27 June 2008
We have now managed to secure a year round mooring in the south of France just a few hours drive from the mountains, to give us time to organise our winter business. This will free us up more time to sort out the summers, and we can also get a few jobs done to the boat which we need to do if we are to eventually head off east (Greece, Turkey, Croatia are all possibilities), where there are more diving opportunities.
We would like to do some diving here in the south of France, but as you may know, the French will not recognise the PADI qualification, and so it may be difficult for us to teach in France.
PADI are fighting the case to get recognised in France, and have recently e-mailed us with a petition. They want OWSI's to get their students to sign and send to France to say that they want to be able to be taught in France under the PADI system and their open water qualification to be recognised without having to take a further test set by the French.
We would be really grateful if you could get anyone possible to sign it and send it, as it seems really crazy that PADI is recognised almost everywhere, but not in France which is on the doorstep.
Pete and Lyn
Pete & Lyn have sent me copies of the petition for divers & prospective divers to sign. If you would like to have the petition documents sent to you just let me know or add a comment to this post.
Good to hear from you guys, good luck with your cointinuing adventure!
26 June 2008
Details of the visit by Mr & Mrs Jack's visit to Sussex to meet the TRT Project divers were given (see posts below) . In addition to the BBQ for the first evening and the dinner on the second evening , the Jacks will be invited to visit the wreck site aboard Channel Diver which has been chartered for the purpose. MDers will conduct a dive on the wreck. The string of events are a tribute to the hard work conducted by Tad in bringing local maritime history to life in a enjoyable & social way.
The meeting heard final details of the Looe trip , with the midday Friday rendezvous in Swanage for those who want to tuck-in a Pier dive on the way to Cornwall. Several divers will be doing this. (Incidentally a further one day Swanage dive trip will take place on Saturday 26 th July - Matt has more information on that, it will invlove a single wreck dive & pier dive).
The Northern France trip for 2009 is still a runner , cheques asap to Tracey!
All present at the meeting agreed that as the last BBQ on 8th June was such a success there should be more ! What a surprise - not! As a result a Seaford Bay BBQ & Dive will take place on Sunday 3rd August (based at Stuart & Debbie's house - thanks!) and another West Beach BBQ will be held on Sunday 7th September. More details to follow!
The momentum behind Meridian Divers is phenonmenal with so much going on and success after success. This is no doubt due to everyone supporting events and making them not only good diving opportunities but great socials.
Longer term plans including preparation for the 'out-of-UK-season' is now underway. Full details of those will be circulated via the meetings minutes.
The Jacks will be staying at the Benson Mansion during their trip so it would be great if MDers could come along.
Please let Sheila and Ernie know direct or post a comment.
1. Tad & Nikki
3. Chris & Sue
24 June 2008
I was among 3 Meridian and 1 Ocean View divers who were fortunate to join Brighton Diver for a trip Out to the City of Waterford last Saturday. We met at the marina feeling a bit apprehensive about the vis as the wind had been blowing and stirring things up for the last few days (and still was but not so badly that we couldn't sail).
The boat left at 12 noon for the hour or so steam out to the wreck site. Having bumped and bounced our way through kiting up on the way out we were more than ready to get into the water... As we entered the water the clouds parted and we were bathed in sunlight. The four of us descended the shot together and by 20m I could clearly see the wreck below.
The City of Waterford lays at about 32m. This is going to be a great dive I thought. The shot was fairly central on the wreck. We hit the deck and headed down toward the port side ( She is listing heavily to port) then on forward to the bow which is still very intact after which we headed back down the starboard side to the stern before retuning to the mid ship and making our ascent.
The wreck is still quite intact with lots of holes and hatches to peer into. During the whole dive there were fish everywhere, I have never seen so many fish... You almost had to put your hand out to brush them aside to see where you were going. What a great dive the best I've had in the UK so far. I will definately be returning to the City of Waterford.
On our way back we decided to do a drift under the pier. Well that was a different story, pitch black and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. More of a bump than a drift! Roll on Looe, pray for good weather...
22 June 2008
20 June 2008
Plans for visit to the T R Thompson by Mr Jack, the relative of one of the merchant seamen who lost his life on the sinking of the vessel.
Plans for forthcoming social & dive events. (Bring your diaries and we'll try to pick dates that you can all make!)
Part 2 of the Video Highlights of Mondays T.R.T Dive. We backtracked from the stern and headed towards the Bow Not so much intact wreckage didny quite make it to Bow as time ran out what a cracker of a dive will remember this one for a long time.
18 June 2008
One space on City of Waterford wreck dive, Saturday 21st June with Brighton Diver. Anytakers phone me on 07738374206, Sean
Part 1 of the video highlights from Mondays TRT dive from channel diver. The video doesn't do the dive justice it was a lot clearer than the video shows
17 June 2008
[For those not on the Lundy Dive Trip which is on the same week-end]
16 June 2008
After quick group text to other MD'ers it transpired that most couldn't get the time off at such short notice with the exception of Andy N and as I was owed some time off a quick buzz back to Steve saw 2 places booked.
A bright and early 6.30am start got me down to Brighton Marina with time to spare and was joined shortly after by Andy. Sarah also made an appearance as she had booked her annual Channel Diving jamboree this week.
Steve had obviously had success in filling the remaining places as the boat was now full ( doesn't anybody work) Soon it was ropes off and the journey out to the T.R.T began.
We arrived at the wreck exactly on slack with everybody kitted up and ready to go. It never ceases to amaze me how organised it all is when diving from Steve's boat, everything runs like clockwork nice, simple, straight forward and no fuss.
