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Just not enough dive time.
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Thanks first - to Andy for organising it all and to Ian for buddying me again, bloke must be a glutton for punishment thats all I can say.

I only did the Sunday dive, a civilised start from home at 8.30 and a nice little 2 1/2 hr drive around the M25/M3/M27 followed by a very pleasant pootle around some of Dorsets loveliest areas. My wife and I had our honeymoon in Wareham so I diverted slightly to visit that area plus Corfe Castle and its village. All this in lovely sunshine, some nice tunes on the car stereo and a dive to look forward too as well. Very happy person indeed.

As expected I couldnt get into the Pier car park and parked in the top park, Ian arrived shortly after. We strolled down to the Pier, having paid the carpark fees up top, which by now was beginning to fill up, so beware. Fortunately the advance party had already got into the Pier, well done all, so we thought we might drive one of the cars down, drop the stuff off and re-park. Having greeted the early arrivals and got back up top we decided to manually move the kit or risk not getting parked again.

First dive was on the Kyarra and we were advise that viz yesterday was very good, not so on the Sunday about 4m, from the previous 8/10m, oh well thats life. Whilst the others scabbled about in the silt Ian and I took the moral high ground and just 'observed'. Unfortunately it was all over too soon as air supply dictated a return to the surface. However during the dive we saw some fish, perhaps not as many as on the hood, pollack (rather large), ballan wrasse, but the one that made it for me was a Tompot Blenny resident in a whole in the wreck just poking his/her head out. I found that fish hugely amusing and very cute, all coo at this point. We came back up the shot and did our stop as planned got to the surface and deployed one of our gas blobs, very easy no fuss nice and tall as well. Our dive was cut short as we had spent too much gas getting down to the wreck as we had circled on the surface waiting to drop for what seemed like an eternity, regs in and breathing too deeply I suspect, at least in my case as I felt somewhat anxious as this would be my deepest ever dive and in UK waters to boot. I really had no need as it was an easy dive and well within my existing experience. Ian bless didnt complain, especially kind as he had a 15 tank and his gas guzzling buddy was on a 12, mind he did make some reference to my breathing like a sex maniac. Fair comment really, so it looks like a 15 is on the cards soon, only fair really.
Now the hard part, getting up that bloody ladder, after last times lift I really wasnt looking forward to it and I was right. Bloody hard work, bruised shins and as elegant as an elephant, probably less elegant actually. Oh yeah 27m, 20 odd minutes and 14c

Second dive was a drift after a brief look at a wreck at 12m, hands up who hasnt done a drift, that'll be Binnie then again.
So more anxiety, actually I REALLY enjoyed it. 4 a breast for a backward roll quick OK signal and drop onto the wreck. Quick look round, longer could have been good as well, followed by a drift in the gentle current. Not much wildlife but the feeling of moving along with little effort was great, we think we saw a Dogfish shoot off as we approached, a few crabs, including edible ones, which we left alone. Some small shoals of small fish (dont know what they were mind) and some vegetation, probably animal really. As we ran close to 50bar I signalled Ian and he donated his primary on a long hose to me, which I wasnt really expecting but took it anyway, well he'd paid for it we might as well use it. We continued to drift along and a Bass shot between us. Shortly thereafter we decide to surface, Ian asked me to stow his DV, behind him, so I did. Now is it my fault he only has an Auto air and no 2nd valve  
 so I stowed it as requested, or at least thats what I thought he wanted, er wrong. Live and learn, sorry Bud. We deployed Smb and surfaced, this time I stayed nicely buoyant so no complaints from my Buddy about bubbling him this time.
Back on the boat, bit easier this time to be earole bashed un-mercifully about sticking his DV behind his back  

Jeesus I get less grief at home! Another lesson learnt.

De-kit and head for home. I played the Greta Card, by wanting to go home, come on fellas I had a near three hour drive and it was 6.30 and I hadnt had me dinner, so 2 pints on an empty belly and I wouldnt have been fit to walk let alone drive.

All in all though another really enjoyable experience, thanks again to all those that came along (Howard, two Steves
, Mark Chase, Howard, Alex, AndyP and Ian, who have I forgot?) especially to Andy for organising it all.

Matt
 

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You forgot us, ya bugger!

I'll add my tuppence later.

But...a big thanks again to Andy P for a top weekend.

