31 August 2008

T R Thompson Wreck Dive ~ 31st August

Despite dire warnings from the weather broadcasts the Gods smiled upon us today. We had some sunny spells amid what was otherwise a fairly grey day. Eight of us met up at Newhaven at 0945 for a 1030 ropes off.

There were several dive boats in the Marina both local and from further afield. You can go anywhere in the world as a SCUBA diver and almost always find there will be a friendly welcome from other divers and today that kind of dive spirit was maintained by Tunbridge Wells divers who came along side us while we were loading Sea Zones and wished us a good days diving. Though I think it was perhaps too much to expect everyone to be cheery on early start on a grey Sunday morning as there was a lack of 'Yo Ho Ho' in some quarters , probably the effects of the proverbial bottle of rum!!

The sea was also good to us with a light swell on our hour long route out to the T R Thompson. Mick (Skipper) neatly shotted the wreck amidships and Ernie & I were the first down to send up the shot on a buoy. It was pretty dark down there (our Max Depth was 30m) but there was a reasonable 2 to 3 metres of viz whic enabled us to find our way around quite well. We passed the Wreath laid on our previous TRT dive , still firmly fixed to the railings.

Our tour took us along the gunwhales to the area of the steering quadrant, we passed the spare prop blade and the deck gun before launching a DSMB and heading back to hot tea, coffee , chocolate and buttered scones , very civilised!

Moving inshore for a drift dive, the sea looked a little less inspiring (couldn't see four rungs down the dive ladder)! Nevertheless five of our eight thought they ought to give it a go , some made about ten minutes and others about thirty, all said the viz was rubbish, which has been par for the course recently . Oh well (again) better luck next time!

29 August 2008

Post Card from Egypt No.2

Hi All
Still sweltering in the heat here but have eventually managed to book some dives starting tomorrow. I say 'managed' because even though I had the correct paper work etc I was dealing with muppets. Met up with Tracey yesterday and I won't embarrass her with what happened thats for her to tell (sorry Tracey) but it did involve a group of Egyptian men and her laying down!

Having been spoilt in the past with liveaboards I dont think I will bother with day boat diving again although this was a family holiday not a diving one. Anyway expect a full report and some video on my return.

Wish you were all here


Red Sea Liveaboard ~ Training

There have been several questions about training opportunities on the proposed trip and the answer is 'Yes'. I can arrange training and where appropriate the knowledge development can be completed in the UK before the diving trip takes place. A variety of PADI Specialties (inc Nitrox), Advanced Open Water & Master Scuba Diver for example. Drop me an email if this is something that interests you.

Red Sea Liveaboard ~ Update

Good news! You don't have to rob the bank or kids school fund. Well not yet anyway.
I have spoken to Tony Backhurst today and we can book our places individually with a £200.00 deposit and balance 10 weeks before departure. There will be a 2% charge for credit cards but nothing for debit cards.

Once we have all the names they will give me a reference number that you will need to quote when making your booking. This will make life a lot easier for Meridian Divers as we will not have to collect the money or cover any unbooked spaces!

28 August 2008

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 27th August 2009

Well done to all those who attended, especially those long distance travellers amongst you! It (as ever) pays to be there if you are interested in diving 'cos it's at the meeting that we set the dates for the next plans!

Diving & Social Trips have been planned for :-
1. Europe
2. Channel Islands
3. Wales
4. Egypt (see Red Sea Liveaboard post)
5. Swanage
6. Recompression Chamber
7. Meridian Divers Christmas Dinner

Full details to be circulated by email by Hon Sec Sheila! A very productive meeting that has already given some shape to the 2009 diaries!

Also announced at the meeting was the T R Thompson Project Team's submission of an application to the Nautical Archaelogy Society's Adopt-a-Wreck Award. A multi-media project file has now been received by the NAS and our collective fingers are now crossed!

Trainee Divemaster Matt picked-up his Recreational Diving Instruction Approved Codes of Practice to fill the gaps not covered by PADI training and is already demonstrating his new knowledge! Yes Matt, you are right, surface cover does need to be competent (by training, skills & experience) and no, can't be a students dad (unless dad IS competent)!!

