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It's been a while since I posted a trip report so I thought I let you all know about my weekend's diving :D

Saturday I was going to be diving the Aeolian Sky with NickB off Scimitar. Ropes off was a leisurely 12pm. I left home at 9am and arrived at 11:30 after a massive queue coming over the hill from Dorchester. Parked the car in the Council Offices car park and Nick very kindly helped me carry my gear to the boat. I've not dived from Scimitar before and found it to be excellent although a little smaller than some of the boats I've been on. Smudge and Alice were very friendly, you couldn't ask for a better crew :) It's a fair cruise out to the site so I pull out my chair (thanks to The Dude for that idea) and chat to Fiona and Dianne (Madfish). Arriving at the site we find we are a bit early so we can kit up at a leisurely pace. Dropping in it is clear that the vis poor and it gets dark very quickly. We hit the wreck at about 27m slowly move around the wreck, we can't see anything outside of the torch beam. At one point the wall we are following becomes 3 walls and a ceiling :frown: not good news. Thankfully we are only inside a short distance and are able to pick up Steve S's line and find a spot that is not enclosed. I look back to find that Nick hasn't followed so return to him and thumb the dive. Nick is concerned that we might still have wreckage above us but I am certain that we are ok so we fire the bag and make our ascent. There was some confusion when Nick wants to switch to his deco gas and neither of us can really see our computers. I am still with my NDL so decide not to switch, Nick eventually switches when it lightens enough to read the guages.

Back on the boat and I bring out the chair again and chill out at the back of the boat. Fiona very kindly brings me a pastie so I don't have to get up and life couldn't get much better. For the second dive we cruised back to Portland Harbour and dive the Landing Craft and Bombardon unit. Vis is a little better until some muppet kicked up the silt but an enjoyable dive nonetheless.

Back to the marina to unload the boat and everyone is heading back to theier accomadation for showers. I am spending the next 2 days on Tango with TerryH and the SUCS mob so try to find out when he is arriving. After about 30 minutes trying I finally get through to him, he is stood about 6' away :rolleyes: We head off for some drinks and a bite to eat. I need to move my car so bring my gear and load it on to the boat and end up having to park on the street up the hill behind the old brewery. It's a bit of a walk but it is free, so not too many complaints. More booze is consumed the off to bed as we have a 9:30 start.

Sunday dawns bright and sunny and we cruise round the Bill to the James Fennel. I am buddied with Dave and Dinky. Dinky is diving in wetsuit :eek: actually 3 wetsuits but he doesn't seem to mind. We didn't see any wreckage which is quite hard as there is quite a bit in that area. The dive is pretty short but the vis is better, 3-4m, so still a good dive. Back on the boat I realise that I've left my chair on Scimitar but, as it turns out, it is in good hands and is well looked after. With the sun out and the sea flat it was almost a hard choice to do a second dive but we decide to dive the Gertrude. Dave decides not to go in so I am just diving with Dinky. We see plenty of wreckage this time and have a thoroughly good dive. I take advantage of the bunks on Tango for a snooze while we head back.

Back in Weymouth we unload the cylinders for filling and chill on the boat. Scimitar cruises past and I am reunited with my chair :D We all get cleaned up and head out for more food and beers before retiring to bed early for a 9:00 start.

Monday morning is a little misty but the sun is soon out. Dive one is a drift out towards Worbarrow Bay. I am diving with Chris Ringrose, a fellow YD'er. The vis doesn't look good from the surface and when we hit the bottom at around 20m it is dark. I send the blob up in a rather unelegant fashion and settle in to quite a fast paced drift. I am drifting backwards so I can see Chris, it would be easy to lose him in the murk. I thumb it after about 25 minutes as it is hardly the most thrilling dive. We stop in Worbarrow Bay for lunch and enjoy the glorious weather. Dive two is to be the Black Hawk bow. Dropping down the shot there is still a fair current running and I get separated from Chris, luckily I know which direction he went in and he turns and looks for my torch beam. Reunited we set off in search of the wreck. Beginning to fear the worst out patience is rewarded as we start to find wreckage. I have dived this wreck many times yet there seems to be so much more this time. I scare myself when I put my fingertips inside a pipe, have a quick peek and find a large conger in residence. Chris thumbs the dive when he hits 60bar and we have a leisurely ascent. Back on the boat there is more lounging in the sun and we take a tour past Lulworth Cove and Durdle Dor on our return to Weymouth.

As a result of the early start we are back in plenty of time so I fetch the car and get it loaded quickly. Traffic isn't too bad for Easter and I am home by 6pm.

Overall, an excellent weekend. Scimitar and Tango were both new to me and both excellent boats and very well run. Tango is massive and there is plenty of tea and hot cross buns but no lunch. It was good to see Fiona again and meet Dianne and Steve S. Thanks to the SUCS mob (TerryH, Phil, Dave, Dinky, Martin, Tim, Richard, Tim and Kelly) for making me welcome, Dave, Dinky and Chris for diving with me. Thanks also to Smudge and Alice on Scimitar and Phil on Tango, I will hopefully see you again soon for some more diving. Big thanks to NickB for talking me in to diving on Saturday, I knew you couldn't stay away from it for long :D

Cheers/Nic
 

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There was some confusion when Nick wants to switch to his deco gas and neither of us can really see our computers. I am still with my NDL so decide not to switch, Nick eventually switches when it lightens enough to read the guages.
Sadly for me, it was presbyopia rather than poor viz that made reading the gauges so difficult :(
 

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Back on the boat there is more lounging in the sun and we take a tour past Lulworth Cove and Durdle Dor on our return to Weymouth.
Yeah that chair worked really well as a footstool :teeth:
Not sure that's what you intended mind.

Think you missed the bit out about "if its open, it has to be drunk" rule.
Then Dave got out that litre of bourbon :eek:

My head still hurts.
 

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Hi Nic, good to meet you and Nick and I'm glad the line was some help, it was certainly not in my list of most comfortable dives I've ever done :eek:

Safe diving,
Steve
 

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I don't think I have had so many mentions in a trip report before :)

Nic you really should train your buddies better though, it's his job to supply you with your pastie :D

As Steve said not the most comfortable couple of dives, but I did get the biggest Easter Egg from my buddy Dianne I have ever seen, the egg is so big it only just fits between the shelves in the fridge.

I might take it with me next week :wink:
 

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Doh! I was at the Black Hawk bow on Saturday and it was murky and fairly lifeless (one crab & 3 nondescript fish!). Sounds like the extra couple of days good weather helped it out. Still, the season is young.
Thanks for the write-up!
 
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