29 October 2008
A special welcome to Parsley our newest member and clearly a well qualified and vocal GSD!
28 October 2008
Could be worth sending an MD contigent along. Maybe you planning on becoming a DM and would like to come along (Simon)
If you're planning your diary for 2009 make Monday 9th February a date to come to Bristol for this annual industry seminar.
It's an opportunity to mingle with industry colleagues, and hear presentations on topics affecting our market from other industry stakeholders.
There's also an industry dinner where you can let your hair down after a good day's networking.
post a comment if interested
26 October 2008
Challengers are asked to add their names to this post or email me if they are rather shy! Simple rules again , the MDer who has dived the MOST Piers (different Piers, not numbers of Pier dives!) during the period 1st january 2008 to 10th December 2008 (inc) will be the winner! In the event of a tie , the most MDer with the most pier dives will win!
Any UK pier is eligible. Diving glory awaits!
A small prize will be awarded at the MD Christmas Dinner so it makes sense to have all those who attend the Dinners as the 'voters'!
I think the simplest way is 'first past the post' i.e. everyone at the Dinner will get one vote and the photo with the most votes wins!
ONLY photos that are directly shown in post on the Blog between 1st January 2008 and 10th December 2008 will be eligible (allows time to collate the images for voting). Photos on linked albums or others sites do not qualify. Photos must be taken by a MDer. Qualifying photos will be shown at the Dinner.
Should be a bit of fun!
22 October 2008
The MD Christmas Dinner & Recompression Chamber Visit will be amongst the items discussed.
21 October 2008
The following are already booked on the trip.
20 October 2008
19 October 2008
17 October 2008
I have no idea how many emails support the MD blog work but the figure must be getting close to the size of the US Bank Bail-Out figures! I do know that my address book is mainly populated by divers and with over 1200 addresses it would be difficult to send out enough emails to keep everyone up to speed. So thank goodness for blogging as an aid to wider communication. Is it possible for any local diver NOT to have surfed our blog by now? Today I looked back over my old Scuba Updates (emailed newsletters before the blogging revolution) , no wonder I need more memory on this computer, there are 195 of them each several pages long dating back to the start of the new millenium! Not quite Samuel Pepys diaries but an archive of diving history in their own right! See West Sussex you're not the only archivists!
I have my fingers firmly crossed for Meridian Divers in the NAS Adopt-A-Wreck Awards next month. And if we are succesful may be it will be a good time to email all 1200+ and celebrate just how far the Meridian Divers network has come! Keep up the good work!
16 October 2008
I offered to put together a presentation and treck down to Chichester on what was one of the best weekends of diving weather we have had for a long time to give the talk along with 3 other speakers giving presentations with a Nautical or Maritime Archaeological Theme.
The other topics included Lost ships found a talk by Ian Friel , Diving into History from our old friend and N.A.S project mentor Ian Barefoot and West Sussex Settlements Lost To The Sea, a talk by John Mills West Sussex County Archaeologist For those of you that live in West Sussex there maybe some good opportunities to find the remains of some of the villages and buildings that have disappeared into the channel in the past. Could be a possible link up here if we could come up with a project plan.
I was last up but there had been some technical difficulties earlier which meant that the previous presenter overrun which cut my slot a lot shorter. I had prepared a 41 power point presentation which included some of the video footage and photographs we have captured over the past year. I also took along a selection of diving equipment (as most of the 30 strong audience were non divers )to illustrate what sort of kit we need to work on the project underwater.
Due to having to be cut short it looks like Meridian Divers will have another invite to tell the story of the TRT project again in the near future. Other offers for the group to talk about the project have been made so watch this space. Any volunteers?
15 October 2008
a). Those of you who haven't given me your meal choices please do so soon !
b). I have sent an email (15th Oct) to all those on the Christmas Dinner list asking you for your cheques!
c). If you haven't had a Christmas Dinner email from me you are not on the Dinner list, if you want to join-in let me know.
14 October 2008
RIDDOR - The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, did you know that certain injuries or occurences in work situations are reportable to the Health & Safety Executive ? This is in addition to any diving agency reporting requirements.
Decompression illness is a reportable disease under the Regulations and reportable dangerous occurences (near misses) include failure or endangering of diving equipment, the trapping of a diver, an explosion near a diver, or an uncontrolled ascent.
To learn more about RIDDOR and how to make a report click HERE
13 October 2008
Full story on the MCA website click HERE
Meridian Divers wish a speedy recovery to all those divers involved.
[Update - Good news, two of the three didn't get bent! False alarm -good intent!]
On reaching the wreck we found the shot line had taken us directly on to the big holds with bags of cement all neatly laid out where they had been placed 90 years before.
The viz was excellent, at least 4 metres. As we drifted over the cement bags we found a very large conger and lobsters in various nooks and crannies. We swept over and around the stern finding another four congers as we went. The shoals of fish were so prolific you could not see through them. We made our way forward to reach the bows and back to the holds with the cement bags.
