Noah and the Wrecks – South Shields

Very early Saturday morning saw our intrepid divers heading up the A1 towards South Shields to pick up Spellbinder, our dive boat for the weekend. The rain was so heavy that at one point I was tempted to call the skipper to come and pick us up at the roadside with the boat as I’m convinced the water was deep enough.

As it happens we all managed to make it to the jetty at Mill Dam on time to hit our ropes off target. I did have a chat with a bloke called Noah at the jetty who wanted to take an even number of his menagerie of animals onto the boat with us but unfortunately we didn’t have enough room for the giraffes so had to leave without him.

Skipper Allan Lopez navigated us out to the first wreck SS Eston successfully and we were encouraged by the reports of 7m of viz from the previous evening. Now I’m sure some of you will have been on many trips and read enough of these reports to know where we’re going next. Sure enough the 3m of viz was a little disappointing but everyone had a decent swim around the wreckage and some of us even found some recognisable parts of it.

The second dive took us to an old favourite on this coast with the wreck of the Pandora. No talk of good viz this time which is just as well but we did get another metre or so which helped. Lots of life on the bow section with a new split in the wreck to give a bigger swim through in that area. Some divers found their way to the stern to find the prop mostly buried again this year.

Having done two dives we now got onto the main event on any Spellbinder trip – lunch! As usual Allan didn’t disappoint and a bowl of steaming chicken curry and rice was presented to each of us almost before any kit had been taken off. Something shocking did happen at this point as human dustbin Jay Lawson couldn’t eat all his lunch. This has never been seen before with Jay and I can only hope it doesn’t happen again.

For those hardy souls who were up for it there was a third “cheeky” dive on the wrecks of the Oslofjord and Eugenia Chandris which lay on top of each other just off the mouth of the Tyne. Not everyone did this and the Dive Avoidance Specialty will be awarded to those divers in accordance to club rules – you know who you are guys!

The Sunderland annual Air Show was on for the weekend and we did get to see some impressive formation flying and a direct fly over by a Chinook helicopter.

As we came back in to the Tyne Allan had some bad news for us as the weather forecast for the Sunday winds wasn’t great and the diving for the rest of the weekend was to be cancelled.

As you will understand, everyone was pretty put out by this, but in the best club traditions we quickly put this setback behind us and went to the pub. And then another pub, which was followed up by an evening meal at the Man Vs Food restaurant in South Shields. Unfortunately, Food won and Jay had to settle for a doggy bag in an attempt to retrieve his rapidly disappearing reputation as the club food processing plant.

Thanks to everyone on the trip for making this a great, if slightly shortened, weekend.

Keith

Final picture is in the form of a caption competition. My effort on this is; – “To his horror, Bob suddenly realises that he’s run out of pies!”

The not Bass Rock, but better than Bass Rock trip

Limping boat, dolphins, scooters, great visibility, leaks and sunshine………Just a brief summary of this week’s instalment of the ROHO 2019 calendar.

Thursday begins with a cracking weather forecast and 12 excited divers readying up for the weekend’s festivities, this soon takes a temporary hit with the news of dive boat gremlins having gotten loose, thus demoting our dive boat Wavedancer to the Waveplodder. 11 of the 12 divers are so blinded by the thought of some Scottish sun and North Sea dipping we happily head up on the Friday with some more local diving destinations in mind.

In true ROHO fashion, we pick up a straggler and bolster our numbers! Welcome to the club Genine Keogh, who funnily enough I’d already met on a liveaboard in Egypt last October, small world! Soon attention turns to diving with a warm-up through Tyes Tunnel, visibility turns out to be good, water still has that cheek flushing coldness with a successful (for most) dive to follow. Wet dive number 1 for Liz… The Glanmire is available for the 2nd dive which is duly jumped upon by many, all reported a nice dive with no issues, bar Wet Dive number 2 for Liz….

Saturday night saw a nice meal at the Ship Inn and sensible decisions were made ready for a 9am RO Sunday to find another spot of slack over the Glanmire. Visibility seemed to be even better than the day prior and the dive club had 2 new friends today breaking their salt-water virginity, in testing for their Britannic Expedition later this year, both scooters working flawlessly and sending their riders far from the wreck in search for god only knows what, finding absolutely nothing, but bloody good fun!

