31 July 2009

John Liddiard's T R Thompson Photos

A Meridian Diver on the Wreck of the T R Thompson

Copies of John Liddiard's photos of the wreck of the T R Thompson, taken on the MD & TWBSAC dive of 26th July can now be viewed on John's website : http://www.jlunderwater.co.uk/ .

As a quick link to the T R Thompson photos click www.jlunderwater.co.uk/piclib/goto.htm?pic=09_07_26_2338 , the TRT photos are numbered from 2338 onwards. Definately worth a look as John has put captions to all his photos which really helps identify features. John has an expert knowledge when it comes to identification , in one dive he managed to locate features that have taken us considerable time to find!

John is a professional photographer & journalist , his work is subject to copyright. Meridian Divers are grateful to be given permission to reproduce his work here.

28 July 2009

Wreck Dive : The Indiana ~ Saturday 25th July

Well the weather did not look good but that did not stop O.V. going out on the Buccaneer. I was looking forward to diving a wreck in my home town. The Indiana is one mile south of Worthing Pier, a British steamer 2,266tons she had a cargo of oranges and lemons she went down on the 1st of march 1901. She lies in about 10 metres, it has been dispersed but this was a great dive with loads of marine life, vis was about 3-4 metres. Thanks to all for a great dive.

27 July 2009

Meridian Mutts

Hello my furry friends, Poppy Benson here. This coming Sunday 2nd August would any of you like to join me, with your human companions, on a nice walk in the countryside. Weather permtting of course. I suggest a walk through Ashdown Forest, including the Pooh sticks bridge. Followed by a cream tea at Duddeswell Tea rooms. This walk is approx 7 miles and when I last did it it took me and my staff just under 3 hours.

If you are interested please post a comment.
Poppy X

P.S. Anyone who hasn't got a dog is still welcome.

T R Thompson Wreck Tour Dive Photos

...........and there's more

Meridian dive team with John Liddiard on My Sharon

Tunbridge Wells Sub Aqua Club
(or is it traffic warden divers ?)

Men at work - do they know what they are doing ?

Tea and conversation (Chris & John)

She always has to get in on the act!

26 July 2009

T R Thompson Dive ~ Sunday 26th July

One or two us , I think, doubted we would make this dive! Our recent track record for canned dives due to weather was troubling us all but , shortly after 1.30pm today we set off on MV My Sharon for the wreck of the T R Thompson. It was quite breezy with a lumpy sea as we made our way out of the Ouse and into the English Channel. The forecast was for the wind to drop later in the afternoon.

As it transpired we formed a small flotilla of dive boats , as My Sharon was flanked by two RIBs, one driven by Jamie S from Tunbridge Wells BSAC and the other by Richard H from Newhaven. It's always nice to have the company of other boats when diving eight miles off the coast, especially if you think it's going to be a lively one!

Aboard My Sharon was John Liddiard (of DIVER Magazine fame) along with , Tad, Sheila, Ernie, Simon, Tony, Nicky and me. John had previously tried to dive Thompson with us some years ago but that was canned due to bad weather! This time we had more luck and actually made the dive. John hopes to feature the TRT as a future 'Wreck Tour' in the magazine and we hope our project Blog will be the perfect match for the article in due course.

The Project Blog has already made an impact , with many divers reporting that they had read it and been impressed. We were also delighted to see that divers had been supplied with stickers for their log books that featured drawings of the wreck taken from the Project Blog. It's great to see how others are making use of the research to promote local diving.

By the time we reached the wreck site the wind had dropped a little and the faster RIBs had gone ahead and put a shot line down. So it was kit-up and get in on arrival. The water was pleasantly warm ... well , for the Channel, but the vis was in the order of 3 metres. Simon & I managed a max depth of 32 metres and strung out a total dive time of 40 mins (mind you we did have a leisurely stop!). It was not great for underwater photography but we had a good dive.

By the time we had surfaced the wind had dropped still further making re-entry in to the boat quite straight forward. Tea & biscuits aboard took the salt out of our mouths and the run back to Newhaven seemed faster in less swell.

