29 August 2009

The Oceana - The New and the Old

Just posting this as a bit of interest. Having dived the Oceana a number of times look at the difference a 100 years make.

Early 1900's

Early 21st Century
Just imagine diving that in a hundred years time!

28 August 2009

Wreck Dive (TBC) - Monday 31st August

Dive boat "Buccaneer" is planning a wreck dive between 36m to 42m followed by another , shallower, wreck dive. Departs Shoreham. No other details as yet. Contact Skipper Chris via:-


27 August 2009

Diving The Oceana with Meridian Divers

Footage of the Oceana Dive from Channel Divers on the 13th August

25 August 2009

Project Aware Beach Clean-Up - 19th Sept

Ocean View have cordially invited Meridian Divers Friends and families to take part in a Beach Clean-Up in aid of PADI Project Aware. Please post a comment if you would like to help out. Looks pretty good to me especially the Hog Roast bit!

Where and when: 12.00, Saturday 19th September at Beach Green, Lancing. Beach Clean-Up & free hog roast with the purchase of a raffle ticket.

Diving The Ashford Wreck

Its nearly been a week since I got an email from Jools a TWSAC member asking if anyone wished to do a midweek late afternoon dive on the rib from Newhaven and as the weather looked like it was going to be great I eagerly signed up as I was already going to be in Hastings, and going by what the vis had been like on the Sunday before,hopes were high for a cracking dive.
As I had the furthest to come the decision was up to me which wreck we did and as I had never dived the Ashford the choice was easy.
The trip out on a flat sea and warm late summer sun was a real pleasure and soon we were over the wreck and waiting for slack.
Jools Rob and Justin were first in to tie off whilst Dave and I were left on the rib waiting for our turn and the warm weather made sitting around in our dry suits a little uncomfortable.

25 minutes later DSMB's popped up and we were soon helping the first 3 divers aboard and kitting up ourselves. Disappointingly the reports of the vis were not as good as I was hoping and as we were reaching the end of slack I didn't take the camera in.

Down the shot the wreck of the Ashford sits upright at about 37m she was built in 1881 and sunk in a collision with a German Barque on the 25th of June 1906 whilst carrying a cargo of coal. I had looked at John Liddiards wreck tour on the Ashford prior to the dive and the artists impression is pretty well what the wreck looks like now (good omen for the TRT wreck tour image when done) you can enter the wreck through the deck supports and pretty much swim through the wreck via the holds. The remains of the coal cargo still sit in the holds and broken plates and glass can still also be found.

During the dive I saw the biggest cod I have ever seen brush by Dave non perplexed by our presence. The vis was around 4-5m but quite grainy and as the sun was getting low, light levels on the wreck were not ideal for video without lights so just as well I had left the camera up top.

We swam the length of the wreck and also checked out the ships prop which is huge. Having planned a small bit of deco Dave was on air and I had a mix of 25% it was soon time to head but up. We had come back to the shot and decided to head back up that but the tide had turned and we were hanging like flags off the line so Dave deployed his DSMB and we drifted off, far more comfortable.
A great dive and one wreck that I will definitely want to get back to and film asap

The photo of the Ashford is courtesy of Alf Rodenby

Check out the DIVER magazine wreck tour on the Ashford here

T R Thompson Wreck Dive - 6th Sept (Update)

The booking is confirmed for September 6th. 'Ropes off' or leaving time is 10-30am. We can do a second, (shallower), wreck after the 'Thompson' but as it is a spring tide, the dive will be with the tide running. Add a comment if you have preferences. The Weather will also dictate whether the 2nd dive will happen the skipper will make the call on the day.

There is a map to find the boat on the web site http://www.buccaneer-diving.co.uk/


21 August 2009

TR Thompson Dive ~ Sunday 6th September

This will now be two dives on 6th September. 1st dive TRT , 2nd dive probably also a wreck. Ropes-off time to be announced but between 9am and 10am from Shoreham on Buccaneer. Cost £35 . See:- http://www.buccaneer-diving.co.uk/ Thanks to Graeme and Matt at Ocean View for the offer of these spaces very much appreciated.

Divers :-
2.Chris P (TBC)
7. Ian S
8. Andy T
1st Reserve:

20 August 2009

Skive Dive Society

Calling all skivers. Channel Diver has some spaces available for some mid week dives.

Wednesday 16th September - Aluania out of Eastbourne, 36 metres. Divers already booked on are Simon, Tad & Ernie.