Wet dive number 3 for Liz? I can’t quite remember due to the appearance of the dolphins I had ordered, but the final dive of the trip being a nice leisurely wolf-fish hunt starting on the landing pad, the scooters had new yobs on them this time providing smiles of equal grandeur.

All in all a successful trip, always well looked after by the team from Divestay, plenty of post-dive hot drinks and snacks by the Duracell bunny that is Dougie. Reports from MarineQuest divers that visibility around Bass Rock and the Isle of May being particularly poor over the weekend showed that maybe the dive gods were really looking out for us after all.

Chris

Clyde trip report – a skipper’s perspective

I like that Robin Hood Dive Club crowd, they make my life easy. There I was sitting at home on Friday in Dunoon by Holy Loch and my Facebook started pinging again. They’re on their way to the Firth of Clyde for a weekend of wreck and scenic dives. They included me in their FB chat group so was able to follow their progress. Some I knew, Tim, Liz, Keith, Amanda and Tom and others I was going to meet tomorrow for the first time. It’s 9.00pm now and the last ones have arrived at Roberta’s Guest House in Largs.

My name is Jason and co-owner of Wreckspeditions, also skipper of our boat, the Starfish Enterprise (yeah, a little bit corny). We operate wherever we need to, but mainly diving everything the Clyde and Scottish Lochs have to offer. Tomorrow I’ll be picking them up from Inverkip Marina.

They’re on time as usual and I get to meet the new divers, Dan, Trevor and Andy (they seem OK). So, just three rebreathers this year, down from 4 last time out. Still enough room on the spacious 8 metre RIB, fitted out with divers in mind. The weather forecast has improved and everyone is smiling as they think they’ve beaten the weather. I live here, I know it will change for sure.

Our first dive is on the Akka, the largest wreck in the Clyde at over 130m long with depths ranging from 16m at the bow to 40m to the seabed at the stern. When it’s good it’s very, very good but visibility can change pretty quickly so I hope they’re smiling when they come back up. Tim & Liz are first in to check the shot and place the strobe in the right place. It also frees up lots of space for the others to kit up. I’ve fitted a couple of kit platforms at the rear to help with that.

That’s 45 minutes gone and the first ones surface, the rest popping up over the next 15 minutes. The chatter on the boat is positive; the visibility has been pretty good with everyone having had a good dive and all managed to find the shotline. Tea and coffee all round with home made scones goes down well. Back we go to Inverkip Marina for a soup and a roll and to refresh the cylinders. Still the weather holds, we might get lucky whilst the rest of the country is swimming in thunderstorms.

Our second dive is going to be on the Inverkip pier, and nice scenic bimble with lots of fish life, scallops, giant starfish and crabs. Don’t think the fishermen on the pier are too impressed with us being there. But I’m polite and apologise in advance for any lines we might (will) get tangled in. Again everyone is happy, the talk is again positive. Everyone seems to have got the measure of the entries and exits and work as a team to help de-kit. It’s back to Inverkip to disembark and we quickly agree a plan for Sunday.

Ping, ping, ping goes Facebook Messenger, it sounds like they’re having a good time in Largs at Tony Macaroni’s pizza and then a few sherbets in Room, a local bar with live entertainment. I’m busy at home in Dunoon watching the weather forecast deteriorate.

Sunday comes, everyone’s on time, nobody’s hung over and it’s still not raining. We’re off to dive the Wallachia, another wreck in the Clyde at around 34m that can offer differing levels of visibility. The wind is picking up a bit so will be glad when it’s done. Off they go and I can spend the next hour worrying. Here comes the rain, glad I togged up right today as it’s not one for tee shirts.

And up they come, and I can see smiles again. Tom and Andy are first back and they’re happy. Everyone finds the shot line and again the Pathfinder strobe has done its job. The other six pop up 5 minutes later at the same time; this will be fun. The wind has picked up and the rain is pouring. I spend a frantic 10-15 minutes getting everyone in and safe. Apparently the visibility has once again been excellent and those who have dived the Wallachia before say that it’s the best they’ve ever had. The highlight being the giant propeller covered in soft corals and plumose anenomes. Nobody could remove any of the bottles in the hold, I told them they are welded in but still they try.

It’s a bit quiet in the back as we arrive back in the marina to discuss the final dive and the weather has added a touch of gloom to the proceedings. There, someone said it and the rest quickly agree. Let’s call it off and stick while we’re ahead. That suits me too so I help with washing down kit and carrying cylinders back to the cars.