On entering the water I was a little confused about where I was diving the water was clear and very blue not the normal green English Channel we all love. Divers descending 15m below could be clearly seen and i knew this was going to be a classic TRT dive.
We were not disappointed,very soon the wreck appeared below us and we were still descending.
Shoals of of bib & pollack covered the TRT like a living carpet, divers could be seen all over the wreck it was almost like dives I had done on the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea, it was that good.
With the camera rolling Andy and I got to work capturing as much footage as possible.
With the visibility so good it was possible to see large areas of the wreck for the first time in context and I was shocked at how much the T.R.T had deteriorated even over the past year.
The stern is now collapsing at an alarming rate with a huge section on the port side now collapsed over the prop. The Gun has moved again and is now is a slightly different position to what it was last year. The TRT is over a 100 years old and has been lying on the seabed for over 90 years so it is to be expected that the old girl is losing her looks a bit like an aging hollywood star, but far more interesting. I still find it very sad that within a short period of time I expect the stern will collapse totally.
We continued our dive across the wreck and even though she is crumbling fast I still find her very beautiful and still a fantastic dive. With our personal connections with the wreck through the N.A.S project and the relative we are now in contact with and the conditions we were diving in today made this dive on her even more special to me.
As the motto on Steves diver lift says" time and tide wait for no man or woman " it was soon time to head back to the surface and I must say I was very reluctant to do so but we had already incurred a small deco penalty, so with the now traditional wave goodbye to our old freind we started our ascent back to a very different, less tranquil world.
Back on board Channel Diver the decks were a buzz, every diver raving about the dive, with one couple saying it was the best dive they had ever done in UK waters. I also managed to get a call in to Mr Jack the T.R.T crew relative whilst over the site and talk to him about the dive. We will be seeing him on the 22nd July and weather permitting, he will be out on the boat himself.
Our second dive was on the Palace pier and even though that is a very pretty dive I would have still preferred to have been back down on the T.R.T.
I will start to edit the video footage over the next couple of days and post it on the Blog. Skipper Steve after previewing the footage wants a copy to have on Channel Diver to show groups he takes out to the wreck on his wheel house DVD player which is a nice touch and will hopefully raise the profile of the wreck even more.
15 June 2008
I have 5 spaces for a dive (I can buddy up a single diver)
DATE OF DIVE-Saturday 21st June 2008.(Only £30). We dived this wreck yesterday and had 8/10m vis !!!!!!!
WRECK- TR Thompson
DEPTH- 34m 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 him an e-mail
13 June 2008
At the moment there are 8 spaces for Meridian Divers on the boat, I know that it is mid-week and some of you have trouble booking time-off but there were no weekend slots free with the boat. Also its cheaper for the Jack family to travel down midweek.
If you can't make the dive we are planning an evening meal with the Jacks and it would be great if as many MD'ers as possible could join us for the meal and meet the family. Venue TBC
There will be a charge for the dive of £45 I know it's a lot but this will also help to cover some of the families trip on the boat and will be a great opportunity to bring a family and the TRT together for the first time. It really makes the whole project worthwhile.
Due to the limited space the divers will be booked on a first come basis by adding a comment.
If there is a great demand for this dive I will speak to Steve at Channel Diving to see if any of his contacts can run another boat on the day alongside his.
If you cant make the dive but would like to come to the evening meal please can you add a comment or let me know so I have an idea of numbers.
Divers so far
3. Chris P
5. Andy TBC
9 Stuart TBC
12 June 2008
Location : Eastbourne
Date : Sat 19th July 2008 - 10:45 ropes-off
Boat : Sussex
Diving : The Argonaut
11 June 2008
Video highlights of the Meridian Divers Beach BBQ (cant wait until the water clears a bit)
10 June 2008
I have 1 space left for an Equipment Specialty course with Simon Foster at Ocean View on Sunday 29th June this course, by all accounts, Simon goes above and beyond the course requirements and is well worth completing. The cost is approx £100 and will go on all day. If you missed the last course attended by Meridian Divers and want to attend please leave a message or call me, Chris or Tracy have my number.
08 June 2008
Eagle-eyed dogs ensured no dropped sausage was missed!
Tad took his video underwater and we'll have to wait to see the edited highlights , I'm hoping his shots of duelling tom-pot blennies will come out!
Matt ~ Head Chef
If you click 'satellite' on the Google Maps you can see the area in more detail. If you get there around 1pm you'll be in good time, it's not an exact science!
If ths LONG URL is too long to be clickable , just copy & past it into your browser!
06 June 2008
05 June 2008
- dive sites far less crowded
- less traffic, and
- it's just great to be off from work when the sun is shining and everyone else is stuck in the office !
Last-Minute Truk Following a block cancellation, Dive Quest has 13 spaces on its trip to Truk in Micronesia on board the luxurious Odyssey from 2-9 November 2008 priced at £1404 per person. Due to the popularity of this location in the Western Pacific, bookings have moved into 2010, so this is an amazing chance to get there this year. Odyssey is a 40m liveaboard that can accommodate 16 passengers in 9 air-conditioned en-suite staterooms. The price includes 7 nights' full board including all drinks with up to 5 dives per day and free nitrox to certified divers.
03 June 2008
I have spoken to Mick who has confirmed Seazones is available on SUNDAY 10th August. Is anyone interested?
We can pick where to go. e.g. Thompson, Fortuna, Titanic or anything else of interest. Post your comments or get back to me so that we can secure the boat.