25 December 2009

Marsa Alam Video

Another genuine Christmas present ... this time details of a YouTube video posted by dive buddy Jan from the September 2009 visit to Marsa Alam ...lovely colours! Well done Jan!

Oh, and there are some super shots of Dennis the Dugong in this video! And if that sea creature isn't amazing enough , take a look at Jan's octopus video, which shows what a wonderful master of disguise the octopus is!

Happy Christmas to All Our Readers

Happy Christmas to all MDers and to all our many readers! We received a Christmas present from Canada today, details of the that are shown on our 'sister' blog on the Wreck of the T R Thompson, click HERE to read more about that.

Best wishes to you all and good diving for 2010.


23 December 2009

Taba, Egypt ~ Only a Month Ago

Paul: "I tell you, it was that big!"

Andy, with the Egypt / Israel border fence on the rocks above

PADI Paddling Practice!

With snow , freezing conditions, black ice, rain and all the other English winter 'goodies' it's hard to remember it was only last month that three of us were diving of the coast of Taba. My dive buddy Paul , has sent some shots he took which I'll have to add to refresh myself of the contrast!

Happy Christmas Too!

Due to a number of reasons I am not able to get down to deliver cards etc before Xmas so to add to Ernie and Sheila's previous post I would like to add my happy Christmas greetings to all Meridian Divers and friends plus any others who read this blog!

Happy Xmas From Tad

20 December 2009

Christmas & New Year Greetings

Ernie & I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. Looking forward to some good holidays, diving and social evenings in 2010.


P.S. See Meridian Mutts re: New Year Walk.

17 December 2009

Christmas Dinner 2009 ~ Done!

The Meridian Divers' Christmas Dinner was held at the Berwick Inn, Berwick on Wednesday 16th December. The Berwick Inn has been under new management since last April and landlord , Tony, has done a great deal on improving the Inn and creating a very welcoming atmosphere.

The 'traditional' MD pursuits of a Christmas raffle and Photo Competition were honoured. The photo competition was a challenge with over 100 photos taken from the blog over the last year being viewed, well just about anyway! Ernie took pole position with his black tipped reef shark , photo'd in the Caribbean !

After the dinner there was a compered quiz that had been arranged by the Inn and prizes were awarded for the winners, again courtesy of Tony , which we thought was a very friendly gesture.

The cold and dark night made us all think of warmer seas and good viz, lets hope we can get those plans acted upon as 2010 unfolds.

16 December 2009

Diver Magazine ~ Meridian Divers & TWSAC

Meridian Divers & Tunbridge Wells Sub Aqua Club are mentioned extensively in an article by John LIDDIARD entilted "Newhaven New Identities" that is published in the DIVER Magazine (January 2010 edition, pages 72 to 76). The article covers several wrecks and in particular the T R Thompson , the subject of Meridian Divers NAS Wreck Project. John's article has some new pictures and extends our knowledge of the wreck , it really helps to have an expert on the team!

The article also promotes the Meridian Divers blog which is linked to our project blog. We hope that the national publicity will draw attention to the T R Thompson and that it will lead to even more people contacting us with more information . The project blog is a treasure chest of information on the wreck and we hope it will be a benfit to divers with an interest in the wreck's history.

14 December 2009

Wreck Database & UK Hydrographic Service

The wrecksite has signed a license agreement with the UK Hydrographic Office and is now the most comprehensive resource of information about shipwrecks around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland.

Along with over 40,000 positions reported, it displays these wrecks on 172 true maritime charts. This includes over 25,600 detailed survey reports , derived from the UK Hydrographic Office database.

All of this information is available for a small annual subscription fee of 25 euros: sign up at www.wrecksite.eu

13 December 2009

Raffle - Christmas Dinner

We will be doing the raffle again at the dinner. Prizes would be gratefully received.

Images of a small island

We left London on a cold and rainy November morning and arrived in the Turks & Caicos Islands (T.C.I.) to a very comfortable 28 degrees.

We stayed at the Beaches Resort in Grace Bay. This resort was absolutely fantastic. It had 16 Restaurants from white glove service down to an American Fifties Dinner (yes we ate at all of them).

