30 June 2009

OK , Something for the Dog Owners !

I thought those of you on Meridian Divers who are also dog owners would like to know a little more about a very special dog that I featured in one of my photos from British Columbia.

A couple of posts before this one are the photos. One of the photos shows an Orca passing a research vessel. The keen eyed amongst you may have spotted a black Labrador dog on the research boat , I think his name is Tucker!

Tucker is not just there for the ride, he's part of the research team and his particular task is to track whales ! Apparently his sensitive nose detects, well, shall we jsut say on this family blog, that which the whales leave behind! Well that's what the skipper of our boat told me and you know what I don't think its a shaggy dog story ! The Orca was spotted whilst we were travelling by boat from Vancouver to Vancouver Island, that trip takes you right along the 'sea border' with the US. The Orca in the picture were actually in US waters and the research boat was from a US university. There is a little more background HERE!

29 June 2009

T.R.Thompson Remembered

Its hard to believe that it is nearly a year since we had the wreath laying dive on the T.R.Thompson in the company of crew relatives Norman and Mary Jack, but although a year has nearly past the project has not been forgotten and Norman has been flying the T.R.Thompson flag up north at the TRT birth place Sunderland.

Norman has given talks on the ship and the project and has good connections with the Sunderland Maritime Heritage charity. With this in mind Norman and Mary have had a brass plaque made up commemorating the Thompson's crew and the charity is mounting this on a piece of oak along with a rivet and a piece of the iron ore cargo (recovered during last years wreath laying dive) this plaque will have its home in the charity's HQ in Sunderland and who will also be showing a looped film of the TRT video footage filmed last year. The project has a page on their website dedicated to the TRT , to view the page click HERE

Meridian Divers and I would like to thank Norman and Mary for their continued support of the project.

28 June 2009

Marine Life ~ British Columbia

A few photos of marine life taken during my recent visit ~ sadly I didn't get to go diving which was a great shame as the waters were very clear and are renowned for good diving!

White Sided Pacific Dolphin

Orca (Killer Whale) & Research Boat

Humpback Whale Flukes

Humpback Whale

Sea Lions

Jelly Fish

Just a handful from the twelve hundred or so shots! OK , OK , I took the dolphin & jelly fish shots in Vancouver Aquarium but the rest were in the wild!

Next Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wednesday 1st July

Hi all, the next MD meeting will be held at 7.30pm at the Berwick Inn, Berwick on Wednesday 1st July 2009. Looks like we should be getting some warmer water and imprving viz , so let's get going!

Pool Session - Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne

Meridian divers enjoyed a sucessful pool session at Eastbourne Sovereign Centre. Some skills and DSMB deployment were practiced and some fun just getting wet. Very enjoyable evening and Debbie found a new friend!

Scallop Wreck Dive

This is some of the video footage taken a couple of weeks ago whilst diving as a guest with TWSAC diving the Scallop wreck in 36m about 12 miles south of Newhaven. Although I had taken my camera most of the footage in this clip were taken by Jamie Smith from TWSAC with some bits of mine added in.

27 June 2009

T.R.Thompson Wreck Tour Dive Sunday 26th July

Arrangements have now been made for the T.R.T wreck Tour dive with Diver Magazine John Liddiard. The Dive will take place on Sunday 26th July ropes off 1.30 pm. The dive will take place from a local newhaven Hard boat MV MY Sharon skippered by Ray Duff. Cost is TBC. If the hard boat is full there maybe spaces on TWSAC rib.

Tunbridge Wells SAC are also organising a meal drinks and film night at the Captains Table on the Saturday Night (25th July) to coincide with John Liddiards Vist to their Club. Meridian Divers have been invited along with the opportunity to talk about our project and show film footage as well as see the stuff TWSAC have put together. This is open to all and should be a great evening but again need to know numbers asap please. Lets support this guys.

If you would like a space on the dive please add a comment. also add a comment if you would like to attend the Saturday evening event.

Thanks to Jamie Smith and Tunbridge Wells SAC for organising this.

2. Chris P
3. Tad
4. John Liddiard
5. Trez
6. Simon
7. Tony
8. Nick

Saturday Meal and Film.