Ping, ping, ping goes the Facebook Messenger over the next few hours. Some make it back to Yorkshire quickly, some stop for a sleep at Gretna, but by 8pm I know they’re all home. I can rest easy. I like that Robin Hood Dive Club lot, they can come back again.

A Weekend To Remember

Jason

Weymouth Early Starts and a Wet Diver

Friday evening brought staggered arrival times in Weymouth but everybody eventually made it to the Florian Guesthouse which was our base for the weekend and some of us even managed to get to the pub for a few restrained beers due to the early ropes off on Saturday morning.
We were woken on Saturday to fabulous blue skies and very little wind so headed down to the quayside to pick up our dive boat Tango which is skippered by Phil Corben and his first mate Pete.
Our steam out to the first dive site was on slight seas which held promise of good visibility for the day. First dive was on the wreck of Alex Van Opstal which is a little broken but was carried out in good viz and sunlight down to the wreck in 30m of water. The volume of congers and tompot blennies set the scene for the rest of the weekend. Second dive was a 20m drift off Portland which was again clear but was quieter than expected.
Saturday evening, we experienced Weymouth’s finest Italian restaurant and had a look at the festival taking place in town along the quayside area. Another early ropes off for Sunday brought an early end to activities. That is until we landed back in the local pub and had an impromptu pool tournament.


The weather we’d had on Saturday took a short break elsewhere for Sunday and we got a cloudy sky and choppy seas. We made our way out to the wreck of the Aeolean Sky and were rewarded with excellent viz on the wreck which made up for the lumpy trip out. Everyone enjoyed the wreck with the exception of one pair of divers where one of them clumsily cut a hole in the leg of his dry suit about fifteen minutes into the dive. Swimming around the wreck with his finger in the hole for another fifteen minutes he must have looked a bit of a loon. Ok, ok that very wet diver was me and I had to miss the next dive which was a drift at Lulworth Banks while drying me and the suit out.
After some frantic suit patching we headed out into town for the festival street food. Unfortunately, after watching this going on for two days we missed it by fifteen minutes. Never mind, fish and chips are always a treat at the seaside followed by a walk and a few beers and another early night due to the even earlier ropes off time on Monday. What idiot agreed these times!? – I’ll leave you to guess the answer to that.
We did find these strange characters on our walk along the sea front though.


Monday brought a brighter start and calmer seas for the steam out to the wreck of the British submarine HMS M2. Unfortunately, we had a bit of plankton on the wreck which reduced the visibility and some current which made the dive a bit of a chug when going into it. Never the less it saw a good dive with most divers seeing all of the wreck before having to ascend. You’ll be pleased to know (well I certainly was) that the drysuit repair of the previous evening worked a treat and a dry dive was had by all. The second dive was a bimble off Portland in 14m which a much reduced number of divers took part in. The Dive Avoidance Specialty will be awarded to those divers in accordance to club rules.

Keith

Eyemouth Wolffish and Bacon Butties

Worrisome weather reports on Tuesday made diving look unlikely, but in the event the storms gave way to glorious sunshine, and those chancers who were not deterred were rewarded with decent viz as a bonus.

Unlike Noah’s arc we arrived in Eyemouth in anything but 2 by 2 but by last food orders we were all installed in Oblos for pizza and burgers. We even picked up some extra non-trip members, (stealth Tom has a habit of popping up when least expected 🙂 ) who were on another boat.

Saturday brought with it an early start and optimistic blue sky. By 8:30 we were ropes-off and out to sea.

Dive 1 was a little light on sealife but some reported seeing “a fish” 😉 the viz was surprisingly good however and everybody had a decent dive. Liz enjoyed her return to OC bubble blowing, but seemingly has grown more buoyant over winter… 9 degrees water temps didn’t seem too harsh when basking in the sunshine on the deck between dives. Well some of us were basking, others were barfing….

Dive 2 was a much better dive with reports of dab, wolffish, sea bass, …everybody saw a fish at least. It’s not often you’re back in harbour by lunchtime, after two dives, but the early bird catches the worm.

Getting early dives in gave us lots of time to do more with the day so we set off on the ‘brief’ coastal walk to St Abbs via Coldingham Bay (and the St Vedas Hotel for a quick fluid top-up). Whilst in St Abbs it would be rude not call in Ebbcars Cafe and I can certainly vouch for their cheese scone and special hot chocolate.

