Stoney Cove Training Weekend

Elaine Porter reports:

Once again another great training weekend  lots of laughs and banter topped of with the usual Curry night.

Many thanks to Tony, Len, Martin, Jackie and Brian for giving up there time to train or help out with students.

Many thanks to Jon P, Hywel, Michael and Jay  for all your effort you all did great with your training.

Thank you to Paul for coming up – good news the Dry suit held no getting wet this time.

Photos by Jackie ‘Bailey’ Maskell:

Where’s Wally 😉 There’s always one…

Len the Don, Outback Paul from Aus, John Phelps (no relation to Michael), Martin of Arabia, Hywel of the Valleys (not the TV show), East End Tony and the Gorgeous and Most Fabulous Elaine our Training Officer…Jackie is also Gorgeous and Most Fabulous, but taking the photos.

“Mini” Len and “Giant” Paul – you got to love perspective, makes my job naming these so much more fun! #Oompa Loompa doompadee doo

G’day! Paul – how was the “land down under” the water in Stoney…boom boom…get it! It’s got to be up there with the Great Barrier Reef surely!

#Put your right foot in, your right foot….sploosh…it all about!

“I say old boy, you need more weight to get you down…you seem to be stuck on the surface…that would never do!”

Checklist – Suit Zipped Up, Check, Gloves, Check, Wooden Spoon In the Bag, Check, Hoods, Che..

Positively Sunny!

Thanks and Note from the  Editor:

Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua club prides itself on it’s continual training and learning programme that not only encourages growth within our club, but also builds confidence for individuals in their own abilities.

As a club we are thankful for having such a good band of qualified volunteered trainers in the club who regularly give up their time and money investing in the future of Scuba Diving in the UK.

If you are interested in learning to SCUBA dive, but don’t know how or where to start and want to know more, even have a try dive to see if it is for you, then please contact us via this website or through our Facebook page.

 

Posted in News, Training, Training reports

Medas 2017

A video from the 2017 club trip to the Medas Islands, Spain. Enjoy!

 

Posted in Club holidays, Diving, Feature, News

Great British Bank Holiday “Boil in a Bag” Bake Off

Some trip photos sent in by Brian Maskell from one of the diving trips out of Newhaven this weekend.

Brian reports that “six members went diving out of Newhaven on the club’s RIB, Sea King; successfully diving the Lancer 2 wreck, which sits at 28 meters.   The Sea was flat calm and the sky’s was blue.    Me (Brian Maskell), Len Hards, Ian Angus, John Phelps, Alan Fox and Paul Feakes. Vis was roughly 1 to 2 meters but still good fun.  It gave Len a chance to try out his new torch.”​ (ED. Yes, well spotted…Len could have just as easily locked himself in a dark room and turned his torch on and off a few times, but where’s the fun in that?….we are Kingston and Elmbridge like any excuse to go diving)

Thanks Brian for sending in the photos:

Who let Robert De Niro Drive the Boat!

Always good to see confidence as to where to fit bits and bobs

It was so hot that Alan charred black in this photo due to his boil in a bag dry suit

Paul where is your left hand? No wonder Brian Maskell is smiling. (I see we had to blur Brian’s side of the photo to shield us from such beauty!)

Del Boy!

Alan looking all Fast and Furious!

Len – Club Chairman and bearer of the lamp!

 

Posted in Diving, Feature, News, Trip Reports

One Fine Day in August

We’ve had some very mixed weather this summer but on Sunday 13th the sun was shining, the winds had dropped so the sea was near flat calm and we took the club RIB, Sea King, out for a dive at Newhaven.

T R Thompson

T R Thompson

With just four of us – Dave T, Richard, Lucy and myself, Jonathan – the boat was prepared with great efficiency, sets loaded, the RIB launched and having notified the coastguard of our dive plan we got permission from Newhaven Harbour and were on our way. Just 30 minutes later we arrived in good time for slack water at the TR Thompson, where Dave effortlessly shot the wreck (making it look so easy) and we waited for the last of the tide to stop running. Another RIB arrived, also with four divers aboard, and we agreed they could use our shot line.