Red Sea Liveaboard - 4th to 11th April 2009

We have provisionally booked with Tony Backhurst a liveaboard on Whirlwind diving Northern Red Sea Route (Wrecks & Reefs) from 4/4/09 to 11/4/09.

The cost will be as follows:-

Up to 5 Divers = £995.00
6 Divers up to 18 = £896.00 (this includes a 10% discount)
20 Divers 1 free place + 10% discount = £852.00

This is the classic Thistlegorm, Canartic, Ghannis D, Ras Mohamed National Park etc. route, a must do for any diver.

The last night is spent in a Hotel.

As the provisional booking is only valid for 6 weeks we must have a commitment and a cheque (by 5/10/08) for £896.00 which is non refundable. If for any reason you are unable to go we will do the utmost to find someone to take your place. If we fill the boat and get the free place the difference will be refunded . I am afraid that we need the money up front so that Meridian Divers do not become liable for anyone dropping out before full payment is made.

Please put a comment on the blog if you are coming.

Cheques to be made payable to 'Meridian Divers'. Please ring me on 01323 502024 if you do not have my address.

If you want to check out the boat and itinerary go to Tony Backhurst website at http://www.scuba.co.uk/

Sheila & Ernie

Expressions of Interest:-
1. Sheila
2. Ernie
3. Chris
4. Matt
5. Gary
6. Sean
7. Mandy
8. Paul
9. Tracey
10. Steve L
11. Simon
12. Linda
13. Terry B
14. Therese

25 August 2008

Selsey ~ Mixon Hole 25th August

Yeah, We (Finally) Dived The Mixon!!

Well after much debating about 'will we' , 'won`t we ' (I`ve had this called off so many times this year)l uck seemed to be on my side as i`ve done more dives this weekend that have gone ahead than the rest of August, maybe a fib but honestly can`t remember a good run of dives like theis ,so Mulberry Divers called last night and said it was a goer but maybe only 1 dive would go ahead due to the wind.

We met at the shop to sign-in with 2 divers who couldn`t make it for various reasons and the first thing I heard was that we weren`t going, 10mins later we had a call saying the wind had died down did we still want to go, well we were off!

All kitted-up and on the boat we made the short journey to the Mixon Hole which is more of a valley than a hole and has a permanant marker which you can clearly see from the beach. We went in the water and desended 5m to the seabed and finned the short way to the drop-off which looked most impressive. Once the OK signals were given we went over the edge the vis was @4-5m with a good current that you hardly noticed if you hugged the wall. We saw lots of crustaceans (not many fish) but the dive was really good nontheless and there still good light down at 20m, unfortunatley a member of the trio I was diving with had an issue with an SPG so we called the dive 25mins in and started to ascend after letting the DSMB go. At 5m on top of the drop-off the current was honking through and we saw some dogfish enjoying the current. It was good fun trying to hold 5m for the safety stop, once we completed that we broke the surface and returned to the boat.
Unfortunatley the weather took a turn so the 2nd dive was binned and we made our way to the nearest pub and debriefed. Thanks to everyone for bearing with it and making the dive. I told you it would be alright !!


ps.well done to Caroline you were spot on !

No Wreck Dive ~ MV Sussex 23rd August

Almost a rarity for a week-end in August this year , Saturday 23rd was a really pleasant bright day with clear blue skies. Admittedly it was more like a really good early October day than an August day! The sea was pretty flat and there was little wind. Good omens for sure ?

MV Sussex was comfortably uncrowded with just eight of us diving. We slipped through the sovereign harbour lock quite early and arrived on the site of the Alaunia in good time, allowing Skipper Mike to indulge his passion by catching half a bucket of mackerel in a few minutes.

