31 December 2008

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a happy New Year to all MDers and their dive buddies. Let's hope that we can make 2009 an active diving year , have fun and support all those who support us and our diving mania!

Its no doubt going to be a tough year with a serious recession on the cards, so let's not forget those who we rely on as they too rely on us as customers. In particular we should not forget the friendship , goodwill and willingness of those who contributed to the socials we have enjoyed , such as the Christmas Party. In particular:-

Graeme at Ocean View
Steve at Channel Divers
Mick at Seazones

Newhaven Shore Dive ~ 4th Jan


This will still be going ahead as long as we don`t get any hurricanes, typhoons or tsunamis in the mean time! Meet at 14.00hrs ready to dive at 14.45hrs , if its blown or latte maybe a mass dive in sheltered waters then off for a beer in the Marina? Only a tenner? It was crystal clear yesterday!

Any way see you guys next year!

30 December 2008

Green Diver

I met-up with MDer Trekker (aka John) today and he told me of his Christmas present - he's going to spend ten days diving Ningaloo Reef , Western Australia in March next year. That news alone was enough for me to become a Green Diver , green with envy that is! Of course I thought I'd do a quick 'Google' to see what was on offer and the first 'Gallery' I came across was THIS ONE.

Take a look and let me know if I'm still the only Green Diver!

29 December 2008

Bowling - Action Needed NOW!!!!

Ok guys. The Bowling is BOOKED!

Tuesday 20th January 2009 at 7.30pm!
Brighton Bowlplex, Brighton Marina

OV have approx 20 bowlers!!! Can we match that???

I now need your money! £14.99 pp - Chris will email all MDers with the payment arrangements / details.

26 December 2008

Holiday headwear anyone?

I have been asked if i will be ordering any Scaps this year and the answer is YES.
These have been invaluable to me this year and should be a must in any divers kit for that extra layer without the need for a hood especially abroad or for those follically challenged who get burn`t heads while snorkelling
Please have a look at the link for colours then post what you would like then pay me in cash/cheque for £20 on the bowling night then we`ll order by the end of the month
if you look hard enough on the Scap site you may see a familiar face modelling underwater- no prizes for the right answer!!


High Water Slack at Newhaven Arm

Can anyone give me the definitive answer to this please? I have been given many different answers from 1.5hrs -0.5hrs before highwater, and how long is slack before it turns.
Seeing as this is home waters for you guy's, 'll ask here!

[Matt , nothing like a good old thorny question on Boxing Day to revive the ailing grey matter! Slack times are a science of their own! I took a look at the PADI website for the answer, it's crammed full of usefull information dive planning as you would expect (;-)) , so check out THIS!]

25 December 2008

Well ? Who Got the Best Diving Present ?

I know some of you will have already unwrapped your prezzies so thought I'd better start this post 'early' , no doubt the 'traditionalists' will be waiting until HM The Queen has done her speech!

24 December 2008

Merry Christmas Take 2

Looks like Tracey beat me to it and I would like agree with what Tracey says but also say that yes its been a brilliant year in lots of ways and Like Tracey I havent dived as much as I would have liked mainly due to the weather but those I have done have been exceptional.

The highlights for me were meeting Mr and Mrs Jack and the success with the Adopt a Wreck Award, but added to that the new friends we have made with Divers from Ocean View and RDC.

Hopefully 2009 will see Meridian Divers grow but equally as important that with any growth is we dont forget where we have come from and support others in the same way we have been supported throughout this year.

So I would also like to say a very big thank you to all the people both within MD and everyone else who have made this a very special year for me and I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and I look forward to diving and all the other stuff with you next year I think you are all great people, people which I class as great friends without exception.

I cant wait to film and edit the 2009 round up



And to the ...bags that nicked my car and kit I hope all your teeth fall out and you choke on your xmas dinner you wont keep me out of the water.

Merry Christmas!!!

I would just like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas & jolly New Year!

I've not done as much diving as I'd have liked this year but one thing I have got this year is lots of new buddies! I would like to thank everyone I've dived with and those who have organised dives, weekends, trips away and socials and to also thank everyone who has attended!!!

Certainly socially it has been a great year and with the bowling already planned for January, 2009 looks set to be the same - let's just hope that we get a bit more diving too!