Wednesday 21st October - Braunton out of Brighton, 36 metres.

Wednesday 28th October - Ariel out of Brighton, 25 metres.

Anyone wishing to skip work to dive please post a comment.


Meridian Mutts ~ Sunday 16th August

Ice creams all round!

Another enjoyable walk under my belt or should I say collar. Joined by my good friends Poppy M and Twizzle and the human attendants we had a leisurely stroll along the 1066 walk from Pevensey Castle , passed Chilli Farm and onto Rickney and returned along the river bank. To finish the day Poppy M's Mum bought us an ice cream each. Hopefully we will see more of you on the next walk.

Poppy B

19 August 2009

T R Thompson Wreck Dive ~ Sunday 6th September

Tad has circulated the following dive opportunity :-

Wreck of the T R Thompson
Sunday 6th September
Dive Boat: The Buccaneer
Port: Shoreham
Single Dive ~ Cost £25

Add comments or get in touch with Tad

18 August 2009

Oceana, Air Show and BBQ ~ 13th July 2009

L to R: Chris, Ray, Sara, Ken

Simon on his Exercise Ball watches the planes go by!

"Look Everyone , there's an Air Show" Said Tad .. "What?" Said Everyone

Front Four to Rear Five "Still smoking then?"

More photos of great days diving and sky watching! Ernie.

16 August 2009

Summer BBQ and Dive at Buckland Lake ~ Sunday 23rd August

Big apologies I meant to post this last week. Earlier on this year I had planned the "Soup Dragon" dive but for various reasons this never happened. Well next Sunday, on the 23rd we are planning a dive at Buckland Lake followed by a BBQ at my house. I will need numbers asap as dives need to be booked at Buckland.

Please post a comment if you can make it and will make the arrangements. The plan is to meet at the lake mid-morning, do a dive or two, then head back to my house, which is about 15 minutes from the lake, for a BBQ.

Cost of the dive is £10 and certs need to be shown. BBQ bring what you want and I will attempt to cook it and not poison you and bring what you want to drink. Everyone is welcome!

Diving the Wreck of the Seven Seas or not ?

The Toilet on the 'Seven Seas'
Stunning!!! that's the only word that can describe today's dive on the Wreck of the Seven Seas.
After battling the traffic heading to Eastbourne for the Airshow I managed to scrape into Newhaven with about 15 minutes to spare to join Tunwells Diver and TWSAC members Max, Bill, John, Graham, Jamie, Derek and Rob. A decision had not yet been made on where to dive but with good vis reports from the wreck dives during the week on sites further out it was decided that a dive on a wreck known as the Seven Seas would be a good choice. It is, however, thought that this wreck has been wrongly named !
A choppy RIB ride 10 miles out put us other the site and with the wreck shotted the first two divers were in to tie off to the wreck. I was buddied with John from London and soon we were in the water and headed off down the line and with my cold now cleared-up my ears cleared easily.
It soon became apparent that this dive was going to be a corker and once on the wreck at 37m the vis was around 15m maybe more with plenty of ambient light. I have never dived this wreck before and was amazed at how intact she was, she still looks like a ship. Sea life covered her rusting remains and we were soon off exploring the holds, engines and other features including remains of rooms. One feature which got close inspection was a loo intact but long past any Harpic treatment.

Working our way to the bows the vis gave us the opportunity to see the wreck in all its glory, the bow was stunning, still cutting its way through the currents. I had taken the video camera down but realised I had pushed the zoom control accidentally so although the quality was OK, I misssed out on the panoramic shots which is a shame.

All too soon it was time to head back up to the surface where the wind had picked-up a bit which made for an interesting ride back to Newhaven. A great dive and the moral here is that if you want the vis you need to get a bit further out at the moment . Thanks to everyone for the trip it was certainly well worth the effort.
The video will be posted shortly once Thursday's Oceana one has been completed. Tad .

13 August 2009

Oceana, BBQ & Air Show Dive ~ 13th August

L to R: Tad, Ray, Ken, Ernie

Without doubt, for me, this was the best day's diving in the UK this year! Totally brilliant day out! MDers Tad, Ernie, Sheila and I started the day in true Brit Diver style ...with Bacon Butties at the "Early Birds" Cafe in Eastbourne. That set us up for the short drive to Sovereign Harbour to rendezvous with MDiver Simon, and Nicky , Tony, Sara , Ken & Ray and several other divers , oh and of course Channel Diver skipper Steve , his lady wife Caroline and his brother Chris.
It was an overcast and cool start as we motored out of the lock gates heading for the wreck of the Oceana. But the sea was fairlyflat and and a spot of cool weather can be an advantage when wearing a dry suit for periods of time! Steve , as ever expertly shot the wreck and we were soon descending in to what looked like plenty of light and encouraginly good viz!

