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!
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.
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.
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.
Keen to get the diving season started early in 2019, six members of Putney Sub Aqua Club, headed up to Vobster Quay bright and early on 17th February for a straightforward (but cold) first dive of the year.
At a brisk 5 degrees Celsius, drysuits were the order of the day for all, except Pradeep who we hope has now defrosted after his first and only dive of the day.
A great day out, with all who attended raring to go for the rest of the year!
And now attention all divers, here is the Plymouth dive trip report for Saturday and Sunday 6 and 7 October at 1800 hours GMT.
Visibility: good to extremely good.
Skipper, Red Alert: cheerful; pasties and hot drinks, frequent; cream tea later.
Wind: North easterly, moderate to strong; sea calm, (sheltered).
‘Newish’ divers: super to very super;
Cold: moderate to slight.
Diving: wrecks 3; reefs 1; sea life; colourful.
Rusty metal bits and conger lairs: frequent.
General situation: superb.
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.