On entry the viz wasn't too promising with about 2 to 3 metres, as we got down to about ten metres depth it was torches on as we followed the long , horizontal for some distance, shot line. At one point I saw on the edge of visibility a couple of Bib and thought 'here we go!' nearly at the wreck. Alas, not so! As we reached the shot it was proudly resting on the sea bed! On the basis that I had seen a couple of Bib on the decent Simon and I (first down) picked up the shot and carried it in the direction of the fish sighting. No luck after a few metres! OK , try the opposite direction. Carrying the shot became a degree harder when four other divers were on the line. So a six diver sand rendezvous took place. At this point I lined-off and tried a 30m circular search , this too became too tricky when I found the other divers were now on my reel line! Another sand rendezvous at 24 meters! With about 25minutes have elapsed Simon & I called it and ascended on the shot line. Later back on the boat , a couple of divers had found some wreckage late in their dives. Very disappointing. About the only trace I saw of wreckage was a steel hawser part buried in the sand. In seeking to pull it out of the sand to give a direction the wreck it had the last laugh and gave me a very painful puncture wound to the left hand. And they say you can't scream underwater!

Our consolation prize for no wreck was a hot pasty. After a surface interval filled with my cursing the hawser we thouoght about the second dive. With the viz so bad near the site of the Alaunia we didn't have much optimism for a drift dive closer in. I had a tiny problem with the high pressure hose to my gauges and was about to bin the second when I was loaned a set of gauges by a far wiser diver than me who had already decided that one dive was enough! As soon as Simon I got in we knew it was going to be low viz & fast! We kept together only by holding onto each others kit but after a few minutes of just dodging rocks at high speed it was a mutual 'thumbs-up' and back to the boat. Hmmm, hasn't this year been disappointing! I comforted myself with my plans to dive Croatia & the Maldives later in the year as I waited in the A&E Department to get my hand checked-out! Good news there , at least the tetanus jab went into my thigh and not anywhere else too embarrassing!

24 August 2008

Mixon Hole & Mulberry ~ Spaces Mon 25th August

Hi all,
Hope your Bank Holiday is nice and relaxing! I have 2 spaces available for tomorrow's two dives at Selsey`s Mixon Hole & Far Mulberry or a drift. I know it`s short notice but after today`s weather I didn`t think we were going to dive but they have just called and we are off! So if you are interested give me a call or leave a message!

22 August 2008

Shirala ~ The One That Didn`t Get Called-Off

With the weather being as pants as it`s been, we all thought these dives would be cancelled BUT it turned out good in the end, even though Sean was doing daily rain dances so he didn`t have to pay if his space wasn`t filled ! Sorry mate, space not filled but the amount of space onboard was brill as there was only 7 diving !!

The first dive was on the SHIRALA 5,306 ton liner torpedoed by a german sub UB-57 in July 1918 @5 miles off Littlehampton, she had an odd mixed cargo with tusks, marmalade, auto spares and a lot of different explosives, she lies at @24m. We desended the shot line and the wreck with very litte current and quite good vis 4-5m, we started our tour amidships and found the most impressive collection of big lobbies and edible crabs I`ve seen including a big crab on the end of a pipe sticking up all on it`s own. Also saw a lot of netting around this area all on the seabed. We headed towards her bows escorted by shoals of bib and pollack that seem to be on most wrecks in the channel I`ve dived to find the biggest conger head in a hole I will ever see it`s head was the size of a medium dogs head and i`ll be damned if i was going to put my hand in there to tempt him out to see the rest of him!!! We also saw a couple of pretty good sized congers free swimming and in holes, this wreck is pretty well broken up and as the current started picking up we had 100 bar in our tanks so we started to deploy our DSMB and ascend back to the surface.

The second dive which was supposed to be the INDIANA @ 1 mile off Worthing Pier but as she was close in was deemed to be a waste of time as the vis would be really bad so we opted for the West Wall off Shoreham at 11m a couple of miles out, vis was ok but we missed the wall and had 1/2 hr drift before we surfaced and headed back to Brighton Marina. Both dives were really enjoyable and I would recommend the SHIRALA to all thanks to Ernie, Simon, Sarah for the great company and channel diver skipper Steve and his wife Caroline for the usual excellent dive experience .

Skive dives rock!!!!

