21 March 2010

Puddy Muddle Done!

Well, Team MD conquered another Kent Muddy Puddle and now Holborough Lake has fallen to our superior allied forces (the 1st Bn OV Reservists added numbers to fray)! Poor puddle didn't stand a chance really, just like shooting another water rat in a barrel! There we were equipped to take-on the raging oceans at depth and in front of us stood a trembling pool of fresh water, still wet behind the ears and only recently let go of it's mothers apron strings. OK divers, let's not leaving it in suffering for too long, let's get in there and finish it off quickly! But the little blighter surprised us all and came back for more, taking a second shot before the finish was in sight.

The water tried to resist at 7Deg C and the viz ranged from 5m metres to slightly worse than none at all! After some searching, weapons of mass diving discovered, three boats (small, medium and medium-large) and a couple of diving platforms, at 7m & 8m. Max depth was just over 10m.

The hosts were Nemes Scuba Academy, and Martin (da boss) and his staff were all very helpful and welcoming, they positively rushed to get hot drinks to you as soon as you surfaced & exited. The centre has a small office with male & female toilets, hot showers were also available . There was a clean air compressor (£4 any size cylinder). There were about twenty cars there , all parked on new tarmac. Huge cable drums made perfect kitting-up tables.

It was a good opportunity to pre-test the kit before going back into the sea, and with an entrance of £7.50 including all the tea & coffee you could want, it was a very fair rate. Good staff made it all the better, but the nature of muddy puddles is that they can soon become silt clouds ...and that soon happened! There is a small but user friendly slip way and a small jetty. A good place for cheaply checking kit configurations. Oh, and there is a Wimpy 'Restaurant' about 500m away , but may be best not to comment on that too much!

18 March 2010

Dry Suit Up For Grabs!

Hi all,

Due to continuing ill health & financial restrictions I am reluctantly reducing my kit down. I am looking to sell my drysuit - it is a Female, Medium Gates CBX450 with Size 5 feet. It would suit someone (either male or female even tho described as a 'female suit) around 5'3-5'7 (I am 5'4) . Build wise, it has seen my dress size go from a 14 to 16 back down to 12 so there is lots of scope for sizing. It has been serviced & had a new neck seal. The zip & valves were all checked & found to be in excellent working order. The suit has not been used since it's service.

I still hope to one day get back in the water but it's not going to be any time soon, I cannot afford to 'give it away' and so am looking at around £350 as it is in such excellent order & recently serviced (cost me £85) . If you or anyone you know is interested, email , add a comment or contact me & I will get back to you asap - however bear with me as between 2 jobs, dogs, child & housework my 'free' time is practically non existent!

17 March 2010

Robbo's Down Under Diving

Sorry guys,
I should of mentioned that the wreck of the Canberra is in the Victorian graveyard which is south the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse outside of the "heads" which is the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. I was in my drysuit as the water temp was chilly although the air temp was 20C . The dive boat operated by Dive Victoria had about 12 divers on board and 2 crew. The conditions were good but the sea a bit bumpy. We set off from Queenscliff and passed through the Rip which is one of the most challenging areas for ships to pass in. The passage through the rip was not unlike a bad day off Newhaven when you would certainly not see any boats venturing out into the surf, however the area of most concern is only a mile or so wide and can be traversed fairly quickly. Whilst passing through the rip as we were going out a huge bulk carrier was coming in "awesome size vessel" the pilot was dwarfed by the size of the ship. The actual width of the channel is only about one and a half kms and its an S shape so all commercial ships must take on a pilot both entering and exiting Port Phillip bay. I hope that gives all a bit of back ground to the dive area.
Cheers Robbo

16 March 2010

Update from the Down-Under Diver!

Update from Robbo:-
I have been in the water again, this time I dived the Pope’s Eye and the new wreck on the block, The Canberra, which is situated in 30 metres of water max with the main deck at 18 metres. By some quirk of Australian diving standards my qualification Advance & Rescue is only recognized as a 18-30 metre max qualification. To dive any deeper in Australia I have to have a deep cert and then that will only suffice for dives of 40 metres max. The Australian authorities are enforcing the qualification fairly strictly.

