The club held its AGM on 18th November at the HYC. The AGM is the only formal club meeting of the year when all the members get together to review the past year, nominate who will be looking after the club for the following year, plan for 2015 and also reward achievements and contributions to the club by individual members.
This year the annual Putney BSAC awards went to:
Club Person of the Year – Philippa Davis
Philippa won for the fantastic job she did as both chair of the club and membership secretary. She always put the effort in to introduce new members to the club ensuring they an enthusiastic welcome, as well as providing a leadership presence for the whole club.
Diver of the Year – Tim Watson
Tim won this award for the enthusiasm he has shown throughout the year for diving and the efforts he makes to attend as many dive trips as possible.
Photographer of the Year – Steve Gibbons
Steve won for the fantastic photo he took of a turtle swimming through a school of fish in Sipadan, which you can look at here
Skomer Claw – Steve Gibbons
The Skomer Claw is given to the club member responsible for the funniest incident of the year. Steve had several incidents for which he was nominated for the award, but it was jumping into the water at Vobster with his drysuit undone that clinched the award for him, which was particularly funny as he was the instructor that day.
One of the key functions of the AGM is to elect a committee for the upcoming year. This year we can welcome two members who are joining the committee for the first time, Dale and Sarah.
Our committee members for 2015 are:
|Diving Officer||Nick Levesque|
|Training Officer||Sarah Turpin|
|Membership Secretary||Dale Rogerson|
|Boat Officer||Darren Jones|
|Social Secretary||Tor Parkinson|
|Equipment Officer||Steve Gibbons|
A number of keen divers made the trek down to West Bay on 5th September for what was some of the most amazing diving weather of the year!
On both days the water was glassy and the sun shining, and it was a great day for some of our more recent trainees to complete their first ever hard boat dive. Although Steve thought the great weather might lead some divers to have unrealistic expectations about future weather on dive trips.
The semi drysuit divers seemed to cope with the warm sunny weather where as all us dry suit divers were huddled in the one bit of shade on deck, a very unusual occurrence on a UK diving trip, but welcomed all the same.
Unfortunately we had the usual kit malfunctions and with the help of the wonderful skipper Slim, from West Bay Diving, we were able to beg borrow and steal enough kit to cover the bits that some left behind! I won’t point fingers at anyone
We managed to do two great dives on the Baygitano and the vis was very kind to us. Michal managed to pick up a number of nice scallops on the dive. We also did two drift dives that were interesting and also practiced DSMB deployment in the open water.
We stayed at the Parkhaven caravan park, which was a new experience for some, but actually the location could not have been better as it was a short walk away from the harbour and plenty of room to dry and store gear.
We did learn however that in West Bay, you need to book tables at all the restaurants, otherwise you end up having to queue for ages at one of the fish and chip huts that ultimately run out of food before you get to the front of the line. Fortunately, some of us did find a shop that was fully stocked otherwise, there would have been a number of very hungry divers roaming the streets of West Bay!
All in all a very successful and lovely trip and one that I know that we hope to repeat next year!
In August a few keen members of Putney BSAC set off to Pembrokeshire for a week of diving off Skomer Island and in Milton Haven. Skomer Island is a marine reserve just of the coast of Pembrokeshire famous for its abundance of life and large range of dive sites, from shallow reef dives to deep wrecks such as the Lucy. Our streak of luck in 2014 continued with another dive trip with excellent weather and calm seas. Unfortunately our other streak of dives with poor visibility also looked set to continue.
On Monday, our first day of diving, the visibility was less than two metres. Luckily there is a lot of life on the sea floor off Skomer, we still had plenty to see, but this wasn’t the best start to the week. Fortunately this was more than made up for by our surface interval when a pod of dolphins swam past our boat. The pod was about 25 strong including 5 very young calves. We followed them for about 10 minutes, they raced the boat swimming under its bow, frequently jumping out of the water as if they were showing off to us. Seeing a pod this large on a dive trip is a rare occurrence in the UK, we all felt incredibly lucky.
Tuesday was much the same as Monday, but sadly without any dolphin sightings. On Wednesday the visibility got even worse. Our first dive was on a wreck called Thor, I’d love to tell you what it was like but unfortunately I could never see more than a vague outline through the gloom even when I was right next to it. The visibility was frequently less than a foot, and after 15 minutes of prodding around in the muck we decided to end the dive.
That evening we were all getting a little despondent that despite a whole week of diving none of the dives would be truly memorable. Luckily for us, by some miracle on Thursday the visibility improved substantially. I don’t know what caused the change but we ended the week with four great dives. The best probably being our very last dive on the Friday when we saw a pile of hundred spider crabs crawling all over each other. It was like a scene from some underwater horror movie, the seabed was a writhing mass of crabs with crab carcasses lying everywhere. I later read that they do this to protect each other whilst moulting but that didn’t stop it from being creepy at the time.
Highs and lows:
- Feeding the seagull is every lunchtime whilst anchored of Skomer island
- Darren the trip organiser, who had been planning the trip for almost a year, unfortunately had to leave us after the first day of diving due to work commitments. Darren you were missed (you’re bad jokes however were not, we had enough of those from Brian;-))
- The ‘gents’ toilet
- Did I mention we saw dolphins!
Thanks to John, Darren and Steve for the photos. Thanks to Darren for organising the trip, sorry you had to leave us early, and thanks to Steve for helping out with last minute organisation. Lastly, thanks to Nick Watson from Holburn BSAC for once again joining us for some diving off Skomer, always great to have you along.