 

We dived in two waves, Dave and Jonathan in as the first pair, and having descended we checked the position of the shot and clipped on a lifting bag to aid it’s later recovery. Whilst the surface was near-perfect conditions the underwater visibility had been affected by the earlier deluge of rain midweek, followed by strong winds, but even so the 19C temperature at 32m depth and 4m vis was more than acceptable, albeit not a “Go Pro moment”. But if you want to see footage of the wreck check out our website post when we last dived the TR Thompson on 9th July.

T R Thompson

T R Thompson

The shot was towards the stern and we made our way around the rudder, the more observant noticed the spare propeller on the deck, and then headed over the exposed parts of the engine to the massive boilers. Fish life was abundant, with plenty of bib and some large pollack quite happy with us swimming through them. We also saw some of the usual wreck inhabitants: edible crabs, lobsters and a conger (all fingers were kept safe on this dive)!

Without a nitrox fill my deco time was beginning to clock up after only 25 minutes, and as we also had a second wave of divers to consider, it was time ascend. Richard and Lucy followed us in, Lucy having the opportunity to show some of the dive leader skills she’d practiced just the day before at the club’s Vobster training day.

On the surface I got to drive the boat, practising some slow speed manoeuvres and diver pick-up under close instruction from Dave, it being both some time since my Boat Handling course and the last time I’d been on the RIB and able to drive it. Then with the clock against us to head back and get the boat out of the water before the marina shut, I also enjoyed taking us in at faster pace, learning how to follow in behind another RIB to give us flat water, or steering well outside their wake to ensure a more efficient (something to do with avoiding cavitation) and comfortable ride! Again, a group effort got everything washed and stowed before the marina closed it’s gates and we headed home.

I haven’t been on the RIB for a few years, and maybe it was only having four divers and twinsets on board (plus the stage cylinder Richard never goes anywhere without), but there was none of the faff I remember or hassle getting into a twinset balanced on the tubes whilst kitting up. Or maybe the fine weather, a good dive, a fantastic experience driving the boat and only £8 cost for the fuel all added up to a great afternoon and a positive memory!

Thanks to Dave for organising the day and sorting all the “boat bits”, plus fellow divers Lucy and Richard for making up a four and allowing the dive to happen.

Thank you Jonathan Markwell for a great trip write up.  

Kingston and Elmbridge BSAC always have dive trips going on either on our own Sea King RIB, out of Newhaven, or charter boats (here and abroad) throughout the diving season.  Please get in touch to find out more.  

If you also want to learn to dive and not fork out a fortune on holiday and learn at your own speed then we have lots of Ocean, Sports and Dive Leader training going on at the moment as well as other extra adhoc courses on topics such as compressor training, dive boat and cox training, first aid, rescue management….  

Contact us via our website or via our Facebook Page

Posted in Feature, News, Trip Reports

Galapagos Glamping Gang Make Headlines Again!

Issue 70 Front Cover of BSAC's SCUBA Magazine

Issue 70 Front Cover of BSAC’s SCUBA Magazine

Back in May (2017) a group from the Elmbridge and Kingston Sub Aqua Club set out on a 3 week holiday of a life time (Ed. OK ANOTHER ONE!) to the Galapagos via Peru…as you do! 

For those of you who missed that trip report please find Kev’s write up and photos here.

While on this trip the group found themselves on the same boat as BSAC’s very own SCUBA magazine Editor Simon Rogerson…who is rather good at underwater photography. (Ed. Simon is the guy on page 3 of this month’s SCUBA magazine wearing rubber and kissing a seal (…that sentence seem wrong on so many levels ;)…not that I am at all jealous that Simon gets to go be Editor on such luxury trips, owns lots of expensive camera gear, and get paid at the same time…while I only get to edit club trip news on the club website…sniff)

Anyhoo…

Check out Simon’s Travel Special article “Galapagos Calling” pages 86-96 of this months SCUBA magazine – Issue 70 (August 2017).  (Ed.  I still think my Galapagos Glamping is a better title…sulk)

Issue 70 Scan of Page 95 with photo of Elmbridge and Kingston BSAC Group

Issue 70 Scan of Page 95 with photo of Elmbridge and Kingston BSAC Group

On page 95 you can see the Happy Glampers Glamping – Simon’s titled it “Below Left: Kingston and Elmbridge BSAC depart for their shakedown dive”…I’ve zoomed in…and yep we know that motley crew very well!  Well done guys.