Post Card from Egypt

Just wanted to say to all you folks back home that it is bloody hot here ! Planning some dives later in the week and hope for some video footage when I get back. Hope the dives go ok at the weekend.


21 August 2008


Spooning about on the internet I found the following.
You can click through and find up to date weather information from their stations, including Newhaven.
I'm sure it's old news to some but it was new news to me.

18 August 2008

New Inland Dive Site ~ Buckland Lake, Kent

One of the ov members has posted this up today as a new dive site in kent called Buckland lake reserve opened today run by Polaris scuba in Medway,Tad is this the blue lake?rules look a little strict but i`m willing to have a look,anyone else

17 August 2008

Shirala & Indiana Wreck Dives ~ Friday 22 August

One space left on channel diver for 2wreck dive 07.00 away for the Shirala and the Indiana. £45 , phone Steve on 07970674799

16 August 2008

Go Diving!

OK , may be a little ironic to post a title like that in the British Summer Time! But following some discussion on blog labels (you can tell the weather's bad already) the blog label "Diving" has been replaced with "Go Diving" . The label "Dive Report" remains! So post about diving opportunities will be "Go Diving" and on the those rare Summer occasions when we actually dive a "Dive Report" can follow ! Now can we all prey to the weather Gods before we descend into the "Nearly Four Metre Down Club"!

13 August 2008

Vobster Quay ~ Saturday 13th September

As august has now been declared April how`s about some guaranteed diving ? I`m thinking of going on Sat the 13th Sept get there early, 08.00am, spending the day there try to fit in 3 dives.

This is a nice place to dive. If you have never been have a look at the link below and see what you think. The site is under new management (a local couple who dive) so they say and they expect to sort out the site a bit better and start serving food rather than the crap currently being dished up, doesn`t matter as THE SWAN down the road serves excellent food!!

If you would like to come along please add your name,this dive is not weather dependant

12 August 2008

West Beach BBQ (Newhaven) ~ Sunday 7th September

Just a reminder that the next MD BBQ is planned for Sunday 7th September. The plan will be to dive the Harbour Arm (West) and / or the Gullies on the West Beach. Weather permitting !!!

High Tide at Newhaven on 7/9/08 is 16:26 BST , suggested rendezvous time of 14:30 to allow plenty of time to set up 'camp' and get the dive kit ready . Details to be confirmed - watch this blog!

Seazones Wreck Dive ~ 31st August

Only two spaces left on the above dive. If you wish to come post a comment ASAP or Mick will fill the space.
The following are booked on with their preference:

1. Ernie - Braunton
2. Therese - Clodmoor
3. Jim - Braunton
4. Benedicte
5. Simon
6. Chris TRT


11 August 2008

Recompression Chamber Specialty ~ 9th November

A provisonal date for the Chamber visit is Sunday 9th November . I am awaiting confirmation at present. Use the link label below to view previous postings on this subject. Those who have already given an expression of interest in the visit will have first refusal. Those who have expressed an interest please CONFIRM that you can attend on this date.

Meridian Divers Christmas Dinner ~ Wednesday 17th December

A Provisional date for the MD Christmas Dinner (And Awards Ceremony!) is Wednesday 17th December , at the Tudor House Restaurant (where our TR Thompson Poroject Dinner was recently held).

Drop me an email or add a comment if you intend to come along.

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wednesday 27th August

The next MD meeting is planned for 7.30pm Wednesday 27th August at the Berwick Inn , Berwick (details to be confirmed).

10 August 2008

Lundy 9th & 10th August

This blackboard message gives a clue to the weather!

If King Canute couldn't hold back the tide it's sadly not too surprising to find the efforts of the Met Office, 12 divers and one boat charter operation could'nt hold back the poor weather. Poor? That's being polite!

