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Just not enough dive time.
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Hi all,
finally got a few minutes to spare and our computer system is down so time to bash out a report.

Family holiday in Newquay this year si I decided to look into some UK diving for Adam & I. DiveNewquay just down the road seemed like a good idea, but boat problems and computer problems, theirs not mine, meant a week before the holiday I had to try and arrange something else. I had heard good reports of Porthkerris as a location and as an outfit so I called and was dealt with very proffesionally by Heather. Dates booked for escorted dives Monday, Wednes and Thursday, 2 dives per day, first 2 shore then ribs. Dont know about you but I'd sooner dive off a rib than a hardboat with an excuse for a ladder any day. Arrived on site late MOnday and was immediately put at ease by Serge that he'd fit us in slightly later than the original plan. Duly kitted up and dropped in off the shore to dive Drawna Rock. A great little dive averaged about 8m maxed at 14m and enjoyed 45mins underwater in 7mm semi and 20C water temp. Great viz 8m and loads of life. Bit of current here and there gave me a few moments as I finned like mad and watched in horror as my contents gauge registered my heavy breathing. Afterwards Serge politely asked when I gave up smoking - er I have never smoked! Second dive after a good SI saw us swimming through the kelp as Serge sought out 'stuff' for us, including several ugly looking Morays hidden very well from view. Much the same 15m max and an av. of about 8m gave us a 50min. dive. Briefly both dives were really good and we saw much more than we would have done had we not been 'guided'.

Weds saw us diving the Challis and a drift dive. Drift dive first, down to about 24m, great viz again and a ripping current but the heavy breathing took its toll on the dive time, note to self 300 bar or 15L required soon. Adams first drift dive and he surfaced beaming from ear to ear, not so much fish life to see but sponges and dead mens fingers in abundance so a good dive none the less. Second dive saw us dropping to 22m onto a huge wreck, we managed to explore the boilers and that was just about all, she's quite broken up and flat but full of life because of her age (I believe she sank approx 1880?).

After the dive we returned to the shore to de-kit etc. and were treated to the sight of a shark just off shore, nobody told us its type as it was seen only by a few. One set of returning divers was lucky enough to be just bringing their boat in when the shark was spotted and they went off in pursuit at a respectable distance. It was only a tidly shark but I dont think I would have been as brave as the aforemetioned divers who having dropped their scuba kit off decided to free swim in its vicinty.

During the post dive log book stuff, Serge asked why I have my pony turned off and I mentioned the dv leaked slightly, quick as a flash it was apart and fixed, along with a look at 2 others of mine plus that of another diver. Really simple once you know how, but I never really felt brave enough until now.
I know the other divers name but he might not want it published, but he reads YD. Nice to see you again mate.
How did your boy get on?

Thursday unfortunately was canned to Friday, which I couldnt make and have been promised a refund as I had paid up front. Due to the proffesionalism of Portkerris I have no doubts that it will wing its way shortly.

All in all a great quartet of UK first dives for my boy and I feel his dive education is moving along nicely. I really enjoyed the 2 shore dives, they were both long and educational, I felt priviliged to be underwater and seeing things reserved for all but a few of us. It made me feel great for a few days and made me realise how lucky we are to be able to do this sport/hobby.

Matt
 

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Not as tall in real life
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Matt,

Glad you had a good time and nice to see that you were well looked after.

Off down to Porthkerris this Friday,  hoping to meet up with Jules and Bethi (Jules will give you a call on the Saturday and report the conditions).  

Daz
 

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Glad you and Adam enjoyed yourselves, Matt. You're right about diving being a fascinating hobby. We are really privileged to be able to experience the marine world for ourselves and not just on TV, like so many others.
 

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

Glad you had a good time. We did Porthkerris a couple of years ago, got a huge amount of training done from the shore dive. Also did a night dive there with a BBQ, good experience.

I enjoyed the vis but the wrecks were not as good as what we have off Dover, although i missed the better one on our schedule as we had a guy pass out on the surface, bit of a learning curve for his students.

Get your ass down Dover for some quality wrecking.

Regards

Paul
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Paul
Dover is certainly on the list, just needed to see what Adam was like in UK Sea conditions using a 'guide'. Next up is check out his dry-suit still sort of fits, as we used semis in Cornwall,  before we go on John's trip to the Farnes (Sep) then the boy will be well on the way to being experienced enough for a bit more 'adventure'. Depth still remains a bit of an issue, I dont want him going past 25/30m until he stops growing, God only knows when that will be! But we'll be joining/pestering you soon.

Regards
Matt
 

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Matt,

We dived with Porthkerris on our holiday last week (thursday), I wasn't massively impressed (mainly as they squeezed 12 people on the Rhib for the 2nd dive) but they were O.K and I think I would go back. We did one of the Manacle reefs and then the volnay.

Glad to hear you had some good dives, I would like to ask you a couple of questions though. Firstly on the morays? As far as I know you don't get them this far north. Just interested as to what they looked like. Conger possibly, or if not that big, butterfish?

Also, I wouldn't be completly dismissive of hard boats. It sounds as if you have had a bad experience with a rubbish ladder - some are a git granted, but hard boats give you a hell of a lot more space, are much more comfortable and you normally get a cup of tea! I took a group of 7 quite new UK sea divers to Devon last year with the club RHIB. We dived on it all week until it broke down and so we ended the week on a hard boat in Plymouth. They all loved it and swore never to go in a RHIB again!

Cheers

Paul
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Paul
good spot, yes I meant Congers not Morays!

