26 April 2010

Plymouth Diving ~ 24th & 25th April

Just back from wild west that is Plymouth after four dives with Simon courtesy of South West Diving. Given our poor success rate in travelling down to Devon & Cornwall in the recent past only to find cancelled dives, this trip was outstanding! It is a heck of a way to travel four four dives, (quicker to go to Egypt, if you take the route I did!) but we were rewarded with some great dives and pretty good weather!

We dived from "Top Gun" (formerly operating out of Weymouth) a hard boat with a diver lift, which was skippered by Gary. Gary had two crew who were exceptionally helpful. Hot drinks were on tap, and surface intervals were filled with hot cornish pasties, yes...I ate all the pies!

Dive 1 was on the Scylla, some years since I last dived this wreck and it is a far better dive now that it has good marine life on it , mainly plumrose anemones ...but loads of them. Still few large fish. the viz for the whole week-end was good at least 6m at the worst, but the dives were cool at 9/ 10 degrees C. We made 49 minutes on the Scylla with a max depth of 24m.

Dive 2 was on the James Egan Layne (predictable first two dives eh?). A similar time & depth , 45 minutes and 23 metres. A lot of large wrasse on this wreck and , of course plenty to see. I found the head of a pick axe amongst what appeared to be a lot of scrap iron. I was tempted to raise it and make a working tool out of it , but in the end tucked back in the wreck after a photo or two.
Dive 3 was on the flattened wreck of the Persier. Lying in deeper water we made 42 minutes with a drop of Nitrox at a max depth of 27m. Lots of male Cuckoo Wrasse on this wreck, very colourful fish. The highlight feature was finding the intact boilers which became a useful perch from which to launch the DSMB at the end of the dive.

Dive 4 was a drift dive on Mewstone Reef. Not all on the boat did the fourth dive (no wreck - see!) but it was their loss. It was good vis , possibly 10m and the underwater landscape was quite beautiful. The highlight of this dive was some quality time with a shark , well a good sized Dog Fish (of the shark family!) . The max depth on this dive was 19m and after 43 minutes the fingers were again getting cold.

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