Lou & Caroline
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Thats cos you were only part timers on Sunday. Hate to say this but you missed a cracking dive, apart from the ladder, obviously.

Matt
 

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Of course we missed a cracking dive....it is the way of things.  bet it wasn't as good as the dives that you missed on Saturday though.......
 

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Hi,

A big thanks to all who turned up for this trip (Robert Beale all I can say is thrupppp  
)

I will leave it to others to say more about there dives but I had a cracking time, the Aeolian Sky was the highlight for me, the swim thru Mark and I did stands out in my mind, it was a giggle. Shame about the pigging watch, I will find one, I just bloody well will.

Just to get this in before anyone else mentions it, yes I forgot to turn my Argon bottle on, and yes, at 30M it is a tad uncomfortable.

Matt, sorry mate, I really ment to have a chat with you about the dive before you went in, but as you may have noticed I was having a bit of a panic trying to get my kit together in time.

Steve W aka Batman; whatever I said in the pub on Sunday night, sorry, I was getting pretty pi**ed, and have little or no recall, on Monday I had a vauge recollection of having a laugh but the specifics are a bit of a blur. Oh, and next time you meet a Conger, I would advise against trying to see how many teeth it has actually got before comparing it against the book. Nice book by the way.

Lou and Caroline, always a pleasure to see you, no more to say.

Again, thanks to all, I had a great weekend.

ATB

Andrew
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Andy,
no problem at all, the first dive was a bit hectic for all of us, plus I was being thrown about all over the boat whilst trying to get kitted myself, so I didnt even notice.

Which reminds me, where did SteveW get that light from, it looked like something form the Battle of Britain, what a size!
Hardly minimalist was it. An old Bentley headlamp or something.

Matt
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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<font color='#000F22'>First let me add my thanks to Andrew for setting up the whole thing. Only those who have attempted such a feet will understand the stress that can bring.

I can tell you all that he was fretting over the viz, the weather, the boat, the dives, the divers etc. just like any one organising a trip and I hope that in the end he realised just how grateful we all were just to be there on a boat full of fellow YD divers.

As it was conditions were close to perfection. A bit less cloud was all you could ask for. The sea was flat calm in the sheltered areas and only a slight swell in open sea.

I arrived at the pub on the Friday night somewhat frazzled from four hours driving with a 5 year old a 7 year old and a stressed out wife and said a brief hello goodbye in the pub to the gang that had arrived and then went off in search of FOOOOOOD.

Next day, Andrew & I met first and hit the cholesterol bar at opening time for a coffee and bacon role. The rest of the gang met up in the car park on the pier and put faces to names. Lou and Caroline were there which is always a good start and soon after I bumped into the quiet and reserved Howard
, the two Steve’s and the inimitable Alex and we looked like we had a boat full.

SteveW had his inverted twin set on show with the gentalmen's out size OMS wing that when fully inflated looked capable of flight. DONT use helium as a wing inflator M8 we will never see you again. But all paled into insignificance as he unleashed the torch on an unsuspecting dive boat. It was massive. I thought it was a microwave for cooking the pasties after the dive. The water temp was 11 deg on the way in and 12deg shortly after Steve turned the torch on.


All we needed now was a boat! And right on time it turned up. There is a list of warnings on the boat, one of which is any diver wearing inappropriate diving equipment will not be allowed to dive. We anticipated a problem with Howard’s pink, yellow, orange and blue dry suit. As a precaution the skipper issued sunglasses to all divers.  
 

Off we went to the Aeolian Sky about an hour and a half out from Swannage. The sea was virtually flat but even these conditions in a small and exposed boat meant a long haul wearing a dry suit to keep dry from the wash.

On reaching the wreck I budded with Andrew and we hit the water first or second in and headed on down to the wreck. We were greeted with 10m viz and a fantastic wreck. I had read up on a swim through from the side of the wreck up through the engine room and out past a break in the funnel. So that was my goal. We did a few light swim throughs on other bits of wreck first but eventually found the hatch and went into the engine room. I love this bit of any wreck and great fun was had poking around. Viz was so good that we didn’t need to lay lines, the green glow from the entrance point clearly visible until the glow of the exit point took over. Mind you the exit was a tight squeeze for a twin set.

We scooted around for a while and terrorised a big lobster then headed up just as the Suunto clicked into deco. Great dive.

Then the first attempt at the Ladder!!!!!