Before doing my double dive on the Canberra I was warned by Dive Victoria not to enter the wreck at any point and that included the Bridge area which has numerous windows and doors to get out of. Since I was a single diver I was buddied up with an Instructor who was taking three other divers on a wreck tour of the 18 metre deck level and internal compartments but if I was with a friend and we dived without an instructor /guide we would not be allowed to penetrate the wreck at any time.

Sounds as though Dive Victoria who have the principle contract for the moorings over the Canberra are protecting their investment. The ship isn't huge, probably on the same scale as the Scylla back in the UK. Not much growth on her but plenty of fish outside. With a deep cert the big attraction is diving straight down the ships funnel into the engine room (with a guide of course). I guess I’ll have to do a bit of training again.

The Pope's Eye is a man made structure in Port Philip Bay with about 12 metres max depth, I swam around it twice and was almost on to my third circuit before a certain lump of weed looked a bit familiar so I surfaced for a quick look and was heckled by the dive boat !!!

15 March 2010

MD GO Ape ...Again! ~ September 2010

Hi all, Linda has done some preliminary research fo a Meridian Divers social at Go Ape at Leeds Castle in September.

There is full availability for Saturdays and Sundays in September at the moment - up to a maxium group size of 14. Using Saturday 4th September as an example (Sunday timings and costs are the same), start times are every half hour between 0830 and 1630 and the cost is £30 per head. Early September is probably best for Simon and Linda.

Add a comment or email Linda or me if you're interested and let us know whether you have a preference for dates.

Muddy Puddle Dive ~ Sunday 21st March

I am joining a group from Ocean View to Dive a new Muddy Puddle in Kent this coming Sunday if anybody is interested to shake off the winter cobwebs and check out kit before the forthcoming boat dives.
The site is at Snodland near Rochester (details to follow) apparently it was in last months Sport Diver.
The lake has a max depth of 11m plus attractions at a cost of £7.50 includes a cup of tea plus airfills are available on site.

website is http://www.nda-scuba.com/

Post a comment if you are interested

12 March 2010

Tenerife Scuba ~ March 2010

Just back from Tenerife and some very enjoyable diving, courtesy of Chris & Sarah of Tenerife Scuba . I enjoyed diving with Chris & Sarah five years ago and my return visit, sadly confined to just four dives, if anything demonstrated there was more interesting marine life than I expected.

Chris & Sarah are the most welcoming of hosts and good company through-out the day. They operate a RIB from the harbour of Las Galletas (East of Los Christianos). Much money has been invested in the harbour in the last five years and the benefits show! It's rather nice to enjoy lunch on one of the harbour arm restaurants during the surface interval.

Air temperatures were bewteen 21 and 23 Deg C and the water was between 20 and 21 Deg C. I was quite comfy in a full 5mm wet suit & hood. Underwater visibility was very good and one 35m+ dive we could easily see the surface.

Tenerife being a volcanic island has plenty of underwater rock but there was a good variety of marine life, huge sting ray, many morays, bait balls of fish , shoaling fish, barracuda, roncodores, long-legged spiney crabs, colourful shrimps, octopus, cuttle-fish. And there are some small wrecks and swim throughs. Many of the dives sites are a short run from the Harbour and one , Montana Amarilla is a MAMP (Protected Micro Marine Area). I really enjoyed it, may be one for Meridian Divers to visit in 2011?

Seazones - Easter Monday 5th April 2010

I have confirmed our places on Seazones with Mick for 5th April. Details as follows:-

Diving: Lancer & drift
Meet at Newhaven: 07:45
Ropes off: 08:15
Approx return: 15:00
Low water slack: approx 23 metres
Cost £35.00

Divers confirmed so far:-

1. Ernie
2. Simon
3. Tad
4. Trez
5. Chris

Please note anyone confirmed on the boat will be responsible for their place and if you do not turn up you still have to pay.
Mick and I are trying to fill the rest of the boat. If you are interested in joining us please add a comment.


08 March 2010

Buccanneer Eastbourne Dive booked

As mentioned at the meeting I have booked 5 spaces aboard Bucanneer Out of Eastbourne on Sunday 4th July

Meet and Dive times TBC


Chris P

There a couple of spaces left if anyone is interested
once booked then you are liable for the cost