It's tempting to summarise the trip as a wet week-end in the West but in a sense the Jury's still out , though I think if we went on a majority verdict at this time that summary would unfortunately be pretty accurate! Full judgement should be deferred until the die-hard element give their feedback . At the close of play on Sunday 10th just one of the four planned dives has been completed and that dive left much to be desired! Of the four dives planned for Lundy , weather dictated our first dive be conducted on the North Devon coast, the viz was so poor we canned the second dive of the day. The next day's diving was binned by Obsession Boat Charters because the weather stopped diving operations.

Four of the dive team , who had already booked a third night stay in wet & windy Ilfracombe decided to remain in town to see if Monday's weather brings any change. I hope their tenacity pays off and that they get to Lundy. The rest of us high-tailed it home on Sunday.

Advance Party - Pathfinders for Pubs & Restaurants

But, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining! We had two good evenings in the town's pubs & restaurants and with sixteen of dining together on Saturday night we virtually took over the Old Thatched Inn and had a damn good social even if we couldn't exchange "I saw more seals than you" type stories!

The UK weather this year has been enough to challenge any diver / boat operator. Obsession Boat Charters said last year was bad but this year has been worse, much our view on the weather.

It's over to Nicky, Tony, Mike & Ian of the die-hard section to rescue some good dive reports from this trip!
POST SCRIPT: The die-hards are to be commended for putting in a quick Plan B and diverting to Swanage for Monday 11th . The foursome set about a dive on Kyarra but a torn neck seal put pay to the dive for Nicky and Buddy Tony. Mike & Ian got a good dive on the wreck! Well done guys , your tenacity paid off!

07 August 2008

Free Shore Diving ~ Selsey & Bognor ~Sat 16th August

Hi all,
Mulberry Divers are doing a marshalled shore dive at the popular Selsey Lifeboat Station on Saturday 16th Aug . Meet at 14:00 , dive at 15:00on . Meet on the green by the Pier and all for the price of a phone call to let them know your going.

There is also talk of another dive beforehand at Bognor Rocks at 10:30am, just waiting for details from Gary at the moment but will edit post when I have all the info. Myself, Tina, Sean and a few others from O/View will be going as it a nice dive and also cheap! Mulberry Divers have a BBQ afterwards [their club social] which they're more than happy for us to crash, just bring some food and drink for yourself.

Put your name up if interested and I`ll let them know how many are coming or give them a call yourself :-


Here We Go ~ Plymouth 4th & 5th October

Hi all,
I have spoke to Steve at Mountbatten Diving today and booked 10 divers and 2 non-divers for the weekend of the 4 & 5th of October which I hope will be a safer bet weather wise than the last weekend of the month!

The trip is now full but I will take on reserves just in case, and please could you read the t+c`s below along with the full list of divers and non divers:-


Divers and Non-Divers:-
1). Matt D/PAID
2). Sean D/PAID
3). George D/PAID
4). Steve
5). Tad + Nikki
6). Tony(sinkone4seaford)
7). Tracy D/PAID
8 ). Tracy2 D/PAID
9). Anna D/PAID
10).Trez D/PAID
Reserve 1).
Reserve 2).

Lundy Latest

Good news for those on the Lundy Dive Trip:-

- Fresh SSW Winds expected on Saturday , but island provides it's own shelter.
- Milder winds Sunday.
- Max depths 28 to 30 m
- Plenty of seals. Reported to be "frisky with the divers last week-end"
- Obsession II moored in harbour near Pier
- Skipper "Lee"
- Meet at 0900hrs , Ropes Off 0930hrs
- All 12 diver places taken.


My (Not ) Maritime Themed Thunderstorm (Not) Photos

I know its not Diving related but as we are affected by a maritime airstream in this country I will take poetic licence and show off my photo of last nights thunder storm over Chatham ( Chatham has nautical links). is this eligible for the photo contest on the back off the nautical links or am I pushing it plus the other link is that I dive. Shots were taken about 11.00pm and show both sheet and fork lightning.
Still not a patch on yours Jim

Wreck Dive (Newhaven) ~ Saturday 16th August

Had a call last night from another diver in Plumpton, Brian. He and two of his mates have provisionally booked Mistress out of Newhaven for a wreck + drift. They need a minimum of
6 to firm the booking up. Cost approx £40 and I believe ropes off to be 09:00.

