This trip started out on Friday in what could be said a bit of a rush after myself,Anna & Sean were still training in B`ton marina at 11.30am and we had arranged to meet at Ocean view at @12-12.30 to leave for Plymouth,but with a bit of help from everyone and a really understanding boss(cheers Graeme!!)we were on the road.
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.