To the tune of creaking knees and much wingeing it was back up the hill to find the New Asgard sign (as featured in the Avengers End Game movie) for a now-famous St Abbs photo opportunity.

Call us spontaneous if you like, but knowing that a table reservation in Eyemouth was off the cards we chanced our luck with The New Inn at Coldingham and they didn’t let us down. This however necessitated a further walk up the creel path in the early summer sunshine. Some of us had used suncream, some of us had not, and by now there was a lot of head skin starting to glow a tad pink. We at least had walked up an appetite.

Day 2 brought an even earlier start due the dredger wanting to anchor off the harbour for a spot of channel clearing. This inspired Gary our skipper to suggest one of the best dive boat ideas in years, “forgo full English and have hot bacon sandwiches between dives”. An absolutely brilliant idea!

Dive 1 was again a cracking dive on black cars, with wolffish to be seen, an octopus and finished off with a great big anchor.

After we’d polished off our bacon sarnies and swapped cylinders the skipper was called away to an incident involving another group of divers, so we helped with other boats to collect divers and share O2 equipment.

We didn’t do a second dive so again that left lots of the day to wash down kit, eat ice-cream and fish & chips and have a gentle trip home. Another great weekend with a great bunch of people, fab weather and top boat.

Thanks to Gary and Divestay for a fabulous weekend.

Curry & Karaoke

A fun night was had by all at our latest outing to Lala’s.

Thanks to all the members, friends and partners who came along. Sorry, we missed out on the early evening special but surely the class act they laid on for the evening made up for this.

2019 Annual General Meeting

Thank you to all who attended the Club AGM. We successfully got through the formalities and rounded it off with a quick drink at the Bull.

The committee saw some change with the standing down of Barry and Graham (many thanks for all your work over the years) and the appointment of Bob Jones as some new blood.

Here’s to a great 2019 dive season!

The Newest Member of Our Mascot Family

Say Hello to Theo, the latest addition to our club mascot menagerie.

He likes nothing more than to sing along to the latest tunes on the radio and taunt his doggy siblings (who would very much like to eat him).

Did you know that Budgies poop as often as every twenty minutes and Theo is not far off the curve in this regard.

Sunshine and shipwrecks in South Shields

Friday night and 10 intrepid Robin Hood divers tootled sedately up the A19 to make South Shields in time for last orders. Well, 9 actually because Graham decided he’d rather get up at 4am and arrive saturday in time for ropes off. After a peaceful night in the Atlantis Guest house on Ocean Road we awoke fresh and ready to go. All we needed was a hearty full English breakfast to get us ready for the day. Sadly the breakfast nazis wouldn’t cook sausages until 8am so most of us just made do with bacon and eggs. Except Bob who had patiently waited since 5am and held out for his full English. 8am came and went and it soon became apparent that Bob was not going to be waving his sausage at us any time soon and in the end he too made do with his Bacon and eggs. Poor Bob.

We were boarded and loaded with our usual slick efficiency and soon at sea on Spellbinder, with Allan at the helm and Mark on coffee duty, the sun shining and the sea flat. We decided to aim for the wreck of the S.S Mars which sank in 32m of water in 1939 after being struck by a mine. The wreck was nicely shotted by the boilers and we enjoyed a decent dive amongst the plates and debris. Those mines must have been serious bits of kit because the wreck is well broken up. There was an absence of fish life, but what it lacked in fish it gained in visibility and it made for a pleasant change to be able to find our way back to the shotline without too much difficulty.

As it was only 11am we decided to wait until after dive 2 for lunch and instead had a nice surface interval of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, hobnobs and blue ribband biscuits. Terry slapped on the suntan oil and settled back to off-gas.

Dive 2 was an old favourite, the Pandora. Having dived this several times before it was really nice to actually see it! The propeller is a little more exposed than in the past and you can now clearly see the previously buried blade which has sheared right through. Following the prop shaft back to the boilers we once more found the shot with ease, thanks to Tim’s strobe. Still a lack of fish life, the odd wrasse and lots of squat lobsters darted about the wreckage. The Bow, which stands a little proud of the sea bed, did however have a shoal of bib inside which were a welcome distraction. Again the visibility was probably the best we’ve had on the wreck.