1. Tad
2. Sheila Ernie
3. Chris and Sue

26 June 2009

Meridian Divers Diving the Wreck of the SS Pentrych

video highlights from the skive Dive with Ernie on the wreck of the Pentrych on Wednesday.

Skive Dive Society ~ Pentyrch & Pier 24/6/09

Two of our best skivers (Tad & Ernie) took themselves off to Brighton on Wednesday 24/6/09 to dive the Pentyrch and the Pier from Channel Diver. We were very lucky with the forecast not being right and the wind staying to a reasonable level.
Neither of us had dived the Pentyrch before. She is a British Steamer, carrying a cargo of coal and was sunk by UB40 on 18th April 1918. It is approx. 6 miles off Shoreham. The seabed was at 22 metres and in the middle is a very large boiler. The viz was 4-5 metres with a bit of plankton floating around. It is a very easy dive, plenty of nooks and crannies to explore and with the shallow depth plenty of time to do so.

The second dive was Brighton Pier. Another pleasant bimble. The seabed was covered in star fish who do lunch (some even bought their own fork).
All in all a very enjoyable skive.

23 June 2009

Seazones - Sunday 12th July - 2 spaces

Two spaces have become available on Seazones on Sunday 12th July. £32.00 for two dives + scones.

Already booked are:
1. Ernie
2. Tad
3. Chris P
4. Trez
5. Simon
6. Prometheus

If you would like a space please post a comment asap.


22 June 2009

Braunton Dive from Wasp on Sunday

Nothing ever seems to go to plan when trying to get out diving. Either the weather goes against you, the boat breaks down, you get a cold or the promised vis doesn't materialise. On this occasion the planned dives on Sunday were canned due to the charter boat being sold and the new owners having a change of mind about continuing with the booked charters. Thanks to the lads from Leybourne for the invite anyway and I am sure we will catch up again sometime soon.

But step in TWSAC and all was not lost for Ernie and myself. After last weeks great dive on the Scallop Wreck we were offered 2 places aboard Wasp one of TWSAC's members Ian's own rib for a trip out to the Braunton. Having checked that our Nitrox mix was suitable (just) for the 36m dive to the wreck it was all systems go.

After a very early drive down Ernie and I kitted up and joined Ian and other club 2 other club members for the trip out to the wreck and soon we were kitted up and Ern and I were first in and headed down to the wreck. The Vis was between 6-8m with plenty of light. Its been a few years since I last dived the Braunton and I had forgotten what a fabulous wreck this is.

A 4.575 ton 380ft British Merchantman, The Braunton lies at a depth of 36mtrs HW. She was sunk by the German submarine UB29 on the 7th April 1916. 10m. The wreck was carrying a cargo of ammunition and evidence of this can be seen littered amongst the wreck in the shape countless shells unfortunately for spidge hunters not the brass but the cast iron variety.

Wreck is full of life and the stern area sits relatively intact and roughly 10m high complete with a net which has been floating wrapped up and vertical for a number of years.

I had taken the decision not to take the camera in but soon regretted this once we had reached the wreck,never mind will have to go back again.

After about 30 mins it was soon time to pop up the blob and start for the surface and back to port .

We had planned for a second dive in the afternoon but there had been a problem with the other boat so this had to be canned but both Ernie and I were more than happy with the mornings adventure.

Thanks to Ian and Jamie from TWSAC for offering the places and the opportunity to dive this weekend at very short notice and prevented me from being a very grumpy moany old Tad.


17 June 2009

Pool Session - Sovereign Centre, Eastbourne

The diving pool at Sovereign Centre , Eastbourne, has been booked for Merdian Divers between 20:00 and 21:00 on Wednesday 24th June.

Meet Car Park 19:45.

If you wish to attend please post a comment ASAP.


15 June 2009

Scallop Wreck Dive On Saturday 14th June

As a few of you know I have been pulling me hair recently due lack of dive time but on Saturday I was offered the chance to Dive a wreck known as the Scallop wreck but otherwise real name unknown as a guest of Tunbridge Wells BSAC.

