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Nobody got lost, bent or died. Eddystone and J.E.L on Saturday, Persier and J.E.L on Sunday. Sun shone, No wind, skipper was great, boat was fine.
 

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The boat shifted, didn't it?  18 knots or something?

Great weekend.  Credit to Lou for making it happen.  And for pointing out that Doug has a large lunchbox.



More to follow when I'm more awake.  Hope everyone made it back ok - some long drives going on.
 

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Well, after everything going on, we had, I think, a successful trip.  There were 10 divers on the boat on Saturday, and 7 on Sunday.

As Doug has said the sun shone and the seas were flat calm, apparently not at all common for the area!  A 9am start on Saturday saw us diving the Eddystone lighthouse by mid-morning.  We were dropped to the south-south -west (?) side of it in about 14m.  The bottom there was kelp and boulders but a swim south took you over a small wall of large boulders down to approximately 27m.  The walls were covered in jewel anemomes and dead mans fingers and wrasse were everwhere!  A very large, brightly coloured and curious male Cuckoo Wrasse seemed to attach itself to every pair of divers and follow them around.  You would look at an anemome and turn to smile at your buddy to find this bloody wrasse staring back at you!  

At 27m the bottom became sandy with strewn boulders and continued to slope downwards, albeit gently.   We swam along this for a while admiring the sheer number of fish before turning into the wall and ascending through the kelp.  

A 45 min max dive time had been agreed so we surfaced and got back onto the Furious.  Shortly we had 8 divers on the boat.....hang on, where are Doug and Mdemon?
 Oh, yes.  there is Doug's SMB and about 2 inches of Mdemon's.  About 1/2 hour later they surfaced.  Apparently a computer had suddenly given a load of deco and rather than bend it and wipe it out for the rest of the weekend they obliged it.  Notes on Doug's slate read "we are going to get a right slagging for this!" - he was right!!!!

The boat then motored off to the JEL.  This boat can be well recommended.  It is clean, pretty spacious, has air-fresheners in the toilet and does about 18 knots!!  A surface interval at our leisure and we were treated to the sight of Doug's ENORMOUS lunchbox!!

 


Honestly, you have never seen one as big - his wife must really love him....

JEL was touch and go.  As Doug reported a couple of days earlier there had been a big swell and 1m viz.  We had it flat calm and improved viz of maybe 4m?  If anyone hasn't done this wreck you have to do it if you are in the area.  We hit the bow in about 4m.  Dropping down to the seabed in about 22m you can see the whole bow rising upwards into the limits of visibility.

We went to the left - this turned out to be a mistake as those who went to the right spent time playing with a cuttlefish!  We then entered the wreck and explored the open areas, seeking out one of my favourites - the tompot blenny.

The usual shoals of bib, poor cod and pollack hung around in the slight current and large ballan wrasse picked around the inside.  A few practise deco stops on the way up and we saw daylight after a pleasant 50 minute dive.

Saturday night and Tim, Mdemon Caroline and I had a rock and roll BBQ.  We smoked Adrian out of his tent which was next to Tim's after Caroline forgot to remove the cardboard from the outside of the disposable barbie, and C and I cooked a gourmet veggie meal whilst Tim and Mdemon devoured 1/2 a pig each and a whole roast chicken.....each!  A few beers and it was time for bed.

8.30am start the next day with the plan being to do the Persier and then Hilsea Point.  Tim decided not to come with us but instead started the long drive back to Yorkshire.  John Duncan and Alex were also not diving the Ssaturday so there were only 7 on the boat.  We got to the Persier and the sea was glassy smooth with no other boats in sight.  We all kitted up and got in.  There was a bit of a current running so the descent down the shot to 30m took forever and a day.  On the bottom we found the wreck much more "3D" than I had expected.  It was truly mobbed with fish, you could hardly see metal for them in some spots.  The current funnelled through the wreckage in some spots making for some interesting moments but it looked like a wreck I would like to spend some more time on.  Unfortunately 30m and air meant our time was limited and after shooting a blob with Doug standing by to applaud C & I made our way up.  We did get the first view of Mdemons enormous sack dangling down as he swam past though....



A leisurely lunchtime was spent watching Doug's SMB as he did an extended 100% stop as a precaution aftert he previous days dives.  It was lovely and peaceful.........

A vote decided that the afternoon would be the JEL again instead of Hilsea point so leaving his shot tot he other boats that had now gathered on the Persier he gunned the boat across to the west.  Viz on the JEL was worse than the previous day but after fighting past Andy and Graham on the shot and Doug, Simon and Mdemon on the bow C and I went off to the right and investigated the scattered wreckage that we hadn't seen before.  C saw a John Dory and decded not to point it out to me for which she was punished later as i had bemoaned the fact the day before that we were about the only ones who didn't see the John Dory!

