29 April 2009

Mind Blogging Colours!

Yes, yes and thrice yes! I have been playing with the blog's colour scheme and am grateful, Sara , for the feedback on what is (and what is not) a good idea! So I have made some more changes but I suspect like all great (!) works of art it may never be truly finished. It's a constant quest for excellence , well, either that or it's 'try that and see if it works!' I don't think my task is yet complete!

27 April 2009

Seazones - 10th May 2009

Can everyone booked on Seazones on 10th May please post a comment on their preferred wreck.
1. Ernie - City of Brisbane
2. Chris P - City of Brisbane
3. Tad - City of Waterford
4. Trez
5. Prometheus
6. Sean - City of Brisbane
7. Simon - City of Brisbane


Seazones Skive Dive Society

Mick has circulated an Email saying he is now going out week days in May. We would need at least 6 for the boat to go out. Anyone interested in week day dives, please post a comment.

Meridian Mutts

I would like to know if there are any dogs out there who would like to join me and my staff on some walks in the countryside on non diving days. Just lately I have been taking my staff on some rather nice walks - Ashdown Forest, Bluebell Railway, Ditchling Beacon, Firle Beacon, Battle to name a few.
It would be nice to have some friends to accompany us on some of our walks.
Any one interested canine or human, please post a comment.
Poppy (Benson)

Bucklands Lake Dive

Click on images to enlarge

One good advantage to living where I am in kent is that within 15 minutes drive there are 2 inland dive sites which is pretty handy when all is blown out at sea.
So it was that I found myself at Buckland Lake Kents newest inland site on Sunday.
Buckland is run by Steve and Linda Potter from Polaris Diving and a very friendly outfit they are too. Diving is by pre book only to keep numbers to a managable level and prevent overcrowding although the site is big and within a nature reserve in an old disused quarry.

I had popped down on Saturday to see the site and spoke to Linda who said that if I didnt have anyone to dive with on Sunday that wouldnt be a problem as there was always someone from their club willing to get wet.

On Sunday morning I turned up at the lake and was buddied up with Simon and Chris Polaris club members. The kitting up area is concrete which kept equipment nice and clean and there are small changing facilities plus handy benches to assist with putting your kit on which was handy as I was trying out my new twin set up and had to use up some Nitrox in my tanks.

Entering the water is from either a floating concrete pontoon or a stairway into the water.

I carried out 2 dives with my Polaris buddies and visited the inwater attractions such as the Great white Shark, Aircraft speed boats and cabin cruisers there are plans for more to be submerged in the near future.

The downsides to the site were that there was no obvious marine life and like all inland sites the bottom is easily stirred up destroying the vis.This was the case on Sunday with a lot of training going on the vis on the attractions was soon gone although if you stayed away from these there was still 4-5m.

The site has depth levels ranging from 4m to 15m which and I maybe wrong makes it the deepest inland site in the South East.

After diving there is a nice large raised decked patio with tables and chairs where you can sit in the sun and buy coffee, tea and snacks if you want filled rolls these can be pre booked. The site also has a small shop selling the usual odds and ends plus a compressor for airfills although there is no Nitrox at the moment I understand that this will be coming in the future.

There are also trolleys so that you can wheel your kit up and down from the carpark approx 50m from the kitting up area.

Inland sites will never hold the same attraction as sea diving for me but as inland sites go the atmosphere and friendliness of those involved at Buckland takes some beating and for training or just going for a dive when there are no other options this site is perfect.

I certainly enjoyed my Billy No Mates day out at Buckland Lake and will certainly be back. Cost for the day is £10 cert cards also need to be shown The site is open everyday except Tuesdays for more info checkout their website at http://www.polarisscuba.co.uk/

Big thanks to Steve and Linda Potter the site owners and Simon and Chris from Polaris Dive Club for making me feel welcome and for the dives.


25 April 2009

Post Red Sea Debrief ~ Wednesday 6th May

Just a REMINDER of the Post Red Sea Debrief being held at Arlington Village Hall on Wednesday 6th May.

Use this link to see the Post BELOW for more info !

Don't forget ....as if you would....this is a eat & drink what you bring event, so bring some 'spares' and we'll all share 'em round!

