Portland 30th April -2nd May 2016
On the 1st May 2016, 11 adventurous divers set sail from Portland Harbour in search of wrecks to explore and banks to drift, on a boat with the unusual name “Skindeeper”. (Careful how you google)
We were joined on our adventures by Eddie and John from the British Sub-Aqua Masonic Lodge and quickly became part of the group. It was really great to have them along.
Our Captain Len and wife Maggie showed the way and kept us topped up with hot drinks and snacks! Loved our lunch right in Lulworth Cove! The Jurassic cliffs looked even more amazing from this angle to the beach I like to walk on with the family.
The dives were all kept to around 20m due to one trainee Ocean Diver, me, and one other qualified Ocean Diver, but as they say it’s not all depth…or was it length…anyway, so much could be explored at this depth.
Being the first time I have ever dived in a dry suit and in UK waters I was amazed at how much there is to see. I was even able to clear my ears no problem for the first time (been doing it all wrong! doh) and the water was sooooo much warmer than the National Dive Centre Slate Quarry at Chepstow!
Of course it was only warm in the water, out of it I had around 5 layers of jumpers and jackets on to keep warm! Much to the amusement of others.
So here’s where we went:
Black Hawk (Wreck) – wow, so amazing to see the life on the wreck and shoals of fish not running from me, even came up to look at me…before running! We saw Conger Eels, Crabs, Spider Crabs, Fish I have no idea what they were called and amazing plants.
Lulworth Banks (Drift) – I was flying…or at least it felt like it going with the current seeing little colonies of plants and creatures on the bottom. Bit random thoughts, but I kept thinking this is like where Square Pants Sponge Bob would live, Bikini Bottom, and all these creatures were in their little communities. I promise I was not drinking…or narked!
British Inventor (Wreck) – Vis was a little low and we found some really interesting parts with lots of creatures to see and explore….just when we had to return to the surface! Yes I breath too much, Shirley probably had ¾ of a tank left! Still 30mins down wasn’t too bad. Water was a bit choppy, so I went very quiet on surfacing…and people kept their distance…but I am pleased to say everything stayed down!
Grove Point (Drift) – After lunch, my chipper spirits returned and the water was calmer! Again so much to see and a very successful dive.
Lulworth (Banks) – One final dive for the Happy Boat people, joined by the stowaway Richard Hoyles, who had jumped ship as his boat was not going out. It was a little choppy, but once in everything settled down and we all surfaced to calmer waters and sunshine. Great! J
The breakfasts and evening meals were amazing in The Bunker where we stayed. I was absolutely stuffed and it all stayed down!
Evening entertainment was Shirley and Chris on the guitars, you tube videos, local bar and great chats and stories told. Not sure all of Chris’ were real though 😉
For my first time out in the UK waters…loved it. If anyone asks you why dive in the UK…they will never understand until they see it for themselves. Amazing what you find under the sea!
Thanks Brian for organising the trip and for giving me my first experience of UK waters…looking forward to many more exciting trips!
Write up by Nathan Targett