For the early May Bank holiday this year I thought it would be good to return to a familiar location but to try out a boat new to me and new to Reading BSAC.

We had chartered Abyss, we had 10 divers and we had a good weather forecast! With the usual accommodation booked at the Mount Batten Centre – basic, functional and cost-effective rooms – what more could you ask for?

Abyss is an 8 metre Blyth Work Cat, acquired by its owner and skipper Ivor “Faz” Farrell in May 2010 and equipped with a lift for divers. Fortunately for us, we also found out that Mrs “Faz” was an excellent baker and equipped the boat with excellent cakes each day in addition to the usual boat fayre of hot Cornish pasties, hot drinks and loads of biscuits!

Ropes-off on the first day was at a time comfortable for everyone to have breakfast, to get their gear on board and to be ready on-board for the boat safety briefing in good time.

After the briefing we headed out to dive the James Eagan Layne and HMS Scylla in wonderful sunshine, a light breeze and slack water. We had two great dives [well apart from me losing my buddy and everything!] but the visibility could have been better so we were all hoping that the weather would remain stable with light winds to enable us to get out to the Eddystone on Sunday.

That night we all retired for a wonderful meal at The Clovelly Inn – a good, oldy worldy pub only a short walk from the Mount Batten Centre which served amazing food, great portion sizes [if you are diving and NOT on a diet!] and very well kept beer.

This set us up perfectly for Sunday! Good weather, calm seas and light winds meant we could get out to the Eddystone, about 10 miles off Rames Head. Amazingly there was only one other dive boat there, so the whole area was quiet. The scenery at the Eddystone was breathtaking in the sunshine. It was quite unusual that even though the sea was so calm, the swell on the rocks was still substantial. The lighthouse is huge and incredibly tall (obvious I know – but still impressive when you get there) and the diving was great in the calm and better visibility.

That evening we all got the ferry across the sound to The Hoe and went to the “Rockfish” a brilliantly simply but elegant Fish and Chip restaurant by Plymouth Harbour. The food was fantastic, with as many chips as you could eat and great portions of fish.

Monday’s diving was back closer inshore with a dive on the Mew Stone and a drift dive Hilsea Point followed by the drive home.

So, an enjoyable weekend had by all. We dived some of Plymouth’s best sites, ate well and topped up our sun tans and we even got out to the Eddystone. Nice one!

Paul Sanders