All too quickly our time was up and we had to start making our ascent. Back on board Seazones we were, as usual, very well looked after by the skipper Mick and indulged in his famous scones.
Jim, Therese and Ernie decided to duck out of the second dive, so new MD Chris Adams buddied with a member of Crawley BSAC.
Sorry no pictures, someone didn't bring their camera !
All in all a very good dive.
11 October 2008
09 October 2008
A seal has been spotted hauling out on the beach at Seaford, East Sussex. If anyone is in the area can they keep an eye out for it and check what condition it is in please. Obviously it may move about and be found at nearby beaches too. There is probably nothing wrong with it but it would be nice to check and confirm that it is ok.
Please keep Sharon Gisby Sussex & Surrey Co-ordinator and ourselves at BDMLR HQ informed of anything you see.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue Reg Charity 803438
08 October 2008
After that date Tony Backhurst will take back the spaces and fill them.
Spaces so far booked are:-
07 October 2008
The conference has a Maritime theme and the day will consist of talks about
Lost ships found a talk by Ian Friel, writer and naval historian, with examples of Sussex wrecks and projects , illustrated by slides.
Diving into History a talk by Ian Barefoot, he will explore the joint initiative with The ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’ and the Nautical Archaeology Society, bringing Maritime heritage to life.
1-2pm Lunch. There are plenty of places to eat near to the office, and in the town.
The afternoon session begins at 2pm with
West Sussex Settlements Lost To The Sea, a talk by John Mills, looking at settlements and ports of West Sussex that have been inundated by the sea.
Adopt a wreck project a talk by Tad Taberer who dives with a group of divers who are passionate about shipwrecks. Tad will talk about why they dive shipwrecks and their joint project with the Nautical Archaelogical Society on the wreck of the SS T.R. Thompson. Includes video clips and photos of diving on the wreck of the Thompson.
The conference will be all day and will cost you £10 and include light refreshments
If you are interested in going as it should be an interesting day let me know asap as they need to know numbers.
The venue is
3 Orchard Street
06 October 2008
First off a big thanks and well done to Matt for putting the trip together we all know what a nightmare it is to co-ordinate something like this and it all went swimmingly well apart from the the weather yet again.
With an uneventful trip down to Plymouth I was the last to arrive having been caught up in the usual traffic hot spots heading towards the west country. On arriving at Mountbatten Guest House my boot refused to lock and alarm refused to switch off thanks to Steve L for given me a hand strip down the door and sorting out the issue I know you missed some drinking time thanks mate.
Once booked into the guest house which I must say is most luxurious B&B I have ever stayed in and a real credit to the owners Steve and Sue who also own and run the hard boat we were going to use MV Endeavour.
After meeting up at the pub around the corner we invaded the local Indian takeaway/restaurant which was interesting to say the least. A sign said it had been refurbished but I assume that this refurbishment was carried out in the 1960's. Also it had reserved signs on some of the tables but I assume that was for some of our 4 or eight legged friends. The food was ok though and no one seemed to have any nasty after effects.
The following day loomed dull and gloomy but there was a chance that we may get out so with the 2 minute drive to the boat mooring we loaded the kit onto the boat and as per the boat name endeavoured to see if we could get out to the wreck sites but it soon became apparent that it wasnt going to be so we made do with a dive on the Breakwater fort a marine Martello tower like structure. The dive itself was a pleasant bimble at around 12m deep loads of life and loads of wreckage including a cannon and a small wreck of some sort of tender. We also spotted a John Dory which after many years of diving ahs always alluded me. 59 minutes later saw as surfacing and hoisted back onto the boat by the diver lift.
Lunch on board was a choice of bread and soup or pot noodles plus teas and coffees. After a tour around Plymouth Harbour the wind still hadn't abated so the next dive saw us diving a 40m drop of known as the Barn Bowl although the vis wasn't as good as the previous dive it was still a pleasant enough bimble.
The evening saw the OV MD group meet a a local restaurant based within a MOD Garrison 10 minutes walk from the B&B with the evening entertainment being supplied by Anna & Imogen it was a lively and very funny end to a good day. The food was pretty good too apart from Matt asking the waitress what the pork was like and being told she wouldn't eat it herself mmmm great sales technique lady.
Sunday dawned and the wind had increased and the rain was still pouring and rightly so Steve the skipper canned the Dive. So plan B was put into motion we were to approach the National Aquarium by water, storm the entrance on masse, confuse the ticket staff and get in for the Kiddies price we were then going to Hi jack the ROV exhibition Steve and Sean were to take on the local 10 year old wizz kid and beat her at the ROV Assault course the plan worked the 10 year old was beaten by our 2 heroes although chivalrous to the end Steve gave up his prize of an ROV Pilot Badge to the distraught youngster. We planned to dress George up as a mermaid and get him to do 50 lengths of the main exhibition tanks whilst dodging the man eating gobies . We were then going to pretend we were all Stevie Wonder impersonators by wearing dark glasses and invading the inhouse 4D cinema. The plan worked but a mermaid suit couldn't be found that would fit George so we skipped that bit.
