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Team Starburst
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It is 175 miles from Bedfordshire to Portland, it should not take 5 hours. So a grim journey down, not helped as Adrian grabbed the last decent parking space at the Aqua hotel. So a quick unpack and tiem to top up the fluid levels. Peering into the Breakwater pub we recognised no faces and so went in next door. Noone we knew there either, but the Bombardier beer was nice.

So fed and watered we went to the Breakwater and came face to face with Paul Oliver, so Cathy met the big chief for the July Pikey gig and various dive topics were covered.

So Sat morning loomed and by 7.30am Paul was out marshalling his three RIBs, just as Adrian and I had an early morning cuppa. So round to the Scimitar. Wow what a lovely boat, the attention to detail is awesome and the crew are lovely too. There was the usual kit checking for anyone sporting too much Halcyon dive gear :) and I did not have to use my Do Not Use dive tape anywhere on the people dive kit.

The weather was looking good and the sea state rather flat. The were the usual heated discussions ,one covered underwater MP3 players. You may ascertain people views here

First dive the Sidon. About 4m of viz. Its a sub seen one you have seen them all OK. Not the most relaxing dive but some lessons learned.



Dive two was the James Fennel. Basically a set of boilers surrounding by boulders. The viz was absolute pants about 2m, which for Cathy (who is trained in Gildenburgh this made for a pleasant a dive-I kid you not, some people aare very easily pleased). Personally I think the viz was ruined by the rebreather divers on Tango, especially the Submatix divers who are world renowned for poor buoyancy skills;)

In the evening we ate in the same place, we found Paul Oliver again who told us where to find a lot of diving lead, newbie divers please pay attention on how to hand a weightbelt in to the RIB.

Sunday
Well yes, Smudge admitted it was iffy, touch and go, borderline. But we kitted up anyway and headed out. This is what Weymouth bridge looks like from underneath.

(well I like the photo)
Gary and Helena testing our bungy fastening


Anyway we went out and it was a bit rough, bouncy and all things not good for diving. We went west, we went East, then into the harbour, then we called it a day, none could face the landing craft as the wreck of the day. However the doughnuts improved matter enormously. Never mind some of us are back in September :)

We got home in three hours, which was very pleasant

Helena and Smudge.
Great boat, lovely service, very nice drinks, probably the best UK dive boat I have been on.
 

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Team Starburst
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5,275 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Blown out and other bits

I forgot to mention that the Monday team list contained a possible double whammy of diving Jonah. ;) Hence the diving being cancelled. Still there is alway DIY, and I suspect that Helena has lot of DIY plans for Smudge.

I really enjoyed the hot shower shared with Cathy. Fortunately we were on Scimitar at the time and still in our drysuits. Being hosed down is a great idea.

Portland Engineering did me proud as I was able to track down a new front plate for my Vytec. The Vytec now looks brand new, and I can actually read all the numbers once again.
 

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Retired
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Weather looks great in the photos, I miss Weymouth when its like that down there.

My brother lives there but getting in and out the place especially in the summer is just a complete nightmare, especially Dorchester Road cant remember how long they have been trying to put a by pass in down there.
 

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Come off at Bere Regis and head down via Wool or a bit further on you can turn left at Briantspuddle (or piddle, I get them mixed up). They are both very good roads and no queues. Don't come in from Dorchester on A35!!

:)
 

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Retired
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Come off at Bere Regis and head down via Wool or a bit further on you can turn left at Briantspuddle (or piddle, I get them mixed up). They are both very good roads and no queues. Don't come in from Dorchester on A35!!