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

21 December 2008

Newhaven Shore Dive ~ Sunday 4th Jan 2009

Matt is planning a shore dive at Newhaven on Sunday 4th January . Harbour Arm (West) , West Beach / Gullies options . Details to follow . Hope the weather will provide some viz and not an grand impression of a Latte Coffee! If interested let Matt know / add a comment!

20 December 2008

T R Thompson Presentation ~ Friday 9th Jan 2008

For One Night Only ...

OK, you've read the blog, seen the film and got the T Shirt - but NOW you can have the whole story presented to you by master story teller 'Tad' at Ocean View , 7.30pm , Friday 9th January 2009.

For one night only Tad is making a guest appearance at OV to share his experiences behind the lens, the tales of intrigue and daring, the highs and the lows of adopt a wreck project management. Yep, one night only - any atheists should reconsider their beliefs ! One night only? That must be some sort of Divine intervention?

19 December 2008

Swanage Trip ~16-17th May 2009

Hi all,

As the trip is full can I please have full payment £85 (diving only) by the end of January. Dives include Kyarra, Aleolian sky and drifts


Camping Site below :


1.matt PAID
5. chris-p PAID
7. steve l
8. tad
10. gary s
11. prometheus

Plymouth Trip ~ 5th-7th June 2009

The trip is the same one I sorted this year for the absurd deal of £135 for the whole deal with Steve. Details here:-


This trip is open to all now for the remaining spaces, when trip is full Iwill ask for the full amount of trip £135 per diver (Simon will find out about non divers) :-
2. Sean
3. Tracy
4. Anna
5. Steve
6. George
7. Caroline
8. Tad (to confirm)
9. Trez
10. Simon + Linda

18 December 2008

Round up of Meridian Divers and Friends 2008

This is the video and photo round up shown at the christmas dinner. Now I know the music isnt everyones cup of tea, but tough its staying !!

Bowling ~ 20th January 2009

Just a reminder that the next MD event is the bowling evening - 20th January 2009. Really need some more MDs to make up the numbers!!! OV have about 19 so far!!!!!!

It will be held at Brighton Bowlplex, time to be confirmed but looking at around 7.30ish. Food will be buffet and the cost is £14.99 per person. This includes the buffet, shoe hire and 2 games of bowling.

All ages are welcome so bring the kids along (they're probably better than a lot of us!)

We are going to provisionally book this next week but will need to know definate numbers by 4th January 2009.

Christmas Party Comments........

Doh! Done Xmas Party post ... it doesn't look anything like it dis on the screen I was working on ! Never mind you get the idea!!

Top Christmas Dinner Party !

Well, if a round of applause for the staff at the Tudor House Restuarant, Alfriston is any guide I think it's fair to say everyone at the third MD Christmas Dinner had a very enjoyable dinner!

Personally I thought the meal was even better than the dinner we had enjoyed back in July at our Mr Jack Commemorative Dive Dinner.

A clue that the food was exceptionally good was that the MD group are not know for being shy , retiring or quiet ....but yep, it went quiet three times during the evening - just after each course was served!

The 'Diving Dinner' ambience was built by our own videographer and editor , Tad.

Nicki reminded us just how many hours Tad had spent slaving over a hot computer to create a DVD of video and still shots depicting the MD exploits through out the year.

Tad's work was projected on to a screen and the music provided a backdrop to the clatter of cutlery & chinking of glasses!

Linda & Simon get my personal vote of thanks for donating a bottle of Fine Champagne Cognac VSOP to the raffle.

Excellent decision, as was my decision to buy just the right raffle ticket! Cheers!

Still there were plenty of other prizes donated , including places Channel Diver and Sea Zones dive charter boats.

Ocean View Diving donated an Air / Nitrox fill card which will also always be a welcome gift!

They say a picture paints a thousand words - well if that's the case , may be I should let some of the photos speak for themselves .

They do seem to tell a story of people having a great time!

This shot shows Sean discussing 'Bottom Time' with Tracey - Divers eh? Always chatting about some technical matter of another!

And, similarly this shows Matt impressing on other divers the need to keep close to your buddies in poor visibility and in particular to ensure you wear distinctive headgear to aid identification!