Photo of Happy Galapagos Glampers in a Rigid Inflatable Boat!

Happy Galapagos Glampers!

Also if you missed it, David Attenborough narrated a BBC documentary on the Galapagos Island’s that came out on TV just when the group returned….as if to rub salt into the jealous wounds of those left behind.  Here’s a trailer and insight into why you would want to go Dive there..worth watching again.

Posted in Club holidays, Feature, News, Trip Reports

Vobster Training Day

Elaine Brightman, Kingston and Elmbridge Training Officer Reports:

Vobster Quay last Saturday (12/08/17) was another successful training day.

Thank you to the instructors and assistant instructors who gave up there time to help with training.

Nice to see new faces there too –  Paul his first dive in an English quarry not quite the same as diving in Australia. (Ed. Yeah…and a lot safer!!! See BBC article on Australian boy lunched upon by Sea Fleas! not for the squeamish!!)

Well done to the students who were carrying out skills.

Next training weekend is Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October at Stoney Cove.

Ocean and sports divers this is a good opportunity for you to finish your skills and Drills before the weather starts to change.

Please make sure you put your names on the list if you require training so that I can make sure I have enough instructors available.

Posted in Diving, News, Training, Training reports

Falmouth’d Cornish Conger Eats Club Chairman’s Pinky

Eleven divers and one non diver met up in Falmouth on Sunday 16th July 2018 to experience Cornish diving for the first time for the club in a number of years. The hotel chosen was The Grove, conveniently placed near many of the town’s pubs and eateries and not too far from the quay from which we would load the dive boat.  

The Grove Hotel

The Grove Hotel

The hotel also boasted a bar where we could meet in the early evening whilst planning our evening entertainment. 

A Boat (Ed. Enough Said)

A Boat (Ed. Enough Said)

Our dive skipper was Gary Fox, a well known dive charter skipper in the area and we would be using his hard boat called “Cornish Pussy”. (Ed…..thought best not to let you Google “Cornish Pussy” at work, so have gone a rather detoured, ahh hmmm, way round and brought you a safe link – amazing what you things you can do with a Cornish Pasty…)

We came to realise just how good Gary is as a skipper and the positive comments on his shot accuracy and great pick up skills were plentiful.

One important point to keep in mind when considering UK diving and Cornwall in particular is that it is very much weather related. During the week we had neap tides throughout and normally this would have meant we could dive all of the best sites.

However, we were let down by the weather and westerly winds meant that the proposed two days in Mounts Bay had to be abandoned and we hugged the side of the Lizard to keep in with the better sea states.  

11 Members of the Kingston and Elmbridge Dive Club

11 Members of the Kingston and Elmbridge Dive Club

Wrecks such as The Volnay and Coroni River were dived at the start of the four day dive break and when the wind shifted more to the south we were able to tuck in to the Fal estuary and dive in well sheltered waters. Later we dived the Mohegan, a popular wreck in the Manacles rock system and the general opinion was that these were excellent dives even if the visibility was not at its best. However, five metres or more on the Mohegan was received by all as good conditions bearing in mind the weather and sea state. 

Hards Vs Conger 0 – 1

A special mention for Len. On one dive he put his hand down to steady himself only to gain a nasty bite on his finger. No culprit was found but it was assumed to be a juvenile conger. There were no reports of how well the conger survived!

The four day dive trip was a great hit and the week has been provisionally booked for July 2018. Next year we hope to get some diving in Mounts Bay, perhaps even the best dive in the area – The Runnel Stone 

(Ed.  Thanks again David Nicholson for a sterling write up on a recent club trip!)

