Flat calm seas, great visibility, blue skies, hot sun and basking sharks. Yes, if you had been one of the lucky crew who come on the club bank holiday trip to Plymouth this year you would have had a great time.
We were staying in the Mountbatten Centre which offers basic but comfortable accommodation however the jetty is right on the doorstep and the filling station has moved right next to it so it couldn’t get any easier for shifting kit around. Our boat was the Maid Maggie skippered by the little legend, Glenn.
A few got caught in the usual Friday night travel woes around the M3, M25 and M4 but for most the journey was uneventful and with growing excitement of the weekend a relaxing enjoyable journey.
We wanted to start the weekend off with some easy diving, so Day 1 diving consisted of a couple of old favourites, the Scylla and the James Egan Lane. Visibility was surprisingly good and as we were one of the first on the Scylla, it was virtually empty.
Evening was a pleasant outing across the sound on a water taxi to the old favourite, the Ganges curry house
Day 2 was the Percia wreck at a slightly deeper 28m. Visibility was super and there was no one on it. You can swim down the prop tunnel for about 20M and pop out the other end. Somebody, who shall remain nameless – let’s call him Zippy, nearly had a very cold surprise as the skipper caught him just as he was about to jump in with his dry-suit unzipped.
The following dive was supposed to be a drift across Fairylands but the current wasn’t quick enough so it was a very gentle stroll. Great danger of sunburn!
Sunday evening was a very pleasant dinner sat in the sun outside the Mountbatten Hotel, followed by a walk and a bit of light refreshment in Castletown.
Day 3 had threatening skies but still calm seas so we headed out to the deepest dive of the weekend, Hand Deeps. Vis was very good and the deep gullies made it feel like you were flying. Returning closer to shore we had the pleasant surprise of seeing a basking shark. They are quite common at this time of year around the South West but you never get tired of seeing these huge, gentle beasts.
The week was rounded off superbly with another dive on the Scylla. This time I was diving with Tom so we did a little more wreck penetration. It was evident no one had been in some of the compartments for some while as they were very clear, particularly around the generator room – a great dive and a great weekend.