I dived with Simon and we clocked-up 49 minutes and reached a max depth of 26 metres. Others made an hours dive. We had a long and detailed tour of the wreck finishing at the Bow. There were blennies everywhere and a torch was only needed for looking into recesses. A very enjoyable bimble! On surfacing the weather had changed ...it was sunny with blue skies and lovely white clouds. Quite a beautiful day!

After the dive , some coffee and biscuits we motored across to a point a few hundred metres off the Eastbourne , Wish Tower area. We anchored and the energetic amongst us tried their hand at fishing ... the catch was not great! One Weaver fish and a brace of Mackerel! Luckily we had brought food for the on board BBQ ! Steve acted as Captain & Chef and quickly had us tucking into some lunch on the aft deck.

Following the refreshements it wasn't too long before the Eastbourne Airshow started . A major local event and free! Highlights were the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Spitfire , Hurricane, Lancaster) , the Blades acrobatic team, wing walkers, then the hugely powerful F16, followed by the Red Arrows.

Fantastic displays , the boys on board, true to firm seem to favour the fastest & noisiest aircraft , so the F16 was the winner for most!

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight put on quite a show and at one point a Spitfire and F16 flew side-by-side! The old & the new.

"Behind You !"

After the Red Arrows we sped back to Sovereign Harbour to get in the front end of the lock queue!

A truly great day out , and great to be joined by old buds, Ken, Ray & Sara. It was Ken's first dive from a boat with a diver lift! I think we may have spoilt you now Ken , you'll always want one now!

10 August 2009

Sussex Coast Diving Incident ~ Saturday 8th August

Details of a tragic incident over the last week-end:-

BBC Souther Counties News

The Argus

Worthing Herald

Channel Isles Diving ~ 31st August to 5th September

Just recieved this from Steve of Channel Diver

Hi All,

Now Only £200pp + Accommodation & travel . Appleton SAA have 4 spaces available on a four day Sark trip on the Channel Islands 31st August - 5th September . Diving will be in the 30-50 metre range, air, nitrox & trimix available Sark Diving Services.

If you are interested please phone for details, call Steve on 07970 674799.

Scallop Wreck Dive ~ Sunday 9th August

Whilst a bunch of rubber clad hooligans were worrying fish on Newhaven's West Beach Harbour Arm, I was skimming across the waves aboard Tunbridge Wells Diver out to a TWSAC favourite the Scallop Wreck. Having caught a very annoying summer cold the day before , I had been dosing myself up with Sudafed , determined not to miss the dive.

Reaching the wreck site kitting up aboard the rib was a relatively painless affair. Jason & I were the third pair in after Rob and Jules had tied-in and sent the shot up.

It seems the Sudafed worked well on one half of my body but not the other as I was having real difficulty with clearing one ear. Jason indicated he was going to continue down whilst I jiggled my jaw, squeezed and blew my nose as I inched my way down the shot. I was on the verge of giving up when my ear cleared and could continue down to the wreck at 36m .The vis was about 3-4m and quite dark although you could just about get away with out using a torch.

The Scallop wreck is covered in life including some very large cod who didn't seem at all bothered by my presence. Large breaks in he hull are very tempting and with a squeeze could be easily entered but I was content to loiter at the entrances. I found a couple of old bottles which were broken so no help there in identifying the name or nationality of this ship.

Time seemed to whiz by and I was already nudging deco and was just in the process of sending up my SMB when I drifted passed the shotline in the increasing current so I chose the easy option and came up the line.

After a nice slow accent I surfaced and was soon back on the RIB waiting for the last 2 divers in the water and then back to shore and a nice cup of tea.

Thanks to Max,Jason,Jamie, Kevin, Jules , Jeff and Rob for a great dive.


Ps Dont think the cold is going to turn into pig flu oink

09 August 2009

Air Show Dive ~ Thursday 13th August

Meridian Divers , Tad, Simon , Ernie & Chris will be joined aboard Steve Johnson's Channel Diver by old dive Buds , Ken , Ray , Debs and Sara. Should be a good get-together and chance to catch-up on local dive news as it's been a little while, girls, since your last Meridain Divers meeting ! Take care though boys, once you've stretched-out on the spacious Channel Diver (with lazy divers lift) you might start becoming too soft ...like the rest of us!

