Dive Report from our reporter across far flung shores, once read I'm sure you'll all be looking at prices for a similar break :)

Dive Date unsure;
Posted - 14th July 2015.


Dive Report (RIB trip No 2 2014)

Dive Date – Monday 5th May 2014;
Posted - 7th May 2014.

5 Bexley members completed a RIB dive on the Kingmere Rocks on Bank Holiday Monday. The day started badly after recent recruit, Raf, from Greys in Essex, phoned me say his car was pouring out black smoke and he would have to abandon his RIB diving plans. So in the end, 5 of us made it to Littlehampton Marina. Myself, Steve Charter, Dave Woodroof, John Hancock and Mike McGrieg. No sign of Bank Holiday traffic for Mikey and Me, cruising down the M23 & A24. We were the first to get to McDonalds, and John Hancock, hero of the hour stopped to pick up Dave Woodroof who was also travelling with Raf. Despite gusty weather forecast, the five of us managed a dive on the Kingmere. After a bumpy ride in which the windscreen took a hit! we got to the Kingmere's. John, Mike and Dave went in as threesome, while me and Steve stayed on the boat. It was Dave's first sea dive and his first dive of any description in quite a long time. He just about managed a 10 minute dive due to ear problems, but at least he got a bit salty' lol. Me and Steve managed a reasonable dive, as the vis was not at all bad for this time of year, and, at least we hit 'the lumps' (thanks to John Hancock), which is more than the previous three musketeers managed! lol. It was Steve's first sea dive too, and he seemed to quite enjoy himself, apart from wrestling with his buoyancy in his new drysuit. And wrestling with a junior Edible Crab which went overboard as it was embarrassingly too small to eat. We had to cut short our dive in order to get back to harbour before the marina gates were locked - it was a hectic day, and we couldn't launch until 12 'ish' so we didn't have hardly the time to breath. The ride back to base was much smoother, mainly because we were riding with the wind. PS. if anyone is reading this, I still have the wheel clamp key as I forgot to pop it through the marina letterbox. I've also got all the boat stuff too. Smudge

Dive Report (PLYMOUTH HARDBOAT DIVE WEEKEND – 4 days of fun and great diving)

Dive Date – Friday 28th June - Monday 1st July 2013;
Posted - 19th July 2013.

To read all about the trip just CLICK HERE >>> dive report for our Plymouth trip

Dive Report (RIB trip No 5 2013)

Dive Date – Saturday 29th June 2013;
Posted - 4th July 2013.

Well another fantastic RIB dive safely completed out of Littlehampton today. An expedition lead by Paul Taylor, took a party of five intrepid explorers including himself in search of a new site, none of them had dived before. Paul Taylor, Carl Adams, Terry Humphrey, Mark Carroll and John Hancock went in search of the "The Gascony", a wreck some 10 miles outward journey. The Gascony was a 3000ton cargo vessel which now lies on its side at around the 25 to 30 meter mark. Shotting the wreck was a little problematic, but after a second attempt and being slightly repositioned by the first pair of Carl and John everything was fine. (Carl who not only had to borrow a dive computer, but also partly kitted up before asking quietly for his weight belt.) Snigger snigger. Anyway two good 30 plus minute dives were undertaken although the slack had been missed. We suggest be there 2 hrs before low water for the best diving, however noting that the challenge was: leaving home at a time of 5:45, fit a McD breakfast in on route, be at the Marina before 8:00, launch the RIB before 9:00 and then a 40 plus minute outward journey. Under those circumstances the expedition team worked together like a well oiled machine and struck gold by getting the two good dives that were achieved. Anyway the viz was a good with 2 to 3 meters and there was plenty of life. Carl caught one of the many lobsters seen, but John Hancock was totally uncooperative, saying it was to small. (Basically he was to lazy to get his net bag out, which was a poor show so slap him when you next see him, Carl had lobster on the menu. As for the wreck there was plenty to see. In parts collapsed and others broken up, but it is easy to tell it was a large vessel and enough structure remains. The boilers are most impressive easily 4 to 5 meters in diameter , it looked like two possibly three, but no one was really counting. Worth a return visit, it's easily achievable and the tides were in our favour. Anyway post dive watched some of the local air show and were then buzzed by a low flying spitfire. ( where's a camera when you want one) Then a civilised picnic on the RIB whilst moored on the River Arun, with a few adding fresh chips to the feast. Back to the Marina, topped up the fuel to full then on our way home as soon as possible. A big thanks to Paul because those on the dive voted it as the best RIB dive 2013 so far. So get planning and challenge that claim to fame as soon as possible. Although the season has got of to a slow start there is plenty of opportunity left in the year.