:)
Or I could go straight on at the roundabout by dorchester football club assuming im coming from the blandford direction,(but then i'd probably cut through by Bovvie,and get caught up at the Preston end of town)following the signs for Yeovil for a few miles then turn left and cut across and come in from the Chickerall end of weymouth. :tongue:
:teeth:
 

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life is too short
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1,987 Posts
Thanks very much to smudge and helena - superb boat and level of service you have and to Gary for organising the gig - first time diving out of weymouth for me and despite the 300m journey i'd definatly do it again.... soooo much metal :teeth:

I absolutely loved the sidon dive - sun was out, water was calm. shot next to conning tower, down to sea bed and slowly work round the sub, loads of gaps and holes to have a nosey in. Flat fish (sole), spider crabs, wrasse, loads of blenny's, cod, loads of anemones. Fantastic definately one to do again.
34.9m. Bottom time 30 mins, total dive time 54mins.
 

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Yep a good days diving on Saturday with a Madfish as buddy.

A shame the weather beat us yesterday and today, but it did enable a somewhat extended session last night :D

Thanks Gary - it was good to put a few more faces to names. Another boat added to my list of one to repeat. Thanks Smudge and Helena.

Adrian
 

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Mark Milburn
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4,076 Posts
It was a nice day on Saturday, pity the Met office were right for once and we had to can the next 3 days!! Never mind we had a couple of dive, met some old friends and made some new ones. Scimitar is an excellent boat, 12 of us fitted ok even with a lot of twinsets and stages. Lots of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and choccy biccies.

Thanks to Gary for organising it and the chocolate, thanks to Aquasnacks for a free trial, thanks to Smudge and Helena for taking care of us all. Thanks to Madfish for the extra doughnuts. Jason's T shirts are classic, he'll post something here soon no doubt.
 

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I provide much-needed sarcasm.
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Yes, thanks for organising it Gary. Shame you didn't do a proper job of organising the weather. I'm expecting better next time :) The chocolate was most welcome as were the doughnuts, though I must confess I felt a bit ill after the 4th one.

It was nice to put some faces to some names on here and the memory of the Ace of Spades being played on a banjo on Weymouth sea front is one that will always live with me.

Jason
 

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It was nice to put some faces to some names on here and the memory of the Ace of Spades being played on a banjo on Weymouth sea front is one that will always live with me.
Waking up at 3am in a cold sweat at the thought :D
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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It was nice meeting everyone down there as well :)

Damn Weather :(
 

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Utrinque Paratus
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Agreed fantastic first day shame the weather was right for day 2 and 3 however T shirt production underway :)

Extra Kudos goes to

Jo (I don't give a shit how wet it is) Rowley for the outstanding attempt at sitting on the benches in a sea i wouldn't send a fish out in

Gary (i DOB you in faster that a greased weasel) for booking the trip

Jasonp & Adrian (for the I'll stir the Shiite T shirt ideas)

Dianne for the extra Donuts cheers

and of course Helena and Smudge great try for the Sunday however it wasn't to be :)

however as i didn't photograph the lobsters on the HMS Sidon here a few i took later on :)





Graham
 

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Utrinque Paratus
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Mark when are you posting those pictures you took

Graham
 

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From between a RHIB and a hard boat...

Home at last, Cutterham Towers, just as I left it (almost habitable)..record journey time of 5 1/2 hours, to cover a piddling 250ish miles...damn those pikeys and their caravans!!

Was it worth the drive - most definately. I was lucky to be invited to dive with Canterbury BSAC on the Friday, so got an extra days diving in - the
Pomeranian was a good dive with my 'getting to be regular' buddy Rob (Trebor) followed by spin in one of the RHIBs and a divette in the harbour (although having my efforts at a re-entry into the RHIB called pathetic by Captain Oliver was a little distressing ;) - now I know what the Canterbury Novices go through - poor things!

The Royal Breakwater provided shelter that night for a wide variety of YD'ers and new friends were introduced and old ones greeted....aaaahhhh

Saturday we all tootled off to Weymouth for our dive off Scimitar and it was good to meet Mrs Smudge - Helena and Mr Smudge was on good form as ever. Banter was provided by Graham & Gary (they are like an old married couple)...and it was lovely to see Jo again - and so happy (sorry I forgot the book)

We also had a special treat in store too - individual packed lunches kindly provided by a new business - Aquasnacks - YD's Kanga being one of the founders. Very, very good indeed - great value & very tasty.