24 April 2009

Boat Diving on Channel Diver ~ Bookings

Dive bookings:-

Wednesday 24th June (Pentrych)
1. Ernie
2. Tad

Tuesday 7th July (Alunia) ~ CANCELLED DUE TO POOR WEATHER (6/7/09)
1. Chris
2. Ernie
3. Tad

Sunday 19th July (Jaffa) ~ CANCELLED DUE TO POOR WEATHER (18/7/09)
1. Ernie
2. Chris
3. Tad
4. Simon

Friday 24th July (TRT)
1. Ernie
2. Tad

Thursday 13th August (Oceana & Air Show)
1. Simon
2. Ernie
3. Tad
4. Chris

Please enter a comment if you are interested in joining us on the above dives.


22 April 2009

Dives on Channel Diver

I have picked out some dive dates which do not clash with other Meridian Diver events:

Wednesday 24th June - Pentrych - 10 spaces. (Brighton). £42.00
Tuesday 7th July - Alunnia - 10 spaces (Eastbourne). £42.00
Wednesday 8th July - Oceana - 7 spaces (Eastbourne). £42.00
Friday 10th July - Fortuna - 10 spaces (Brighton). £42.00
Sunday 19th July - Jaffa - 6 spaces (Brighton). £45.00
Fridy 24th July - T R Thompson - 9 spaces (Brighton). £45.00
Thursday 13th August - Oceana & Air Show (Eastbourne.) £45.00
Friday 14th August - Pottery wreck & Air Show (Eastbourne). £45.00

If any one is interested in any of these dives, please post a comment in the usual way.


20 April 2009

Plymouth Weekend 18th & 19th April ~ Pics

Plymouth Weekend 18th & 19th April

Well what a great weekend diving and great company too. On Saturday the sun stayed in but the diving made up for it. The first dive was on the James Egan Lane what a great wreck a bit like the Carnatic in Egypt. It's 23m to seabed vis was 5-7 m. Lots of fish life and loads of anenomes. Then after hot pasties for lunch on the top boat MV Explorer of to do the Scylla. It's 28m to seabed what a nice big ship lots of plumnose anenomes and dead mens fingers vis 5-8m but for me it just had no feeling to it but still a nice dive.

Well Sunday the sun came out to play we made are way out to do the Persier what a nice wreck 10-15m vis loads to see could had stayed down all day but air going fast had to come up that has to be one of my top U.K. dives! More hot pasties hard work this diving! Then on to the Glen Strathallen 17m to seabed what a great bimble to end on 10-15m vis. The B&B we stayed at was the best iIhave been to and Steve and Sue know how to look after you and the pub over the road sell great beer and good food (£6-7) . Can I just say thanks to Matt for all his hard work and all that for£135. Well anyone on this trip in June is in for a great weekend of diving. Oh and thanks to all for your great company. Hope to have some pics soon

Gentle sea bimble anyone?

Hi all, time to start easing myself back into rufty-tufty UK sea diving. I notice on http://www.mulberrydivers.com/ there are seven places on their rib departing 11:45 for
the Far Mulberry dive site. Anybody fancy joining me? Oops! Thanks to Tad for pointing
out the fact that I failed to mention the date. Doh! It's Sunday, 3rd May.

16 April 2009

More Red Sea Trip Shots!

Some more shots courtesy of Sheila & Ernie
Bow of the Thistlegorm (above)

Hull of the Whirlwind (above)

Tracey & Therese practice launch DSMBs (above)

Meridian Diver Whirlwind Team at Gatwick (above)

14 April 2009

Soup Dragon BBQ

first off sorry for the fact that the soup Dragon dive didnt happen this was due in part to a number of factors that conspired against me and have now been partially resolved.
In light of this I am now planning the Soup Dragon BBQ and dive. Instead of the planned soup there will be Dragon Burgers.

The BBQ place in Kent and preceeded by a dip in a local lake so as far as the diving is concerned the weather wouldnt have an impact.

The dates I am looking at would be towards the end of May so please let me know of your availabilty as It would be good if as many people could come as possible. Ernie I know weekends are difficult but it would be great if you Sheila and Poppy could make it also.

Looking forward to your responses


Dive on Sunday Anyone ?

Looking at Sea Zones website there may be places available for a dive on Sunday is anyone interested ? we need a minimum of 6 divers cost will be £32 wreck and drift.

13 April 2009

Ernie's Red Sea Selection

Swanage Dive Trip ~ Sat 16th & Sun 17th May 2009

There are a couple of places now available on this trip arranged by Matt at Ocean View. Before going to the Red Sea I had advised Matt that I couldn't go as I lost my dog sitter - but due to sinus problems while away, I can no longer dive for the time being anyway.

