On September 2nd we headed down to Swanage to take some of our Ocean Divers for their first dives in the sea. Luckily we had great diving conditions; calm seas and blue skies. We also lucked out with the diving conditions under water.
Pembrokeshire is one of my favourite places in the UK, so to dive there has always been on my wish list. The area hosts some great reefs, thanks to being home to one of Britain’s Marine Conservation Zones, and a load of interesting wrecks thanks to the historic boat traffic associated with Milford Haven being a natural deep harbour. Our group of divers was diverse in its experience – recently qualified Ocean Divers with only a few sea dives, up to Advanced Divers and instructors, but there was something for everyone enjoy.
We all set off in high spirits from South West London heading for Penzance on Friday afternoon and met up with Brian & Cameron already getting into the holiday spirit trying out the mead at the Penzance Meadery next to the harbour. After a jolly evening in the Admiral Benbow pub, we got up to breakfast and load all our kit onto the ferry for the (hopefully) smooth crossing to St Mary’s. The weather was kind to us, and most people spent the fairly smooth journey sprawled out asleep in the lounge/cafe area.
Another year another Weymouth trip – 2018 would not be complete without visiting Richard and Sue on their Weychieftain IV.
Plan the dive and dive the plan, that’s how things are meant to work. It’s a bit more difficult when you call up a local dive centre the day before to check the conditions and they tell you the visibility is all of 8 inches… And so it was that we changed plans last minute to abandon Newhaven and head back to our now well-known haunt – Selsey Bill.
Our first trip abroad this year was to the Medes Islands in Spain. A small group of islands just of the coast of Catalonia
Despite being in the Mediterranean dry suits were still required, the water was a brisk 13C. Due to the cold water the wildlife is similar to the UK this time of year except everything is much BIGGER. There are huge groupers, scorpion fish the size of your head and loads of nudibranchs. The islands also have some great cavern dives that gave us the opportunity to work on our cave diving skills.
This weekend kicked off our UK RIB diving season, and what a success it was! 4 of us started the day early to leave for Selsey Bill. After evaluating our chances at the first launch site (East Beach) to be slightly outside of the capabilities of the family van towing our boat we settled for tractor launching from Bracklesham (via a quick fact finding detour to Bognor to find the slip there closed).
Putney BSAC convened for our Annual General Meeting at the beginning of November, giving us a chance to look back at our achievements of the past year and inject some new energy into the coming year.
Sarah, our Diving Officer, gave a summary of our diving this year; almost 200 dives logged as a club totaling 5.7 days underwater! Continue reading AGM 2017
A bit later in the year than usual, Putney BSAC went for traditional pilgrimage to Farne Islands, to be precise it was the first weekend of November. Our group (good mixture of new and “wetted” divers) booked Lee Hall – who was as usual fantastic skipper and ground support (organising our accommodation, cylinder rental and fills !).
Seven divers from Putney SAC headed down to Cornwall at the start of September, for what is becoming an annual long weekend towards the end of the dive season. The destination this time: Porthkerris Divers, a well-known operation sat almost on top of the Manacles, an incredible reef system near the southernmost point of the country.