Pool Games – March 2020

In mid March we held our annual pool games. Originally set for a huge turnout, the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic meant we unfortunately had lower numbers on the night. We chose to still go ahead which was the best decision considering we had a great night and went into lock-down two weeks later.
There was a mix of previous champions, old timers and pool game newbies, all equally competitive for the non existent trophy. The evening saw the return of the underwater relay race and plank challenge, alongside a new addition- tug of war. A huge amount of fun even if it was a little one sided and we all ended up on top of each other. Our last game was the notorious balloon challenge – where teams have to get as many balloons in a crate on the bottom as possible. As always the rule book went out the window and there was plenty of sabotage, masks being pulled off and drama under water. Luckily we weren’t too black and blue at the end of the night and went to celebrate at a local pub.
A great night which we hope to repeat once normality resumes.

CCR Try Dive – February 2020

25th of Feb was a day that opened the secret chamber in the scuba diving life of 7 of our club members. Gill and Nick from Clidive kindly organised a taster for a closed circuit rebreather in our own Putney leisure center pool. After setting up 2 shiny AP Evolution beauties and receiving short a introduction into how these things operate, we took turns trying them out. What should I say – the breathing is different, buoyancy is different but grin on all our faces say it all…. and … guess what … no bubbles…. Debrief happened in the Rocket pub as usual and we started talking about selling boats, limbs, kidneys and livers (well…) to buy some of these CCR  (for me I spent next day on checking the prices of different brands,… but yeah they are expensive). Massive, massive thanks to Gill and Nick and who knows maybe we can explore more options in the near future …

O2 Course

On 26th January we held our annual oxygen administration course at the Hurlingham Yacht Club. There was a good turn out of 5 instructors and 10 trainees. Over a mixture of practical and theory sessions we covered basic life support, casualty assessment, oxygen administration and diving incidents. Though we hope never to have to use these skills, the club encourages all members to keep up to date with them. A fun day was had by all, however Resussi Annie was exhausted at the end.

Nemo Trip, Belgium – November 2019

 

 

Late November saw five club members head off for a weekend trip to a lesser-known diving location; namely Belgium.

Our destination was the custom-built Nemo 33 diving facility, an indoor pool, as the name suggests, some 33 meters deep.

Our first choice of transport was the Eurostar to Brussels, but tracks were up for maintenance that weekend. British Airways provided a smooth flight from Heathrow and the local train from the airport saw us in town before lunchtime. We had time for a quick spin around the tourist sights in the center before Ubering out to Nemo33.

The dive center is situated a just outside the center in an industrial and business park. In addition to the pool, there is a bar, a Thai restaurant and a dive shop.

We had reserved our dive in advance, and shortly before were shown through to the changing rooms. The pool is very warm (some thirty degrees or so) so all is needed are swimming costumes, masks, fins and a dive computer (compulsory). Tip – bring plenty of 50c pieces for the lockers.

Kit was efficiently issued (included in the 25 Euro fee) and we had a short dive briefing before heading in. There was one other party of roughly seven divers and we swiftly headed down. The upper pool is larger with a variety of environments (overheads, air pockets etc) , we headed for the tube-shaped lower section and achieved maximum depth ahead of the pack. The pool was comfortably warm but surprisingly dark at the bottom .

Gradually ascending, we were able to enjoy the rest of the pool , exiting some 50 minutes after we first got in. A quick change saw us enjoying the first of many Belgium beers in Nemo33s bar.

We returned to town where the evening’s entertainment consisted of some excellent Belgian food, including the well known mussels and chips. Club members were determined to make the most of the warm Belgian hospitality and we discovered a charming Bohemian-style bar below our Air B&B (thank you Helen for booking), where we joined the locals untill the early hours.

We will look forward to our next visit, although we have now heard of an ever deeper pool in Italy!

 

Malta – October 2019

At the end of October, 11 of us headed off to Malta and Gozo

for a long weekend of diving, driving and drinking. It was the perfect way to finish what has been a great year of scuba diving in the club.

This was the first time diving abroad for some of the group and it didn’t disappoint- warm water, vis up to 30m and amazing dive sites.

Our first day consisted of a checkout dive followed by the incredible inland sea and a night dive where we saw octopus and played with the bioluminescence. Our second day was on Comino where we dived the Santa Maria caves and P31 wreck- being relatively shallow there was plenty of time for photo opportunities and to enjoy the many swim throughs. Our last day consisted of the MV Cominoland and MV Karwela where we got our photos on the famous staircase and explored the reefs in the shallows.

This was a very sociable trip and staying in self catering flats gave us the opportunity to cook together and enjoy drinking and games evenings well into the night. We managed a trip to the citadel in Victoria one evening and those staying a little longer got to explore the blue grotto and Valetta. Aside from the diving, the other highlight of the holiday had to be our wonderful jeeps. Despite their age and questionable brake power, they got us and dive gear around the Island and we were very sorry to say goodbye at the end of the holiday.
Overall a fantastic trip and I’m sure Gozo will be on the list of places Putney BSAC returns to. Big thanks to our dive centre – Scuba Kings for helping to organise things.

Medes Islands Trip, Spain – September 2019

We returned to the Medes Islands in Spain for the second year in a row. Last time we were there our skipper said the best time of year at the Medes is in September, the water is warm and peak holiday season is over. So that’s exactly what we did, we came back in September.

The water was indeed warmer, 21C, the first time diving in wetsuits in 2019 for many of us. The warm water also brought with it lots of extra life. Large schools of barracuda and jack hanging around the reef. Moray eels out hunting in the daylight. Plus all the fantastic life we saw last time including massive groupers, scorpion fish and nudibranch.

Once again the dive centre were super organised, making the whole weekend stress free and relaxing. If you’re looking for a long weekend of diving abroad you can’t do much better than the Medes Islands.