Back on the boat we barely had time to take our kit off before being handed a steaming bowl of sweet and sour chicken and egg fried rice. More tea and we began to head back to port. Allan the skipper suggested somebody jump in on the Eugene Chandris as we passed to check on the state of the viz.  Tim volunteered to do the job. The next time the skipper looked he had a boat full of kitted up divers ready to jump in! The quick look turned into a 40 minute dive with Graham reporting he’d seen a lobster bigger than Terry! Pablo was so impressed by all the bullets and ammo that he didn’t want to surface, but surface we did, after a cracking day’s diving.

Saturday evening, and Ocean road transforms into the North East’s answer to the West End. Minus the culture, and with more of it’s share of drunken neds. We opted for a nice meal in an Italian restaurant and a walk along the sea front. If anybody wants any pizza we have a bit left over!

Sunday morning arrived and we finally got to enjoy the full English breakfast which elluded us the previous morning. The poor lady was alone in the kitchen but had Bob’s breakfast ready and waiting for him!  With images of Tim’s bedroom parading and stories of seasickness onboard spellbinder Amanda didn’t look particularly hungry. Funny that.

The first dive was a wreck none of us had done before. The H.M.S Elise. The armed fishing trawler sank in 1918 after hitting a mine, or a torpedo. There are conflicting reports of her sinking, but WE all know it was a result of the unfeasibly large boiler she was carrying! For a small trawler, the boiler was enormous! This wreck was covered in life. There were lots of bib and lobsters under every plate. There is a gun somewhere on the sea bed but despite a good search we couldn’t locate it. At a depth of 30m this was a perfect dive for nitrox and everybody agreed that it was a really lovely little wreck.

Dive 2 was my old favourite the Cider Wreck. In the past I have found some lovely pottery on this site and this dive didn’t disappoint. Nestled right under the quite impressive anchor was a beautiful little glazed pot. Tim also spotted a cracking little pot, and about half a tonne of fishing weights, which he dutifully wombled off the sea bed. There was a lot more life on this wreck, particularly the section between the boiler and engine block where a large shoal of bib and a two foot long cod congregated. It was quite a special feeling to hover amongst them and just enjoy the moment. Again the visibility was superb, and the boat was buzzing with excited divers whilst we tucked into our chicken curry.

Dive six of the weekend was another go on the Eugene Chandris, or was it the Oslo fijord? The site is big enough to still find things missed on the first dive and Keith spotted a large shell casing, which on closer inspection proved to be stuffed full of cordite! With all divers back on the boat we packed up our kit, thanked Allan and Mark for a cracking weekend and convened in the bar for a deco beer.

Sun, Seals and Soggy Suits

As trips go this one was a bit like the Hokey Cokey. Divers booked on and off with a vengeance, but on the morning of July 21st, (first day of the summer holidays) we boarded glad tidings 7 with 15 divers: members, members of old, and members of the future. Some of us even had full cylinders! 

The sea was mirror flat and the sun had the decency to hide behind some light cloud so we didn’t fry in our suits. The first dive was hopper rock, with a depth of 25 m and a water temp of 12-13 degrees. I was glad about this as the sea managed to ingress into my usually sound dry suit. I let my buddy know when it got to my elbow, but continued the dive as the visibility was great and the shoals of herring made for a delightful spectacle. A few seals were out but I must’ve had my repellant on as none paid us much attention. I think they were all playing with Sam and Andy Pepper! Sadly the water level inside my suit eventually made it to my armpit, the 13 degrees didn’t feel so warm then, so up went the smb and I got back on the boat to wring out my under suit and dry off in the sunshine. Hobnobs and jelly babies later (Lee signed his contract to join the club by eating 2 club hobnobs) , we deliberated on the best site for dive 2.

Longstone End was the site for our second dive. A slight drift made for an effortless glide with the rock on the left. Passing a sizeable cod, flat fish, pogge , sea scorpion and Ballan wrasse on the way. The rocks were covered in life and there were several large crabs and lobsters scuttling around. This time the water inside my suit overtopped my armpit and redistributed down to my feet so it wasn’t as long a dive as I would have liked. The cuff dump seemed to be the smoking gun so we did some on board maintenance involving pulling it to pieces and putting it back together again. It seemed to do the trick  Back ashore we stopped off for a deco beer in The Ship joined by the Italian contingent from the boat. Abbiamo passato una bella giornata!

Furry Fashion

I’m always in vogue don’t you know, so on the day that the Queen has been spotted on the FROW (Google it if you’re unfashionable) I am sporting my new Club gear. If you want to look as gorgeous as me (but perhaps less furry) why don’t you get in touch with Phil Barber and get yourself a Club t-shirt or hoodie – in a larger size of course.