With the successful invasion of Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium over we retired to a nearby Sports bar for some grub and probably the worst cheese burger I have ever eaten and then wasted.
Although the weather once again got the better of us the weekend was a great laugh with some great people. Once again thanks Matt for the organising and thanks to everyone for an enjoyable if noisy and at time raucous weekend. Role on the next one.
For great value and quality I would definitely recommend the Mountbatten Guest House and /their Charter Boat service.Thanks to Steve and Sue Woodman http://scyllareefdivecharter.co.uk/
The Rock and Rollers wereCaroline
We arrived at the Mountbatten guest house at @18.00pm and were greeted by Steve,Sue and Eric(there Shitzu dog) our host`s for the weekend and were shown to our rooms to sort ourselves out,well to say we were gobsmacked would be an understatement i haven`t been in show homes that well tastefully decorated or kept let alone a low priced package deal for divers accommodation,most of you would expect a bunk house for the price,Tad had stayed in hotels all week and this place kicked all of them into touch.Once we were all settled in,rooms sorted out,wet drysuits(1 inside and out!)hung up we crossed the road to become acquainted with the Royal Oak pub for a swift half then onto Lackey`s curry house for dinner all of which was very entertaining and a great way for some people to get to know everyone who were new to Meridian divers/Ocean view partnership.
Saturday morning started after a very comfortable nights sleep then down to breakfast for 08.00am now for those who know me this may be a surprise but the full English Steve & Sue served i struggled with and to be honest was one of the best i`ve had and i`m a truck driver whose had a few!that said if you didn`t want a fry up there was cereals,toast etc on offer.
We made our way down to the boat m.v Explorer which was fully kitted out with lift,toilets,lots of space and deck shelter ,which was just round the corner alongside the Mountbatten centre pontoon and loaded the dive kit and we also saw were Indeep dive centre is situated right next to the pontoon,result!
Steve informed us that the weather was a bit on and off at the moment so we would have a look to see if we could out to the Syclla which is why we came but if not had some guaranteed harbour diving if need be down to 30-40m,don`t forget this is a big harbour with some cracking dives in it,unfortunately the weather was to big to make it round the headland so we dived the Breakwater Fort ,i really enjoyed this dive it was @ 12m a good rumage plenty of life and a wreck and cannon thrown in with good vis 5-7m and no current,back onboard we had a bit of lunch and a tour of the harbour while waiting for the weather to calm down but to no avail so we dived Barn pool a drift dive spitting distance from a beach which went down to 30m+.
We got back to the pontoon and walked our cylinders to Indeep diving centre for filling for Sunday morning fingers crossed that we could dive the Scylla & J.E.Layne at this point i have to take my hat off to Indeep and especially Matt who worked there one of our divers Anna her neckseal had got a hole and he offered to put a seal on overnight for a very good price and dry off all the wet suits and cossies with no drama`s,now thats service.
The night out saw us booked into a local pub the Clevaly by Steve only 5 mins walk alongside the river(take a camera) and in the garrison,a really well priced meal with really good portions even if the waitress didn`t really like anything on the menu herself,try the pork belly really filled a hole,then back to the Royal Oak for a night cap before crashing out.
Sunday`s breakfast was every bit as good as before but we took our time because the weather had taken a turn for the worse overnight and was blowing a force 9 so with the diving canned for the day we decided to go to the National Marine Aquarium which was a short ferry ride away and have a look around before setting off for the drive back to Sussex and it was well worth it the large tanks are stunning, R.O.V racing was good fun and the 4d cinema was worth the £2 entry fee, we got a group discount when we said we were divers from £11 to £7.50 and the Scylla project was worth looking at,all in all it was a great weekend and i can thoroughly recommend Steve and Sue at the Mountbatten dive charter/guest house it was worth every penny we booked again for next year already!
Thanks to everyone who made the trip i really enjoyed the weekend and the company shame about the weather so fingers crossed for better weather in June `09.
05 October 2008
Meet 06:45 (Newhaven)
Ropes off 07:30
Max depth. approx. 34 metres.
Confirmed divers are:-
Fingers crossed for good weather.
02 October 2008
At the mo it`s supposed to be force 7-8 but when i spoke to Steve he was at the harbour looking at a flat calm sea . So on the info I`ve been given were off any prob`s call me
01 October 2008
Those indicating an intention to attend are as follows:-
The intended visit will be on Saturday 8th November . There is an option to stay overnight . This presents a problem for those originally intending to visit the Recompression Chamber on Sun 9th November and this has now (almost) been resolved by the Chamber places now (almost) being taken by others!
The WWW url on the NAS link (below) provides more detail regarding the conference. If you are interested in attending the NAS Conference add a comment or let me know.
As we are now travelling 2 days earlier, and thus missing Good Friday, I tried to get a reduction in the cost but to no avail. I have managed to get an extension to 21st October for payment of deposits. So those of you that are umming and ahring you have more time to make your mind up and get your deposit paid.
If you have not already registered your interest and would like to join us or would like more information please put a comment on the blog.