We made it as far as the stern and turned back in towards the main part of the wreck but found a clubful of divers inside.  We were running low in the 10's we had borrowed off Doug and so sent up the blob.  I was light so a couple of deeper stops and a slow ascent had to do as I only managed to stay at 6 for about a minute before I really started to struggle.  Lesson learnt - add 2 kg for changing from a 12 to a 10, not 1kg.

Everyone else came up safe and sound and after fighting our way throught the youth dinghy races we came ashore and unloaded.  I had a really great weekend.  It was nice meetin everyone and I will just finish up by saying thanks to everyone for coming - hope we can do it again!
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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<font color='#F52887'>That was a large lunchbox Doug, what really got me was the trifle! A really great couple of dives on the saturday in beautiful weather, and the boat running aground in peeing down rain was the best
I must do a few more dives at Eddystone, my other half would have loved it (shame she wasnt there)
 

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Exeter Regiment (Hanger on squadron) sub-report

Turned up at the campsite about 6, next to Tim. Introduced selves, and commenced to put up tents. Later on a bit of a chat with Lou and Doug (thanks for the ballon
Doug), then off to the nearby Beefeater for a birthday meal.

Day 1

Tim, Lou and Caroline went early for breakfast. We left about 8.30 to  meet other club members, and launch the RIB just after 9. Thats early for this club, the boat does not often leave Exeter before 8.45.
Out at the Eddystone by 10, just ahead of Furious. A reasonable dive, but trim was tits up, or rather feet up. Now how had I put the wing on, which set of holes? Many large urchins, a few spider crads and swimming crabs. Large wrasse knocking around the kelp. Not my most comfortable dive due to the trim issue.

Both boats left Eddystone about the same time. Boy did they have to wait around for someone
while we swapped divers/coxes.

We went back to swap cylinders, then back out to the James Eagan Layne and the usual boat fest. Pleasant dive down the port side from the bow, first time I have seen a mullet on this wreck (and I don't mean a bad haircut). Along to the broken midships, around and back up the startboard side. One day I will dive with someone who knows exactly which way to the broken off stern section. Back towards the bow up and over into the holds. A couple of John Dories here, but did not see the one that usually knocks around the bow. Around the holds for a while, then up to the bow at 4m to stop, couple more mullet here around the hawse pipes, then up.

Eventually back to the campsite. Days are much longer with RIBs  
 Ho hum. Manage to start BBQ before it gets dark, but eat in the dark. Also got smoked out!

Day 2

Off to the Persier later as tents etc had to be taken down. Get out there as the main YD detachment is finishing. Put down our own shot. This time I am diving with Big Dave and I have repositioned the wing. We are also joined by some friends on their ex-RNLI D class. It is almost as fast as our RIB.

Down the shot, it is just east of the wreck, but the shape can be seen in the gloom. Swim over plates for a while, see a small ling, then over to the prop tunnel. Through the tunnel, then slightly left to the rudder. Under the rudder, the up and around the steering quadrants. Around some winches then up to the square bladed prop. Along the wreckage to the engine whre the cranks are still obvious. Over to the layered boilers, swim around them to the top and bag off. Pick up the shot and away. Journey back, where is Furious, I thought they were doing Hilsea on the way back? Back into Mountbatten to swap some divers/cylinders, then back out again.

Doing the James Egan Layne again, but its a big wreck and I would really like to know my way around it. And there's Furious. Along with other boats again. Dave and I do a similar dive to yesterday. I point out a couple of congers, he has seen the John Dory on the bow. Into the hull a bit earlier, and I recognise a particular shape hole. I know where I am
and take Dave straight to the engine, which still sits upright. We swim through the holds for a while, then up to deck level. Over deck structure to the anchor winches, then up to where the fixed bouy is tied to the wreck, couple of minutes safety, then up.

It was good to meet some of you, albeit briefly. I hope to come on another gig as a full participant, I hope you forgive my club diving this time.

Adrian

PS, Thanks for kicking this off Andy, It would have likely been a while before meeting other YDers. Sorry you couldn't make it in the end.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ Sep. 01 2003,15:25)]As Doug has said the sun shone and the seas were flat calm, apparently not at all common for the area!
Bah, we've been out 3 times this month! But yes we have been lucky with the sea state.

Adrian
 

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You will admit then that Sundays weather while we were on the Persier was exceptional.  I think the reason my lunchbox gets so well packed is that i'll stay out of the house longer, only going home when i run out of food.  I had to stay in the water longer because my left shoulder was killing me on Saturday night, A higher PPO2 seemed to clear it on the Sunday though. I wanted to do Hillsea on the way back but got out voted for J.E.L again.
 

