a bite on the way home. On the whole a very enjoyable day`s diving.

Newhaven Arm Dive 17th May 2008

Ernie & I took the opportunity to dive the Newhaven Arm. Conditions were pretty well prefect apart from it was cold wet and horrible and that was before we got in. (Pretty good really !). We were expecting to see lots more divers ( we will excuse those of you at NDAC) but it was just Ernie & I. Maybe they are not rufty tufty divers like us.
Viz was about 3 metres and we saw plenty of crabs, a couple of respectable sized lobsters, wrasse, tom pots and gobbies and star fish. We stayed in for 45 minutes and the temp. was 12 degrees,
Not a bad first beach dive for 12 months.

16 May 2008

West Beach BBQ ~ Sun 8th June

Time to start getting some more meat on the bones of this plan , hmmm that's a thought, spare ribs might be an idea, surely there must be some spare RIBs around! I have had several emails from people saying they are coming ...but...as ever there are some logistics to sort out!

It's anyone's guess what the weather will be like , but lets hope it will be fine and say that will mean we'll need :-

A gazebo (covered area)
One or more BBQ cookers (Matt W says he has a big'un he bring!)
Disposable Plates / Cups / Cutlery
Bin Liners

Usual Rules , bring enough for yourself and a few others! It would be handy to start co-ordinating who is bringing what! Please add a comment to this log with YOUR plan! (or drop me an email).

Of course we are planning a shore dive on this date. The High Tide at Newhaven for afternoon of 8th June is 15.41hrs (BST) . The usual pratice (!) is to dive then eat so may be a good time for divers to meet is 14.30hrs (you might want to get there early if its great weather as parking might become fun -not!)

SinkOne4Seaford Pair SinkTwo@Newhaven ~ 14th May

(L-R)Tony F & Andy N prepare to dive the Newhaven Harbour West Arm.

Confuscious, he say nothing about diving! But if he did it would probably have been "Well I never!" There was a plan to do a West Beach shore dive on 14th May, four of us thought we had sorted the arrangements but confusion over wind speeds, sea conditions coupled with other pressing commitment rattled the plan and so the infamous four failed to fin! But as the agreed entry time approached so the text screen lit up! Another buddy pair were at the beach asking 'Where is everybody, the waters fine'! Doh! The absent four had been too conservative! They say 'better safe than sorry' but we managed to be 'safe and sorry'! So it was, that Team SinkOne4Seaford made a shore dive on the Newhaven Harbour West Arm. Was it any good? Yes! Six metres of viz! Damn, its 'orrible when a good plan doesn't come off!

15 May 2008

MV Sussex Spaces ~ Eastbourne

Some dive dates from Mike (MV Sussex). I've listed them in a comment to keep this page uncluttered. Mike's website:- http://www.sussexshipwrecks.co.uk/Diary08.htm

12 May 2008

Meridian Divers Dive the Fortuna

a few clips from Sundays dive on the Fortuna diving from Sea Zones

Weymouth Dive Trip ~ 14th & 15th June

Posted on behalf of Brian:-
Our club SAA69 Reigate may have 2 or 4 spaces on our weekend in Weymouth 14-15 th June. Basically it will be shallower range to probably 25-30m max. The boat is a twin hull cat with power lift - very nice, those who know Weymouth it's yellow! We need 1 or 2 pairs who can dive together and look after themselves as they will be treated as guest divers to our club, hence need to be fully qualified etc to dive as a pair.

We will do 4 dives. Nitrox and air available at the quayside diveshop. Any main dive associations are OK. We have no accommodation so would need to make their own arrangements. Let me know of any interest and I can let you know in next 7-10 days if we definately have spaces.

Thanks Brian

[Meridian Divers as an independent network are pleased to receive the invite and to promote it ~ Chris-P]

Newhaven Harbour Arm ~ 13th or 14th May

Does anyone fancy a go at the harbour arm Tuesday or Wednesday evening this week?
Round about half six tomorrow, half seven Wednesday. (unless my timings up the spout)

Fortunate on the Fortuna for Meridian Divers

The plan had been to Dive the City of Waterford on Sunday and with the weather continuing to be fantastic lots of other boats were out in force on the Channel. As we approached the Waterford site it was clear that quite a few others, mainly fishing boats, had the same idea.