On the surface Andrew and I bumped into Lou and Carol. Carol was not looking happy and it was immediately decided to let her go first. The poor girl weakened by seasickness struggled up the rickety side ladder and on to the boat. Having watched this I decided fins off was a good idea. Even with fins off it’s a struggle as the bottom rung is to high in the water and you have to start off kneeling down and then progress to standing. NOT easy and it was calm sea?

Caroline was badly seasick and in serious I want to go home mood and I pitied her the long haul back to dock.

Back to the pier for fills and food and we are off again at 6.00

Caroline was back bold as brass and ready to dive, which puts her in firmly in the gutsy diver book, top stuff that girl.  

Second dive was the Kyarra. As we were diving this the next morning Andrew used this dive as a familiarization trip as he was an old hand on this one. Viz was still good at 6 –10m and we got a great look at all areas on the wreck and scared our selves silly finding ever bigger conga ells hidden away all over the wreck. Fish life was prolific and all in all it was a lovely dive and a good appetiser for the main course next day.
Day two

Matt has joined the gang:

After fafing around with fills and dumping kit on the boat it was an instant kit up on the move job as the Kyarra is only 15mins out. Andrew and I are on twin 32% and 80% stage and we are planning some digging.  Alex comes along to watch so as a three we hit the water first in and drop down the line. Viz was not as good as yesterday at about 5m but it was still very acceptable UK conditions. After a bit of dodgy direction from me Andrew saved the day and took us back to where the digging spot was to be found. In we went with dreams of gold watches and 30 mins later we had an old leather sole, a bit of a plate and the neck of a bottle. Ho Hum

Having got fed up with treasure hunting we set off around the wreck. Alex bagged off and went home as he was at the limit on his single and pony and Andrew and I carried on. We managed to catch three lobsters but they were small so we let them all go and just satisfied our selves with poking around. The current got up to the point where we were hanging on the wreck so at 50min we bagged off and headed home.  24mins of deco later we were back on the boat with big grins. It was a great dive. Matt was suitably proud of a successful first 30m sea dive. Nice one M8

The afternoon dive on the Flur was a good wind down dive. Andrew Alex and I set off together. A bit of fafing with a forgotten weight belt and its off to see the wreck.  A pretty little wreck that took 10 mins to do and then off for a drift. Except Andrew had done the drift before so we went slightly across and into the current away from the rest. This was almost a mistake. After looking at loads of errrr nothing I found a small and very pretty Newdibrank, which I took back in my hand to show the others.    Andrew has in his hand another weight belt?
He fully inflated his 60lb lift wing but couldn’t get it off the deck. We later found it had 18kg of lead in it?
? I attached my SMB to it and we left it there for later collection and went off to finish the dive.

Shortly after we got fed up so went up and out and for the first time were first back on the boat.


The short trip home was punctuated with calls of great dive great w/end and loads of thanks to Andrew for setting it all up. For me it was my best UK w/end dive trip ever. Great company and we managed all the planned dives. You can’t get much better than that.

Thanks Andrew


Mark Chase
 

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EEk...I have to own up here.  It was I who shared my breakfast mushrooms with those waiting in the water to get up the ladder...sorry!


Caroline was the hale and hearty one on SMB duty!  She is availabel for very reasonable rates on all dive trips.
 

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Ok then.  Here is the report from the “girls”.

After cramming what seemed like half the house into the Volvo we left for Oxford.  I was spending the morning at work whilst Caroline went to do the important things like getting the pony bottles filled and buying food and seasickness pills!

At 12.30pm exactly I ran from work before anyone could catch me and we hit the road to Swanage.  A good drive down had us pitching the tent in a “strong breeze” by about 4pm and then it was time for a quick kip – just to try out the airbed you understand?

At about 6pm we decided to head for Swanage as we had little idea how to get tot he pier, or the designated pub, because I had forgotten to print off maps – oops!  A successful guess had us sat in the Crow’s Nest, drinking a pint of Guiness by 7pm.  I had no idea what time anyone else would turn up so we had some grub.  The time passed and we were still two lonely Yorkshire Divers in a pub full of locals that were getting weirder by the minute.  The last straw came when some geriatric darts players came and helped themselves to the rest of our table and tried to sell us some watches that were unrolled from a handkerchief….I bottled it and texted Mr P to ask where he was.

