Sunday, 13 October 2013

Club Committee Meeting - 1st October 2013 - Notes

·           Ross.

Annual General Meeting
·           To be held at Cherry Garden School, 8pm, Wednesday 6th November.
·           Victor to issue notice and details of AGM to the club by the end of the week, and to invite nominations for committee positions and proposals for motions.
·           Elections for Chair, Diving Officer, Treasurer, Training Officer, Secretary and Equipment Officer will be held.
·           Welfare Officer is a co-opted position for which no election is held.
·           Agreed to propose a motion to create a new co-opted position of Publicity/Promotion Officer.
·           Agreed not to propose a motion to create an Expeditions Officer/Trip Organiser position.
·           Agreed that nominations will be received by email, and will close on Saturday 26th October, at which point Victor will check all nominees are happy for their names to be put forward, and a list of nominees will be circulated to the club.
·           Seconding of nominations can happen at the AGM, if any nominees haven't already been seconded.
·           Advance voting will be possible for club members who can't attend the AGM - this will only be done by email, and voting will close 24 hours before the AGM.
·           The AGM agenda will follow the skeletal agenda set out in the club's constitution.
·           Outgoing Treasurer and Training Officer will deliver their reports at the AGM. Instead of the Diving Officer's report, a summary-of-2013 report will be prepared by Lee and others. This will note that there have been no incidents this year, although there have been instances where divers have surfaced low on air. There will also be comments on fitness levels, and 2 cylinders being needed for decompression dives.
·           Noted that the current committee starts and finishes the AGM. The new committee take over immediately after the AGM closes.
·           A 15-month term for the new committee was suggested, so that the club would return to the normal pattern of January/February AGMs, however it will be up to the new committee as to whether they want to see this extended term out.
·           Medical declaration forms will be distributed, signed and collected at the AGM. Victor to attach PDF to AGM announcement email.
·           Noted that any paid-up member can vote, but only members who have been in the club for 1 year can stand in the elections.

·           Lee has drawn up a training plan for the rest of his term as Training Officer. Jobs are being snapped up by instructors, and Lee is waiting to hear from others to fill in the gaps.

Club/pool fees
·           Lars noted that increased charges imposed by Seven Islands over the last few years have been absorbed by the club's growing membership, and club/pool fees charged to members have not been increased. 
·           3 committee members voted to increase club/pool fees to £16.50 a month, 2 voted against.
·           Clive will explain this decision to members at the AGM.
·           Standing orders will need to be amended as of January.

2014 dive list
·           Teresa is looking into a February half term Red Sea trip.
·           Pat, Ken and Victor are making bookings for 2014 trips. 
·           Agreed to add another Weymouth weekend in July.
·           Noted that another day dive could be added on the Saturday before the Lymington day dive.
·           Agreed that advertised minimum qualification requirements should be adhered to (unless circumstances warrant an adaptation/exception).
·           Lars suggested requiring a larger deposit for Scubafest (if the club runs another trip in 2014), as some members have still not paid for the 2013 trip. The committee noted that such arrears excludes members from voting at the AGM.
·           The emerging dive list will be projected on a screen at the AGM. Victor to email Teresa a PDF in advance of the meeting.

Diving terms and conditions
·           Committee agreed that the terms and conditions regarding club dives and cancellations (as set out in Kim's email of 8th November 2011) still apply, and noted that cancellations made within 2 weeks of the date of a dive mean the cancelling diver is liable to be charged for the dive, unless a replacement diver is found.
·           A reminder of these terms and conditions will be circulated with the 2014 dive list.
·           Agreed that the cost per diver per day remains at £45, despite some boats now charging £50.

Xmas do
·           Jill and Tom have come up with a shortlist of 4 venues. The pros and cons of these were discussed. Jaflong was thought to be a better option than Village East, The Ship & Whale and The Yellow House. Jill and Tom's thoughtfulness regarding location and accessibility was noted.
·           The East Dulwich Tavern (upstairs) and Il Giardino (Peckham) were also suggested.
·           Victor to relay the committee's thoughts to Jill and Tom.
·           The date of the event will be Wednesday 11th December.

Any other business
·           A discussion regarding kit expenditure was deferred as Ross was not present. To be discussed at a future meeting, hopefully before the AGM.
·           There will be no pool sessions on 11th December, 25th December and 1st January. There will be pool sessions on 18th December and 8th January.
·           The forthcoming 2013 BSAC Diving Conference (26th October) in Birmingham was noted.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Dieppe...a trip too far? 9-13th September 2013

by Brett 

‘Let’s go to Dieppe.’  Oh how we all thought that would be a great idea and to be fair it had all the makings of an entertaining trip.

