Tuesday 27 September 2011

A blog from Plymouth…… (Photo’s by other ?)

by Kim Thomas

The Bermondsey BSAC trip to Plymouth in 2011 saw us try out a different charter from last year. This year we used “Explorer” from the Mountbatten Dive Charters, which operate their boat along with their own B&B.

What a bunch of divers
First impressions count, and with most us all arriving on Friday (at various times during the day), the B&B was probably the best B&B we have ever stayed in regardless of location. The accommodation, its cleanliness, the quality of breakfast (not a cheap and greasy!), the hosts, really were aspiring to match the quality of a boutique hotel! A really good start!!

The marina where the boat was located was a few minutes drive, or perhaps a brisk 10-15 minute walk. The air station was equally conveniently located being a few minutes walk from the boat mooring.
The Saturday saw breakfast at 8am, then a quick mosey along to get the kit on the boat. Car parked in a nearby free carpark, we were ready to depart. The wind was quite breezy, and the wave height, while not challenging in itself, the single hull, single prop boat did get tossed around a bit. Joe excelled himself at feeding the fishes!!

Would you like to touch my claws?
The first days diving saw us at the Persier at 30m followed by the Glen Strathallen at about 20m in the afternoon. The viz was brilliant! Brett found a dive reel with a bottle inflated SMB (worth about £100), in brand new spanking order…. Lars lined off the wreck with great urgency to find anyone with a big good bag. Following him back, we turned a corner to see the biggest lobster you have ever seen! In the end Lars was the only on who had a goodie bag, and it took Lars, Brett and myself to get the blighter into the bag. Mariette looked on in awe at this display of machismo!!!
Photo’s on the boat to prove, then the lobby was put back over the side…(the chances would be high that he would be a tough old beast to eat!!)
Sunday saw the weather improve, with the James Egan Layne and the Scylla on the agenda today. The viz was infinitely better than last year. The J.E L is a divers playground, and while is very different from the first time I dived this wreck in 1985, is still good fun! The Scylla was easy to penetrate, with easy routes to daylight. The skipper also unfortunately busted his GPS, and so lost access to all his marks. All dives would now need to be pre-shot….
Barry's new dive hood!
Monday saw the weather improve further still! The morning’s dive in the 30m deep channel to Devonport was a Scallop harvesting expedition, most coming up with a good haul!!. The second dive was back to the J.E. B, due to the GPS issue.
Another great dive, with a safety stop at 6m still on the wreck!
Packed all the kit and was home by 7.30pm or so!!

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