Dive Report (Channel diver 2013)

Dive Date – Saturday 16th June 2013;
Posted - 4th July 2013.

Here’s the latest report from our expedition from Sunday. Dive plan was to dive the Alaunia wreck followed by HMS Resolution. Sunday alarms are set for 6'ish. It’s an uneventful drive down to Eastbourne to meet Steve on Channel diver for all divers. We meet in the Harvester next to the marina for breakfast and once consumed we start loading the boat. It’s now we learn one of us has forgotten to pack his drysuit. Fearing the worst, it's been left on the kerb at home or at Britt’s or mine when packing the car we make desperate calls home but it's still not located. However rather than turning around and heading for the train station and home he chooses to come on the boat and asset with the boat, divers etc. - Well-done John. The drysuit is eventually found in the footwell of his van, hard lesson learned but not forgotten . With the boat loaded the lock is booked for 10am and with Terry dawdling along, hearing the engines start he has to leap onto the boat (ok step but leap did sound more dangerous) as we're leaving to make the lock on time. Fearing a rough ride out it’s actually very comfortable considering the weather forecast. Once onsite the wreck is shot and not long after the first pair are in the water. The Alaunia was launched in 1913 and sunk in 1916 with 2 crew lost having hit a German mine, sitting at 30m. The shot is right next to the wreck; however that doesn't ensure all divers find the wreck, I mean it's only 13000 tons, and 150 meters long! The unnamed divers *cough Terry, Britt and Stuart cough* prefer not to follow the dive plan of diving a Cunard Steamship liner but to examine the seabed area around the wreck without noticing the huge lump of metal next to them . My thoughts on the wreck … more intact than I thought it would be, a lot still recognisable but with vis around 1-2m and a lot of bloom in the water not as special as I felt it could be on a clearer day. Also I felt it was lacking in marine life - only encountering a few spider crabs, 1 fairly big conger and a school of pouting in my 45'ish minute dive. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the dive and I can imagine with better vis this would be an impressive dive but with low vis it was hard "for me" to appreciate the bigger picture. I’m sure others will contradict me . Once all divers are back on-board the plan for our second dive was changed to dive the Trinity Sovereign lighthouse as a drift on the way back to the marina. Once onsite 4 decide to sit it out not relishing the drift in low vis but a hardy 8 divers don their drysuits again. Each pair go and it's a fast drift around the lighthouse. 20-30 minutes later all divers back on board with tales of how surprisingly good the drift was and with different treasurers obtained. One pair on a flatfish spree comes up with 4 good sized flatfish for dinner in their goody bag. Another pair has a brown crab in their goody bag but the best booty was found by Mark and I (biased ) an anchor is found in our goody bag! Without a lift bag we use the SMB to retrieve it, fearing a snapped reel we managed to bag it and get it on-board and home, Hopefully Mark will supply photos of his new garden feature. Back at the marina without incident and having enjoyed 2 very good dives, Channel diver is unloaded and it's time for some to head to the local watering hole. Unfortunately whilst enjoy the afternoon sunshine a gull decides to relieve himself on our DO's head, (hopefully he bought a lottery ticket on his way home :)). A big thanx to Ron for arranging, and to John although fretting about his drysuit stayed and helped out.

