Selsey Rhib Trip – 1st May 2021

First outing for the club boat this year on the sea was off the coast of Selsey. Launched by the friendly staff of the Bracklesham Foreshore Office, we headed for the fossil beds in Bracklesham bay. Usually dived on an ebb tide we quickly saw why diving on the flood was a bad idea; 50cm vis meant no fossils were found. For the second dive we headed to the Outer Mulberry. Easy to find because of Selsey Bill SAC’s permanent buoy, and the 6(!) other boats on it. Luckily our timing meant we arrived at the end of slack so everyone else was on the way out and we enjoyed a good 5m vis with the site to ourselves. On return to Bracklsham the sun came out and we were able to enjoy a couple of beers, watching HMS Elizabeth leave Portsmouth for her first tour.
Credit – Cameron (Chairman & trip organiser)

Weymouth 1st May 2021

Third time lucky for our planned trip to Weymouth on the Wey Chieftain IV, first moved due to Covid and second due to weather.
On the Saturday morning we headed out and dived the Binnendijk wreck (26m). Known as the “Benny”, she caught fire after striking a mine and was alight stern to stern. Vis was much better than is usual for the Benny, around 6m, but getting on for chilly at 10oC! Lots of conga eels. We followed this wreck dive with a fast drift dive in Balaclava Bay where we saw lots of crabs and scallops.
On the Sunday we dived the Alex Von Opstal, a Belgian Passenger liner sunk by a mine in 1939 (30m). The wreck was quite broken up and vis was poor. This was followed by a drift dive along the Sandy Ledges where there were so very many scallops!
Unfortunately the weather turned on us for the Monday so we had an early celebratory dinner for Helen achieving her Dive Leader qualification, with this trip being the last piece of the puzzle as the DP2 module. Thanks to Charles and Nic for the (alcoholic) bubbles!


Credit – Helen (Social Sec & Trip organiser)

St Andrews Lake – 24th April 2021

8 members of Putney SAC met up (in two groups) at St Andrews for various purposes: kit checking, Sports Diver lessons and generally building up in-water time ahead of the busy diving season ahead.
Cam & George (me) were practicing twinset drills: long hose donation, valve drills and general buoyancy practice with a bit of task loading.
Michal was taking Mark for some more Sports Diver open water sessions. Having been diving pretty much every weekend since the lockdown was lifted he’s just SO5 to go now!
Tim & Adam and Paul & Pradeep were all getting back into the swing of things again with a few fun dives and Tim was testing his new camera and housing out.
There were a few leaky regs/free flows which are heading back to the service centre, so definitely worth testing the gear in a controlled environment before our next trip in the sea.
Credit – George (Membership Secretary & trip organiser)

Not Swanage (Wraysbury) – 10th April 2021

A last minute trip was booked in for the clubs first hardboat dive of the year with Swanage Boat Charters after the 2021 COVID lockdown… but the wind had other plans for us with some strong easterlies preventing any diving.
Rather than bin off the prospect of diving three of us decided it would be a good opportunity to pay Wraysbury a visit for a nice 60min dive getting some Sports Diver lessons signed off for Mark.
Credit – George (Membership Secretary & trip organiser)

Newhaven West Breakwater – 3rd April 2021

With the COVID lockdown easing in England, four members of Putney SAC decided it was time to kickstart their diving season in the sea with a day trip down to Newhaven for a shore dive.
After parking up right next to the beach and a long walk down the shingle we made it into the water for a quick practice of some rescue skills for part of Mark’s Sports Diver Lesson and then down for a bimble along the breakwater. Visibility was around 2 – 3m and there was not too much life, just a few crabs, but great to be back in the salty stuff nonetheless. Other divers heading in after us mentioned that Spider Crabs migrate here in the summer and if you head out onto the sandbank skates and rays can be found.
Although quite a windy day, the Breakwater gave us plenty of protection from the NE winds and it would certainly suit future training trips given the shelter, lack of current, close proximity to Newhaven Scuba and also being under a 2hr drive from Putney.
Note to self that although it’s good to check your gear ahead of other trips, this is not a dive to be done with twin 12s!
All in all, a successful day out and a big thank you must go to John for sitting in the cold, providing surface cover for us from his little fold out chair!
Credit – George (Membership Secretary & trip organiser)

St Andrews Lake – 30th March 2021

With Lockdown restrictions easing, 6 divers ventured to St Andrews Lake, keen to get back underwater as soon as possible. The weather was fantastic for the return to diving, turning out to be the warmest March day in over 50 years!

