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.

Dunbar – The windy city

Dunbar, a magical place in Scotland with castles, big rocks covered in bird poo, Tennent’s lager, a cement factory and a nuclear power station but nowhere to get your cylinders filled!

Friday afternoon and off we go to the land of said ‘bird poo rock’ with more cylinders than you can shake a stick at. Perhaps a few too many for Tim judging by the blowout, oops!

Tyre repairs aside our buddy pairs start arriving at the Pine Marten Pub & Hotel for some well-deserved food & beer. We’ve delicacies such a gourmet burgers, best gammon, rotisserie chicken and of course Bob’s enormous Tupperware box of sandwiches. All that topped off with peanuts and Peroni made for a great night out.

 

Saturday arrives with the sun shining but a breeze that limits our options somewhat. We plum for the Isle of May and manage a couple of reasonable dives. I think we were meant

 

to find wreckage and boilers on dive one but Steve & I must have read the map wrong. Never mind, by the time we’re on dive two Steve found an angler fish (which was the highlight for me) and Liz found an octopus. Another highlight was to be found topside, we saw the UK’s new Aircraft Carrier out on her maiden sea trials.

 

Our skipper Steve Haddow of Shadow Marine took great care of us on his Swiftcat catamaran ‘Mako’ which was a smashing boat. He’d been keeping a close eye on the weather report and come the end of the day we called it for the Sunday, the breeze we’d had was more likely to be a gale by morning.

Back ashore and we unload (in more ways than one), Andy manages to upset the locals by peeing in the car park. “I’ve taken his reg. and phoned the Police” an irate lady informs me. So we dash to the pub to avoid a run-in with the law but chaos ensues and we end up in two different pubs with two groups of divers grumbling about how this came about and whose fault it is (least said the better).

After a quick scrub and polish, we’re out on the town and surprise surprise enjoying food & drink again. This time we’re in Dunbar’s finest Italian restaurant “Umberto’s“. I think we may have been a bit tiddly by the end judging by the tip we gave our waitress Sarah (we didn’t have to pay for her entire gap trip – Tim!).

Sunday as predicted was very breezy so scattered by the winds we separated out with some going straight home, others off to some salmon smokery and the rest for a brisk walk and another visit to Umberto’s.

A smashing weekend away, thanks to all that came.

 

Wreck wombling weekend

When Gary, aka Great Uncle Bulgaria – the oldest and wisest of the Wimbledon Wombles and their leader, asked if anybody wanted to help clean the Glanmire wreck of rubbish, we wombles jumped at the chance. Little did we know that temperatures would plunge to below freezing and Angus, the first named storm of the year would be threatening us out in the North Sea. James,aka Tobermory – an engineer,  a skilled inventor, and avid diver tooled himself up with a variety of cutting implements and was chomping at the bit to get started on the clean up. He excitedly told us of his vast array of lift bags and clips as we planned our operation in Oblos on Friday night.
Sadly Jake, aka Orinoco – who loves sleep and food, was snowed in and didn’t make the first dive on Saturday so there was plenty of room on deck and we braced the -3 degrees and set out as the sun came up over the cliffs.

Chris, aka Tomsk – an athletic Womble, discovered that ‘slack’ doesn’t always mean slack and reappeared at the surface puffing and panting, with tales of endurance and exhaustion. He must have been delerious because he kept mentioning something about a train.

It turns out that wombling at 32m in the dark with a raging current is quite tiring and shortly every body was back onboard , empty handed and empty tanked.

Dive two was more successful and shortly after descending James sent up a lift bag. Attached was a mere tonne of tangled rope which took four of us to haul on board. This manoeuvre was expertly executed by Douggie, the toughest and most agile 73 year old I know. We were momentarily concerned that James was in fact wrapped up inside but it turned out to be just a couple of gasping fish which we duly rescued.

By 8.30 pm we were all fed and watered and ready for bed, thanks to the early start, and everybody had turned in by 9pm! (Good little wombles).

Uncle Bulgaria was really looking after us and on Sunday morning we were greeted by a radiator festooned with warm, dry, gloves. This was a bonus seeing as it was so cold the mask bucket had frozen solid and we had to salt the deck! Liz , Andy and Chris opted for a dive on Anemone Gullies, and enjoyed 55 mins of exploration, flat fish and lobbies whilst down on the wreck some serious wombling was going on! Tim and James launched several creels to the surface, whilst Bob and Tom sensibly kept their distance. Luckily all wombling bags and divers made it safely back on board and enjoyed hot coffee and an odd biscuit or two to warm through.

Following the fourth and final dive we arrived back in Eyemouth harbour to unload our wombling haul, which was actually quite impressive (see photo) and we celebrated with a ‘healthy portion’ of fish and chips.

Learning points of the weekend:

1. Tides are unpredictable.

2. It’s bloomin’ cold in November in Scotland.

3. Pruning saws are not that effective on rope under water.

4. An 18l cylinder is not such a daft idea.

5. An empty twinset is very bouyant.

Thanks Gary and Zoe for the usual hospitality, and to all the junior wombles for making it a great wreck wombling weekend.

Farnes – The Final Frontier

A final trip report : Farnes 22nd October 2016

Last trip of the season and there we were on the steps at Seahouses contemplating the waves INSIDE the harbour. Two divers said feck it and went back home which meant the rest of us had a lovely big empty-ish boat to roll around in. Having tossed and turned around a few islands with Timmy excitedly saying “we can get in there no problem” and the rest of us saying “we can’t get out of there – big problem” we ended up somewhere with a bit of kelp and some randy seals. Never has Mr Seal been so frisky, pressing poor Barry to the seabed by climbing on top of him (it was a relatively small seal) and ferociously biting at hoses, mask and suit. Back on the boat we heard that three divers on another boat had their suits punctured. Whilst most managed a respectable 40 minutes in the murk, Graham made a couple of new friends and spent a very impressive 63 minutes doing god knows what with naughty Mr Seal. His SMB looked like Robinson Crusoe’s trousers by the time they’d finished, but Graham didn’t care – he was in love.
After we’d broken the boat with an alarming bang at lunchtime, we then attempted a second dive despite murmurings of “pub” because we are after all a dive club, not a drinking club. With the boat belching steam and not sounding healthy we then rolled back to the Ship Inn to get shit-faced……and that my friends was the Club season closed.
Thanks as always to the trip secretaries – Tim, Ruth, Liz, Barry and everyone else who did everything that needed to be done – oh and thanks to the King of Delegation – myself – even though I’ve not even written this. This years crown for worst trip sec ever goes to……….

Roll on next year.