Sunshine on the Tyne

Conditions couldn’t have been better for this fantastic trip to the North East. Bright sunny skies, no breeze and a very calm sea.

Unfortunately, P&O weren’t able to take advantage of the lovely conditions as we see here a very sad and unused cruise ship.

Diving with Allan Lopez on Spellbinder II we push off down the Tyne with the sun beaming down on us. I reach for the only sun cream I can find which is factor 50 and Allan’s deck hand Mark says “that’s a donkey jacket where I come from”.

Our first dive was on the Eston a 240 feet long Cargo Vessel just off the coast at Whitley Bay. Whilst vis is rarely fantastic off the Tyne most of us managed well enough, however there was a normally inseparable diver pair that did not get to make best use of their Nitrox fills 😉

A highlight of the dive was the sighting of a wolf fish which I made very vocal (I wanted to share it with everyone). Apparently, I’ll never need a tank clacker due to the distance my screams of joy can travel.

On our surface interval we were presented with the very welcome curry & rice that Allan & Mark never fail to serve up. If you can’t manage it all, the gulls are always on hand to help out (just remember to check the wind direction before launching it skyward as your fellow divers don’t always appreciate the curry shower, sorry guys). I think I redeemed myself with the endless supply of wine gums.

The second dive was on the Cider Wreck (aka the ‘55’), another very pleasant dive and this time all divers managed to stay together.

Back on-board and the sun is still shining down on us for a very pleasant cruise back to Mill Dam for offloading.

We didn’t have far to go this time for air fills as the Aquanorth Diving Centre is just around the corner from Customs House. What fabulous service we received; they even loaded the full cylinders back into the van which gave us even more time for a deco beer (cheers guys).

After another deco beer, shower and shine back at the hotel we were ready for the main event of the evening, the aptly named Man Vs Food. This location would normally be a challenge for most but not our every hungry Jay, who true to form demolished every morsel without breaking stride.

Sunday morning, we descend upon the Premium Inn breakfast which in these covid times proves to be frustrating but hilarious. We blind order what would normally be on display as a breakfast buffet and receive various bits close to what we imagined but not quite. Jay of course orders a banquet then in the rush to go diving Steve & I leave without paying (we of course returned later to square up).

It was a full day of diving starting on the Pandora (aka Dolphin) then the Hanne and finally the Oslofjord/Evgenia Chandris.

Highpoints from Sunday include multiple sightings of an Angler Fish, hundreds of bullets to be found on the Oslofjord and of course the lunchtime Spellbinder curry special.

Thanks to all who came and made it a weekend to remember and thanks to Allan and Mark for an excellent charter.

Andrew