Five minutes later and the aforementioned Mr Phillips arrived with his lovely wife and very cute daughter.  We retired to the family and in due course were joined by the two Steves (W and Miller) and (very briefly) Mark Chase and his wife Ling.  A nice pint or two were had before we headed to bed to allow a bright and fresh (?) start the next morning.

The first dive wasn’t until 12.50pm but to get a place on Swanage pier far more dedication needs to be shown and C and I rolled up at 7.30am.  After parking it was a mission to find breakfast and this successfully achieved we arrived to find that Mark and Andy had arrived.  That was a bet lost by Andy…….he blamed a bottle of Becks too many.

Everyone else slowly gathered and by 12.45pm all 8 of us were gathered on the fair ship (ahem) Sidewinder……..hang-on!  There’s supposed to be more than 8……..where are the 2 Steve?
?  To the comment of “I have to leave in 3 minutes” from the skipper Andy showed a fair turn of speed to sprint up the ladder and down the pier to find the Northern duo.  They arrived in the nick of time, insisting that they were early and we all settled down to an hour and twenty-minute ride out to the Aoelian Sky.  Getting there we found shots already in place and we all attempted to kit up.  Caroline and I had a few problems due to a certain amount of disorganisation on the boat.  We were at one end and some of our kit was at the other with a deck covered in other kit and divers!  Never mind….we got there in the end and were dropped right on the shot.  A few moments to compose ourselves and we started to descend.  Now I was expecting to hit the wreck at somewhere about 20m but the shot seemed to have landed on a lower section in front of the superstructure and it was more like the mid twenties when the side of the wreck was under my paws.  The viz was a very nice 8-10m and you could start to appreciate the size of this wreck instantly.  We started forward along the rail before dropping along the side of the ship and turning towards the superstructure.  At least that was the plan.  Distracted by numerous fish that required closer inspection and a pause to release some rapped fishing line complete with lure and hook that was awaiting some unsuspecting fish or diver our sense of direction took a bit of a burton.  We made it back to the rail and found a shot but it wasn’t the one we came down on.  At that point we spotted Mark and Andy so thought we would follow them for a bit to see if they were heading the right way.  As we went up over the superstructure with derricks clearly visible below us completely intact it was clear they weren’t heading for the shot so we turned back and bagged off from a convenient railing.  A long slow ascent followed with some mini-stops bunged in for good measure and then 3 at 6.  We surfaced and found Andy and Mark nearby so we joined up and awaited the boat.  At this point my dear Caroline decided to kick off one Quattro and I spent the next 30 SCEs trying to descend to catch it but to no avail.  A 50 bar tank wasn’t going to let me down fast enough and it slowly and tantalisingly drifted downwards – bugger.  I then looked up to see the side of the boat bouncing up and down nicely in front of me and that was it…….breakfast revisited.  Mark kindly held my hand and the skipper called for me to board next.  Now that was very nice but the ladder was an acquired skill and I hadn’t quite acquired it at that point!  Instead of running up the side of the boat, this one runs parallel with it and is tied to rear of the boat by a line from the bottom rung.  Left leg over rope, don’t get left fin caught, get knees on bottom rungs and then stand because none of the other rungs are side by side, they are all staggered.  All the way up and then when you think you are at the top it is another step with the right leg and swing the left leg over the side, all in one graceful fluid movement…….yeah, right!  As Mark said, seasickness was not a good preparation for this and on top of that it took a bit of mental preparation to do the last manoeuvre.

All back on board and it was big grins all round.  From “no boats ever again” from Caroline before the dive when the stress of kitting up was at it’s peak it was now “what time’s the Kyarra”!  She then spent a good proportion of the trip home deflating and rolling up everyone’s SMBs, something that was repeated after every dive, bless her!

