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Apologies all. Few niggles getting the web site to send emails tot eh new email group. This is a trial, please ignore.

New Email Group

All members who were on our old Yahoo email group have now been transferred over to the new Google group. This web site posting should therefore be delivered to you by the new Google group. If this test is successful, the Yahoo group will be turned off. Please see the footer to group emails for details of how to email the entire group.

London Dive Chamber – Lectures

LDC are delighted to announce that the Dive Lectures 2018, brought to you by the London Diving Chamber in aid of Scuba Trust, will take place on Tuesday 6th March 2018, at the Royal Geographical Society in London.  

Please also find details of NHS planned closure of Hyperbaric Chambers in England and what you can do while we are in this one month period of public consultation. 

Now in their 19th year of the Dive Lectures, we welcome you back to the RGS for an evening of escapism, adventure and laughter, with great speakers, promotional stands and, most importantly, fundraising for a great cause. 

It is with immense pleasure that they welcome to the stage, Ahmed Gabr, Egyptian scuba diver who holds the Guinness World Records for both The Deepest Scuba Dive and The Deepest Scuba Dive in Sea Water. Ahmed dived to a depth of 332.35 metres.
 
Following Ahmed on the main stage this year, they are honoured to present the Emmy Award winning underwater videographer and Jacque Cousteau’s right hand man for many years, Didier Noirot. From underwater cinematic lesson one with Jacques Cousteau, to capturing the silent world on film, Didier Noirot takes us on his journey through the lens. 

 

Entrance will be free so please ensure that you help us to fill those Scuba Trust buckets on the night. This is the Trust’s biggest fundraising event of the year so please do dig deep to make sure that we beat last year’s fantastic donation total.
 
Tickets are known to go extremely quickly, so register now to avoid missing out on your place.
 
Date:  Tuesday 6th March 2018
Time:  7.00pm (doors open at 6.00pm)
Location:  The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR
 

In other news before we move on to our incredible speaker information please read and have your say:

URGENT: POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF HYPERBARIC CHAMBERS
IMPORTANT:  NHS England has been developing its polices for Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) services and they are now open for public consultation.  They include a proposal to reduce the number of current chamber facilities from 10 to 8, with the closure of one London chamber and one in the South, with the loss of services such as medicals, email and telephone advice.  The link to the consultation is here:https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/reviewing-hyperbaric-oxygen-services/
 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 
If you have any feelings to express about the future of HBOT provision in England, then now is the time to make your opinions known. The consultation closes on February 14th, but please make any contributions as soon as you can, by going to this link:
 
 
Please also forward this on to anyone whom you think might also wish to have a say. Use any available means including social media, newsletters, forums, word of mouth and please keep the pressure up (pun intended). Thank you.
 
Ahmed Gabr

 

Ahmed Gabr is a 42 year old Ex Egyptian Army officer; at some point in his career he eventually earned a scholarship to attend the US Army Combat Diver course. He is the only certified US Combat Diver in the Middle East. He began his diving career at the age of 18, diving for pleasure then later decided to get his diving instructor training.

During his diving years he dived both for work and for pleasure, while continuously building and developing both his mental and physical abilities.

To aid him in this dive, Ahmed had to organise, research, prepare, find funding, form his support team, correspond with the Guinness World Records representatives and much more. It took him four years to finalise the preparations and achieve the maximum in his training abilities, both physical and mental; in addition to pin-pointing the best spot for the actual dive. All the necessary preparations were finalized, and it was time!!

Everything was set in place, the team was prepared, the Guinness World Record representative present and it was time to roll.

The actual duration of the dive was 13 hours 50 minutes, Ahmed went down in 14 minutes exactly, and that is when he reached the 335m marker (but due to water currents that moved the rope a little to the side, the judges decided to scratch off 2.65 m thus the achieved record of 332.35m). He then came up in 13 hours 36 minutes. The last 27 m alone took him 7 hours to reach the surface. But HE DID IT!!!!

He broke 2 World Records in Deepest Scuba dive (male) and Deepest Sea Dive. 

 

Ahmed salutes the deep blue seas of Egypt. 
Didier Noirot

Largely inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s underwater odyssey, at age 15 Didier Noirot knew he wanted to join the future divers of the prestigious research vessel ‘Calypso’.

He started to dive in 1976 in west of France. By the second dive, he already had a still camera in his hands and took pictures of the sealife in Brittany.  A few years later, he taught still photography in the different scuba diving centers run by French organisation Club Med which gave him the opportunity to dive in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and the Pacific. 