You might get woof whistled. Xx

Club Dog Goes to Show

I thought mummy was taking me to Crufts when she said we were off to The Show- I really did. I combed my fluffy feet, put on my best coat and stopped thinking about birdies n bunnies for a while in my excitement. Turns out she meant the Great Northern Dive Show which was probably more exciting really as I got to do a wee and a poo on some lovely green grass called Old Trafford – didn’t look old to me – and I got tickled by storm troopers and met a man in black who sounded like he was using a rebreather all the time. Not many dogs get to do that do they, whereas lots of dogs go to Crufts.

After all that it was the humans turn to get excited as they met up with friends from BarZero (again no crisps or beer so I’m confused by the many uses of the word Bar)….and lots of other divey people including skippers from Lochaline who let me pee in a box of grass on their boat a couple of years ago. I think i first saw dolphins on that trip – on the whole I prefer bunnies to dolphins.

Anyhow – it was a busy hall with lots of stuff to keep us entertained. Mummy came away clutching brochures for yet another holiday whilst daddy bought a compressor and everyone ate pies and coffee from far too many plastic plates n cups (there’s a lot in our oceans you know you naughty humans)….except for mummy who was virtuosly clutching her own travel mug.

So – hope we can all go again next year as it’s great to have such a good divey day out meeting old friends n learning new stuff so close to home. See ya next year Darf xx

(Ps I might have made the bit up about daddy buying the compressor…)

Club Dog Award Ceremony

Well what a night – my tail is worn out with wagging and my paws are pulsating after presenting lots of hotly contested and incredibly prestigious awards to members of the Club last night. It was of course Club AGM night and once we had heard from the chair person (“we’re all happy”)(“ish”), the treasurer (“we’re floating”) and the dive safety officer (“no one died”)….it was my (well daddy’s) turn to kick off the award ceremony with a few statistics. Apparently my 50 human diving friends have done 479 dives collectively on Club trips which means they have spent over 374 hours under water whilst I have been patiently waiting, wagging my tail and watching their bubbles. More amazing still, they have dived to a collective depth of 11,099 metres which is even deeper than the Mariana Trench (10,994m) which daddy said would have squashed anyone really diving to that depth with 1086 bars of pressure. I’m confused by this as I thought bars were places where people bought me crisps and sometimes let me drink their beer. Anyhow, after all those breathtaking facts n figures the awards were presented (by me) as follows:

AWARD for the smug b***ard who’s best in all categories – this certificate was presented to TIM SAVILLE for the longest dive, deepest dive, most dives on most trips …blah blah blah. This was based on all the figures from the log sheet – no surprise there really…. Timmy won his own baseball cap back (long story- glad he’s got it back as it was very smelly).

AWARD for the biggest navigation cock up – this certificate was presented to BOB JONES for surfacing on the wrong side of the Farnes and having to be shown the way home by Sammy Seal. Bob won a guide book for the Coast to Coast to ensure he can find his way on land should he ever be beached (can I come walkies with you Bob?).

AWARD for all the gear and no (or every!) idea – this certificate was presented to CHRIS HANDLEY  for purchasing the most impressive range of dive equipment in 2017 now that he’s all rebreathered up -and of course we all know that Chris really has more idea than most of us put together (and definitely more than me because I’m a dog). Chris won a multi-tool to add to his kit collection.

AWARD for the best kept drysuit – this certificate was presented to JOHNY RANGELEY for keeping that lovely new drysuit in the wardrobe and rarely putting it in the water. Johny won some trendy moth balls which smell funny to keep with his drysuit.

AWARD for best buddy pair – this certificate was presented to AMANDA AND KEITH  for diving in perfect harmony and therefore recording identical depths and times on all the logsheets. They won a pair of dolphins which have salt n pepper in them and then they gave me lots of tickles so I really do think they’re the best.

AWARD for the most hard working Club Member – this certificate was presented to ANDY LAMB for all his hard work in 2017, above and beyond the call of duty. Andy’s put me on the new website and lets me do stuff so I love Andy! Woof woof! Andy won a pen so he can keep doing the minutes and doodling in committee meetings.

AWARD for best trip secretary – this certificate was presented to MARK BUXTON for remembering to do all the important stuff really well instead of just bringing hob nobs and hoping for the best. Mark would have won a packet of hob nobs but as he wasn’t able to come to the AGM I ate the whole lot on the way home in the car – sorry Mark. I feel a bit sick now.