This was an all inclusive holiday which really was all inclusive.We did not have to spend a penny whilst there. There was even a bar in our room with every alcoholic drink you could think of (shame we don't drink). For those who want to be active there was a fully equipped gym and spa complex. All the water sports were included, hobbie cats, kayaks, water bikes, snorkelling (off shore and boat) and last but not least 2 dives a day with a choice of four dive boats from a very well run dive centre.

Just one of the dive boats we used

As well as five pools there was a large water park for the children

White sand and blue sea. What more could you want?
Below is a selection of the marine life we encountered on our 20 dives.

Goodbye from T.C.I.

10 December 2009

Halcyon Equipment Workshop ~Saturday 12th December

Halcyon have agreed to put on an equipment workshop at Ocean View this Saturday,they will be bringing along about 6 sets of equipment including single tank systems as well as twin set up's including the new Cinch set up,8.5L cylinders,torches etc etc.
There will be a chance to try these sets out in the pool between 12.00 and 3.00pm they will also be bringing some of their other products for people to look at.
If there is anything that anyone genuinly would like to look at, let Graeme know and he will call them.

If you are interested please call Ocean view on 01903 767224

All welcome and a happy Christmas to you all.

08 December 2009

All you ever didn't want to know about Diving Cylinders

For all info the latest update on the manufacture , inspection & carriage of diving cylinders , click HERE!

22 November 2009

Muddy Puddle Dive Anyone

Its that time of year again, the summer is a long way off and I dont know about everyone else but I am starting to get withdrawl symptons.

I am up for suggestions for a dip in a local puddle or maybe think about one a bit further afield .

Post a comment if interested.

18 November 2009

Taba ~ Frog Fish Fables

All-white Frog Fish

Just back from another jaunt over to the Red Sea at Taba. Taba is situated right on the Egyptian / Israeli border . The marine border is marked in a low key way by having two Egyptian Police Officers sitting in a small dinghy , probably the worst posting there is!
Moray Eel

It was a bit of a lazy holiday in diving terms, with just five dives (2x shore dives, 3x boat dives), my diving buds were Paul and Andy. I have trained them both in the past and previously signed-off Paul's MSD and some specialties for Andy, so it was nice just to do some relaxing dives.

Traditional 'turning-left' signal!

We dived with Aqua Sport who have dive centres at the adjacent Hilton & Movenpick Hotels, both right on the waters edge. We saw frog fish on every dive , several frog fish on some dives. I learnt that photographing them was easy as they just sit still for you ....but that it's not easy to get a good photo of fish that are so highly camouflaged that they are hard to see in the view finder and the final shot! The solution is to find the plain coloured ones which curiously seemed harder to find (or they were just less in number!).

No dive complete without a clown fish pic!

The dive time limit at Aqua Sport is 45 minutes , although with such personal service my average dive time over the five was 48 minutes. Most of the staff we met and dived with were Egyptian , although Karina , a German Instructor led the boat dives.

Say "Arrrrh" for the camera!

The coral was not the best I have seen in the Red Sea but it encouraged a close look to find interesting marine life and in that regard there was plenty to see.

Soft Coral Snacker!

10 November 2009

Christmas Dinner

I am still waiting for some deposits & menu choices!! An email has been sent to those concerned but if you want to come & not yet paid or given me your choices you need to do so by the END OF THIS WEEK!

There are still places available so email me or add a comment

Thank you

07 November 2009

Tech Talk at Ocean View

I trundled down to Ocean View to listen to the the talk given by Mark Powell as an intro to Tech Diving. Having done the PADI tec rec course almost 10 years ago I thought it may be a good idea to refresh myself on what is happening around the training of Tech Divers and maybe look at opportunities to update skills that I haven't really used since doing the course.

Mark's talk was very informative and gave me the itch to carry out a refresher couse on the tech basics and perhaps progress to the next level, trimix.

The benefit of this sort of diving to me is that I may not necessarily want to dive to great depths, but to do the dives I do now for longer and with a clearer head. So Mark I may well be knocking on your door next year.

Thanks to Ocean View for the invite to the talk and an enjoyable evening.

To see the courses Mark has to offer, go to his website at www.dive-tech.co.uk


02 November 2009

Pool Session - Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne

Pool Session - 3/11/09 (Tuesday)

Meet at 19:45.
When you arrive at the Pool go towards the car park and then turn right into a slip road at the side of the building.

Sheila & Ernie
Chris & Sue

See you there.