A brief chat with Mick skipper of Sea Zones soon saw us back tracking to the Fortuna where there wasn't a another boat in sight. Hang on a sec,as soon as we arrived we were joined by two other dive boats which wasn't too bad, better than mixing it with fishing lines I suppose.

After the dark dive on the T.R.T last weekend the water colour looked very promising especially after the shot was dropped you could see the line quite a way down so we kitted up in anticipation. I ummed and aaarrrred about taking the camera in and decided to give it a go.

Once in the water we headed down the shot and it soon became apparent that this was going to be a cracker of a dive. The wreck opened out below us covered in fish visibility easily 8m+ torches were only needed to light the holes to say hello to the congers and crabs.

I have always been lucky diving the Fortuna when it comes to viz and this dive was not an exception. Diving on Nitrox gave us plenty of time to explore the cargo of cement still stacked in the holds destined for a long forgotten building project and poke around the machinery lying long abandoned on the now collapsed decks.

The stern looked amazing with the light filtering through the exposed ribs and huge shoals of fish meandering like the traffic on the M25 during the Monday morning rush hour, going nowhere fast.

With the camera capturing the the scenes before us I was so glad I had made the decision to bring it down to the wreck.

All to soon it was time to head back up to the surface and enjoy a nice cup of the hot stuff and Micks tasty home made Sea Scones much to the envy of his own dive club aboard one of the neighbouring boats, it seems the Sea Zones Sea Scones are legendary.

After a relaxing chugg in the sun back to Seaford bay we kitted up for the second dive on the Gullies. I chose not to take the camera in for this and it was a wise choice due to the ripping current and trying to stay still to film would have been impossible.

All the usual suspects were back from their winter holidays plus a very large grumpy looking lumpsucker guarding its eggs which is a first for me off Seaford. The viz was about 3m. A great day was had by the MD'ers aboard and our thoughts went out a (little bit) to those who couldn't make it on the day due to a an untimely dose of Man Flu.

Divers : Trez , Tracy , Simon , Jim , Ernie , Tad

Thanks to Mick Luff of Sea Zones for looking after us again and being a great Skipper. A video of the Fortuna dive will be posted shortly once its edited. Fortuna photo courtesy of Sea Breeze


11 May 2008

Fortuna Wreck Dive Images ~ 11th May 2008

Some photographs from todays dive.


Excellent dive. Thanks guys and thanks Mick. I'm a post dive scone convert.

07 May 2008

City of Brisbane Wreck Dive ~ Saturday 10th May

Just got this from Mick Sea Zones Skipper

The forecast is looking good for this weekend and I have 6 spaces for a dive
DATE OF DIVE-Saturday 10th May 2008.(Only £30)
WRECK- City of Brisbane
DEPTH- 23m to bottom of wreck (LW slack) followed by a drift dive on the way back in.
ROPES OFF- 08:15 and back in by 2:00pm (approx)

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



City of Waterford Wreck Dive ~ 11th May

Dive info for Sundays Sea Zones Dive.
Another early start

Meet 07:30

Ropes off 08:15

Dive City of Waterford (max depth 32m to bottom) on the 10:35 LW slack

Drift dive on way back in after surface interval

Return to Marina 3:30pm approx

McDonalds shortly after


1. Ernie
2. Tracy
3. Trez
4. Simon
5. Jim
6. Chris
7. Tad
8. Still one space post a comment if interested


06 May 2008

Shore Dive ~ West Beach Newhaven ~ Sat 10th May

I'm planning a shore dive on Saturday 10th May at the West Beach , Newhaven. The High Tide is 15:36hrs BST , rendezvous time & entry to be finalised but will be in the water approx 30mins before High Tide , weather & viz permitting!!! Water temperature expected to be around 10 Deg C. Anyone interested is welcome to join.