Dive Report (RIB trip No 4 2013)

Dive Date – Saturday 18th MAY 2013;
Posted - 27th May 2013.

The Bottle Wreck out of Littlehampton; Position: - 50.40.919 N 00.36.557 W
Wreck Description It is believed to be a merchant vessel although the name of the wreck has not been identified at this time. The wreck size is estimated to originally have been: 7 to 8 meters wide and approximately 28 meters long. It is an oak structured wreck, that for the most part has collapsed or rotted away, although signs of the structure are still visible within the silty bottom. The biggest item remaining is a stack of iron pipes running along the majority of the original hold length. Its main cargo was iron pipe, beer bottles, cutlery and china /pottery, evidence of all are still possible to find though might need to rummage around the seabed to locate this evidence. In addition there was on board, silver tongs, gun flints and flintlocks, salt cellars and cut throat razors The Dive The dive was planned by John Hancock and assisted by Carl Adams Report by Carl Adams None of the divers involved had ever been to the Bottle Wreck and so it was something new and unknown. The best web-site that could be found was on Wessex Archaeology, as site 5013. A site with really good detail and enabled a good level of knowledge in respect of what we might find during the dive. There was a little bit of confusion over the low water at Littlehampton as Littlehampton were not clear and the tide tables indicated it would be an early one. So the plan was to get to Littlehampton for 7:30 hours, kit up and be ready to get the boats in. However a couple of late starters mentioning no names other than (Paul Taylor and Terry Humphrey) picked up their passengers late, however the stop for petrol and to collect the required McDonalds breakfast meal was still achieved. Chris however was on site waiting and I think rightly not amused, however he was a good sport and the process of setting up the RIB got underway and soon we were in the water and off to our uncharted waters. The weather was pretty good, with no more than a force 2, but the sun came out and what a great day to be on our boat. We got to the site and shortly afterwards were ready to dive, however it was made just that bit more difficult with the bilge pump refusing to work. So every 5 minutes the boat had to make a dash for it, with the elephant trunk down to drain the water out. Painful but effective. 'Mark sort the bilge pump'. We were a bit late for slack but the Mark was good and we shot the wreck to the end that we believed to be the bow. Note: the main cargo of iron pipes are laying some 1 to 1.5 meters above the seabed, so don’t expect it to be a massive mark on the fish finder. John and Chris took the plunge first and were under water, but moving off target so up popped their DSMB bobbing in the gloriously sunny day. On the boat Terry, I and Paul were stuffing our faces with sandwiches, coffee and sausage rolls. Who says you can’t have a picnic on a RIB. Blah, blah, blah Suddenly they resurfaced and I expertly manoeuvred the boat and recovered the divers. Chris and John were full of stories of dogfish, hermit crabs and the obligatory massive and I mean massive Lobster they’d seen. However one thing was missing from the report, Yes, they missed the wreck entirely. Undeterred and confident on the sounding from John’s initial pass Paul, Terry and I took the splash on the original shot position, well at least we eventually went under after myself and Paul waited on the shot buoy whilst Terry sorted himself out on the RIB after some school boy error getting dressed. Under the water we followed the shot line and the slack was ending if not over, but then bang there is the wreck ; an unmistakable stack of pipes. Right in front of us. No it wasn’t funny that John and Chris had missed it and of course we wouldn’t mention it once. 10, 20 a 100 times maybe, but once never. Anyway I couldn’t resist shining a torch up one of the pipes to look, what a mistake, nearly sh-t myself; a massive conger facing me so I decided to stop looking into these pipes. The tide was pushing against us, however we struggled onwards to get the full length of the wreck to see what we could. Yes I kicked the silt up big time at one stage, but come on there were copper pins and brass boat nails to contend with, what do you expect. I was trying my hardest to yank them out much to Terry’s amusement they were loose, but I couldn’t free them. (for historical observation of course and not a trophy cabinet, Honest). Anyway we got to the stern and gave up struggling against the tide and embarked on a drift instead. Yes we saw brown crab, lots of dog-fish (one which tried to pretend it was a doughnut when picked up,( I’ve never seen that before). The drift was fine especially as we started to gather scallops and I can assure you these were big and delicious when some of them hit the frying pan later that day. Paul then found what we all knew to be some kind of munitions’, did I want it in my scallop bag. Nooooooooooo, but Terry was expendable, so in his pocket it went. Well Paul gave the sign up for 5 minutes, although he cut it to 3 to the surface we went. Up and out into the boat after 43 minutes in the water, everything went smoothly and soon we were on the route back to the Marina, with Paul, Terry and Chris taking turns to skipper the boat. Boat check list done and on our way home, a good days diving whether or not you found the wreck. A wreck that on a slack would warrant a good rummage around, to see what it has to offer. Dive Report by Carl Adams

