31 August 2008
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
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
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
Diving & Social Trips have been planned for :-
2. Channel Islands
4. Egypt (see Red Sea Liveaboard post)
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)!!
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:-
10. Steve L
13. Terry B
25 August 2008
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!
ps.well done to Caroline you were spot on !
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
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
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!!!!
21 August 2008
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
17 August 2008
16 August 2008
13 August 2008
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
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!
The following are booked on with their preference:
1. Ernie - Braunton
2. Therese - Clodmoor
3. Jim - Braunton
6. Chris TRT
11 August 2008
Drop me an email or add a comment if you intend to come along.
10 August 2008
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.
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!
07 August 2008
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 :-
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
5). Tad + Nikki
7). Tracy D/PAID
8 ). Tracy2 D/PAID
9). Anna D/PAID
- 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.
- NO NITROX AVAILABLE
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?
The piece was in the Echo yesterday 6th August
Click HERE to view the article.
06 August 2008
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.
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.
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
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 !
03 August 2008
01 August 2008
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!