TRT will probably be the wreck. Anyone interested out there in MD land?


Sunderland Echo reports on Wreath Laying Dive

The Sunderland Echo ran a piece on the Dive to the T.R.Thompson and wreath laying with Mr Jack on the 22nd July.

The piece was in the Echo yesterday 6th August

Click HERE to view the article.

06 August 2008

Did Someone Mention Seals?

So you reckon I'm tame do you?
One more wrong move from you frog man and I'll savage yer flippers!

Monday at Wraysbury after being blown out on the Allunia

Diving in Norway

Hello Guys.
I've just got back from Norway, diving the WWII wrecks in Narvik harbour and if you are looking for future trips I'd certainly recommend it.
The wrecks were sunk in the two battles of Narvik.
Wikipedia article.
All the wrecks are in less than 30m and remarkably intact, so much so that at times I felt that I was on a film set.
Viz was around 20m and the water temperature ranged from 7-14C. Dives times were usually an hour. Two dives a day. Four merchants, three German destroyers. (we did some twice)
We stayed on the ex Swedish minesweeper M/S Galten which was rugged but a perfect dive platform.
Travel times from the pier to the wreck sites were about ten minutes across the mirror calm harbour. Currents were minimal if not non existent and restricted to the surface.
Air temperatures were shorts and t-shirts most of the time despite being 200 miles inside the Arctic circle.
Meals were cooked on board by the Swedish chef Patrick and they were outstanding. Reindeer stew, Salmon steaks.........
Sunset was err...never.
Kit was collected and shipped across in advance.
Flights were from London Heathrow to Oslo then on to Evenes with a spectacular
mini bus drive around the fjords to Narvik.
Cost was high (ish) but all in, which suited me perfectly. All I had to do was turn up at the airport with some clothes and everything else just happened and what happened was stunning. I'd go again at the drop of a hat.
Some photographs.
If you want more GLOC took some stunners, they are posted on YD, search for Narvik
Hope you have a great trip to Lundy.

04 August 2008

Show Me The Money ~ Forthcoming Trips!

Hi All ,

Phew what a weekend ! I doubt anyone can remember a summers weekend like that stunning diving ,perfect conditions cracking BBQ, oh pants the narcosis has kicked in again!

Well we have a couple of weekends coming up Selsey 25/8 and hopefully Plymouth 4/5th oct but unfortunatley they need paying for so could I ask for the selsey trip to be paid in full (£36) and the deposit for Plymouth £20 paid asap so I can book up cash or cheque will be fine. I also need any non divers names & deposits as well !


Air for Lundy

Hi Chris are we filling up tanks befor we go or when we there

03 August 2008

Just To Think of Sunny Days

Lets hope the suns out for the next BBQ!

Seaford BBQ ~ 3rd August

Weather View ~ Newhaven 1023am Sunday 3rd August


01 August 2008

Master Videographer Tad's Fame Spreads!


Pleased to see that even more of your work is cropping up on the web. The link below takes you to a collection (or of course click on any of the 'video' lables on posts to this blog)) :-

Divers TV

Lundy Dive Trip ~ Now we are Twelve ... again!

Good news! The Lundy Dive Trip (9th & 10th August) is now back up to the full complement of twelve divers! An even number always make the buddying easier! Spekaing of Lundy , the Daily Telegraph carried a photograph of a free-diver coming face to face with a Lundy seal underwater (Page 9 Weds 30th July - can't find it on their website!) . It's a nice photo and reminiscent of the photo on the top right of this blog! The article is good news 'cos it shows:-

1). Good clear vis
2). Plenty of marine life , and
3). Inquisitive seals !

The article includes th efollowing "After one dive in England's only marine reserve, Charlotte Hargreaves 37, from Surrey, said : 'I have dived in Australia, Egypt and the Maldives but that experience beats them all hands down'.

Welcome to top quality UK diving Charlotte, we've been saying that all along! Let's hope the conditions are fine when WE get there!

A Great Dive and Day to Remember