During 1986, the dream came true as a favorable answer from Captain Cousteau to a request of becoming a diver on the Calypso was received. This was for a first expedition in New Zealand. “When are you ready to leave” asked Cousteau and his reply was quick : “Yesterday”. Two days later and 16 000 kms away, he finally stepped on board the vessel for a trip that took him around the world and lasted until Cousteau passed away in 1997.
During these 12 years, he worked as still photographer the first two years and then became in charge of the underwater cinematography on more than 20 documentaries.

After Captain Cousteau passed away in 1997, Didier met a young and talented producer from the BBC, Mark Brownlow. Mark took him on location as underwater cameraman for “Sensitive Sharks”, “Roboshark” and “The Blue Planet Series”, all narrated by Sir David Attenborough. For his work as a cameraman on the Planet Earth series, Didier was awarded a coveted Emmy.

 

Committee – Whose Who

When you are new to joining a club….and we’ve had a few in the last few weeks, it can be hard to know whose who.

We’ve all been there, some more recently than others, like myself.

To have photos and names of approachable, friendly and helpful committee members that can help you find your way round the club and introduce you to new friends is why I am promoting the Committee Page on our website today! 

Just click the link below to find out committee member names and what they do for the club.

We do have the same photos up on the wall in the club house if you forget to look them up on your phone before you come, but at least everyone, both new and old, regular and less so knows who this year’s Committee Members are…at least until November 2018.

Hope this helps!  Remember – you don’t just have to approach committee members – everyone in the club is open and happy to chat too!  See you at the club!  (Thursdays)

Click Here to jump to our committee page!

Mixed Gas Blending – 10th Feb

For anyone interested in learning to mix their own Nitrox or Trimix and a pre-requisite to mixing your own gas at the club, the South East region of BSAC are running a Gas Blending course at our club house on 10th February. The day long course includes theory and practical sessions, ability to use the compressor is not a requirement. Book and pay on line here:  http://www.bsac-se.org.uk/SDCPOE.asp The course can be attended by anyone even non divers, further info can be found here.

Eat Sleep Dive Repeat – Red Sea Trip 2017

 I always wondered why our Club Chairman Len Hards wore a T-Shirt with “Eat Sleep Dive Repeat” on our weekly Thursday Club night.

You see, I’m still a bit of a newbie to SCUBA Diving having only been diving 2 ½ years…and I am only used to wearing drysuits in old flooded slate pits or waters around the south coast of England and seeing no more than 4-5m in front of me.

I’ve been trying to write this trip report for a while (Trip was in September 2017!) and although I have had many good and varied personal and work reasons since coming back that have hindered me from starting I think one of the biggest fears has been ‘can my write up really do this trip justice’ – such was the lasting impact it had on me.

Then I realised, you know what, just like I didn’t understand Len’s T-Shirt before the trip….I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been on a liveaboard in the Red Sea can grasp just how amazing such a trip it is even if I wrote the best right up I could do or you had the time to read it all!

….And for those of you who have dived the Red Sea, well you are able to fill in the bits I miss with your own memories and stories…….

“If you can dive in that [dry suit] you can dive anywhere” they said….and so with that advice ringing in my ears off I set with 26 club members of the Kingston & Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club to Hurgarda in Egypt – to our awaiting Gin Palace for the week.

Now, I have always wanted to live aboard a “Gin Palace”, if only for a short while so I can pretend that I’m in some sort of Music Video like JAY-Z’s “Big Pimpin ft. UGK” or to be able to sing ‘I’m On A Boat’ by The Lonely Island ft. T-Pain. [Explicit WARNING – haven’t put links in as I am sure you will all go Google anyway now]

Obviously the ratio of males to females weren’t as high as in those videos and I am sure a lot of my diving buddies would probably be thinking more of Duran Duran’s ‘Rio’ or Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ sort of music videos 😉 The latter thankfully didn’t get played and our boat stayed afloat…unlike the Titanic!

So, to the Gin Palace and what a beauty she was. BlueOTwo Horizon – The 5 Star Crown Jewel of the BlueOTwo Fleet and one where my diving life for a week was made unbelievably easy.

There was a “bell” for everything – the ship’s bell would sound to wake you up; to go to a briefing; to get kitted up; to have your breakfast, lunch and dinner….my body clock was so in tune with this bell that I couldn’t go to the loo without it (joke)…such was how our lives were on this boat for a week! (Glad to say that it didn’t take too long when got home to relieve oneself without a bell going off)

None of us really minded this bell, well most of the time, as it meant that we would be either be eating some amazing food prepared by our own chef and pastry chef, or we were going to be helped into and out of our kit to go diving to explore some amazing wreck and marine life.