Weymouth weekend diving aboard Skindeeper Hard Boat

Dive Date – 23rd - 24th March 2013;
Posted - 24th March 2013.

10 hardy club divers went down on Friday evening ready to face a bit of rough weather. A quiet drink was had that night and most were looking forward to a splash the next day. Two thought the viz would be rubbish, as looking at the rivers and Marina it was compared to hot chocolate. The next day at Maragets 8 remained positive and ready to dive two deciding to leave after breakfast. The 8 drove to skindeepers new mooring at Portland. The set up much better with free parking, access to a marine shop, toilets and showers and nice easy wide access ramps. One problem the wind; there was no way it was a 4 or 5 it was at least a 6. Anyway Ian wasn't very positive about diving and advised weather worse than predicted and with likely poor viz in the Bottlebank might be better around the Bill, but unclear on viz. A group went with Ian to look; although flat calm it was still considered to be very murky waters. Sadly a vote was taken to abandon the weekend. Had tea with Ian then all made our way home. A shame but now we know the mooring is much improved just a shame we didn't get to use it in anger.

Club Hard Boat Trip

Dive Date – 22nd Sept 2012;
Posted - 1st Oct 2012.

Saturday was another dive organised by our D.O Ron Shires onboard the usual ‘Channel Diver’ Hard Boat from Brighton, A Clear warm day and yet another early alarm call followed by a text from Paul Taylor who bailed out after waking up with a severe case of verbal diarrhea!
Meet at the marina 7:30am, sausage & egg mcmuffin’s etc...... Then load up the boat for an 8:30 am Ropes off. Today’s Dive plan, The Tyco Wreck at approx 31m followed by a drift of Looe Gate 10-12m. Oh! Who is that girl getting changed in the wheel house with the purple floral panties???? Oh its Ron!!! (hoping nobody saw)...Yes we did Ron!!!
Buddy Pairs ready to go....Oops, is that Paul Randall still tied on...a quick point and laugh then we get moving. (Terry Scovell-Steve W)(Terry H–Britt)(John B-Caroline)(Chris-Ron-Paul Randell), once below 25m pretty much hit complete darkness, only viz was in direct torch light. As the second buddy pair were descending they noticed a sudden slack in the shot line, pulled in a meter or 2 to find the frayed snapped end of a rope!!! With divers still coming down above, a quick thinking and heroic act by the anonymous diver who held onto the rope and powered down to the wreck and managed to tie it onto a secure piece of the wreckage. If only we knew who it was we could reward him!! ;-). Still it was an interesting wreck full of the usual life, walls of fish (pollock?) and plenty of Big Crabs - about 6 or 7 found themselves back up on the Boat in a goody bag, with a Big Lobster too from Mr Scovell and the odd scallop. Back on the Boat, plodding back to Looe Gate with a very sophisticated chat over some home made cakes courtesy of Caroline, served with tea and biscuits. Then back into the murky viz that was Looe Gate, Oh wait! Paul Randall is tied on "Again"!!! More pointing and laughing...(Looe Gate is a follow on from the kingswest ledge, and the worthing lumps). A nice slow drift, again lots of crabs, most were too small although a couple more did make it onto the boat and also a Topknot! which is another of our many flat fish. Apparently it was rather small according to Steve the Skipper and advised it should be thrown back! So Terry H had a Pot noodle that night instead! Anyway, despite the Viz, a great day's diving was had by all. A mandatory pint in the pub after where we discussed all the options available for urinating whilst wearing your Drysuit... Big Thanks to Ron for Organising.

