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Grumbler-chief in Residence
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Well, it has taken the better part of a month, but I got a dive in today, a nice 30M bimble on a wreck who's name I simply can not remember.

Civilised 10.00 am start, 20 min trip out down the shot, great nice lead weight, but where is the wreck, vis was a tad poor. Look around for Mark and spot a big bit of rusty metal plate, ah ha I think, there it is.

Well, it was not the biggest boat in the world, but I actually manage a whole dive without;

a) throwing up,
b) getting a migrane
c) loosing my smb n reel

Found Howard a couple of times, to be honest, it was a bit of a pants dive but I rather enjoyed myself, there are times when it is nice just to get wet, well a wet head and hands anyway.

Next dive........Dahab and the Blue Hole, will think of you lot back here in the freezing cold getting blown out week after week - snicker.

Big thanks to Mark for getting this one together.

Andrew
 

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Cut the crap and go diving!
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As Andy say's a fairly civilised start,i left home at 7.00am to make sure i had plenty of time to get around the M25 (better than the 5.30am leave of the 6th Dec).

I seem to remember the journey took more like 40mins,but maybe that was just my imagination! It was a touch bouncy on the way out into a SE F5 (not the F3 promised) but perfectly acceptable and Spartacat is a good boat with plenty of space especially with only 5 on board.The wrecks name was Fortuna and is smallish but upright. I paired up with Pete K and we were first down the shot........no wreck...then we spot it just off to one side. Vis is 2-3m at best and rather silty,but at least we can focus beyond the silt onto the wreck which is always a bonus! There was some ambient light so we bimble around the wreck with quite a few pouting and poor cod as well as the usual tompots and a lot of crabs and lobsters (as always seem to be on this wreck looking back in my log). There are a few less crabs and lobsters now as Pete grabbed some for his goody bag. Maximum of just under 29m and 40 min bottom time (on a duff 28% mix) meant a total time including ascent and deco of 62 mins,which was just about the comfortable limit for me in 10 C water temp. Not the best of dives,but reasonable as it is December after all.
 
Thanks to Mark for organising it.

Alan  
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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I managed to blag the Jeep for the day as I was expecting to take Pete and Paul Oliver down with me but Paul had to can due to work so in the end I cruised on down with Pete. I didn’t mention this to my wife so we still had the jeep and not my work van Cooooool  


OK so Pete wanted to do the City of Waterford for scallops. I didn’t care but Howard and Alan had done the Waterford to death so we opted for the TR Thompson. Pete sent me a scathing Email that read something like 'If you think I am paying £35 to dive that heap of s#it' Sooooooo we canned the Thompson and settled on the Ashford. Well I thought we had until we got on the boat and discussion started again and we ended up on the Fortuna
 Ho Hum.

OK so quickly out and down the shot and we are confronted by 1-2m viz and sand?
? A quick search and I almost bump my head on the side of the wreck.

Andrew and I circled the wreck a couple of times and Andrew taps me on the shoulder and waves good bye. I decided to stick it out and do a bit of hunting so I went for the full 60mn planned bottom time. Loads of life and a couple of inaccessible big Lobsters but no scallops  


The ship fairly well broken and was carrying bags of cement She was pretty small but there were enough holes and bits to keep me interested.

So at 55mins I unfurl the self-inflating gas blob and crack the bottle to find errrrrrr. No gas  
 Now I know I filled it last night so it obviously got bumped on the lumpy ride out and lost all its gas. I can now confirm that this will not cause the bag to pop open and inflate as it was still neatly attached to my reel.

So cursing and spitting I unpacked my back up blob and reel and sent up a manual SMB for the first time in anger in over 18months. Amazingly it all worked OK and I am glad I kept in practice.

Winding up the little 50m CD reel is a pain in the ass with cold hands and it made me realise how useful a big ratchet reel really was.

I had a deco tin on so even after 60 @ 30 I only had 13mins deco, which apart from frustration at using the small reel went off no problem.

Water was 10c and after 75mins with my 5mm Neo 03 suit a fourth element base layer and a 200g Thinsulate I was comfortable except for my numb finger tips poking out of my broken gloves and my feet that were freezing.

Back on the boat the sea had dropped for a comfortable ride and the sun shone on the way home so despite the modest dive and no scallops we all were pleased to have been out for the day.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Guys

Glad you enjoyed it, i was gutted looking at the clear blue sky in the morning and Birmingham was a very sad replacement.

Regards

Paul
 
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