Chris and Trez have also had to drop out so it'd be great if there are a few of you out there that want to do these great dives. This is Matt's posting to give you the details: Please post a comment or contact me direct if you can fill the places.

hi all, I have 1 space left on my trip with Divers down at Swanage for 2 days diving on their hard boat "SMOOTHHOUND". The weekend`s diving is for 12 divers and the itinerary is as follow`s Sat 16th may ropes off 08.45am to dive the KYARRA then a 2nd dive in the area then Sun 17th ropes off 09.30am to dive the AEOLIAN SKY + 2nd dive the cost is £85 pp which is payable up front . Accomadation and travel i will leave to you to sort out as i think there are a few different ideas about where to stay and i for one am going where it`s cheapest so i have found a campsite a mile from the seafront to stay or some are finding b+b`s to stay at.

Links to sites http://www.diversdownswanage.co.uk/

11 April 2009

Red Sea ~ Thank You

What a lovely surprise, a man has just arrived at my door laden down with beautiful flowers. I had no idea what you naughty people were up to and it is very much appreciated. Thank you all very much for your kind thoughts.

Post Red Sea Debrief & MD Meeting ~ Wednesday 6th May

The post-Red Sea Debrief and next Meridian Divers meeting will be held on
Wednesday 6th May , at ARLINGTON VILLAGE HALL , Arlington!

All are welcome to attend (not just those on the trip!) and that, of course, includes all the new buddies we met on M.Y. Whirlwind.

The basic plan for the meeting (apart from usual 'business') will be:-

1. Bring your Red Sea Photos (ideally on a USB Memory Stick) , so that a huge gallery can be created and distributed (distribution may have to be done later due to the number of photos & conbined file size!) . The larger capacity the memory stick the better!

2. Watch the Red Sea Trip Video.

3. Distribute copies of the Red Sea Trip Video (if you would like a copy of the Video please let us know / add a comment to this posting ASAP to allow time to produce them!)

4. Possibly watch some of Ernie's video of several dives , including the Thistlegorm.

5. Partake of some light refreshments!

6. Sign-up any log books that need signing.

10 April 2009

MD back from The Red Sea!

This is a 'quickie' post as we only got back to the UK late last night but as the week was extraordinarily successful it derserved a few immediate words.

The Tornado Fleet "M.Y. Whirlwind" provided us with an excellent platform , with the largest cabins (with separate 'en-suite' showers), the best and most varied food and most spacious dive deck I have experienced in my Red Sea liveaboard travels. With Nitrox 'on-tap' and sufficient spare & large (15L) cylinders to meet every need, a Course Director (Thomas) and another instructor (Susie) as 'resident' tour guides and a caring crew we were almost guaranteed the wonderful time that we had.

Special thanks to Shiela for doing all the organising. Organising dive trips is often , if not always, a lot of work , trying to accommodate everyones personal preferences and can sometimes be a very thankless task. So well done Shiela for seing it through and bringing it off so well. We had a truly harmonious trip and really enjoyed the company of five divers who we had not before (Justin, Chris, Alan , Mick & John) . Everyone got on superbly well. The week was something of a record-breaker for those of us who have been on a number of previous liveaboards in the Red Sea, twenty-two dives were offered and many of us (the newly formed "22 Club") did them all! Twenty-two dives in a week can be quite tiring especially with the morning briefings at 6.30am! So it was even more credit to those on board who had constant smiles on their faces. We all made some new friends this week.

All the usual wreck suspects were on the intinerary, the Carnatic, the Gubal Island Barge, the Dunraven, the Kingston (aka Sarah H) , the Ulysees, the Ghiannis D , the Chrisoula K, the Thilstlegorm and the Rosalie Moller. We also dived many reefs and on all the Tiran Island Reefs (Thomas, Gordon, Woodhouse & Jackson).

Literally thousands of photographs were taken and no doubt a few will be posted on this blog (lets' not forget the 2009 MD photo competition) as soon as we can all check them through and add posts & comments. There will be a Red Sea Trip Debrief at which there will be a 'photo-share' and , hopefully, a showing of the 'official' trip video!

Please post, add photos & comment at will! There is so much more to say & show! And, to our new dive buddies, check the blogs header (top of screen) to see how the comment process works!

For now, thank you to all who came for making it such a special week.

Small Summary of Own Dives:~

22 Dives Completed on Trip (of which 12 were Wreck Dives)

1082 minutes (18hrs & 2 mins) underwater

Average Dive Time 49 minutes (Max allowed time: 45mins for night dives, 60mins for others)