Sheila and Ernie were pressed into service as Raffle Organisers. Sheila of course arranged for Ernie to win a major prize just about as fast as she could - well may it was just good luck but Ernie won the "Mr Jack Prize" an electronic photo frame ! Ha ha, all you have got to do now Ernie is take a nice picture or two to put on it!
The Meridian Divers Photo Competition was run and 50 images from the MD blog were projected , votes were taken and the winning photo , by a margin was a photo of "Parsley" the puppy owned by Debbie & Stuart and taken by Tracey! It was a shock result for professional cameraman Steve who had bet a drink from the bar for everyone present if his underwater shots didn't win - nice one Steve - mine's a port & brandy ... large! Tracey went home with more than she bargained for - er, the Photographer of the Year award I mean!
Several other compeitions were decided with Tad being presented with the NAS Adopt -A-Wreck Decanter on behalf of MD for his work on the project AND.... he also won the Meridian Diver of the Year award & trophy for his efforts across the raneg of activities (mind you I think his video work has really been worth a trophy on it's own).
Matt won the MD Pier Diver of the Year accolade , for having dived four different UK piers in the year! I'm sure someone will break that record next year! That's if all the piers don't fall down or burn down!

The Grand Raffle saw many , many winners - far too many to show ALL the photos but not to be left empty handed , Nicki bagged a super MOSCHINO perfum prize.

Santa Claus is usually depicted wearing a red suit so methinks Sheila had that image in her mind when she became cheif raffle caller and prize manager!
Tina's thinking "OK what am I going to do with a free ride on Channel Diver - apart from give it to Matt for his Christmas present"?

Only fair then that Steve , who donated the place on Channel Diver should himself be a winner - looks like one of Sheila's 'secret' prizes - hope you will find in coming in handy Steve!

This shot is of course no reflection of Paul's personal hygiene - it was just a complete coincidence that he should win the pack of assorted smellies! That should make your Christmas more bareable Mandy!

The growing 'Clan Parsons' weren't to be outdone either , I lost count how many prizes they won but I thought I use this photo of Nick with his navigational aid. Knowing how much Nick likes boats this prize will remind him that the left side of the boat with the red light is the PORT side!

Matt puts on a brave face - that lovely Champagne Cognac has already been bagged , it was enough to make him turn to gin!
Poor lad , take care it's mother's ruin you know!

Judging by the smile on Debbie's face she thinks she knows what's inside this long narrow package. Shiela , who is having a laugh at the idea actually does know what's in there - sorry Debbie better luck next time!

Sean had a very clear idea of what prize he wanted - and looking at the smile on his face he must have been promised it.

All told the evening was really fun , the food was super , the staff attentive, the atmosphere lively and most importantly the company excellent. It was also good to see a couple of our dive buddies who coldn't make the whole evening pop-in for a Christmas Drink. Sadly , due to work another couple of MD chums couldn't make it and Matt C , who is only briefly back in the UK from Malta also (sadly) missed a great night out!
Best wishes to all Meridian Divers and their families for a very happy Christmas and New Year. We hope to see you all in the water and at the socials next year - and don't forget the Bowling Challenge fast approaching! It's going to be a challenge to do a better Christmas Dinner next year - but ...we are up for it!

15 December 2008

Polo shirts & Fleeces Update

There here.

I will be bringing them to the dinner . Payment required on delivery (£16.00 Polo shirts and £25.00 Fleeces)



MD Christmas Dinner at The Tudor House Restaurant

Hi y'all,

We're getting close now ... to the MD Christmas Dinner at the Tudor House Restaurant , High Street , Alfriston , East Sussex on Wednesday 17th December.

For those of you who need a little help in finding it click HERE

For those of you who want some last minute info on the place click HERE

The rendezvous time is 7.30pm for drinks in readiness for 8.00pm at the table!

There is adequate parking in Alfriston but you may have to walk a few hundred metres! Take care if there is rain !