Extra Links

Volnay Video (From: AtlanticScuba.co.uk)

Volnay – Divernet Article

Caroni Video (From: AtlanticScub.co.uk)

 

Posted in Club holidays, Diving, Feature, News, Trip Reports

Glass of Portimão Anyone?

On Sunday 2nd July 2017 22 members and spouses congregated at Gatwick to try the new Len Hards diving trip to the Algarve. None of us had dived this area before and had no expectations of the trip except, perhaps, for the fine weather. The Tivoli Marina Hotel in Portimão was to be our home for the next week with the first day at leisure enabling us to transfer our diving equipment to Subnauta Dive Centre.

Hermenegildo Capelo before sinking

Hermenegildo Capelo before sinking

On Tuesday all our cylinders were laid out ready for use along with our equipment if we had brought it along. Every Nitrox cylinder was tested and the mix signed off prior to boarding. Following a comprehensive briefing we all piled onto a series of electric golf buggies for the trip to the harbour.

Hydrographic Ship Almeida de Carvalho

Hydrographic Ship Almeida de Carvalho Bridge

Our diving was to be onto a series of four former Portuguese naval ships previously cleaned and sunk as artificial reefs. The first was a dive onto the frigate Hermenegildo Capelo, the largest of the wrecks. All of these wrecks were firmly buoyed so descent was straightforward from the bow of the dive boat. It quickly became obvious that the two main concerns were the water temperature, it varied from 16°C to around 19°C, and the poor visibility, starting at around 1 metre and by the end of the week could be as much as 5 metres.

Despite this the diving was worthwhile and enjoyed most of the time and each wreck had a high volume of sea life around and on it.

The wrecks varied in size from the Ocean Patrol Zambeze at 44 metres long to the frigate Hermenegildo Capelo at 102 metres long.

Ocean patrol boat Zambeze

Ocean patrol boat Zambeze

During our explorations we were split into teams of four and each team had a local dive guide from Subnauta to take us through the paces of each wreck.

Fish life was plentiful on each dive site, the problem was the visibility. This did improve through the week but we only got about five metres on the last day. 

One of the wildlife pluses was a profusion of octopi on the wrecks. Each one seemed to be camped on a pile of discarded shells so this made it easier to locate them. On one dive some of us were lucky enough to see two fighting fiercely over their territory.

Hydrographic Ship Almeida de Carvalho

Hydrographic Ship Almeida de Carvalho

There was the chance for some wreck penetration for those that wished to try. Reports were that the visibility was much improved inside. The downside was the size of some of the swim through access holes. Whilst Jackie Maskell was able to ease her way though one particular entry Ian Angus had to be forced through with the help of the next diver. It would seem that Ian’s dignity was slightly dented by the experience! 

The local area provided us with a wide range of food and drink establishments and we were able to sample the night life every evening. The first port of call tended to be the hotel bar set on a grass verge beside the hotel restaurant. The most popular drink was a gin and tonic and the hotel had a choice of gins to suit all tastes.

Along the long sandy beach there were ranged many restaurants and they often were able to copy with most food allergies without difficulty. It was also a great place for non divers to relax either round the pool or to take trips around the area. The only down sides to the diving was the poor visibility on the dive sites and the rather cool water temperature.

Corvette Oliveira e Carmo

Corvette Oliveira e Carmo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, all in all a great trip and thanks to Len for all his efforts in organising it.

(Ed.  Big shout out to David Nicholson our very own Membership Secretary, for such a great write up! Thanks David!)

Some Extra Links

Corvette Oliveira e Carmo Crows Nest

Corvette Oliveira e Carmo Crows Nest

Ocean Revival Overview Video

3D Model – Frigate – Hermenegildo Capelo

Preparing to Sink – Hermenegildo

Sinking Video – Hermenegildo

3D Model – Ocean Patrol – Zambeze

Sinking Video – Zambeze

3D Model Video – Almeida Carvalho

Sinking Video – Almeida Carvalho

Diving Video – Oliveira e Carmo (Ed. taken by Ocean Revival – will help the group see what they dived in poor vis 😉 )

Posted in Club holidays, Feature, News, Trip Reports

RIB Tickler

On Sunday Seaking, our 6m RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), set out with Cox – Dave T, Senior Boat Hands – Gren, Tom, Leanne and new newbie to RIB diving me – Nathan.