01 November 2009

Marine Conservation Zones off the Sussex Coast

On Monday 2nd Novenber at 7.30pm on BBC One , Inside Out South East takes a close up look at Marine Conservation Zones - one of the hottest topics for naturalists across Sussex today. For video , links and more information cick HERE.

For information on delivering marine conservation zones and the wok of Balance Seas click HERE. Balanced Seas is one of four regional projects in England that will work with sea users and interest groups to identify and recommend Marine Conservation Zones to Government. These new protected areas will be designated at the end of 2012.

26 October 2009

Seazones - Saturday 31st October

Message from Mick Luff:

Spaces available on Seazones on Saturday, diving the Brisbane (28 metres max) followed by a drift. Ropes off Newhaven 07:45.

If interested phone Mick on 07729 277651


Mark Powell Talk ~ 7.30pm Friday 6th November

Hi all,
Just thought I'd post this to see if anyone would like to attend Oceanview on the above date for a talk/presentation given by one of Britain's leading technical instructors Mark Powell.

The talk will have something for everybody, especially aimed at recreational divers looking to go further and deeper or stay longer including redundancy, kit configuration, basic deco, advanced nitrox, trimix and not forgetting intro into technical diving.

The talk is already filling-up so if anyone is interested please let me know numbers either by email mattwest1@hotmail.co.uk or by phone, Tad and Tracy have my mobile number and are free to give it out.

If anyone went to the diveshow you'll know Mark's talk was one of the highlight's and was standing room only on both days.


Many thanks


25 October 2009

Meridian Diver Film Night ~ Wednesday 3rd February

Following the last MD Meeting I have booked Wednesday 3rd February 2010 at Arlington Village Hall for the next MD Film Night. More details to follow. I imagine the usual light refreshments , film & photo show will be the style of the evening.

24 October 2009

Easter Monday 5th April 2010

I have booked Seazones on Easter Monday for Meridian Divers. We know this is well in advance but if you wish to secure a place please post a comment.

Times and where we will be diving will be discussed nearer the time.


1. Chris
2. Ernie
3. Simon

Pool Session - Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne

The diving pit has been booked to Meridian Divers on Tuesday 3rd November between 8 and 9 p.m. Cost will be £5.00 per person.

Anyone wishing to get wet please post a comment.


1. Tracey
2. Chris
3. Sue
4. Ernie
5. Sheila
6. Therese

20 October 2009

Meridian Monkeys Go Ape!

Doh! I have posted pictures and words from the Sunday 18th October "Go APE" adventure day on the Meridian Mutts blog by mistake! Double Doh! Oh well follow THIS LINK to view them!

Holland 5 Diving Opportunity

At the meeting last week I mentioned that Jamie from TWSAC was applying for a licence to dive the Holland 5 submarine next year. TWSAC has offered any Meridian Divers the opportunity to be named on the licence to dive this protected wreck as guests of TWSAC on their ribs.

If you are interested please add a comment including your dive qualifications, experience and if you have any maritime archeological experience such as N.A.S dont worry if you dont have this it wont prevent you diving the wreck.

The object of the dives will be to gather photo, video and marine life data plus general visual inspection which can be added to the data already gathered.


NAS Link to Holland V Project , Click HERE

Mira Dive from Buccaneer

A chilly start saw Ernie and me leaving Shoreham harbour aboard Chris Wests Buccaneer on Sunday.With bright autumn sunshine skipper Chris decided to head east to the wreck of the Mira. With flat seas all week and no rain plus good vis reports during the week hopes were high for a good dive, but the further east we got the more our hopes were falling as the colour of the water was changing. After an hours motor out to the wreck our hopes were well and truly dashed, no video today was the consensus amongst the divers on the boat and Chris was kicking himself for heading east and not west like his name.

Still we were there now and we were soon kitting up and crewman Roger was in tying the shot to the wreck. It has been about 16 years since I last dived the Mira and as I remember that dive was pretty awful, going down the shot it looked like this one wasn't going to be much better.

Once on the wreck Ernie and I contented ourselves to stay midships around once was the engine room. The Mira is a big wreck but the conditions on this dive were not going to allow us to appreciate just how big she is.

Ernie busied himself worrying the blennies whilst I dropped down the side of the hull to investigate a ventilation grill.

