Swanage was our first dive trip of the year using the club rib and our first opportunity to take advantage of all the modifications Darren had made to it, including the A-frame, which after 4 years of procrastination the club had finally bought.
On the first day, the rib performed admirably, sadly our navigation skills did not. Our first wave of divers couldn’t find the wreck, consequently our divers got to enjoy a high speed drift dive in Swanage bay. The second wave found the wreck by stalking some of the local dive boats, and following them to the buoy marking the site. They got to enjoy a great dive on the Fleur de Lys, a small wreck with plenty of nooks and crannies hiding lots of life. Having now found the wreck site the first wave of divers got to dive it on their second dive. The second wave of divers having already dived the wreck decided to try a drift dive near Harry’s Rocks. The dive went well with the exception that the sea floor was bereft of all animal life. Not England’s most exciting dive.
On the second day the rib unfortunately didn’t perform so well, as we were about to reach the first dive site the motor started to stutter. After several minutes trying and failing to remedy the problem, we chose to err on the side caution and cancelled the dive. There was to be no more diving from the rib that weekend, but everyone did enjoy a relaxing dive under Swanage pier before heading home.
Not our most successful trip, but it was still a great weekend and it did proof how easy it is to organise and run a dive weekend using the club rib. Plus practice makes perfect, the more rib trips we do, the better they’ll get.
Big thanks to Philippa for organising the weekend and to Darren for not only towing the rib, but all his work upgrading it throughout the year.