Back in to Swanage for a long surface interval we all split up for grub. After sourcing some really crappy hire fins for the next dives Caroline and I had chips in the rain on the seafront – how English can you get?  Fills picked up and back onto the boat to get the kit set up and better organised than the first dive.  Everyone started boarding and C and I began kitting up quickly.  Everyone else followed suit having learned their lessons from the morning and in anticipation of the 17 (! Info from skipper who has done it once or twice) minute run from t’pier to the Kyarra.  I was looking forward to this dive as I had heard so many good things about it and the viz that we had in the morning meant that it was looking like a good’un.  We weren’t disappointed.  Dropped to the rear of the proud bow section and on the keel side we slowly finned aftwards at 30m inspecting holes for fish and half an eye out for the glimpse of gold.  Somewhere about a quarter of the way along we hit a broken section with a large overhanging sheet of metal.  The floor here was virtually made of broken crockery and tiles and large bib were lurking in the shadows.  A check on the computer indicated that if we wanted any length to our dive it was time to ascend a little so we went up and over the keel to the deck area and continued towards the stern.  This area was alive with tompot blennies.  They were everywhere; in holes, out of holes, sat still, fighting with each other.  Every aspect of blenny life in a kind of high-rise blenny estate!  Swimming over a plate I came to hole and on the other side of the plate a fish head appeared from the same direction as I was moving.  As I moved over the gap I looked down at it and it kept appearing.  By the time it’s tail appeared it was nearly as long as I was but before I could get a good look for identifying features it had disappeared back under the plate again.  The best I have was that it was dark grey/blue, a slender cod shape but with more equal upper and lower mandibles and smooth scaled.  No luck in my book, or Steve W’s or thus far on the internet so any ideas from fish fans would be most welcome!

We saw the large donkey boiler off down and to our left and passed over the main boilers visible down inside the hull then moved up again towards the port rail.  Just short of the stern we finished up and shot the blob.   We were first up this time which is a shame because there was no-one to see the gazelle-like grace I exhibited as I danced up the ladder….;)  When everyone was back on the boat the smiles all round said it all…except the Steves who thought the first dive was better!  It is funny how you can dive the same site and see such different things because for C and I there was far, far more marine life on the Kyarra than the Sky but Team Steve had the opposite.

Stowing all the kit on the boat was the sensible option and we took it and then headed to The Peveril pub for a post-dive beer.  It was what one might call a “youth” pub and Andy treated us to a nimble-footed display of funky moves just before leaving.  I think the leaving part was a good idea after that.

The next morning dawned a little duller but the pier was far busier.  An 8.10am arrival saw us just squeeze on.  There was no Kevin on Sunday but we had the pleasure of Messrs Binnie and Price in replacement.  The ride out to the Kyarra passed a bit quickly for the latter who hadn’t taken the hint when C and I started kitting up with the boat stationary at the pier!

This time we were dropped in a similar place but more on the deck side so it was easy to find hold one (the one with the fabled watches).  Caroline and I declined to enter the wreck but we had a little ferret in the silt and found various decrepit items of cargo including ½ a perfume bottle and a broken champagne bottle.  There were stacks of complete ceramic tiles, and some leather shoes too.  Only the ½ perfume bottle came home as C has a thing for bottles (in fact we came home to a letter from the ROW to say that our only other dive find, a hundred year old intact beer bottle, was now legally ours).  

More close inspection of friends the blennies passed some time back up on the deck area and all too soon our bottom tie was up and the computers were demanding a whole minute at 3m.  This cleared on the way up but mindful of Steve W’s comments on the previous day about caution we did a minute 12m, 2 at 9m and 3 at 6m, just in case.  Again we were first back on board and the lack of help to de-kit meant that my head was down for too long in a slightly choppy sea and sure enough Captain Chunder came to visit again.  I wasn’t actually sick but felt dog rough for a good while.  This was aided by Mark and Andy’s determination to find treasure.  They had gone down with twins and stages and were planning on being down for a while……bugger!

Back at the pier Caroline and I decided to call the next dive.  I combination of factors came into this and we were sorry to do it but we weren’t 100% with going ahead.  A major factor was that it was to be a drift and the fins C had hired wouldn’t have powered a duckling, let alone a diver in drysuit with pony!  We were worried that any degree of separation and she would never catch back up as even full power they were struggling to keep up with a Quattro on “froggy ankle waft” setting.  We also had a 3 hour drive to get home and cumulative tiredness from early starts and deep (for us) dives on air was setting in.  So it was pack up, say a sorry goodbye to all and then a pie and hot chocolate on the pier whilst watching the blue bum of Sidewinder carry our “intrepid” co-divers out to the famous and mysterious wreck of the Fleur….sorry, might have exaggerated a bit there!

All in all it was a grand weekend at the seaside, with some top dives, top company and decent weather.  What more could a girl want??
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Just got back to Newcastle after a 7 hour drive so will post my two cents worth later, but for now I had a cracking time
 but got sunburnt kyaking on Monday with t'other Steve - ouch!
 
 
later dudes
steve
 

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Andy my thanks!

most of its been said, so wont add my two pennies worth other than to say it was nice to meet people and I enjoyed the company..