The trip we had all eagerly signed up to 18 months previously was BlueOTwo’s ‘Best of the Wrecks’.

BlueOTwo’s website warns that there is no guarantee we would see all the wrecks on the sample itinerary due to weather conditions.

However, weather (get it, yes grammer nazi’s spelt it on purpose that way) God was on our side, or just because Paul Feakes our Diving Officer who seems attract good weather was on the trip, we got to do all of the main wrecks and even the long open water crossings were calm after all the stories I had been told! 

Looking back at my dive log I went from from…Newhaven Sands (Milky Milky) and a check dive in Wraysbury in cold water and a dry suit to diving in a 3mm and 26-29oC water with really warm moving thermoclines that made me question, ‘did I wet myself?’ or worse still, had someone near me?!

Once I had gotten over diving in ‘bath temperature’ water, day and NIGHT (for we did 3 night dives which were freaking awesome) and being able to see the length of a football field in front of me I knew the rest of the week would be amazing…and it was! 

The ship’s crew and guides did an amazing job giving us 30 minute briefing about the wrecks we were about to dive, the history of each vessel, the dive plan and places to look out for along the way and then getting us kitted up in two separate groups to go diving.

What stood out for me, apart from the amazing diving, was the care given to making our diving as easy as possible by the crew. Just as you got your wetsuit on, there was a member of the crew there zipping you up; just as you went to put on your BCD with all your kit on, there was a member of the crew helping get your arm through the jacket and sorting all your kits so it didn’t tangle….or kindly unattaching you from the pillar thanks to one of my so called diving friends having latched me back onto just before standing up. You know who you are…the time will come…oh yes…your time will come….) And then after the dive when you got out they would be there to help you get your heavy kit off and give you a thirst quenching refreshing drink. I don’t believe diving get’s any easier than that.

Each dive was to last no more than 1 hour and have no deco time and for each dive there was the offer to go with a guide, which on most occasions my buddy and I did as they knew the wrecks better than we did and all the best places.

Here is what we dived:

  1. Sha’ab El Erg 09/09/17 (Reef)
  2. Bluff Point / Gubal Barge 09/09/17
  3. Bluff Point / Gubal Barge 09/09/17 (Night – Barge) 
  4. Rosalie Moller (Unfortunately I didn’t dive that one as ears blocked, but others said it was amazing and challenging with the current)
  5. Thistlegorm (outside) 10/09/17
  6. Thistlegorm (inside) 10/09/17
  7. Sha’Ab Abu Nuhas 10/09/17 (Night – Reef)  
  8. Giannis D 11/09/17  
  9. Carnatic 11/09/17  
  10. Chrisoula K (Dora Oldendorff) 11/09/17 
  11. Numidia 12/09/17 
  12. Aida 12/06/17 
  13. Numida 12/09/17
  14. Saleem Express 13/09/17 (outside)
  15. Saleem Express 13/09/17 (inside)
  16. Al Khafain 13/09/17
  17. Tobia Arba 13/09/17 (Night – Reef)
  18. El Minya 14/09/17 – lost my GoPro
  19. Mohamed Hasa Bella (And Miniya) 14/09/17 (Found my GoPro and Jackie’s Compass)

I was amazed at the immense sizes of some of the wrecks we dived.  The Thistlegorm was an amazing wreck even with Alex’s butt or fin in my face…my fault entirely as too eager to get ahead, but eventually I slowed down and enjoyed seeing all the old lorries, motorbikes, tyres, ammunition, shells, train and wagons to name a few things.  The Giannis D engine room was AWESOME – HUGE.  The El Minya was a tight space, but by the end of the week we felt confident of each other abilities and control to go in down the corridors and really check that wreck out.  The Saleem Express was an amazing wreck, but also a very solemn dive for everyone; and not everyone wished to dive inside this wreck understandably, due to the relative recent history and large number of souls lost. 

The Gubal Barge at night was so exciting – like something out of Abyss as we descended seeing all these groups of torches from other divers and the shear amount of life that comes out at night was incredible.  I literally had a regulator shaped smirk on my face thinking how cool this is – in the middle of a sea at night…no one at home will believe what I am doing or can see right now!

The Brothers, had some of my deepest dives ever there, sharks (Oceanic and Thresher popped over to check us out), dolphins for some of the group (okay most of the group, except me…sniff, although they did chase us in the Zodiacs (inflatable boat with rigid bottom – A.K.A RIB in UK)) and a turtle for Jackie and Brian.