With conditions looking near perfect I joined the Tun wells team at Newhaven and set out to the wreck site. with 7 Divers on board the trip out was comfortable and quick on a mirror calm sea ably piloted by boat handling trainees Rob and Jason (friends of old who most of you will know) guided by renowned wreck hound and TWSAC D.O Jamie Smith .

The wreck sits in about 35m of water and is up side down. TWSAC are trying to identify the wreck and with 3 video cameras between us the plan was also to film as much as possible (guess who managed to cock his attempt up).

On site the wreck was soon located and shotted and looking down the line it was going to be a cracker.
With Ian going in first to tie the shot into the wreck Jamie and I kitted up and were soon heading down to the wreck followed soon after by Derek and once Ian had completed his dive he would take over the helm releasing Rob and Jason for their dive.

The "Scallop" wreck sits as said earlier upside down on the seabed with the prop raised up similar to the Clodmoor and talking of props there is also a rather large radial aircraft engine complete with prop, probably WW2, laying on the wreck more than likely placed there by fishing boats after being caught in their nets as the wreck definitely looks more like ww1 vintage it was a pretty impressive site.

With 8-10m vis, no need for torches and full of life the dive was gorgeous and I could have stayed down longer than my time allowed. Jamie manage to find some pottery which when cleaned up may hold a clue to the wrecks true identity.

Rob and Jason later reported to have found an impressive swim through on the wreck which will be on my list if and when I get the chance to Dive her again.

All to soon it was time for a slow ascent to the surface and sunshine.
I did manage about 10mins of film after I realised that I switched the camera off but none of the footage gives the dive or wreck justice so I wont bother editing it but have taken a couple of stills from the footage as seen above to give you an impression of the dive conditions.

A big thank you to Jamie,Derek,Ian, Ruth, Jason and Rob from Tun Wells BSAC for the opportunity to dive with them, I Think I will be definitely be joining them again very shortly to dive one of the many unknown wrecks they have on their GPS.

It was also great to talk to some of my old friends who I bumped into whilst in Newhaven . All in all a pretty good day out.

T.R.Thompson Wreck Tour Dive with John Liddiard

Arrangements are in the process of being made for a dive with John Liddiard from Diver Magazine to do a wreck tour feature for the mag on the T.R.Thompson.

The dive will happen towards the end of July either in the evening of the 23rd or on the 26th depending on Johns schedule. We have been offered the opportunity to do the dive from the Tunbridge Wells BSAC rib as John is spending some of the time diving on their current projects.

There will be spaces for 4-5 Meridian Divers on the dive but this and definite date, times and cost will be confirmed nearer the time.

Weather and conditions permitting this should be a good one and will add to the T.R.T project.


12 June 2009

English Heritage Maritime Archeology Unit

I am in the process of arranging a visit next Month from Alison Hamer from English Heritage Maritime Archeology Unit. Alison has kindly agreed to come and give a talk on the protected wrecksites off the Sussex Coast and how we can support and be involved in some of the planned project work in the future on these sites. Alison recently featured in Diver Magazine (June issue p 98)

This could be a great opportunity for divers who have an interest in preserving some of our maritime history.

The talk will be open to all interested divers and date and time will be posted here once confirmed.


04 June 2009

Meridian Divers Meeting 3rd June

With the Berwick Arms now under new friendly and very accommodating management it looks like we will be meeting there for the foreseeable future and after introducing ourselves to the new owners last night we soon got the meeting underway with plans being made for the rest of the summer and beyond.

Sheila will be circulating the minutes asap but needless to say the plans are varied and exciting with lots of extra diving opportunities and social stuff on the cards all we need now is some good weather.

As mentioned earlier the new landlords of the Berwick are very accommodating and will lay on a spread if we let them know prior to meetings.

Roll on the summer

Date for your Diaries!

With the sun shining and the evenings getting longer, we thought it was about time we started thinking about . . . . . . . . . . . .Christmas!!! It's time for you all to block out your diaries on Wednesday 16th December 2009 for another awesome Christmas Bash. We are going back to the Berwick as it has changed hands and looking good!

Menu is not yet finalised but I will keep you informed. I will gather definate numbers a bit nearer the time!