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Jonah
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In the spirit of Mark Chase's report on the Blue Hole, here's an account  of a similarly thrilling experience closer to home. I put together this little report based on the build up and the big dive just to give some idea of what was involved.

On Friday 9th of January 2004 at 15.05 GMT, Tony (Col. Maniac) and I shook hands - sort of - at 4m in Dover Harbour, about 100 yards offshore from the Premier Lodge Hotel.

I exited the water laughing my @rse off. It was truly the worst dive I have ever done.

Gas costs £0.10 approx.

[OK, seriously now from now on... sorry Mark
 ]

On Friday Andy took me out on Taurus with along with Tony and a bunch of hardened Dover Divers (in 5mm wetsuits!). Despite forecasts of manky weather, Friday dawned nice and calm and sunny, with a flat sea and tolerable  viz at Dover (so I am told...).

Arrived at the boat with plenty of time to spare, met up with everyone and indulged in general coffee-drinking and piss-taking. My first Muppet Moment of the day was almost falling into the marina - getting off the boat, I forgot it was moored to a pontoon, and almost walked off the other side due to not looking where I was going. Fortunately, I don't think anybody saw (so on reflection I should probably just keep quiet about it... oh well, too late now).

After several arguments about whose turn it was to make the coffees, we set off to the planned dive site - shallow bay just north of the harbour, where apparently cannon balls and musket shot can be found as the area was used as a firing range. I'd been hoping to bring back a cannonball as a souvenir (my shed doesn't have enough junk in it
) so I was quite put out when Tony informed me they were big and heavy and a lifting bag would have been needed... oh well.

In any case, no cannonballs were seen because when we got to the site, the previously flat sea had begun to misbehave and was becoming a little too lumpy. Andy then got us permission to dive inside the harbour instead, and took us to a spot where 'interesting things' could apparently be found on the seabed. When he was pressed on what these 'interesting things' were, they  turned out to be stuff people had lost on the beach - even pound coins, apparently. You can tell the man's a commercial diver...


Despite some misgivings about the viz (the sea being an unhealthy shade of brown), we got kitted up and Andy put down a shotline. I was diving with Tony. When we discussed the plan for the dive, he seemed very keen on staying close together, using lines, canning the dive if viz was too bad etc... I suspected that he had dived in these conditions before, and knew exactly what to expect down there. He was not wrong.

Descending the shotline, it became apparent after a few inches, that conditions were not great. I couldn't see the rope I was holding onto, for one thing. OK... might be a bit clearer nearer the seabed... might as well keep going down.

On reaching what I thought was the seabed, it turned out that things were not in fact clearer. Visibility was literally zero. I managed to find what I thought was Tony, grabbed what I thought was his hand, and tugged it upwards a couple of times. The ascent was a little worrying, because I couldn't judge my speed, or even whether I was going up or down at any point in time - total sensory deprivation, no visual references at all. I couldn't see my computer unless it was pressed right against the glass of my mask - and at that range I couldn't read the numbers on it. Worse than any silt-out I've been in.

Anyway, we met up at the surface and unanimously decided we were going nowhere except back on the boat. Once out of the murk, I actually found the whole experience pretty funny. I had clocked a maximum depth of 4m, and a total dive time of one minute. I suspect that my reaction would have been a bit different if we'd spent a lot of time and money etc getting to an offshore wreck, but as it was, I was quite amused.

Taurus has a centre-spine ladder. I usually take my fins off in the water, but after watching Tony climb the ladder with fins on no problem, I decided to do the same - cue the second Muppet Moment of the day, me trying unsuccessfully to climb the ladder getting fins stuck under the rungs, with Andy offering helpful advice about how to get my leg over all the while. Eventually through a combination of luck and bad-temper I got back on board... sooner you get that lift fitted the better, mate !


Then it started raining.

So - crap dive, but actually a good day, I had fun. For me it was useful experience with zero-viz conditions. More importantly though there was a good crowd on board and several comedy moments. The Taurus seems to be a pretty good boat, and it didn't sink even despite "Wildcat" Tony being on board
 Thanks guys, look forward to doing it again soon.

PS Tony - here's the profile as promised!

Tom
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (tom @ Jan. 10 2004,13:52)]PS Tony - here's the profile as promised!

Tom
Thanks mate

I have dived I this spot before about 3 months ago, Vis was the same couldnt see nothing, when we went down we lost contact with each other and we surfaced,I did sergest using a line for contact which helped  we did a 40 min dive at 5 meters
.  I do feel safer using a line in very poor vis, constant contact etc, saves you having to surface on a deep dive because you lost contact which usually means ending the dive.

Those cannon balls are big and heavy, my first proper sea dive was with Andy
he brought me up a cannonball using his lifting bag, later we found another one, unfortunatily nothing to lift it with
Andy tried despratily to bring it up under his arm with out sucess, It was funny though watching him try and lift it

Tony
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]On Friday 9th of January 2004 at 15.05 GMT, Tony (Col. Maniac) and I shook hands - sort of - at 4m in Dover Harbour, about 100 yards offshore from the Premier Lodge Hotel.

I exited the water laughing my @rse off. It was truly the worst dive I have ever done.
LOL


[b said:
Quote[/b] ]On Friday Andy took me out on Taurus with along with Tony and a bunch of hardened Dover Divers (in 5mm wetsuits!). Despite forecasts of manky weather, Friday dawned nice and calm and sunny, with a flat sea and tolerable  viz at Dover (so I am told...).
5 MM WET SUITS
??

Blimey M8 I thaught I was a hardcore diver but I now realise I am definatly little league  


Are you sure they were canon balls and not the gonads of the last lot of hardcore 5mm wet suit divers that did this gig?



[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Then it started raining.

Thanks guys, look forward to doing it again soon.
Its confirmed then you are totaly nuts


Top stuff, Loooooove the profile, did you consider adding deep stops?

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I now realise I am definatly little league  
I think you find that after diving in 5mm suits in winter they would be in the little league as well...I get my coat
 

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old time
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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi all.

Well firstly is was great to meet TOM at last, I have meet more YD member in the past month, then i have during the past year.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Tony and a bunch of hardened Dover Divers (in 5mm wetsuits!).
Normally BIG DAVE wears a 3 mill shortie , but even i was surprised to see him in a 5 mill full suit.
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]even pound coins, apparently. You can tell the man's a commercial diver...
MEANING :S  , i have to supplement my wages somehow,,,,, being poorly paid, i have to go begging on the seabed , just to get a cup of coffee to warm me bones up.
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]On reaching what I thought was the seabed, it turned out that things were not in fact clearer. Visibility was literally zero
bring your log book next time & i'll sign off your NIL VIZ DIVE

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I couldn't see my computer unless it was pressed right against the glass of my mask - and at that range I couldn't read the numbers on it.
.. I dive in that VIZ 99 % of the time and love , WHO needs a computer anyway, i normally have a nice mate on the surface letting me know all the time what my depth is ,,,, a low cost TALKING human COMPUTER


Anyway,, what a dive ,,, you lot first to dive off the Taurus even in the Habour
Not many ( not allowed ) get to do that. shame i couldn't get you nearer to a ferry and put some rope round it's prop for me ,,, could have done with a call out to make me some wages from the NOT many poiund coins you lot bought up


Andy
 

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<font color='#000080'>They didn`t have a shovel for the stops I guess.
 

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tom,
you kept that quiet,you should post the biggies ahead of time.
nice profile by the way.
cheers
barrie
 
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