The divers assembled at the lake for a socially distanced meet and greet, with smiles all round as we realized the joy of being able to speak to people in real life, no longer on the other side of a screen. The plan for the day was a mixture of check dives and sports diver training. 

With the kit being stowed away for an overly long winter, preparation for the first dive took longer than usual, with an array of tools used to tighten various parts of the kit that had somehow managed to work their way loose. But finally, we were back under the water.

Good, if a bit chilly, first dives were had all round. A leaky seal was a good learning for one of the team, and a successful dive with a SMB, allowed Mark to tick off a Sports Diver open water lesson.

Lessons learned, the second dive was much more efficient, with another set of check dives and Navigation/DSMB practice as the Sports Diver lesson.

With beaming faces, we packed up the kit (after a bit of time taken to enjoy the sun) satisfied we had achieved our objectives for the day, and left the lake even more psyched for the summer ahead!

Credit – Charles (trip organiser)


Virtual Club Night – RNLI talk

Throughout the last year we have hosted many virtual lectures, talks and socials to keep us connected and our knowledge updated. On 9th March we were proud to host a talk by Alan Stephen, a water safety adviser at RNLI on diving safety which we opened up externally. We had over 50 people join us, from as far away as North Wales, Cornwall and even the Dutch West Indies! We learnt about safety in the water, incidents and measures in place to prevent these, PLBs and immersion pulmonary oedema. There was also a discussion at the end with information from other RNLI staff and a local regional coach. A great evening was had by all and we can’t wait to get back in the water.
Credit – Emma (PSAC Training Officer)

February 2021 Socials

February took advantage of the amazing zoom talks that BSAC put on and PSAC Diving Cards Against Humanity was born.

We started with dialling into the specialist BSAC talk on “Launching and Recovering a Rhib” (something that is super relevant to our club) with a social afterwards. The following week, PSAC members joined the BSAC talk by John De Lara on The deep wrecks off the southern UK coast.

Lot of amusement was had when Helen, PSAC social secretary, created a diving version of the well known game Cards Against Humanity. Thank you to Helen for coming up with this great idea, something that MKSAC loved too when they gave it ago at their social! We finished February with a quiz by our DO Michal that tested our knowledge of all things diving!

Credit: Nic ( PSAC Comms Officer- Social Media & PR)

January 2021 Socials

As lockdown 3 came into force in England, Putney BSAC continued the theme of last year with a series of zoom socials, we’ve been reminiscing about diving holidays and listened to an engaging talk about the Graf Zeppelin.

We kicked off January 2021 with an social which including a quick fire round of “Navy Ship or RuPaul drag queen”! The month continued with a talk by Cameron and George on diving with a purpose, a great way to focus your dive trip!  Charles, Nic and Steve then took us on holiday via Zoom talking about their trips to Sipadan, Cyprus and Portugal.

The month finished with a talk that we opened up the southern BSAC region by Stephen Burke who took us through the history of the Graf Zeppelin, starting with how he researched to find the location and finally diving the wreck. Big thank you to Stephen for the talk and George, PSAC Membership Secretary, for organising everything!  

Credit: Nic ( PSAC Comms Officer- Social Media & PR)

Lockdown Lectures – The Graf Zeppelin, Hitlers’ Aircraft Carrier – 26th Jan 2021

To mix things up during lockdown, Putney reached out to a contact known through Warrington SAC up in the North West.
Ste Burke, an accomplished Technical Diver & Author of two books (& my BSAC Snorkelling Instructor from the early 2000s!), took us through his extensive research into Hitlers lost aircraft carrier and his long awaited dive on Graf Zeppelin.
This is an extremely interesting wreck and a fascinating story for anyone interested in WW2 history, shipbuilding or Technical Diving… not too much for the fish huggers in the Baltic though I’m afraid.
Credit – George (Membership Secretary & talk organiser)