Meeting with T.R.Thompson Expert

I had a chance to meet with the "James Westoll" Line expert today . See Thompson Linked Blog for story and photo.



Channel Diver ~ Diving Schedule for May & June

Steve Johnson has just sent the following dates (recreational depths) through:

WED 21st B"ton PENTRYCH 20 11.00 £40
FRI 23rd B"ton UNKNOWN WRECK 36 11.30 £45
Sat 24th B"ton UNKNOWN WRECK 36mtr 07.00am

TUES 3rd E"bourne HOHEWEG 36 10.45 £45
WED 4th E"bourne OCEANA - P & O Liner 24 10.15 £40
FRI 6th B"ton IKEDA 30 7.00 £40
MON 16th B"ton TR THOMPSON 34 8.30 £40
WED 18th B"ton CAIRNDHU 30 9.30 £45

To reserve a space call Steve on 07970 674799

Skive Dive Society ~ 4th June Oceana Dive

Anyone be interested in a Skive Dive on the Oceana with Channel Diver out of Eastbourne on Wednesday 4th June, ropes off 10.15am ?

There are 4 spaces at the moment. Please add a comment if you are interested ASAP


T R Thompson Wreck Dive Report ~ 5th May

L to R : Ernie , Tad, Steve , Andy & Jim (Photo Chris-P)
On a beautiful calm sunny day 6 of MD's divers left port on our first (but not last) trip on Seazones captained by the intrepid Mick.

Our hardy group descended the expertly placed line to find all light disappearing at 12 metres, but being rufty tufty divers it was torches on and keep going. We enjoyed a torchlight bimble at 33 metres around the Thompson for 30 minutes and then ascended to de-kit and enjoy copious tea, coffee and scones.

After an in depth debrief (more time to scoff scones) it was decided that we had all earned a healthy nutritious meal at McDonalds Healthfood Restaurant. Good time had by all.


03 May 2008

Lundy Dive Trip ~ Fully Booked!


Cheques have now been received from all twelve divers on this Trip. If anyone wishes to be added to the list as a 'Reserve' in case of last minute changes, just let me know / add a comment. Details of accommodation have been circrulated by email. I will circulate more info by email / text as needed. Any questions , let me know or add a comment. Follow the 'Lundy' label (link to other Lundy posts) at the bottom of this post for older information.

01 May 2008

T.R.Thompson Project ~ Relatives Contacts 2 and 3

I have just got off the phone from a relative of 2 of the survivors of the Thompson sinking after the BBC had forwarded the family details to Meridian Divers.

The relatives Great Grand Father and Great Great Grand Father both managed to escape the ship along with one other crew member as the ship went down. They survived by holding on the part of the wreckage that was left floating after the ship was sunk and were saved by a trawler who arrived on the scene later.

I have put this relative in contact with our other original contact and will be speaking to him again in a few days time.

I now have also been in contact with a gentleman who has written a book on the Westoll Line and happens to know everything there is to know about the company and its ships including the T.R.Thompson and also has personal commections with the company. It is also happens that next week I am at a meeting in Leicestershire 3 miles from where this gentleman lives so have made arrangements to visit him. Will feed back afterwards.

The project is growing by the day.


Looe & NDAC ~ Suggested Setting-Off Times.

Distances and times are from Pyecombe, which is just North of Brighton on the A23 close to the A27.

First of all NDAC. AA Route Planner = distance 161 miles and time 3hr. Suggest we all aim to arrive for 9:30, that'll be leaving homes (or pubs!) at approx 06:00. Hopefully/maybe we'll then be able to get in before most of the divers on courses.

Secondly Looe, more specifically those who fancy breaking up the journey by jumping off Swanage Pier. AA = distance to Swanage 116 miles and 2hr 42mins then on to Looe = 142miles and 3hr 33mins. If we say the stop at Swanage is approx 3hrs then leaving to arrive at Swanage for 12:00 should be about right.

What say all of you fellow intrepid types?