Thames Rhib Trip – 20th August 2021

Three members (including myself) enjoyed a day on the club RHIB in late August. The objective was to take Putney Diver upriver, enjoying a day on the Thames and getting in some boat handling practice and hours logged. The latter is useful for members who wish to aim for a BSAC Coxwain qualification; note that 5 hours PQE is required after the Boat Handling course.

Brian, Nancy and myself met at the HYC to check and hitch up the boat, all of which is useful practice for divers following up from their boat-handling course. Launching on the flood at the Putney embankment, the boat crew circled back to the pontoon at the HYC to pick up the tow-crew before heading up-river.
We passed under the newly-reopened Hammersmith Bridge and spend some time practising low-speed manoeuvres and coming alongside at Chiswick pier. Somewhat embarrassingly this was in front of the RNLI station, who are much better at this sort of thing than us.
Steady progress was made upriver, the scent of Himalayan Balsam wafting from the banks and bird-life aplenty.  The sluices were open as we passed through Richmond lock and we were close to high tide as we neared our destination; the White Swan at the downstream end of Eel Pie island.
This a top pub; great beer and importantly easy access and mooring. Nancy and I enjoyed battered haddock and chips, Brian had a healthier option.
Post-lunch we made the short journey to Teddington lock, catching the start of the ebb-tide for our return.
Returning via the HYC and the embankment, we thought we would make the voyage on one tank, but a last minute change was required for basically the last 500m. A visit to the Sainsbury’s petrol station on the way back topped up the tank. On that point, it maybe advisable to use E5 “premium” petrol for the boat. The effect of the new E10 (10% ethanol) on two-strokes is uncertain.
Note that Putney Diver is available for use by suitably-qualified members. We had a great day and I can thoroughly recommend the upper river, even when no diving is involved. 
Credit – Mark (Equipment Officer)

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)

Putney BSAC in the time of Corona – March 2020 until TBD

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down, Putney BSAC has remained active in the last couple of months. During difficult situations, people rally round and this has definitely been the case for us with members giving up their time to provide talks and lectures via Zoom. We have finished off sports diver and dive leader theory sessions virtually to our trainees and will hopefully be signing off exams in the coming weeks. On top of these we have given lectures on decompression theory, marine life, how to organize a RHIB trip and tsunamis with more topics to follow. Although we can’t wait to get back to the pool and pub, these virtual get togethers are becoming one one of the week’s highlights for some of us.

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 …

Pool games – April 2017

Let the hunger games begin…

Ok, so the annual Putney SAC pool games didn’t herald the fall of a despotic regime and the transformation of society, but the stakes were still pretty high. Pride and all that… and some Quality Street for the winners which I totally forgot to buy. Woops. If I were a gamemaker I’m pretty sure I’d be shot. Luckily, our club members are a little more forgiving (I think…).

We had two teams of three competing in this year’s games – longstanding members (Team A) vs. less longstanding members (Team B). I don’t think I’m allowed to say oldies vs. youngsters but oh look, I just did. The games consist of four challenges which are both demanding (for the participants) and hilarious (for the bystanders). Continue reading Pool games – April 2017

Christmas Dinner

As the year begins to draw to a close, members of Putney SAC, old and new, and those without whom many of us wouldn’t be able to dive (the understanding spouse) gathered for the annual Christmas dinner to partake in the two most important activities of a dive club other than diving: eating, and talking about diving!

It was great to see so many new members there – even some who haven’t completed their first course yet. 2017 looks like it’s going to be a great year for the club and with a packed dive and social calendar, there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved.

Happy Christmas to you all, and see you in the new year if not before!