We were supposed to dive Thurs, that got canned/moved to Friday, then moved back to Thurs with the proviso the weather wasnt brill and I should call before I left home. When I did Heather seemed to be trying to put me off a bit as the weather was going to be rough. I got the feeling their was slightly more to it than that. Maybe they were a bit oversubscribed as one of their boats was away at some Regatta. Didnt really have a problem with that as it was going to be an early start and I had pulled an arm muscle slightly anyway (I hope!). The two dives you did were the same oas the ones we were down for I think (10.00 and 14.00 ish - before anyone hammers me we had a 1 1/2 drive to get there).
Hardboats - bah!  
 I have dived a few now, rubbish ladders, too much space to roll about on as you're trying to kit up, never had a cup of tea either, stinking diesel engines, people smoking - horrible things. Give me a rhib anytime, little or no rolling at the dive site, big rubber tubes to balance your gear on, nice gentle roll back, easy to get into, no-one smoking - much better. And usually cheaper - sound like a canny Northerner now!

Bottom line is though I suppose I'll put up with anything so long as the dive is good.

Matt
 

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Matt,

1000 and 1400 - I wish!! We were on the bloody boat at 0815!!! Then back out at 1215. That one was full - very full.

It was pretty rough, my girlfriend gets very sea sick and wasn't too happy on the RHIB. We had a real mare loading up as Giles had to keep bringing the boat in, we would pile kit on before he pulled out. Funnily enough I pulled a muscle in my arm, really quite badly, I thought it was because I fell over carrying 2 weightbelts off the RHIB, maybe it was getting back on again or something.

You need to go with the right hard boat skippers - then you'll get a cup of tea. Kittting up benches, no rubber tubes (I dive twin 10s) and dry storage space. I also find outboard fumes 10x worse than diesel. I don't know if this is me being a northerner, but I think Rhibs are approaching hard boat prices these days. They used to be cheap, not anymore! Our club has just got rid of ours as it wasn't worth the hassle!

I will take your point on the pitching/rolling and the small roll backwards - some of the bigger liveaboards have about 8 feet freeboard, thats a long way when you stand looking at it!! At least if it is rough there is something to hold on to on a hard boat - usually the skippers wife!!

Paul
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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They offered me the 08.15 - no chance!

I've never seen a skippers wife on board, chances are I probably wouldnt want to hold on anyway - I can just imagine my wife's reaction.

I did my arm in hauling other fat arse twinned up divers kit aboard, mind you my single and pony seems to weigh more to me. Maybe it was the integrated weights that did it. Or maybe as I tried to pull the BCD/tank unit on after getting out of the boat and staggering backwards instead of gracefully walking up the beach and nearly drowning as I lost my footing.
So elegant as usual.
 

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One very interesting moment was after the first dive when it was still too rough to get the boat onto the beach. Giles dropped us and our rigs off about 20m out from the beach and we swam in. It was all very good in theory. Unfortunately there was quite an undertow and it was quite hard to make progress to the beach. One guy with twin 10s ended up very close to the rocks and one of the staff on board had to swim out to him. We then got closer to the shore (I put my kit on while out of my depth to make getting out easier) and a series of HUGE waves came in, really dumping on the beach.

The instructor and the bloke who had to be rescued (Iain) were wasted big time, they bearly had enough time to catch their breath before the next one hit, those just getting to the shore were all bowled over (Lou got a big bruise on her leg). Bit of a mess and could have easily turned very nasty. Not one I would like to repeat I have to say!! Iain got a pretty nasty bump on his head from that one. I don't thing he was particularly impressed!

A stiff reminder that that sea is definitely in charge!!

Paul
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Sounds like I made a good call on that one then, funny cos usually I get/bring the bad weather with me.

OK I'll go for the hardboat/lift and jetty in that case,  


We had a similar experience of that in Lanzarote, as you say a good reminder.

Matt
 

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A tail lift, now there's a great way to get back into a boat. I was however talking to a skipper in Plymouth who has a lot to do with the professional boatmans association (PBA). He was saying that the insurance implications for them are immense!

Paul
 

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Hi Mat. My son and I did the Thursday rib dives with all the loading and unloading capers you have heard. He found the surface conditions a bit off-putting but stuck it out to get his AOW. Like you I found Porthkerris to be well run and I will definitely be back.
 

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Richard,

Small world, 2 sets of people, turn up at a dive centre,  then end up in the same forum!!

I don't know about you, but I thought the second dive was far too over crowded. I don't know what the licence is but I reckon they were pushing it!

Paul
(Black and red drysuit, twin set with lass in black and silver drysuit and twin set parked next to you in Blue mondeo!)
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Richard,
pass on my congrats to your 'boy', well young man anyway, nice lad - look forward to the 4 of us diving together sometime.

Matt
 

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I've just got to comment on the RIB/hardboat issue. You've been on the wrong hardboats, Matt! I'll dive from either but a good hardboat is far more convenient and comfortable, in my opinion, even without a tail-lift. Actually, I've never dived on a boat with a tail-lift. I agree that many ladders are a pain in the a--e, though. In fact, that's one of my pet subjects. People spend hundreds of thousands buying and fitting out diveboats and then put crappy ladders with narrow, slippery rungs and hopeless handrails and often hanging at the wrong angle on them. Grrrrrrrrrr!
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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Looks like a great topic for a punch-up/poll, OK I'll do it.

Matt
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Hey your realy getting into the salty stuff now M8


Pitty Serge couldent do your dive report. He could have called it Serges adventures with Matbin


(You have to be a Tin Tin fan to get that joke apolagies to any one under the age of 35)

Top stuff M8

ATB

Mark Chase
 
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