Friday 28th May – Monday 31st May

The Crew – Bernard, Colin, Emma, Peter, Liz, Mike, Tanya, Neil, Gareth and Ian.

Friday 28th May, Colin, Emma and I met at the club at 08.30 on Friday morning. The mess outside the access gate was horrendous following the Travellers party the night before but we got in and out without problems. Well apart from turning the lights off and locking up with Emma still in the loo. Luckily Colin noticed she was missing before setting off with both boats in tow.

Fortunately the traffic was surprisingly light for a May Bank Holiday weekend. Slight hold up to recover and secure 30mtrs of throw line that was dragging behind the Cormorant but otherwise a good trip down.

We arrived on schedule, launched both boats and prepared to go out for our first dive. On leaving the pontoon we headed out of the harbour but there was a problem, oil everywhere on the Tornado. It turned out to be an old can of oil left in the weight box which had been squashed by weight belts. It caused a horrid very slippery mess all over the boat floor. The dive was abandoned and we spent the rest of the afternoon removing the carpets and cleaning up. Additionally, there were electrical problems with radio taco and ignition. Oh and the sounder after Colin severed the wire when enthusiastically cutting the carpets out. All got fixed and we went to the Borringdon Arms for a very nice meal and well-earned beer.

Kitting up in the RHIB

Saturday 29th May, after breakfast and now with a full crew, good weather, flat seas and working boats we set off for the East side of the Eddystone reef. It was a good trip there and back with the sun shining.

The seabed here with its varying depths – zero to 40mtrs with pinnacles and gullies and masses of marine life always makes an interesting dive.

So great to be out on dive trips again.

In the afternoon we dived the Scylla. It’s been at least 5 years since I dived it last, good to see her again. Mike and I had a good mooch inside after exploring the bow section from the seabed.

In the evening we all went to Rockfish for nice fish and chips although be warned it’s now bottled beer only at £8 a pint!

A happy Colin at sea

Sunday 30th May, another nice day started with our breakfast sat out the front of Mountbatten Centre before heading East to Hilsea point. The weather had picked up from the previous day and sea state was a little uncomfortable.

With a running tide it was quite a pull to get down the shot but once at the bottom, 20mtrs, it was a pleasant dive with lots to see. Colin and Emma went slightly deeper and were lucky enough to see three Angler fish, quite a rare sight along the south coast.

We returned to Mountbatten for lunch before the second dive at the Mewstone. Again, plenty to see including edible crabs, spider crabs (now renamed Cornish King crabs), lobsters, squid – yes squid. Once again Colin and Emma got lucky.

A very nice evening at Hotel Mountbatten for our Sunday roast and a beer rounded off a good days diving.

Neil and his pudding

Monday 31st May, just one dive today on the wreck of the Eagan Layne. Unfortunately one can see the wreck slowly changing over the years as the sea gradually wears and breaks her down but improved visibility made it a very pleasant dive.

Early afternoon we recovered the boats and returned to Reading. Overall it was a very good trip with kind weather and sea conditions.

Recovery of Reading Cormorant

We must do it again soon.

Bernard