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"Three sheds"
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12,688 Posts
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About a week ago I was down t'club and someone mentioned that MarkP had a couple of spaces diving from Protector. As my kit was packed and ready to go after last Sunday's blown out trip is was easy for me to say yes and off I went.

Driving down to Weymouth was surprisingly easy, although there was a bit of traffic and pulling up in Castletown carpark (remember to bring six £1 coins) I bumped into DanE and the appropriately named Six-quid. They were diving from a different boat but we had a bit of a natter as I loaded my kit onto Protector.

Protector, is a big rib, ie one of those biug ribs with a cabin, lift, and loo, like Swanage Diver. There were 10 of us on board, including two 'breathers and two twinsets, which was fine, but 10 twinsets / rebreathers would have been a bit cramped. Ivor seems to know his stuff as a skipper and provides more Chocolate than Blanaid (!) so gets the thumbs up from me.

As the weather was a little rough Ivor suggested an Easterly site in the lee of the bill so we dived the British Inventor. My buddy (who shall remain nameless) and I agreed to meet at 6m, as the weather was a little rough, but unfortunately my buddy had left their v-weights in the car. After scrabbling around for all available lead on board, they thought they'd got enough, but sadly not enough. After three minutes at 6m and no sign of my buddy I ascended, ascertained that they were ok, and then joined another pair down the shot.

Viz was poor - a couple of metres and most, and the British Inventor is very well broken up. She also seems to be huge - either that or we went round in circles many times. There were also a few scallops on the wreck but too small.

Towards the end we drifted off the wreck and I picked up a few more larger scallops. There was a nice lemon sole which I left and then I saw a huge ray. It remained motionless as I swam alongside (no bubbles y'see) and one of the "edges" of the diamond was about as long as my forearm, so I think the body of the ray must have been a good three feet long and the tail was a few more feet. This thing was massive!

Then it gracefully flapped off and it was time to go up for us too.

Back on board it was lovely and sunny. Getting back on board was easy enough with the lift despite the swells - I'm glad that ladders are on their way out! Then it was back to port for some sandwiches, crisps and plenty of chocolate before the second dive.

Everyone on board decided to skip the second dive (they were down for the whole weekend and it was half past three), so me and Maili went for a cheeky drift dive off Grove Point. Viz was three or four metres, and there were plenty of spider crabs jumping up at my torch beam. I also managed to add a few more scallops to my collection.

There was just time for a cheeky coke (nothing like a Cheeky Vimto I hasten to add) in the pub before a nice gentle drive home in the setting sun.

Brilliant. I do love diving.

Janos
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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10,108 Posts
Nice report :D

Just to say that I do read them ;)
 

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Atomic Blonde and Midjit Idjit
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16,469 Posts
Oooh a huge ray! What type Janos?

Nice report. Didn't you drop in on Vonny?

Helen xxx
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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10,108 Posts
I was luckly enough to see a large Thornback ray last year on a trip to Salcombe, never seen one in the UK before :)
I saw one of those on a night dive out of Plymouth with Garf and Dianne last year. First time I had seen sea urchins the size of footballs too.
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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10,108 Posts
Long time since I have done a UK night dive, those were the days. (not counting Stoney last week)
It was fun doing the ascent from 25m in complete darkness except for 3 x 21W HIDs and 3 SMBs and having some mandatory deco to do! Talk about trying not to have french knitting classes in mid water :)
 

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the kind of human wreckage that you love
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11,983 Posts
Great report Janos :thumbsup: and WOW ! you saw a ray :D I was lucky to continue seeing DanE !

Nice to know my name can become a useful reminder for car parking in Portland. Shame I didn't realise that before as we ended up well late from our dive, having waited nearly an hour for slack (which never arrived in my opinion :rolleyes: ) and I had only paid Fourquid :)

Nice to see you again :teeth:
 

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Atomic Blonde and Midjit Idjit
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16,469 Posts
Long time since I have done a UK night dive, those were the days. (not counting Stoney last week)
A few of the dives I did at the Farnes in February and March might as well have been night dives - even with my super Salvo :)
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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15,343 Posts
Nice one M8, I have never seen a ray in the UK that must have been great

ATB

MarkChase
 

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ego postulo urino
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3,325 Posts
I was luckly enough to see a large Thornback ray last year on a trip to Salcombe, never seen one in the UK before :)
They seem to be doing well on the South Coast, lot's of sightings reported around Old Harry out of Swanage. I too saw a Thornback 5 weeks ago and a Blonde Ray last weekend. Both were drifts with newish Ocean Divers, so quite a treat....
 

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Proud to be "small minded" in the face of credulit
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2,910 Posts
What kind of moron was your suppopsed buddy? Forgetting to assemble his (or her) kit with its weights?

That sort of thing defies belief. I wouldn't dive with anybody like that.

Oh. Hang on a moment. I remember who it was now. He's OK really, and actually got down the next day.

Sorry about that.

D'oh!

Regards,

Mark

PS. It's about the only weight loss I'll ever manage...
 
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