The weather wasn’t particularly great…wasn’t raining…at least, but the waves and direction of wind meant that our first destination, The City of Waterford, a wreck at 35m was not possible.    We had hoped to meet up with other club members who were diving the City of Waterford onboard Proteus, the MET Police BSAC Diving Club catamaran – for Tea and Chocolate Hob Knobs…as well as use of the onboard toilet facilities!

We thought very briefly trying for the Fortuna SS, but decided on the Lancer II as in the past it always came up with some interesting diving at 22m.

Image of Lancer II

Lancer II

The Lancer II was a trawler that was hit by HMS Yacht Vagrant in 1918.  HMS Vagrant did attempt to tow the Lancer II back to port, but soon after she sank with no loss of life.

The dive was excellent, had a little problem clearing ears at beginning, but was down at 23m with 4m vis and a total dive time of 38minutes.  Some amazingly big lobsters, crabs and fish as well as places to explore on the wreck.

So being that this was my first trip RIB diving I was bound to come a cropper somehow.  Wth RIB diving – a clean and tidy deck is paramount, store all your kit in your day bags before and after diving (I could have done better…I think…people where kindly suggesting where to put stuff…at least not to put it where the sun don’t shine, so to speak).  It’s also important that everyone knows what is going on and helps getting divers ready to go in and out of the water.  

Captain Dave Sparrow – at least people can’t spell your surname wrong if you change it to “Sparrow” Dave… 😉

Well, I might not always have understood exactly what was going on or being said, although I thought I heard a few “Ah ha me shipmates”, “shiver me timbers”, and “nice looty”, although that could have been “Nice Booty” in reference to Gren’s “rear entry” (get it) boarding.  

Captain seemed to know where his magical little compass, called GPS, was taking us so all I had to do was sit back and try not to vomit.

At this point I must congratulate myself (no one else will) –  I did well on the old V front – at least I was kind of talking to people and partaking.  Learnt from Portland trip not to have a hearty breakfast unless wanting to feed fish.  I might have had a few spew…rious moments after waiting 50 minutes for some twin tanks to decompress.  How you get 9minutes deco at 20m I don’t know, but hey ho!  I felt a lot better and ready for our next dive…the Sands on the Starboard side as leaving the harbour.

Well they definitely were white sands, and reminded me very much of Mr Strange Sketch by Punt and Dennis  – “Milky Milky”.

Dave T and I jumped in for what we found out, quickly, was going to be a very short low vis drift dive.   I could make out the occasional shell fish or a small spooked Gobie and in the not too far distance the audible moans of despair and frustration from an experience diver holding long enough to allow me to log this as a dive in my log book before signalling up.

On the surface I did what I guess is the most rookie thing you can do on your first RIB dive – I dropped my weight belt as I went to take it off and hand it into the boat….which on a normal year would have instantly resulted in being awarded the coveted wooden spoon prize at our Annual Dinner Dance, however this year I am pretty confident that the incumbent prize winner will remain with it another year for his corker (dubious bribery not allowed) 😉

At the end of the day I thoroughly enjoyed the diving and company, who were very patient with me… and all for £7 each in fuel for the boat – a very cheap and enjoyable way to dive!  

Just wish it was as calm as last weekend dive on the T R Thompson – check out Dave’s great video from that weekend here!

There are always trips going on, if you want to get out diving more and make some great friends and experience new things then why not get in touch either on our Facebook page or through this website on our contact page or why not come down the club on Thursday nights from 8pm.

Be good to “Welcome you aboard – Ah haaarrrr” (ok so I have to work on my Jack Sparrow speech…but I think I can carry off the mascara bit well…)

Posted in Diving, Feature, News, Trip Reports

T R Thompson Club RIB Dive – 9th July 2017

There were a few fish on today’s dive. Can’t think of a better backdrop to train in or to just enjoy, can you?

 

Posted in Diving, Feature, News, Trip Reports