So – that was the end of the better-than-the-Oscars awards and if you think you’d like to win one of my incredibly special and totally silly awards next year then you had better come diving with me. The categories might not be the same, but I’m sure the competition to excel will be fierce!

Woof woof for now x

Don’t forget to test all your kit

Well its a wintry day out there all you non-hairy  divers – I’m looking forward to getting my paws chilly in the white stuff after work. Mum has bought me a gorgeous new coat which I need to try out in extreme conditions. Its a touch humiliating that she and I are now colour coded, but until I find a way to earn my own pennies I am dependent upon my parents for my outdoor gear. Anyhow, this has reminded me that I need to get them to take me up to Capernwray soon to test out all the kit stored over the chilly months and allow me to cadge some large slices of cake and snuffle people’s sandwiches when they’re not looking. There are a few people putting opportunities for buddies on facebook….so hopefully see you up there very soon….I’m the orange one….and so is she….sigh!

Woofs

Club Lady xx

 

Weekend Trip Report from Sebastian Seal

October is a busy season for us. Lots of people come to the Farne Islands to use our underwater rehabilitation services. Humans have very sad dreary lives on land as I understand it and so it is our duty and pleasure to welcome them into our underwater environment to play with them and generally make them feel like their existence has some meaning. We have a special deal with William Shiel in particular to do this work, although he was maybe taking the piss a bit this weekend when he brought 34 divers out on one incredibly crowded boat, but we’ll have a word with him about this at a later date. He may need to supply more fish if he’s going to work us that hard.

The other boat load however were a jolly crew of 18 or 20 – I lost count and they didn’t seem to have a clue themselves – from Robin Hood Dive Club. This lot seemed like a professional outfit although one of them called Jared seemed to prefer having more water in his suit than outside of it. They also had some potential new members with them called Julie, Alexandra and Andy who seemed a friendly bunch, smiling a lot and blowing bubbles all over the place. There was one barking mad chap who apparently never wears a hood – I think Jonathan is his name – he must feel the cold less than we do so maybe he’s half seal. There was also a bloke called Ben who I think may have moved in with one of our sexier seals in the colony here – he seems to be around a lot anyhow – the less said about that the better.

So we did our thing – we dutifully chewed everyone’s fins, particularly the bright coloured ones, as that seems to be what humans like….besides its funny to creep up behind them in stealth mode and then bugger off really quickly before they can take a photo. They’re not that agile in the water so we can run rings round them generally. We put on a good show this weekend though I say it myself – we called in all the reserves and we were everywhere, dancing, twirling and looking cute and doe-eyed. We let people tickle us and we even had a threesome with the blubbery one called Ruth – that was fun as she just kept screaming “I don’t like it!”.

So job done we watched them all get back on board after two great dives – have to say that lift thing they have is definitely something we should look into – it’s hard getting back onto our rocks, particularly when we have a lot of winter blubber – might have a word with William about getting one installed on some of the main islands. Always sad to see them all go – particularly as their season is coming to a close because they can’t hack the cold. Come back next year guys – get Johnny to organise another trip. We’ll miss you until then xx

Let Me Out!

If I was a student of psychology I would get a job at an escape room immediately. How much fun do those voyeurs have that watch the gamers and type cast everyone so quickly into doers, non-doers, and people who like being locked up and playing with padlocks.

Even though my team was locked in a room with Johnny for an hour it was actually quite good fun to watch intelligent folk solving a myriad of tricky mind-twisters whilst Barry just struggled stacking a few stools to form a pattern.

Obviously having so many bondage experts in our team paid off as we broke free just within the allotted time to find a surprisingly empty hallway meaning we were triumphant. Team Keith emerged flustered and frustrated a few minutes later making transparently pathetic excuses that their room was harder, to cover up for the fact they had failed spectacularly to escape. Team Tim arrived shortly after looking equally forlorn followed by the organisers muttering something about interventions in arguments, whatever that meant.

Released back into the wild of Saturday night Leeds we then somewhat psychologically predictably downed lots of pints, sucked stringy noodles in Trinity Kitchen and some of us danced the night away before risking life n limb in death-defying taxis.

If I was a psychology student I could have gone on this splendid Tick Tock Escape room night out and got a first for my resulting thesis. Thanks Keith for locking us all up and not letting us out.