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).
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.
Great weekend in Weymouth – thanks to Richard Bright-Paul and Sue, their trusted cat Wey Chieftain IV and Putney BSAC (including our lost child / grand dad John H) – great dives on Binnendijk and Black Hawk (bow) + lot of scallops for my kids from the drift 🙂 thx a mil
This time last year, eight intrepid divers got ready to make their way down to the Dorset coast, to a small fishing village called West Bay (site of the TV series Broadchurch). The plan was to dive some of the well-known reefs in the area, searching for pink sea fans, and the elusive sunset cup coral. Sadly, the weather gods were not with us and the trip was cancelled, so we found ourselves preparing once again for a second attempt this year.
It was a very hot & sunny Friday afternoon when we left Putney to drive the 4-5 hours to Plymouth – sadly that was the last we would see of the good weather. Thunderstorms & epic lightning kept some of us awake on Friday night, but we all made it down to the boat after breakfast on Saturday morning. We were joined by Jules from Clifton BSAC on the Aquanaut boat ‘Outcast’ skippered by Dougie.