The viz on the Sidon was much improved from the Easter trip - must have been 8? meters and my new buddy Adrian as an archaeologist was methodical in his inspection of said sub & no inch went unexamined - made a change from my random wanderings. Sadly, unbeknownst to me Adrian had sprung a leak and was a very cold bunny indeed and was blue & shaking during our deco.............(GUSAC deco - 50% calculated on a VR3 Steve - we'll make that a standard shall we?)

After a quick change of undersuit, he was ready to go again and off we went on a pile of old rocks eventually finding our way to a large lump of wreckage..Adrian managed to stay dry and it was back on the boat for tea & medals...

Didn't see the gang that night as I had a return trip to Lyme Regis to attend to, and the next day I was awoken by the bashing & clanging outside - not Captain Oliver who was parked below my window ;) but the noisy bits of boats banging together signalling a change in the weather. Like the ravens leaving the tower, the disappearance of the DIRx group was an indication of what was to follow. The slightly more subdued group gathered on Scimitar that morning..and the news was not good, but we were determined to try anyway - well after the pointy bit of the boat had slammed up and down a lot and Gary's kit made a bid for freedom - foiled by Graham who got absolutely soaked much to our mirth (and Gary's indifference)........Adrian was maintaining a grey/green silence & surreptitiously nibbling on ginger............while I did some essential camera maintenance ;) ha ha!

I don't know the nautical term for a U-turn is, but back we headed and decided that a donut fest was a good way to spend the remaining roller-coaster ride.......Jason won hands down, and we eventually de-boarded for a wander around sunny but windy Weymouth - which involved at the final count two ice-creams & a short ferry trip, a pub and a hotel bar followed by two suppers and what would have been in the good old days a 'lock-in'.......

Thanks to both of my brave buddies & to both of the organisers for a great weekend. Where are we going next? Was it Norway/Gozo or Cyprus?

Dianne
 
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Team Doughnut ;)

well it saves me doing a trip report I suppose !

it was a great trip despite the weather making it only a single days actual diving, but thats what we get if Matt & Tom book on ;)

dinner Sunday night was a giggle although certain stories have emerged of what happened after during the "lock-in" until 02:30!

fantastic company, no-one moaning about who was getting aboard or who wasn't, just getting on with it

once again, many thanks to Smudge and Helena for excellent service, and great advice on yesterdays diving, offer three alternative divesites all to no avail

it was also good to meet up with other YDrs from various areas; Paul Oliver looking stressed most of the time (but secretly loving it I suspect) trying to marshall his 20 or so trainees, John Perrin (Mr KT) and ratcliffe, spacehopper, chas49 & promethous, we missed the DIR lot on RJRW, Mark Powell was 'beasting' another couple of divers on a course

boat out of Weymouth


me looking into the forward torpedo tubes of HMS Sidon


madbird and AK on HMS Sidon


Ian on HMS Sidon


Graham (right) and me descending onto HMS Sidon


James Fennel propshaft


James Fennel superstructure


photos courtesy of Mark (Okeanos)

it was good to finally meet Grahams (milldog) wife and kids, you'll all be glad to know hes just a big softy at heart and calls her "Kitty Kat" :confused:

whoops, did I say that out loud, sorry mate :D
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Those pictures are great, the viz don't look bad at all and about what we had after a bit of slack on the Pomeranian on Fri.
 

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Good to hear you all had a fun weekend - if not much diving.

We missed the DIR lot on RJRW
DIR UK did the Salsette ("not again" groaned most on board) on Saturday with bearable viz. On Sunday, Knotty sniffed the air in the way that only skippers do and said "West no weather, East no viz" So we went to see Spiderman 3 *

This morning we didn't need to be told that our hope that the weather would blow through overnight was not to be - sight of the trees bending backwards through the hotel window was enough. So we popped down to the harbour, unloaded the boat and headed off home muttering about cave diving never being blown out. not a great start to the season - but a start it is and I'm sure that it will improve for us all as we go.

*Don't bother - half our group slept through it and the other half tried to!
 
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