The vis was a very grainy 2m at the most and very dark, but a dive is a dive so we made the best of it for around 3o minutes before heading back up to the surface.

Back on board Chris took a bit of ribbing but everyone had made the best of the dive and with crewman Dave playing mum we all enjoyed coffee and cupa soups on the journey back.

I really like the atmosphere on Buccaneer and look forward to the next trip out with Chris sometime in the near future.


Happy Meridian Day ~ 20th October

Well it's a good enough excuse to crack open a bottle for a toast! Today is the 125th Anniversary of the Prime Meridian , or if you prefer, the anniversary of the day that the Greenwich Meridian Line was drawn and Longitiude 0 0'00" was created. So there , Meridian Divers, now you know when it all began! Loads more info HERE!

14 October 2009

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 14th October

The MD meeting took place at the Berwick Inn and some plans for the next months and 2010 were discussed. In particular:-

1). A wreck dive from Buccaneer on Saturday 17th October (Tad & Ernie)
2). A pool session in the Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne, in early November (BOOKED! 3rd Nov)
3). A reminder to post any pictures you want to enter in the Photo Competition (judged at the Christmas Dinner)
4). Christmas Dinner , being held in the Berwick Inn on Wednesday 16th December.
5). A bowling night for January 2010.
6). A Film Night planned for 3rd February 2010 (BOOKED!)
7). A Malta dive holiday in May 2010
8). A Portland dive trip in late June 2010

Other plans :-
a). Producing 'buddy cards'.
b). A reminder to gather raffle prizes for the Christmas Dinner.
c). A reminder to select your menu choices for the Christmas Dinner
d). An update on the 'Protected Wreck Licence' project.
e). The potential to be included on the Licence to dive the historic submarine "Holland V"

As ever , plenty to plan and do!

13 October 2009

Buccaneer Dive this Week-end? ~ Saturday 17th October

Tad has circulated a dive opportunity this Saturday . He says he will buy all the divers onboard a drink is there is NOT 8 metres of visibility!

Text or email Tad or add a comment if you are interested! Click HERE for the Buccaneer website.

12 October 2009

Red Sea Liveaboard ~ St John's (Southern Red Sea)

The Benson's are back!

Ernie & I set out to dive the St John's area in the Southern Red Sea aboard 'Dreams'. A (new) addition to the Sea Serpent Fleet, but unfortunately on boarding the vessel we soon discovered that it was far from 'new'. The journey south is quite a long overnight trip to reach the southern reefs of St John's. They are mainly a selection of Gota and Habili (reef which reaches the surface or not). The coral is in good colourful condition and we saw white tip reef sharks, oceanic white tip sharks, dolphins, turtles and fantail rays as well all the usual reef inhabitants.

There were one or two issues with the boat which all on board had concerns with which have now been taken up with the agent.
Unfortunately we would not recommend 'Dreams' as a Liveaboard.
Just a word of warning Marsa Alam airport is very hot on luggage weight. Ernie & I were 2 kilos over (between 2 dive bags and 2 rucksacks) and had to pay 22 euros excess. No receipts were being given !

10 October 2009

Mercian Regiment Commemoration on BBC News

Meridian Diver and underwater videographer Tad, had another of his videos shown on BBC News last night (Friday 9th October). On this occasion the video was of the wreck of the Oceana which Tad had been diving with Tunbridge Wells BSAC when Jamie Smith found a brass plaque commemorating the deaths of Nottinghamshire soldiers who died in India between 1819 and 1838. Jamie handed the plaque to the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment at a special ceremony which Tad had the pleasure of attending. For full details on the BBC web site click HERE!

07 October 2009

Christmas Dinner 2009

Hi all,

Just a reminder that the Christmas Dinner is to be held on Wednesday 16th December at The Berwick which as you are probably aware is under new management and now doing very well!

The price is £22 pp for 3 course meal plus coffee, mints & mince pies. A copy of the menu will be coming round by email shortly. I will need confirmation plus £5 pp (non-refundable) deposit by end of the month. Remember we also hold our annual raffle so any donations of prizes gratefully accepted!

Please add a comment, email or text me if you wish to be added to the list.

04 October 2009

A belated 'Welcome' to blogging!

