Saturday, 28 September 2013

Club Committee Meeting – 2nd September 2013 – Notes

  • Ross
Diving Officer
  • Brett has resigned. A new DO needs to be elected.
  • Agreed to bring forward AGM (usually held in February) to Wednesday 6th November, to be held at Cherry Garden School.
  • All of committee will stand down at the AGM, and new committee shall be elected.
  • The new committee could do a 15 month stint if they wish.
  • Nominations to be opened, and motions invited, a month before AGM (6th October).
  • Lee and Victor to send email to club, announcing Brett’s resignation, the date of the AGM, and interim arrangements.
  • Training shouldn’t be affected, although October lake dive will need to be cancelled.
  • Chair to stay in post until AGM, as will rest of committee.
  • Committee and DMs to carry out DO duties until AGM, Kim to be asked to help.
  • Dive list to be maintained by Victor.
  • Daniel to be asked to help maintain club website.
Dive list
  • Lars thought 2013 has been good, and would like more day dives. Teresa would like a club holiday in 2014, plus possibly Plymouth at the August bank holiday weekend.
  • Members seemed generally happy with Eastbourne, Brighton and Shoreham boats, although Shoreham has no lift and may not be so pleasant in bad weather, as it’s a small boat.
  • Members have given Victor feedback on Lymington, which he will relay to the skipper. Getting fills was the biggest pain.
  • Scubafest was good in many ways, although some members have said they wouldn’t go again in 2014. Scubafest doesn’t need to be booked until the new year, so the new committee can decide on whether to run a trip.
  • Better co-ordination of accommodation and sharing of information would be helpful, so we all stay in the same place or close to one another.
  • Agreed to carry on using “funded” and “unfunded” terms
  • For 2014, agreed to again have a core of day dives and weekend trips (running May to September), which are funded dives. A similar number of trips as last year would be good.
  • Agreed to have at least 2 full weekend and 1 day dive a month.
  • A once-a-month training dive to be scheduled in between weekend trips and day dives, from April to September.
  • Pat has already agreed to plot neaps and contact the Eastbourne skipper.
  • Agreed to organise a club holiday, and a long weekend in Plymouth.
  • Unfunded trips were discussed – possibilities include Scillies in August, Oban in May/June (possibly half term week), and a November or February trip to somewhere warm, possibly the Red Sea.
  • For 2015, Ken is organising a trip to Shetland.
  • Training is going well, instructors are volunteering for jobs, training packs are being provided promptly. Training is generally being delivered when it’s needed.
  • Ken, Frank, Chris and Victor are close to becoming Dive Leaders.
  • The club will continue to fund half the Instructor Foundation Course, as long as the recipient then helps with training.
  • The club has a limited number of active Open Water Instructors. More are needed. Lee felt it was unlikely the club would gain any more OWIs soon, but more DLs could complete the IFC.
  • Skill Development Courses need working on, perhaps towards the end/beginning of the year.
Finances year-to-date
  • Lars reported that finances were looking OK so far. Only 1 dive has had to be subsidised this year.
  • The club is currently covering its pool hire fees, which increased from £85/week to £90/week in August.
  • The committee discussed raising members’ contributions towards pool fees (i.e., increase the current £15/month). These have not been raised in over 5 years, despite Seven Islands increasing charges. Lars to check figures.
  • Lars prefers paying for kit maintenance through training charges, rather than through pool fees.
Next year
  • Possible co-opted committee posts were discussed. A trip organiser to organise day dives could be co-opted, as could a PR officer (reporting to the Chair).
Privacy policy
  • Rather than wait for all members to sign and return their privacy policy form, an incomplete phone list will be sent out.
  • The privacy policy and medical forms list will be added to the updated membership list.
Barry award
  • Barry’s dive knife will be bronzed and mounted (£60 cost to be paid for by the club).
  • The award will be given annually to the club member (not on the committee) who was gone beyond the call of duty. It will be awarded at the xmas do.
Xmas do
  • Wednesday 11th December was suggested as a good date. Lars will need to have the date confirmed before he makes the next 3 months of pool bookings (the club will definitely have no pool sessions on 25th December and 1st January).
  • Choosing from the menu in advance could make it cheaper. A buffet was suggested.
  • Jaflong was a good choice last year, and many members would be happy to return there.
  • Clive won’t organise this year’s do. Jill and Tom to be asked to organise it.
Next meeting
  • Tuesday 1st October at Teresa’s, 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

We also do snorkelling – Ireland, 25th June 2013

by Victor
Engine problems on the mothership Embarr gave us an unexpected Tuesday morning in the sheltered waters of Holeopen Bay on the east side of the Old Head of Kinsale (An Seancheann). With an inviting coastline not far away from where we had anchored, it was only a matter of time before someone suggested we jump in for a snorkel. Lee, Sue, Victor, Colin, Bjørn and Grant made the swim out to the nearby caves, where we saw spider crabs and edible crabs in the shallow waters, as well as thousands upon thousands of sand eels doing their synchronised dodging of divers’ fins and hungry gulls.

These caves are aesthetically and geologically interesting – the folds of the rocks, and their many different colours, made this a very scenic swim. One cave was open to the sea at its west end, meaning some of us could climb out, doff fins, and walk through to see the rougher waters on that side of the headland. Other rocks provided good resting places from where the scenery could be appreciated.

It was refreshing to be in the water without the burden of huge amounts of kit. Wetsuit snorkelers moved with ease in the water compared with those of us who attempted to snorkel in our cumbersome drysuits. A torch proved useful in the caves, as did an inflated DSMB (for steadying a camera, and for resting one’s head when admiring the avian life and the multi-coloured rocks above).

We resumed our diving that afternoon with a visit to the wreck of the SS City of Chicago.

Taxi! – Divers Cove, 4th August 2013

by Victor
With 5 Sports Diver trainees needing to complete open water lesson SO1, another trip to the lake was necessary. Lee was today’s organiser. Maggie and Ed also came along for a short bimble.

Lee demonstrated a tow, de-kit, landing, rescue breaths and the recovery position, with Frank as the pretend casualty and Victor helping with dragging him out of the water. Jill, Colin, Grant, Bjørn and Tom then completed the exercise themselves (beginning each time with a controlled buoyant lift from the 6m deep platform and later hailing a taxi so as not to raise false alarms), thus ticking off SO1. Most of the group then went for a bimble dive, with Lee and Tom doing some DSMB deployment practice.

Divers Cove still suffers from poor visibility, however it remains easy to get to from our part of London, is well equipped with brand spanking new facilities, has friendly and helpful staff, is very scenic, and was – today – nice and quiet, giving us plenty of space to do our exercises and bimbling. Entry to Divers Cove is now £9 per person, fills are £4.

After packing up we went up the road to The Plough in Bletchingley for a drink and a bit of lunch.