Looking forward to seeing you all there. In addition to the raffle, several MD challenges / competitions will be decided on the night! With awards & trophies to the winners. The raffle has a good selection of prizes including:-

* Air / Nitrox Card from Ocean View Diving
* A Place on a Boat Charter from Sea Zones
* A Place on a Boat Charter from Channel Diver
* The 'Mr Jack' Prize (Donated by Mr Norman Jack)
* Diving Equipment
* A bottle of Brandy
* A bottle of Gin

(Don't forget you can add more to the raffle prizes if you wish! All donations gratefully received)

13 December 2008

Polo Shirts and Fleeces

Polo shirts and fleeces should be ready to bring to the dinner on Wednesday.
I have sent an Email to everyone who has ordered one.
It is not too late to order if you wish to be stylish. The cost is £16.00 for the Polo Shirts and £25.00 for the fleeces.

12 December 2008

Extreme Underwater Ironing

Anyone up for some household chores?
I'm thinking about going.


"On the 10th January 2009 the National Diving & Activity Centre and Yorkshire Divers will be hosting a Guinness World Record Extreme Ironing Event. You are invited to take part in this event and raise money For the RNLI; a charity providing 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The sport that is 'extreme ironing' is an outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an 'extreme' sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. It involves taking an iron and board to remote locations and ironing a few items of laundry. Our Guinness World Record attempt will be for the most number of divers underwater ironing at the same time.

The present record is currently held at 72 by an Australian group - we think that you can do better than that, so here is your opportunity to join in!"

07 December 2008

Party on down!

Last night The Holiday Inn in Brighton did not know what had hit them as 30 members of Ocean View descended on them at their Party Night.
Myself, Sean and Trez trekked over to Brighton and met up with everyone in the lounge bar. By time we arrived most had passed out due to the alcohol - well, the prices of them anyway. Matt was revived after having to part with nearly £12 for 2 drinks!

With a little help from the local Off-Licence things soon got going and we all took our seats to be fed and entertained. Divided over 3 tables, it was deemed from the start that our table would be the noisiest and we did not disappoint! Following a meal that was ok, and 2 free bottles of sparkling wine (one courtesy of Holiday Inn, the other thanks to Wendy and her winning the game of heads & tails!!) the music started and we put on our dancing shoes.

All to soon, us oldies found it too much (let's face it - one glass & I'm out of it!) and we had to leave the younger ones (and those who were passed caring!) to it!

Matt is compiling a gallery and I will be taking cash or cheques for those photos that should NEVER be shown!!!!

05 December 2008

Thanks Buds!

Just one more image from the South Male Atoll showing my dive buds and, er OK, me! And a chance to thank them for their company and good buddying!

This photo was taken after the House Reef (North) dive and shows L to R : Marlis, André , Guenther, and I. It was taken as we exited by some hapless passer by who was pressed into photograhic service! Yes, I know , don't put your mask on your head! But when you have little hair you have to mask it somehow , boom boom!

04 December 2008

Christmas Dinner ~ 17th December

Just to let MDers know, I have now sent the menu choices to the Tudor House Restaurant (there have been no changes notified to me following my 'check' email of 9th November).

I believe that there are one or two people who wish to attend but who haven't yet notified me of their meal choices or paid . If there is someone who has not given me their choices & their cheque they are NOT included on the list sent to the restaurant.

If this applies to you and you do want to attend you should contact me immediately.

03 December 2008

Stolen Kit

Late this afternoon My car was stolen from outside my house in Walderslade. Having dropped off my Twins to be filled my Dive Rite wings & 3 sets of scubapro regs, weight belt black Gates dry suit and a box of assorted equipment were still in the boot of my car. The car was stolen within an hour of getting home and still day light the car was stolen by a window being smashed.

If you see any dive kit being advertised or hear of anything being sold on the cheap I would appreciate you letting me know.


Last Chance to Party!!!!

Ocean View are having the party of the year this Saturday and there are still a few places left.

It would be great if some Meridian Divers could join us at The Holiday Inn, Brighton. Price is £29.95 for 3 course meal & juice fm disco (There's also the entertainment (Trez, Tracey & Anna - need I say more!!!!)

If you want to join us, give Graeme/OV a call on 01903 767224

02 December 2008

Life on the South Male Atoll

I am hugely conscious that in writing this dive report I might be tempted to mirror that time honoured start of school term essay 'What I did in my summer holidays' but to do so would be so 'me, me, me' that I would run the disturbing risk of upsetting some faint heart! So to prevent that awful occurrence I'm going to write about a mate who recently went diving in the South Male Atoll.