See you all on Thursday!

Newhaven Harbour Arm Dive ~ Done ! 9th August

L-R: Simon , Debbie, Trez, Sean, Caroline, Kev, Max
After some quick planning the Harbour Arm (West) dive took place , it's a fair hike from the car park to the waters edge , which on a warm day with all your gear is perhaps not the best part of this venue! A couple of other divers had started off about ten minutes before us and had entered near the base of the Arm. By the time we arrived there , a fisherman, asked us about Sharm El Shiek. It transpired he was an Egyptian and he thought it was wrong of us to dive when there were fishermen there. I mused on the thought about whether it was right to fish when there were divers there and wondered where divers & fishermane were to make their own 'beach bookings' . But the fisherman had decided to give-up and go , complaining the beach wasn't big enough before any informed discussion could took place. We didn't think it was a good idea telling hiim there was nothing worth catching at that location in any case!
So with the new entente cordial established we got in the water! What seemed like promising viz soon turned-out to be a false hope! The viz was probably no better than a metre! The rocks and underwater sea defences were covered in a light brown silt , I think , worse than I have seen it before. It did look as though the silt was killing-off the marine life.
Simon and I saw five small lobsters in the rocks , a few velvet swimming crabs and some small Bib. It was not the best dive on the Arm I have done, quite disappointing for viz & life. We swam out for 30 minutes reaching a maximum of 10 metres depth before returning for a total dive time of 63 minutes.
I found some fishing lures (sorry Robbo , no ankle weights ...well none that I'm going to admit to) which were trapped on broken line in the rocks. I picked them up and passed them to another fisherman on exiting the water. There see, the nice divers have massively improved your catch for the day!
So then it was the return hike back to the car park before changing and making for the Captains Table for light post-dive refreshment! Richard G was already in there , tucking into a fry-up sandwich after diving in the Brighton Marina, shrewd move Richard, worth refueling before washing all that kit off!

06 August 2009

Newhaven Beach Dive ~ Sunday 9th August

Hi all,

Following the MD Meeting on 5th August a suggestion was a Beach Dive ...SOON!

So here is a pretty straigtforward idea , prospective plan:-

Newhaven Harbour (West Arm) / West Beach Dive Sunday 9th August.

Meet at West Arm Car Park at 12.30pm.
Plan to enter at 1.30pm
High Tide at 2.00pm

Weather forecasts are lloking reasonable , NE wind , approx 9mph, cloudy , 19 Deg C Air Temp, lower humidty!

Check Forecasts HERE, and HERE !!

Tide Times can be checked via the LINKS (right hand side panel on screen).

If interested add a comment !

Maritime Heritage Talk 2nd September Venue

The venue for the Maritime Heritage talk on the 2nd is

Chaseley Trust
South Cliff
BN20 7JH

This can be found at the Beachy Head side of Eastbourne near the big tower block on the Seafront just to the right of Bolsover Road. Just to click on the map for a larger image

View Larger Map

List of those attending : Click Here

03 August 2009

Meridian Mutts - Sunday 16th August

Calling all of my canine friends. I am planning another walk on Sunday 16th August. This gives you plenty of time to work on the humans, and if necessary to cancel any prior arrangements.
If you are interested please post a comment and let me know how far you would like to walk and then weather dependent we can choose where to go.
Poppy B

02 August 2009

Next Meridian Divers Meeting ~ Wednesday 5th August

The next Meridian Divers Meeting will be held at the Berwick Inn, Berwick at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th August. Agenda's have been sent out. Add a comment if you have not received the email.

Meridian Mutts ~ 2nd August

Meridian Divers swapped sub-aqua for terra firma again today ... I suppose it keeps us a little fitter for the diving when weather, wind & wonga allow! There were some notable Meridian Mutt absences (Tibor & Parsley were nowhere to be seen), but two Poppy's & a Swizzle made the downs hike from Alfriston to Berwick (and back by a different route). Certainly a pleasant Sunday afternoon amble assisted by a refreshment stop at the Cricketers Pub at (old) Bewick.! The temperature was warm, quite windy on the top of the downs but the viz was miles, in fact, right across East Sussex!
Dog Tyred ...you might say!