Captains Table Dive Meeting ~ Saturday 25th July

Last nights meeting , a private function , at the Captains Table in Newhaven was a good opportunity to catch-up with some old faces. In particular John LIDDIARD from DIVER Magazine. The last time we had seen John was a few years ago when he came to Newhaven at the invitation of the TR Thompson Project Team to dive the wreck and write it up as a magazine article "Wreck Tour". That plan had to overcome several obstacles and all had been surmounted (including last minute Nitrox training!) apart from the weather! We hope that today's weather will be far better for the TRT dive aboard MV My Sharon.

The Captains Table now has a small bar, which it seems is almost guaranteed to pull-in divers and dive boat skippers, there were few old Newhaven diving buds there (Rob K aside) but past Meridian Diver Richard H popped-in for a chat and can spread the word of the upcoming Wreck Tour work locally.

23 July 2009

Airshow Dive Spaces ~ Thursday 13th August

Spaces are available on Channel Diver for the air show dive which includes a dive on the Oceana and a great view of the Airshow from the deck of Channel Diver on Thursday 13th July .

If you are interested contact Steve Johnson ( Click HERE) and join some of us for a cracking day out WEATHER PERMITTING!!!!!!!!!

21 July 2009

TR Thompson "Wreck Tour" Dive ~ Sunday 26th July

For those booked on to the wreck tour dive on Sunday ropes off is 1.30pm at Newhaven we are on My Sharon Hard boat.

It would be good to meet earlier if poss around 11.30 to 12 to discuss a dive plan which if conditions allow enable us to plan what we need to get out of the dive re Photo sketches video and who is doing what. John Liddiard (Diver Magazine) will no doubt have his own plan but anything we can capture on the day will support his wreck tour article and also add to the TRT project.

Will text everyone Saturday evening with confirmation keep your bits crossed

Dont forget if you can make Saturday night 25th 7.30pm TWSAC are organising a get together with John and we have been invited to join them at the Captains table Newhaven with wreck films being shown. Food and drinks are available to purchase from the restuarant

20 July 2009

Girls Night In Part II

For once the weather could not affect us girls for our second 'Girls Night In'. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera (I could've made a fortune with some of the potential photos!) so you guys will need to use your imagination!'

We were a select few, but with the wine flowing continuously in Trez's, Debbie's & Linda's glasses, tongues loosened & secrets expelled (really must encourage Linda to drink more often!)

After enjoying Linda's culinary talents together with goodies (especially the cheeses!) brought by others, it was time to get wet & have a splash about in the newly refurbished pool.

It was slightly tamer than the last GNI, though Debbie & Trez did things with big balls that I'd never seen before & was unable to emulate despite numerous attempts!

Debbie provided some 'swimming lessons' while Trez & I were looking forward to getting to know my 12 inch man - unfortunately, he was a big disappointment! After our frolicks in the pool, there was just time for dessert before the boys arrived to pick up Linda & Sheila, & Trez & I made our way soberly (well me at least!) home!

Next time, I'll remember the camera!

Thanks again to Debbie (& Parsley) for her hospitality.

10 July 2009

English Heritage Maritime Archaeology Unit Talk ~ 2nd September

I have Booked Alison Hamer from the English Heritage Maritme Archaeology Unit to come and give us a talk on Wednesday 2nd September at a location to be confirmed.

It would be really great if this is well attended as it could open up some interesting opportunties with some of the protected wrecks we have of our coast.

The invitation is extended to any other interested divers who follow the Meridian Divers blog. Please add a comment if you are planning to attend (or send me an email).


1. Ernie & Sheila
2. Chris P
3. Rich + 1 OV
4. Jaqui OV
5. Dan OV
6. Tad
7. Steve M OV
8. Trez
9. Rachel OV
10. Rother Dive Club (numbers TBC)
11. Jim and EBSAC (numbers TBC)
12. Jamie TWSAC maybe others
13. Sean OV
14 Debbie
15. Caroline OV
16.Gary OV
17.Terry OV
18.Max OV

09 July 2009

Sea Zones ~ Revised Times ~ Sunday 12th July

Please note a TIME CHANGE for the Sea Zones dive on Sunday 12th July are as follows:-

Meet Newhaven 12:15
Ropes Off 13:00


07 July 2009

Back from the Maldives !