My top 10 stand out moments for me were:

  1. Hanging with some really great friends!
  2. Having a really cool and calm dive buddy with me the whole week of wicked diving – Cheers Nick
  3. Losing my friend’s GoPro on the second to last dive while on the drop line, then with Nick’s search pattern…finding it again on the very last dive some 35m from the wreck between a piece of coral and sea urchin! AMAZING! #nevergiveup
  4. The games, the drinks, the views and that amazing warm breeze…so missed this Christmas!
  5. The food was awesome and the night out in Hurgarda! – What happen’s in Hurgarda stays in Hurgarda…hey Len/Martin…we got the dance floor going, well I did, but appreciated the nods of encouragement and raised glasses from the side!
  6. Thistlegorm – Jaw Dropping Cool Proper Diving Sxxx!
  7. Giannis D, Carnatic, El Minya – Nick and I went properly in for a look around – when you know you have your buoyancy sorted
  8. Night Dives – INCREDIBLE
  9. The crew of the ship, really friendly and kind – just loved those fruit juices handed to you coming out of each dive.
  10. The new friends I have made….all with a love of life, the sea, exploring wrecks, marine life and having fun!

I think the photos below really speak for themselves as to the fun we had (Thanks Paul Feakes, Jacqui Cole, Jason Start, Lucy Evans and Nathan Targett for the photos) 

If you are interested in learning to dive or already dive and want to do more diving and be part of a large BSAC scuba club with it’s own club house, bar, compressors for your fills and boats then contact us and look forward to an action packed 2018! 

(Ed. Tip – Click on a photo to open up the lightbox viewer – photos load quicker)

Red Sea 2017
A RedSea2017 001
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Christmas Capers 2017

Last Thursday night was Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club Christmas Party held our club house in Tolworth.

There were lots of catching up with new and old members, with a fantastic spread of food and drinks from the bar.

We even had a special visitor all the way from the North Pole…Father Christmas, to help give out the raffle prizes for us.  Thanks Santa – Your the Best!  (Ed.  I’ve been a good boy all year as well Santa…so if you can slip me more than a fiver for that plug 😉 )

We had what would have been in the Guinness World Record for shortest Chairman’s speech, if only the independent adjudicators were there!  We love Len, always looking out for us, keeping it short to maximise the drink and merryment!  Cheers to you Len!

Elaine, our training officer said a few words and gave out Outstanding Achievement awards to Jon Phelps and trainee instructor Lucy Evans.  Well done guys!  

This years Secret Santa was another success thanks to Jon Webb who organised it all and everyone who took part.  There was a funky wine bottle holder in the shape of a Scuba Diver (check it out in the photos) that had us all wanting to have one ourselves.  (Ed.  I got a really nice Dive Log Book – so thank you for whoever got me that…just what I needed as just ran out of pages in my last one!)

And finally but not least, a big thank you again for Jacqui Cole who organises all our club events including this one – and so soon after our annual dinner dance!  I am sure Santa will give you a special little gift for being such a good girl this year….

Moving very swiftly on…hope you enjoy the photos.  (Ed.  Love the photos of the burly members giving Santa a cuddle….ahhhhhhh)

Merry Christmas Everyone*…and a Happy New Year from our Club Chairman, all the Committee Members and the Website and Facebook Team!   (*Literally Length of Len’s speech 😉 )

Ooooo…by the way….Tom Holt looking for a few more to complete the second boat diving in the New Year weekend away diving shake down (19-21st January) out of Portland.  If interested let him know, if haven’t got his number then contact the club mobile number and it will get sorted from there.

KESAC Chrimbo Party 2017
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Dinner Dance Safari Style

On Saturday 25th November over 80 members and associates of Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club partied the night away at the Chessington World of Adventures Safari Lodge.

The night was full of fun and frolics, beautiful dresses and smart evening wear; so much so that at times I found it hard to recognise members dressed so smartly without their “tale tale” Mares branded mask, or black stealth rubber gear, or white fins and groovy head bandannas!

Jacqui and her team had done a sterling job arranging the whole evening, even down to each table having themes of famous sunken wrecks.  (I think there were even a few drunken wrecks at the end of the night too 😉 ) 

The three course meal with coffees, mints, lots of wine and a big Ferrero Rocher table decoration on each table was fantastic.  The DJ I think got out of the 1960s a few times, and into the 70s, maybe 80s, but the main thing was everyone merrily bopped away until midnight.  The photobooth was another great success…some of the photos are below.  (anyone want their photo removing from evidence please let me know!)

