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Okay, thought I needed to de-northenise the trip reports again, so here is a quick summary of the most enjoyable weekend I have just spent in Cornwall.

It began with an early 12pm departure from work.  The temp was 30 degrees, the car was stacked up with gear, and me and the other half had a five hour drive ahead of us.  As it turned out  the weather cooled a bit further south west and the traffic was ok, so 4 ½ hours later we are near St Keverne on the east coast of the Lizard and enjoying a cornish, organic clotted cream ice cream whilst waiting for the pub we are staying in to open at 6pm…..they don’t do all day opening in St Keverne!!  A pint or so later  with the others in the group and a visit to the Dive Action guys to sort out the plan for the morning, and it is bedtime.

Saturday dawns slightly grey but 1 mile down the road to Porthoustock beach and the upside is revealed.  The sea was like a mirror (a welcome relief for those of us who admit to suffering in a swell).  By 8.30am the rib was loaded and we were skimming our way out and slightly south to the first dive, named “W*nkers Wall”.  It was an almost sheer drop to about 40m and encrusted with life.  There were urchins that looked the size of melons and glowed purple in the torchlight, deadmens fingers by the handful (haw haw), anemomes or all sorts, sizes and colours, and a multitude of wrasse.  The viz wasn’t what we had hoped for as this year it appears the plankton bloom has stayed on for longer than usual, but the green light made a drifting safety stop atmospheric!

Back to the beach for a SI, lunch and a rest.  12.30 and the bottles were back down, filled and the kits on the boat.  The next dive was up towards Falmouth Bay for the wreck of the NG Peterson.  This was a steamship carrying iron ore that collided with another ship and sank in about 1917.  It is a jumble of plates with some scattered wreckage heading out into the desert.  It is known as the Conger Wreck and, indeed, four, fine specimens were spotted by the rest of the group.  My buddy and I decided to lose the wreck though, whilst investigating the scattered stuff and instead went on a voyage of discovery across the sand, scaring up a multitude of flying scallops.  It was worth it though as we found treasure!  Well, treasure to us, our very first “salvage”.  Okay, so two bits we couldn’t lift and had to leave there.  Given that after a bit of prodding and scraping a realised that one of them was a large shell (of the bang variety) that is probably a good thing.  The bit we did bring up was an old beer bottle, embossed, and with the cork pushed down inside.  Now I know this might not be very exciting to the hardened brass collectors, but I think it is great, nothing was destroyed to get it and I am having great fun tracking its history.  I have also filled in my first Receiver of the Wrecks form…..

Saturday night and we all went out for a meal, but by 10pm we were full and flagging, so it was back to bed for another early kick-off.  Sunday morning was sunny and gorgeous and the first dive was Raglan Reef on the Manacles.  Similar life to the wall but some stunning topography.  Lots of pinacles and gullies to explore, but it did turm into “hide from the tide” as the currents picked up towards the end.  Another drifting safety stop was had, this time at some rate of knots – or so it felt!

The last dive was the wreck of the Epsilon, another steamer, this time carrying maize, who hit a mine in 1918 in Falmouth Bay.  It consists of a pair of boilers and some plates in the centre and then some distance to each end lies the reamins of he bow and the stern.  Some kind soul has laid a line to guide you to these extreme points of wreckage, but the seabed out to them was so covered in brittle stars that you had to sometimes clear them to keep an eye on the line!  Only a short dive this time as the combination of the two depths and short SI meant that deco stops came knocking after about 40 mins, so 35 mins and we were on the surface, comfy in the RIB watching SMBs start appearing like some weird flowers in the Wizard of Oz or something.  Turns out we missed the congers again!  Really have to hone my conger finding tactics I think!

I have to go back and dive there again, and hope for some of the famous viz, because we had some great dives in 4m viz so they would be stunning in 10m conditions.  I will also remember to take a peg if I go during the plankton bllom again because after two days my gear stank to high heaven, and after a night in the car on my return it was enough to knock you out!!

Recommend it to anyone, and we used Dive Action who were , erm, characters, but very helpful, fun and knowledgeable!
 

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Nice one Lou.

I've always fancied Cornwall, I've heard some good reports only it's bloody miles and miles and miles away...

When you mentioned De-Northernising the trip reports again I started thinking about where I've dived in the UK and I've never actually done anything south of my house, well not in the sea anyway (went to Capernwray a few times)

It's hard to think of going South and travelling twice as far as I would have to go to get to Scotland, but I will one day. I'm thinking more Westerly tho, Wales I think might be worth a trip
 

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I wasn't being cheeky about de-northenising.  I would love to dive St Abbs, but like you and Cornwall it is bloody miles!  I am lucky I guess to live pretty central in that nothing in England is more than about 5 hours away, so I must get up north some time.

I am keen to do Pembroke, or maybe north wales before the end of the season so if any of you chaps are thinking about something, maybe we could hook up?
 

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Sorry Dave and all, must have forgot to mention Wales is off for me....
 

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Same here Dave Cornwalls a bit to far for such as a weekend.
Lou's suggestion on Pembroke W. Wales certainly a better option theres a real corker of a wreck down there plus some good scenic diving.
Maybe something to think about after the Aug Bank Hol bash??? Any takers for Pembrokeshire?
:wink:
 

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Two of us southern contingent would be on for Pembrokeshire....

(Well, one is ex-Grimsby but I have corrected her ways now!!)
 
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