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What a fabulous weekend for diving!?

Saturday was spent on the RIBs out of Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog, for a dive on the Bronze Bell - a protected wreck. We were all registered with the archaeological society to dive, and spent an hour pottering round looking at the cannons on the sea bed. OK, it wasn't really my cup of tea, there wasn't enough life in the shallow 6m or so we were in to keep me interested... But it was a means to an end...

After the dive and recovering the boats, the few of us who had planned to stay over got ourselves organised. We drove up from Porthmadog to Treaddur Bay and got ourselves pitched up for the evening. Given the excellent weather forecast, it was quickly and unanimously decided that we'd go for the Segontium. We'd only dived her two weeks previously, and had a fantastic but short dive - i was hoping for a longer bottom time this time round! After a barbeque, a few beers and a lot of laughs, we all settled down for the evening.

We were all pretty much awake at 6.30, and we were organised and kitted up ready for the off at 7.30. We had to be away from the slip at 8am to catch the slack water. Five of us had stayed over and were ready to dive - a real shame considering we were taking two RIBs and the sea was like the proverbial mill pond. Anyway, we were away quickly and arived at the site just after 9am. We were the only boats n the site, and after a few sweeps on the echo-locator we were shotted and ready for the first wave. The first three went in, and we hardly drifted 10ft from the shot-buoy in 30 minutes. We were told by the first three in that the viz was excellent and they could see the wreck from about 15m.

I went in with the training officer and had a smooth descent, apart from my x-vision mask leaking - not nice at 33m! Anyway, we landed on the seabed next to the wreck as I wanted to get the depth for my sports diver training. We then went up the side and pootled rund on the deck for about 20 minutes. There was masses of life, cod, conger, bib, crabs (with huge spiny spider crabs walking on the sea bed below) pollock, congers... All sorts! I'd taken my camera down so managed to get off a few shots along the way. After our dive, we came up slowly to be retrieved by the RIBs.

Back on the surface we were all buzzing from the fantastic dive! Nigel the chairman piped up that he was sure he'd seen a parrot fish or something on the wreck!? I agreed and said I thought it was a trigger fish! The other three sarcastically agreed and said they'd seen it too - right next to the clown fish and fan corals... I told them I had a pic so we'd prove them wrong!

After the long trip back to Treaddur, we decided to have a dive on the Missouri - one i've never dived before (successfully anway!). I went in with Nigel this time and we had a superb 45 minute dive. There were hundreds of fish - pollock, wrasse, pipe fish, bib, scorpians - everything you could imagine! I gently picked up a pipe fish and had it staring in to my mask and even trying to wrap itself around my head - was great fun - reminded me of warm water diving! The best was yet to come though! We got to the bow of the Missouri, and low and behold there were FIVE trigger fish gently swimming in the current! We just sat there for about 5 minutes gob-smacked watching them!

After our 45 mins were up, we headed back to the anchor line and headed back up to the RIBs. All talk was on the trigger fish now and there was no denying what we'd all seen! It was for me the best days diving in the UK, and possibly anywhere so far. And one i'll always remember...

When we got back, we ran in to 3/4 other ribs at the bay, when we told them we'd been to the Segontium we got the same reply from them all, "we were going to dive her but it would've been too busy..." they weren't too impressed when we pointed out we were the only boats there, and only had five on two boats...
 
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