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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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A group from our club did a Mon to Fri trip to Normandy (Fe Camp) last summer. Really enjoyed the diving. Plan was to do a deep mid Channel wreck going over and one coming back. Unfortunately, the weather blew out the "going" wreck but did the Lan Franc coming back - marvellous.

We went with Steve Johnson owner of Nauticat out of Brighton. We are regular customers and unsurprisingly think he is an excellent skipper (he is also a diver which helps) and his boat is excellent for getting kitted up + currently having a diver lift installed.

I don't know for sure but I believe he is booked up for this year - anyway, you can contact him via his web site Channel Diving and click on Channel Diving.

I def recommend the trip.
 

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The King Of The Divan
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OK as in good or OK as in acceptable???


Experience from our club is that White Horse tended to just use one port and not stray from there (maybe a bit much to expect too much cruising but a change in port during the week would have been welcomed).

I also seem to remember there was grumblings about skipper's attitiude but cant comment as I was not there. What everyone agreed on was that it was good diving

Simon
 

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PM Rob Evans. I think he's fairly clued up on that area.

And if your going down and doing sensible depths(sub 50) give me a shout. Might be interested.

Peter
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (peter k @ Jan. 21 2004,14:48)]PM Rob Evans. I think he's fairly clued up on that area.

And if your going down and doing sensible depths(sub 50) give me a shout. Might be interested.

Peter
Rob arranged the trip that I mentioned earlier.

Peter - I'm not sure how sensible you are being. Do you mean a sensible depth as in greater than 50m or sensible as in max 50 mtrs  
.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Snash @ Jan. 21 2004,14:20)]OK as in good or OK as in acceptable???


Experience from our club is that White Horse tended to just use one port and not stray from there (maybe a bit much to expect too much cruising but a change in port during the week would have been welcomed).

I also seem to remember there was grumblings about skipper's attitiude but cant comment as I was not there. What everyone agreed on was that it was good diving

Simon
OK as in acceptable. They said the boat isn't very fresh but is OK. The skipper was apparently very good.
 

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That's Dude with an E
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I arranged a trip to Normandy in July 2002 and the choice was between going on the livaboard White Horse Charters or going with Steve Johnson on Nauticat.
Like a dickhead l chose White Horse.

The boats just about OK however there was only eight of us not twelve, the skippers being doing this for about ten years and is obviously fed up with it and his attitude stinks.

One of the problems is that the harbour of St Vasst, where the White Horse berths, has gates therefore evrything is planned arround getting back in, which means some days you can only do one wreck.
Nauticat berths in Fecamp which does not have gates, therefore the diving is bassed arround diving two wrecks.  

The weekend before last we were diving from Weymouth and as our boat passed the White Horse l mentioned that if anyone wanted to go to Normandy do not go on that boat, Angus agreed and our skipper just smiled, l asked why, he replied that he couldn't say much because the skipper was a friend of his,
He did say that he has overheard more divers criticising White Horse Charters than praising it.

Go with Nauticat, it`s a cat day boat and B & B in Fecamp.

l'm planning on going back next year.
 

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<font color='#000F22'>The normandy wrecks are on my list of things / trips to do. Maybe 2005 I'll get there, too much on this year.
 

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As per Bryan's reply - Steve Johnson's a terrific skipper. Very very professional in the way he runs the boat, but at the same time very easy to get along with, cos he's a diver of long standing himself. Great bloke, great boat & he's busy installing the lift as we speak.
The beauty of it all, he's mad into new & un-dived wrecks.  We did a couple on last year's trip that no-one's seen since 1941, just cos he had a load of new numbers & did we fancy it?
He's well booked up this year, but have a look at the website for the midweek dives - you might be able to tag along on one of the Fecamp charters.
It was slightly crap last year cos the bloom hadn't cleared so very dark (in JULY!), but if you get the oppo to do the Lanfranc in decent vis it's apparently a biblical experience.  I've seen some good video of her and.....Wow. When we dived her it was pretty dark, but one of the best dives I've ever done.  Big, upright, intact, gorgeous, lots of penetrations, loads of life - the perfect wreck.  And it's <50m.
 

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I am looking for a boat that is running scheduled trips to Normandy rather ala Nauticat needs a booking. I only intend to try and get a couple of spare spaces rather than run a trip as I basically can't be bothered running anymore hardboat trips unless I absolutely can't avoid it.
The reason I asked is because when I was on a liveaboard to Guernsey a couple of years ago I was warned off a Normandy boat as having the skipper from hell and boat as being due for the scrapyard from folk that had been on it and can't remember which one:D
 

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That's Dude with an E
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Rupert Bear @ Jan. 22 2004,14:25)]I was warned off a Normandy boat as having the skipper from hell and boat as being due for the scrapyard
Yup, that sound like the White Horse.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (diving dude @ Jan. 22 2004,21:29)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Rupert Bear @ Jan. 22 2004,14:25)]I was warned off a Normandy boat as having the skipper from hell and boat as being due for the scrapyard
Yup, that sound like the White Horse.
I talked to a couple more of my friends here in Gothenburg last night and they say the same - lousy boat, skipper very good at handling the boat but with a major attitude problem.
 

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As far as I know- and I''ll be happy to be proved wrong- there isn't anybody running scheduled trips over there, there isn't the market for it. You have to bear in mind that the distances involved mean it's not a day-trip scenario  - a long weekend is the minimum.
Tim Benneto on Spartacat does day runs out to the Lanfranc etc, but AFAIK no-one apart from Steve does proper runs over to the Normandy wrecks. It sounds mad given what's over there, but the Frogs aren't interested, so you're limited to the odd South Coast skipper who's into it.
As said before, you don't necessarily have to book the entire boat - have a look at this year's midweek dive list, there are Normandy trips on there & if the clubs that've chartered the trips can't fill the boat there's no reason you can't tag along.
 

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If I'm not mistaken Maureen of Dart is still doing the Normandy runs.  It would also be worth giving Len, the skipper of Autumn Dream a ring.  He is doing some runs over there this year although I'm not too sure of the details.  He runs a cracking boat, has bunks for eight and the food is second to none.

As Howard has already mentioned avoid John Ayling and the White Horse like the plague!!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Angus @ Jan. 23 2004,20:59)]As Howard has already mentioned avoid John Ayling and the White Horse like the plague!!
I was threatened with being sued for saying something similiar to this about a dive shop
 
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