I may post my thoughts on the Cockney BIN-laden stowing me primary reg behind me tank!  


However Matt is a good buddy and didn't show any of these nerves at all, mind you he was on his arse sliding about the bottom of the boat for the 5 mins prior to managing to drop onto the Kyarra... and slagging off your dive buddy is a natural part of the fun! Unless your your part of a KKK dive team and are a fully functioning elite unit..

By the way, just had a good day with Tim Inge on the M2 (32m) and the Hood (18m) details to follow.

Ian
 

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Having decided to join this gig at swanage l decided to add a couple of days diving out of Lyme Regis, this was the cunning plan, however both thursday and fridays diving were subsequently cancelled.
So l was doubtful about the weekends weather.

How wrong can you be, dead flat sea, temp 29 deg, 30 mtr vis, massive comfortable boat with user friendly loo, diver lift, tea & coffee, hot snacks, skipper with great sense of humour, dolphins swimming along in the bow wave............
then my buddy woke me and told me it was time to travel to swanage.

The first dive on the Aeolian sky was better than a poncy 29deg, 30 mtr vis dive.

This was about the 10th time l've tried to dive this wreck, the second time l've actually dived it and the fisrt time l've seen it properly, its 'kin huge, the best part for me was the stern, passing over the superstructure to the rear anchor, along to the prop shaft and rudder.
Vis 10-12mtr

The second dive to the kyara was the second time l've dived it and again the first time l'd seen it properly, another great wreck.
Vis 8-10

Had a great weekend, thanks Andy, let me know when you,re next going to swanage and want a buddy.

Great to meet up with some of the YD gang.
Andy with his pyjama bottoms,
Mark put out the *** quick Chase, he must have been wearing a wig because he looks nothing like the picky, is that so that Vic doesn't reconise him.
The girls Caroline & fish feeding lou, the canny lads Steve scientist guy W & Steve normal guy Miller, Alex poor fella he's known Andy a long time and Kevin, biker Matt and cockney hater Ian.

Mark, my dry suit does not contain pink, the colours are teckie yellow, teckie orange, teckie lime green, teckie purple and teckie turquoise.
Oh and teckie black boots.

Steve - you've got to send me an audio tape of geordie speak

Lou- my top diving tip for people who suffer from sea sickness is.
Eat crisps and chocolate, then it tastes nice on the way down and on the way back up,

Ah well back to reality, next dive muddy puddle Wraysbury Wed evening for a dive as part of the ad, nitrox/deco course.
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I may post my thoughts on the Cockney BIN-laden stowing me primary reg behind me tank!  
at least I knew where it was if I needed it.

Matt
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>My two-cents worth - again, big chee-az to Andy for getting the gig together, it's only the second time I've travelled to the south coast for diving, but hopefully not the last.

Big big thanks to Lou and Caroline for remembering about me and the other Steve - and yes, we were early! And cheers for the dSMB service, your next beer is on me


Left Newcastle 12 on thursday arrived Taunton 7pm (far far too many cars darn sarf, big jams around Brum & Bristol, FFS!)
Friday headed off to pitch tents and then to Kimmeridge bay for buoyancy checks etc as Steve Miller(band) wasn't dived in this year and had hired 15 + pony which he'd never used before. My 'puta decided "I'm bored, I'm taking a sickie" and refused to work all weekend - guess who hadn't brought the back-up 'puta?  
 Doh! If anyone wants to see Snakelocks anemones , a.k.a. Anemonia viridis, the UK's only anemone with symbiotic algae like corals have, then this is the place to see them, very nice.
Millerband's suit valve leaks so he spends the entire weekend in a a very very non-dry-suit until Alex very kindly donates his old apex one which fixes the problem.

Headed over to Crow's Nest to hook up with the troop - just as they stopped serving food  much to our chagrin,
not to mention Mark and Ling who looked ready to drop by the time they got there.  Couple of beers with Lou, Caroline, Andy and his missus Liz then off to chippy.