My Mate (MM) (not to be confused with a yeast extract sandwich spread) , went diving with Ocean Venture Diving (OVD) based on the tiny ilsand of Fihalhohi on the South-West of South Male Atoll. OVD is a German operated SSI Platinum Dive Centre. The SSI agency was created by some divers who were part of PADI but decided to go their own way. They are a very friendly bunch and some of the staff have been on the island for many years.

MM did nine dives which is not a lot in a fortnight but he didn't want to upset my wife, er, I mean his wife, by being underwater too much! A quick summary of his dives was:-

1. House Reef (South ), 67 Mins , Max Depth 18.3m
2. Banner Reef, 54 Mins, Max Depth 20.7m
3. Rannalhi Bodul Giri, 52 Mins , Max Depth 22m
4. Kandoma Beru, 52 Mins, Max Depth 20.6m
5. Vaageli Faru Tila, 36mins, Max Depth 29.9m
6. Rannahli Bodul Faru North , 49 Mins, Max Depth 18.6m
7. Endiri Giri , 51 Mins, Max Depth 23.2m
8. House Reef (North), 62 Mins, Max Depth 16.8m
9. Guradoo Kuda Kandu, 50 Mins, Max Depth 25.3m

The visibility was mostly in the 15 to 20m range with a couple of dives a little less. The water was a little warmer than Stoney at 28 Deg C every day. All diving was done on 12 Litre Aluminium tanks filled with air (though Nitrox was available - but with an old gas gulper like MM there was not much point having Nitrox in 12 Litre tanks , 'cos the gas went before the NDL!).

Some of the dives were in current , some a moderate current which kept the old biffer puffing away as white tip reef sharks effortlessly headed straight into it with barely any movement in their fins. The coral in some of the dives has (sadly) seen better days but the often strong currents in the Maldives does give you the chance of seeing some bigger life. So White Tips & Napolean Wrasse were reasonably easy to spot. Spotting black tip reef sharks was even easier for MM as they swam around the shoreline all the time.

The island has readily accessible snorkeling and diving alsmost around it's entire circumference and snorkelling over the drop-off almost every day it was possible to see almost as much as by diving , just less of the bigger stuff! That said rays & turtles are regularly seen whilst snorkeling.

All boat diving is done from Dhonis (wide, shallow keel, wooden boats with cover from the sun) and the Dhonis daily criss cross the Atoll going from East to West Sides. A slow Dhoni ride across the width of the entire atoll would take about 45 minutes.

I believe MM enjoyed his little stay on the island , a gin & tonic on the beach watching the sun go down seemed to round off a days hard graft wrestling with all that heavy SCUBA stuff.

Oh - and here (above) is the obligatory Clown Fish shot! Apologies on behalf of MM for that further self-indulgence!

More Local Diving ~ Sovereign Divers

Congratulations to Sovereign Divers on the start-up of their new blog.

In recent years there has almost been a rebirth of local diving, with new firms, new clubs , new boats and lots of new blogs, it's very encouraging (especially in the economic climate) . The local growth in diving & diving facilities may give boost to the 'sink-one' campaign, which could yet become a 'Sink-one-for-Sussex' scale project.

01 December 2008

T R Thompson - 14th December 2008 - Update

Channel Diver is now full for this dive. The following are booked on.
1. Ernie
2. Tracey
3. Sean
4. Gary
5. Terry
Fingers crossed for the weather now!

Shark Dive ~ Brighton Sea Life Centre ~ Sunday 14th Dec

Unfortunately i have 2 spaces for this dive experience on the above date for reasons that can`t be helped.
The cost of this dive is £90 payable to OV but £95 if paying by card
For the price of your ticket you also recieve full admission for 2 people to watch/record your shark experience,so once your dive is finished feel free to tour the sea life centre and see there new attractions
This is a unique chance to dive with a variety of sharks plus not forgetting the stars of the show the 2 very large turtles also many different species of fish without the need to fly halfway round the world.
If you are intrested in this dive please post your comment or contact me or Ocean view

ps. if you don`t get on this dive i`m more than happy to run some more dive`s next year if i get enough intrest.