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I wanted to do Hilsea too, but no-one else seemed too....oh, well.  That's democracy for you!  I knew it should have been a dictator-ship.  That way I could have flogged Doug and Mdemon after the Eddystone saga!
 

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Now she offers!
  The trouble with us Brits is we are too damned polite - we never make a decision for fear of upsetting anyone!  Sorry if you felt press-ganged into JEL
 Let's put Hillsea as number 1 for next time.

 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (DougParker @ Sep. 01 2003,22:58)]You will admit then that Sundays weather while we were on the Persier was exceptional.
Yes, the morning was good. We've  had some odd forecasts this year, several time F3/4 and above turned into flat calm.

Adrian
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ Sep. 01 2003,15:25)]
A leisurely lunchtime was spent watching Doug's SMB as he did an extended 100% stop as a precaution aftert he previous days dives.  It was lovely and peaceful.........
You didn't notice 21M in black on the cylinder then ?.  It done the trick though, my shoulder was aching as soon as i got to the wreck.  It's just as well i done it on my blob as our shot must've been like Piccadilly circus. I'll bet it was quiet on the boat.
 

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Oh, wasn't it 100%
 I blame Mdemon...he gave us the duff info.  After see ing the intimate workings of your pee valve I didn't look too closely at your kit.  I was scared at what else I might see.

Your shoulder wasn't hurting you badly enough to stop you being a cheeky git at 30m whilst we were shooting our blob!

Pete was fishing off the boat whilst you were down, we did try to pay him to hook you up but he wasn't having any of it......I think he was enjoying the moment. ;)
 

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I wasn't being a cheeky git
, i was applauding your perfect blob deployment.  I wouldn't do anything as sexist as taking the p**s out of a girlie.
 

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Course you wouldn't.....

Anyway, when are you arranging the next trip, Doug?? ;)
 

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In my defence, i have almost definite proof that i'm just a thick, gobby, cockoney so arranging something as complex as a dive weekend would be well above my abilities.  Anyway, i'm trying to organise a few of us going to Stoney to see what you lot are talking about and nobody is willing to try it.  I think they've been spoiled by living too near the sea.  
 

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I think another Plymouth gig would be cool - maybe more suitable for the semi-locals (the Bristol posse etc).  Why not just do an intro into all the good Plymouth shore dives?  You could fill a Saturday doing Firestone Bay, Millbay Pit and Devil's Point.  Sunday could be some of the others, or even do Furious again and get to some wrecks.  

The good thing about shore diving is that it's cheap!  And you can do three from the same location too.

What do you reckon?
 

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I think the idea of a Plymouth shore dive gig is a good one I've been meaning to come down and sample the diving myself, but diving has gone a bit pair shaped for me of late, so count me in.

Allan
 

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Let us know John,  I can think of a few from this neck of the woods who would be interested in a shore diving expo to Plymouth.

Daz
 

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I tried to post this earlier int he week but something kept going wrong so hope this works.


Firstly, thanks to Lou for picking this one up - and of course to Andy for getting the ball rolling in the first place.

I had a most excellent time despite leaving earlier than planned for the long trip back.

Saturdays dives were fab but especially the JEL - a very big wreck with lots to see and loads of very safe swim throughs - great stuff.  Now, I've always said that I wasn't big on wrecks but wow, this really did make me see the error of my ways.  When you are on it and you look up to see the ribs dissapearing into the gloom with the suns rays coming down at ya - well, talk about atmospheric and then you add in the shoals of bass streaming all over it and the wee blennies in the pipes and the dories etc.  This wreck really should be on on everybody's list of must do dives - especially when the weather was a good as it was.  (still don't believe there were ever any cuttlefish on it tho.  
)

Also, it really was good fun on the boat - especially Doug's Lunchbox - I really thought he'd been kind enough to bring tukka for everybody!

Thanks also to John, who was good enough not to mention my abysmal DSMB deployment on the 2nd dive - really it was unbelievably amateur - one to practice all over again methinks - remember folks, once you've acquired a skill, keep practicing or you'll look like a fool when you come to need them.

And Dom, if you read this, get Doug to send you a piccy of the DIY torches on the boat - I really have never seen such professional looking pieces of home-made gear.

Oh and one final tip which has been made over and over on this board.  Always make sure that you have all your kit - when you leave home, when you put your stuff on the boat etc etc.  This includes food, towels, dive kit and so on and so forth.

As for a Plymouth Shore dive gig - sounds like a great idea.
 
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