I was a bit worried about my buddy not being dived in this year but thought, "well, he's had a good innings...." ;)   First dive on 'The Sky' was very nice, as we descended the shot I saw large amoumts of the wreck all at once and thought "Blimey! This is almost like doing the Thistlegorm" (nowt like the Clyde!). Lots of nice Bib to be seen as well as spider crabs (don't get them up north). Think the dive was about 30 mins bottom time, not so easy to be sure with a watch and depth guage instead of a 'puta (DIB - doing it basic
 )

Being now fully spammed up with the deco proc course I'm putting stops in like they're going out of fashion 18m, 15m 12m etc, my buddy is looking somewhat confused by my insistence on stops, keeps pointing up to 6m with irritated gestures.  Just as well he's borrowed the pony as his air consumption  is a tad on the high side.

That ladder! what a pig of a device !!  F-in gash!! Also the skipper doesn't want you touching the boat as you climb up - huh?? What's that about?

Dropped onto the Kyarra later, nice wreck but not as impressive as the first dive. Post dive beer in the Peveril (it was too loud, I must be too old...) and a shufty thru the book to ID all today's beasties. That night went to the coolest pub -the Square and Compass - a pub with it's own little natural history museum


Sunday, a late start, went to pick up the tanks from the shop, Steve's 15l wasn't filled!, valve was leaking air, guy said "Never seen this before", I guessed it'd be a popped O-ring but time is tight. Big cheers to Ian for lending Millerband his full 15 L, leg it up to the top car-park to get it, and back then we're off.

Most on board, myself included, are like headless chickens hurredly putting kit together. 1st dive is Kyarra again, viz has deteriorated BUT... see my first conger eel (huzzah!) or at least some of his 12" wide head !!! I'm estimating he must be more than 3 or 4 metres long,  'kin 'ell!!!

Last dive on the Fleur-de-lys was cool, a gentle drift down the coast brought us into contact with the biggest spider crab I saw on the trip, carapace was over 6" across and each claw was about a foot long, saw some nice nudibranchs too.

All in all a grand weekend, nice to meet up again with some now familiar faces, Andy, Lou, Caroline and Ian.

Good to meet some new faces: Howard -  you could easily get a part in Guy Ritchies next film, just get some practice in with  "Facking Norvern mankies...", Matt, sorry we didn't get time for a bit of crack over a beer, Mark - good to finally meet Vic's regular sparring partner (good acronym analysis too), on behalf of my buddy cheers to Alex for  donating his spare suit valve, nice to meet Kevin too and apologies but there's one person whose name is temporarily escaping me - Al Zeimer rides again!

Cheers y'all
Steve
 

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Do you really not get spider crabs up north?  I'll start appreciating them more now....they are kind of like starlings in Portland Harbour!
 

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Grumbler-chief in Residence
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You should try under the pier at Swanage, I was once doing a weight check there in less than 2" vis, decided to land on the bottom to sort out a bit of kit, only to discover the bottom move rapidly in multiple directions. I am sure it is under there that they all go for a party, cos there are 'undreds.

Andrew
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Sometimes get very small masked crabs but rest of the time  its mainly Shore crabs, Carcinus maenas and edible crabs Cancer pagurus. I think we might have some spider crabs in deeper parts of the North Sea but I don't see them when diving around here.

This looks like a user friendly site for diving purposes
British Marine Life Study society

Glad to know my kit (OMS 'Zodiac' and light sabre) has entertained  so many people this weekend
 The torch is apparently from Roho many years ago and is made from a car headlamp attached to a motocycle battery, it is recharged via a reular battery charger with  modified leads,  not bad for £70 S/H eh? As for the wing, it's nice to be lifted waist high from the water, helps the boat see you better  

Anyone got one of those little 4hp pony engines ? Strap that to my wing and I'm sorted  
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Glad to know my kit (OMS 'Zodiac' and light sabre) has entertained  so many people this weekend
I like your "zodiac"....it's a pretty colour  
.

Seriously, I spent a bit of time having a swatch at the wings on the boat (as Andy can testify after he found me ferretting bout his harness in the car-park!  
).  One day I will get one, and maybe some twins....7's or 10's, but talk about confusion - there is so much to consider!

Of course the only reason I want one is so I can bag the good spots on the boat, eh guys?
 

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at least I knew where it was if I needed it.  
Matt

Good point Matt!

and my comments are only in fun! I enjoyed the company of my arab-cockney buddy!

Ian
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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<font color='#000F22'>Lou and Carrol, My sincere apolagies for getting the names the wrong way round.

Does this meen I have to role my own smb next time



Howard, sorry M8 that purple has definatly faded to a bit of a dodgy pink colour. But on you M8 it looks pure class  


ATB

Mark Chase
 
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