A belated welcome to PADI in joining the world of blogging. Since March 2009 PADI have been running a blog to track developments in their DSAT TecRec range of courses. In 2006 Meridian Divers was the first scuba blog in the South East and since then there has been a considerable growth in the media for promoting recreational diving, we are proud to have 'done our bit' to encourage interest and very pleased to see the TecRec blog.

The new range of DSAT TecRec courses becam available on 1st September , take a look at the TecRec blog for more information ...click HERE!

03 October 2009

Unknown Wreck Mid Channel

Diving an Unknown wreck on Monday with Tunbridge Wells Sub Aqua Club.. I was fortunate enough to find I had Monday free and was invited out aboard the TWSAC rib to dive an unknown wreck 21 miles out in the separation zone which sounds a bit like an cliched sci fi series from the 1960'sall that needed to happen was that we could meet aliens ,come back and find we were the only people left in Newhaven (almost true there on a Monday) orfind that we had been part of some strange experiment. The truth is that we had a 21 mile journey out in the rib which took about an hour passing 3 dolphins on the way.
On reaching the site there was a very large factory Trawler moored nearby who took more than a passing interest in the 6 neoprene clad bods in a bright orange rib.

The sea was mirror calm and with small tides we had high expectations for the dive and with the wreck located and shotted we were not to be dissapointed, you could see the line at least down to 10m.
It was soon my turn to kit up and start the journey down and boy was it good. I touched the wreck at just over 40m and began to explore with my camera the vis was between 10-15m.
In a strange way the wreck and conditions reminded me of my first dive on the Rosie Moller in the red sea.

The wreck sits upright on the sea bed and drops down to around 47m . It also is massive and quite in tact although heading towards the bow the hull dropped away in what looks like a massive explosion has taken it off.

Turning back I headed back up midships and came across machinery and the massive engines in which a very large conger had made its home. I also came across a twin wheeled hand pump.
I allowed myself to go into 8 minutes of deco before heading back to the shot and start my very slow ascent back up.

TWSAC have dived this wreck in the past but conditions have to be perfect due to the depth and the distance out. Now the hunt is on to Identify this amazing wreck .

Certainly up there as one the best of my UK dives.
The film doesnt do it justice.


29 September 2009

Go Ape ~ Sunday 18th October 2009

Hi all,

This has now been BOOKED and PAID for! I will therefore need money asap. If you are at meeting on 14 October then that will be ok, otherwise I will need you to get payment to me asap.

Cost is £25 per person

Date - Sunday 18th October
Time - 1.30pm (this was the latest time available)
Place - Bedgebury, Kent

Confirmed to me & booked for are:

Simon -plus 3

At time of writing this, there were 3 places still available.

Once I had booked & the confirmation came up, it then informed me that parking cost £7.50 per car!!! So we may want to meet up before & car share into the forest.

If you want to check out what we doing & for directions look at website - www.goape.co.uk/

Bananas are the preferred snack option!

24 September 2009

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ October 2009

Hi y'all,
The next MD meeting is due to take place on 7th October, but through people being away on that day we are looking at holding it on the 14th October! This is just an early 'heads-up' , I will confirm in due course. If you have any comments please add them!

20 September 2009

Red Sea Dive Sites Index

Just for ease of reference I thought it might be useful to add some dive site maps to the blog. Rather than put them all on one post I'll add them to past (and future) posts and jut use this post as a sort of index page ! To locate the others either use the links below or or use the 'Label' :-
Red Sea Dive Sites.
Marsa Alam Dive Sites Click HERE
El Gouna Dive Sites Click HERE
Taba Dive Sites Click HERE
Dahab Dive Sites Click HERE
Hurghada Dive Sites Click HERE

19 September 2009

Meridian Mutts

Tracey and the dog owning divers in Meridian Divers have created a new blog for MD Dogging Operations (did I say that!) , so all the new non-diving doggy stuff will appear on the dog blog!

Click HERE to be whisk(er)ed to houndly heaven on Meridian Mutts!

17 September 2009

Marsa Alam Revisited ~ September 2009

I'll not spend too much space banging-on about Marsa Alam as much has been said before on this blog (follow the 'Subject Finder Links' in the lower right panel), save to say that having just come back from eleven day boat dives (including two at Elphinstone Reef) the water is warm ...come-on-in! 28 to 28 Deg C in fact. So on the basis of a picture painting a thousand words , here are a few chapters!