31 March 2009

Sundays T.R.Thompson 91st Anniversary Dive Report

March 29th is always going to be an important date on my dive calender as it is the anniversary of the sinking of the T.R.Thompson and after last years success with project on the wreck there is a strong commitment to continue with the project and this years diving season started with the dive last Sunday on the 29th March with a dive on the T.R.T .

With hopes high we met at Newhaven to board Mick Luff's Sea Zones for the trip out to the wreck site in glorious warm spring sunshine with Divers from MD, Eastbourne BSAC and GUE making up the dive teams for the day.

On arriving at the site we joined 2 other local dive boats and a shot had already been dropped and we were invited to use this, thanks guys. The big disappointment was the water colour, brown and full of plankton so the underwater conditions didn't look promising and we were right.

Kitted up and in the water we descended into the coffee coloured water, there was at a push about a meter viz and it seemed to take forever to reach the wreck in the pitch black. Even in torch light it was difficult to actually see anything due to the backscatter from the plankton in the water so it was a bit of a fumble around the wreck more than a dive but it did give me a chance to silently pass on our regards to the lost crewmen.

There comes a point when you question the wisdom of diving in conditions such as they were on Sunday purely for safety reasons as the wreck is covered in discarded fishing tackle as one of the divers on our boat discovered , so after 29 minutes we called it a day and started our ascent to the surface and for the name legendary sea scones provided by skipper Mick. We also phoned (T.R.T relative) Norman Jack from the boat to tell him about the dive.

We are now looking forward to the better conditions to continue with the project work and plans are underway for some more exciting developments on the Thompson later in the year, watch this space. Catching up with old dive chums both on the water and in the cafe after the dive it was a great day out hopefully the omens are good for this forthcoming season.


26 March 2009

Update - T R Thompson - 29th March 2009

Times for the anniversary dive on TRT are:-
10:45 Meet Newhaven Marina
11:30 Ropes Off

High Tide 13:40.
Dive Depth 34 metres Approx.

I will text Saturday evening to confirm on/off. At the moment Mick said it looks good.


22 March 2009

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ 18th March 2009

Special thanks to Sheila for the MD meeting of the 18th March! It was really good to see the MD Red Sea Diving Trip (April 2009) Team and , of course, to collect our flight tickets ! It all seems that much more close when you have the tickets in your hands!

There are one or two 'liveaboard virgins' in the Team and a number of 'liveaboard veterans' (some with the scars to show from it!) so it was good to see that those with a few 'travel tips' sharing them with those with a few questions! The important thing to remember is that when the big guy at the front bangs the drum we all pull on the oars at the same time...and if we don't, or if someone isn't pulling hard enough, the even bigger guy with the unusual taste in leather accessories reminds us by techniques handed down from one generation of sadists to the next! All very simple really. If the drum stops or if both of the big guys aren't looking just get your dive kit on quickly and get into the water!

The Tony Backhurst boat "Whirlwind" offers nitrox and 15 litre tanks. I can remember back into the mists of time when all users of 15 litre tanks would have been regarded as some kind of abnormal gas-guzzling weirdos to be ridiculed. Of course times haven't changed, except that they have on this boat and with this Team! It looks as though nitrox fills and 15 litre tanks are the individual choice of preference! It's good to see that diving has moved-on to embrace choice.

Well done to Sheila too on allocating all the accommodation in advance and letting everyone know where their cabin is before they set foot aboard the boat. In motor racing the 'Le Mans' start is famous but its not so great a technique for getting a cabin, especially when some of the 'racers' set off before the signal!

Four dives a day are offered but you don't have to do them all if you don't want! It's often argued that a little 'break' from diving during a liveaboard week is a good idea. It's definately a good idea if you are not feeling in top form at any point!

It has been indicated that we will have the opportunity to dive the Rosallie Moller , this is a deep dive famous for its condition & glass fish! There is a rather nice little video from those deep dive guys GUE :-


Whatever route / intinerary we follow I am sure we will have the opportunity of doing some great diving . Looking forward to the photo-share session when we get back too!

Serious Fun ! RNLI DVD

Just taken a look at the latest RNLI safety DVD "Serious Fun" , it's well made and jsut as you would expect from the RNLI - it's free!

The DVD has sections on a variety of watersports , including diving. The section on diving includes pictures of 'Swanage Diver' and includes an interview with PADI Course Director Steve Axell who is also a RNLI crew member.

There is always room to take a fresh look at safety and we should all make time to do so regardless of how much diving experience we have. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations and readily (and too frequently) come to the aid of divers in emergency situations. With this in mind it is sad to recall that some of the most experienced divers I have met have held the attitude that the RNLI is too well funded! An odd view to be sure but may be they have become a little wiser with time! I became an RNLI member when I took up diving and have been a member every year since then.

I would recommend having a look at the DVD, you can find out more about it on :-


Perhaps will find a short slot to show the diving section at a MD meeting on our return from the Red Sea. I hope this little 'promotional' piece helps raise awareness, there are many examples of how the MD blog has slowly , but surely improved the divers 'lot' , so again, let's not forget those who help us!

20 March 2009

Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne

Diving Pool at the Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne, has been booked on Tuesday 24th March 2009 between 20:00 and 21:00. Cost of hire is £22.00 which will be devided by however many use the pool. Meet me in the car park at 19:45.

If you are coming can you please post a comment as soon as possible. Don't forget to bring your third party insurance.

Come and wash the dust of winter off before the Red Sea.


19 March 2009

Plan B for Sunday 29th

Just a thought if by chance the T.R.T dive is cancelled due to weather does anyone wish to undertake a plan B to an inland site. Either Wraysbury leybourne or maybe the new lake at Strood Buckland which would need to be pre booked. Any suggestions ?

12 March 2009

Red Sea Trip ~ 2nd to 9th April 2009 ~ Update

Tickets have arrived. I have sent you all an Email regarding distribution of tickets and Q & A session.
Not long now.
Whoopee !

10 March 2009

Swanage Trip~16-17th May 09

Hi all,
Been a while but now my harddrive is working again.
Just to let you know that this trip is now booked and to remind you to have a look and book your accomadation for this weekend,the majority are camping but i know some are looking for suitable b+b`s if you know of any good one`s please post so others can book aswell.
Hope everyone`s well look forward to seeing/diving with you soon.

08 March 2009

Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wednesday 18th March

The next Meridian Divers Meeting will take place at 7.30pm at the Berwick Inn on Wednesday 18th March 2009.

With the Red Sea liveaboard trip starting on 2nd April , this meeting will give anyone a chance with last minute queries to shout out!

Nitrox computer

Has anyone got any experience of different nitrox computers. There are several cheap ones on the market, but what are the good buys?

01 March 2009

T R Thompson Anniversary Dive 2009

Sea Zones has been provisionally booked for Sunday 29th March to enable Meridian Divers to pay our respects once more on the anniversary of her sinking. Anyone wishing to dive this day please add a comment ASAP. We need to let Mick know as quickly as possible if we can fill the boat.

1. Ernie
2. Jim
3. Tad
4. Chris P
5. Graham