5 days on Our W with Dave and Sylvie to entertain us, diving some great wrecks from the War Eras and possibly sampling the local produce.

Unfortunately a couple of people had to drop out so we were a bit light on the boat but as we loaded in Eastbourne the mood was bright, although the weather didn’t seem to agree.  There were some scheduling problems with the traffic which meant that half the group turned up late but we eventually got into the lock and waved to the seal on our way across the channel.

The weather could have been better and after a couple of hours of dipping, yawing and banging into the next waves everyone was feeling a trifle bruised.  Lars and I grabbed a bunk each and everyone else wedged themselves into whatever position was best for them and offered a chance to get some shut eye.

We finally arrived at the site of the Braga mid-channel and although we were rolling a bit it wasn’t going to stop us taking the plunge.  Once we were down on the wreck viz was actually pretty good, about 6-8 metres and absolutely swarming with fish although there were also a lot of large trawling nets which got in the way a bit.  The wreck was a good size though but at 36 metres we weren’t sticking around for too long and headed up.  There we had a nice surprise as the weather had eased, sea had flattened and from there to Dieppe we had a fairly decent ride in.

The view though, coming into the port gave you some idea of what the Canadian troops must have been facing when they attacked on 19th August 1942.  Sheer cliffs as far as you could see and they must have felt like they were on a firing range, scary.

We moored and found our accommodation which was two really nice apartments and then decided to grab something quick to eat and then get some kip so we’d be up for the morning.

Up at 0630 and breakfast on the go so we could be at the boat for 0730 and off.  However, at about 0700 Lee got a call from the boat that the weather was kicking up and we’d have to hold off for the morning and see how it went, in the end that meant we lost the day but considering the conditions it was a good choice.

So once we were all up again we decided on a stroll around Dieppe, visiting the seafront, Canada Square and the castle before heading down to the harbour for lunch and a conflab with the boat to see what the plan was for the next day.

We eventually ate, although we had to split up and decided that a nice home cooked evening meal might be a good plan that evening.

After some shopping and a bit of telly we settled in for a meat feast with some great plum tomatoes, decent wine and beer and an evening of sea stories.

Unfortunately this ended up going the same way as Tuesday as the weather did not want to play and so we were left to our own devices again.  These ranged from the tourist train around the town with comedy transaltion by Ross and Lee to sitting in various cafes, bars and restaurant and generally taking it easy while still wishing we were diving.

Lars did make a very nice stew though and we followed that by watching Bullitt which rounded the day off nicely.

We had decided after looking at the weather for Friday that it actually made more sense to travel cross-channel on Thursday than leave it to Friday and possibly have a worse trip.

So after loading all our bags back on the boat we headed out to the Chateaux Margaux, a French ocean liner that went down in 1889.  We’d been told a lot about this by the owner of one of the harbour restaurants as he claimed to be the one to have discovered it and we had big expectations. 

It was a bit deeper at 42 metres but we hoped that the wreck and the viz would make the short er bottom time worthwhile and it did.  The wreck sits on heavy coarse sand which meant that the water was quite clear and the wreck itself was impressive.  There were at least half a dozen complete portholes, with glass cracked but still visible and it was actually a really nice thing to see. 

Again lots of life on it but the nets were also in residence so a little caution was needed. After all racking up some deco we surfaced and headed across the shipping lane with the Alaunia as the next wreck.  Although some of us had done that a month or so ago it was still a nice wreck to dive and the visibility, whilst not as good as the Margaux was still fairly good.

With some people staying in Eastbourne  overnight and some travelling back home and coming down in the morning we loaded back up for the final day for a wreck called the Nyon which no one had dived before.  We got told that you could get 40 metres on it but you had to look for it and we weren’t that bothered so decided to potter around and see what was about. 

The viz was reasonable again, around 6 metres and although very dark, once the torch was on all was good.  Masses of life again and some great bits of structure made the whole thing very atmospheric. 

Then we spotted a very large lobster and after quite a bit of wiggling to get closer to it also spotted that we’d got to 42 metres! and actually needed to think about heading up.  A bit of deco to do but everyone was soon back on the boat and we started heading back towards Eastbourne for a drift and home.
All told, it could have been better but  by the same token it could have been worse and we did some great dives, ate well and everyone came home safe so a good trip and definitely something to think about doing again.