One of the main reasons we come together is to recognise those standing amongst us who have put a lot into the club over the years or screwed up big style.  We cover both ends of the spectrum with our awards so no one can truly feel missed out or inadequate about their diving knowing that someone screwed up bigger than anyone else in the last year.  (Winner’s table below) 😉

However, very much on the winner side and someone who received a special prize for longest service to the club was Welfare Officer Shirley Deluce with 40 years continued involvement in the club.  Not only has Shirley been involved in the club as long as I have been alive (had to get that in), but she has been a real encouragement to newbies like myself coming through, organising try dives and holidays to Portland as well as abroad with her husband Brian.  Thank you Shirley!

 

Photos from the night…

KESAC Dinner Dance 008
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So to our list of winners:

 

Trophy \ Awards What It’s For 2017 Winner
Marion Trophy Done Most for The Club In 2017 Jackie Maskell
Chairman Cup Most Help to Chairman In 2017 Paul Eyden
Best Trainee Years Progress Dave Miller
Wooden Spoon Hywel’s 1st Open Water Dive Tony Porter
Most Time\Days Diving This Year 2017 Amount of Diving (Dive Officer) Len Hards
Best Wreck Photo Best UK \ Overseas Dive Photo 2017 Lucy Evans
Best Social Photo Best Photo at Club Or On Holidays\Trips No Entries
Best Sea Life Best Photo Underwater Lucy Evans
Jeff Betts Trophy Best Presented Find Dave Tresidder
John Parker Trophy Best Underwater Find Dave Tresidder
Crawley Cup Best Crustacean No Entries
Life Saver Sea Life Saver No Entries
Best Underwater Video Overseas or UK Dave Tresidder
Presentations \ Flowers Bar Long Service Eileen
40 Years Service to The Club Welfare Officer Shirley Deluce

Kingston and Elmbridge – New Malden Centre Open Day

Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club will have a stall at the Malden Centre open day this Saturday 25th November.

It’s our chance to show people why Scuba Diving is an amazing sport and why we keep coming back for more.

We are looking for more club members to book a slot during the day to pass on your experiences and enthuse others to come have a try dive and then if would like to move on to learning.

Please contact Brian on  07930 148 498

And for those who are not yet members or don’t know how to Scuba Dive but would like to know more…..then we look forward to seeing you down at the Malden Centre on Saturday. 

All your diving related questions will be answered including any of the following:

  • How long can you stay down for?
  • What happens if I need the toilet when underwater? – answers depends very much on what you are wearing!
  • How deep can I go?
  • What about sharks?
  • Where’s the best places in the world to dive?  You might find some places closer than you think
  • How much does it cost to learn?
  • Is BSAC the most cost effective use of my time and money learning to dive?  Or should I use up all my exotic holiday that I spent a fortune on learning to dive instead of learning to diving before I go?  
  • Do you provide all the kit while I am learning to dive?
  • Who is the best diving organisation to learn to dive with that is recognised world wide? (Slight bias maybe expressed) 😉
  • I already know how to dive, can I join your club?
  • Do you provide other courses like boat handling, rescue training, VHF radio training, compressor training, first aid and more?
  • What trips abroad do you go on?
  • What’s it like diving in the UK?
  • Do you have your own boat that costs me only the price of the fuel to go on each diving trip? (Ed. Cost me £7.50 last time)
  • Do you have club house that I can hire for a party free of charge as a club member?
  • Do you have your own bar with cheap club prices?
  • Do you have fun?
  • Do you see stuff that most people won’t see in their whole entire lives?
  • I am bored of the same things day in day out and want some adventure, will SCUBA diving provide me this?

 

Vobster Training Weekend

Our last sheltered water training* Weekend of the season held at Vobster on Saturday was a another great day the weather was quite good to us apart from a few down pours.

Big thank you to Paul F, Len, and  Martin L for giving up there time to come along and train the students.

Well done to Ian A and Lucy on their Dive Leader training, well done to Jon P on his Sports Diver training well done to Hywel on your Ocean Diver training.

It was nice to see other faces there just coming along for a dive and a good laugh.

Best Regards,

Elaine

Training Officer

 

Ed:  *We are still holding pool training sessions over the winter months for anyone interested in gaining their Ocean and Sports Diver qualifications.  Contact us if you want to learn to dive, brush up on skills, transfer over from another SCUBA body.