Club Rib Trip (15)

Dive Date - 15th Sept 2012;
Posted - 17th Sept 2012.

Saturday was our 15th trip to the club ribs at Littlehampton. It's another early alarm call with John (again the DM for the day) wanting all divers onsite for 8am. 7.30'ish will all arrive at Mc's for that much needed fat intake. Once food and coffee are consumed it's off to the marina. Boats prepared and ready to launch only to find Bexley 2 dead with an electrical fault. After some cleaning and wiggling of wires she kicks into life and we're ready to go.
Out of the marina we're greeted with mirror flat surface so it's warp factor 4 and at the dive site in record time. We head to the Worthing wall (lumps) to try something different. We find the coordinates on the GPS are spot on and it's first wave in. Someone (not to mention names but it begins with a C and ends in arl) proceeded to put his BC over his lifejacket, good job Terry was in a generous mood to tell him. The Worthing wall is very promising with plenty of life (lobster, crabs and fish) on show for us. Unfortunately we're soon swimming against the current and off it we go, the fish seem to follow us using divers as a shield against the current. 3 or 4 times we reconnect with the wall but with the current so strong it's a quick hunt around and then off again. The wall is very promising but as we've found out needs to be dived on slack.
After all divers back in the boats and Sandwiches / chocolate consumed in the sunshine (very civilised) we're off to Kingmere for another cheeky second dive. First wave enter the water, unfortunately we only hit a shale bottom and miss the rocks. However on a positive note; Carl grabbed a crab and misses out on a plaice, John grabbing a Lobster (only to find berries) and grabbing a soul. Second wave enter the water but find it hard to get down, this is where a weight belt would be handy (ah Terry) :). Once suitably kitted up second wave are off and surface 30 mins later again missing the rocks. Once all divers out the water we head back to the marina for washing down and a bit of TLC on the boats.
A very good day was had by all and muchas gracias goes to John for arranging :).

Photos have been posted up on the The Gallery

Club Rib Trip (14)

Dive Date - 9th Sept 2012;
Posted - 14th Sept 2012.

6 memebers headed to Littlehampton last sunday for our 14th trip out this year on the club ribs. John our DM for the day advised an early start to catch the slack. 6am we set off with a quick stop in Mc's for a bit of sustenance. We arrive at 8am and it's all hands to the pumps to get a quick turn around, to get kitted up and the boats prepared and in the water before 9am. We headed to the Pine wreck and good speed was made by some wonderful boat handling skills by Paul ;). We find the mark and hunt around for a bit to ensure we're at the correct coordinates, ( at no time did the DM ring anyone to check :) ). Two pairs enter the water finding the shot is perfectly sitting in the wreck (Kudos to John). After 45 minutes both pairs out and last pair in. The Pine is broken up and dispersed but a huge amount of Bream and Congers regard the wreck as home. Lobster's and crabs (ediable and velvet swimming) were also seen on the wreck. With all 6 divers back in the boat and with Dean at the wheel we head off to the Kingsmere rocks for a cheeky second dive. After a surface interval the first wave is in, and return 20 minutes later having GRABBED TWO plaice (note no knifes were used at anytime). John and Caroline are last pair to enter the water and return 25 minutes later. The weather has turned and the ride in is pretty rough but with some excellent navagtion skills from Paul and Dean we head to Littlehampton marina. Boats and kit cleaned it's time to head home.
Another excellent day with John as DM, overseer and lord of all things nautical, Paul and Dean in small supporting role :).