Simon and Linda here, back from celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on Mirihi island in the Maldives.

We had an overnight in Columbo first - reasonably interesting place but there is a massive security presence - you're not allowed to photograph anything - and the big hotels were all bunched together with even more high security, so we didn't wander out into the city, especially as we were told there are no private bars outside of the hotels!

Next day we got our flight to Mirihi island and our room there was stunning. It was incredibly hot the whole time we were there, not very conducive to anything but diving or bathing! We did use the gym one afternoon after we'd dived in the morning, but the skin on Simon's upper arms began to bubble so we stopped immediately and went back for a rest. Oops! Had a fabulous time, although it did take a little while to adjust to doing absolutely nothing (I read 3 books). You could walk round the shoreline of the whole island in 15 minutes.

The dive centre was very slick and professional and was only about 10 paces from our door, so very handy. The boat went out every morning and afternoon so you could just put your name down if you wanted to go. It was all extremely efficient and well run - the whole place is managed by an Austrian and there is a heavy Swiss German influence in the management too, so naturally everything runs very smoothly. Lots of lovely sealife, bigger shoals of fish than I remember in Egypt, although I thought the corals were not as pretty or colourful. Among the things we saw were blue stripe snapper, clearfin turkey fish, forceps fish, fat starfish (!), lovey huge batfish that come very close, peacock grouper, moorish idol, yellow trumpet fish, clown trigger fish, turtles, remora that tried to attach themselves to my wetsuit!, unicorn fish, oriental grunt, Napolean wrasse, etc., etc., .......... you get the picture. Oh, and we had to do mask removal and buddy breathing before they'd take us out. Doh!

Also saw a couple of small sharks but sadly no manta rays (we didn't expect to as it's the wrong season) or whale sharks. We went out on the boat for 2 dives one day and the crew did spot the whale sharks so we stopped and were going to jump in with our snorkels, but they'd moved off. The boat fired up the engines again and began to move away and apparently one of them then went right underneath the boat! Typical. On the last day Simon and I dived the house reef and wreck - at about 25m - on our own, which was a new experience for me (I know, I sound like a complete novice). I was fine with it, although I did get a bit anxious on the way back as to whether we were going to come up in the right place. Should have had more faith in Simon as of course he knew exactly where we were.

All in all, a fantastic anniversary hol.

See you all soon!
Linda and Simon

04 July 2009

Seazones ~ Sunday 12th July

We will be diving the T R Thompson from Seazones on Sunday 12th July.
Depth approx 34 mtrs.
Return to harbour approx. 19:30
Wreck and drift £32.00 including scones.

Divers booked:
1. Ernie
2. Tad
3. Chris P.
4. Trez
5 Simon
6. Prometheus
7. Gary
8. Terry

Hope everyone is O.K with these arrangements. If not let me know ASAP.


(PS Note Revised Times Posting above).

03 July 2009

JimBob Comes to Malta

Ahoy fellow scuba fans. I hope the UK weather continues to please.

Malta has not been the same since Jim left with his haul of fantastic pictures. We did 8 dives in fewer days, hitting all the major spots - Um El Faroud, Cirkewwa, The Blue Hole, HMS Maori. We saw moray eels, grouper, a cowrie (thanks Jim!) a pyrosome, flying gurnards, nudibranchs, and a dentex. And that was just at the restaurant...

The pics and the dives formed the basis for an article in a local newspaper, which I am linking to here.

We have print copies too, and these feature genuine picture credits for a certain "Jim Harvey" (who he?). Basically I think he's a local celebrity...

JimBob's photo album can be viewed HERE! Well worth a click I'd say!

02 July 2009

Beach Dive -~ Newhaven Arm 2nd July 2009

I have finally made it back into the water. This evening Ernie & I dived the Arm. Viz was 1-2 metres but it was very silty and there is still a bit of plankton. Plenty to see, crabs, 2 very large lobsters, various fish and gobbies etc., and a very startled large eel. Sea temparature was a very pleasant 16 degrees.

We also met some old friends. Matt W, his brother, Jason and Andy C.

The good news is that a flat path has been created along the wall so the journey to the shoreline is not so arduos. So all of you out there you can't use that as an excuse not to follow my lead and have a very pleasant dive