Choices Choices Choices
BEACH, RIB, HARD BOAT
There is a choice of diving for all levels at Kingston Elmbridge Scuba Club and recently even an opportunity for family and friends to come and watch.
This was demonstrated when three different club trips took place over a really sunny weekend in September.
The first day of diving was on the Saturday 4th September; a beach dive off of West Beach in Newhaven, along the harbour wall that would provide us shelter from the North Easterly wind and strong waves. When we arrived the sea on the westerly side of the harbour wall was flat calm, which was great as the purpose of the dive was to allow newly trained members the opportunity to have their first experience of open water sea diving.
The other purpose of the day, apart from having fun, was to have a club picnic on the beach so that non divers (friends and family + dogs) could be in some way involved and see what we do when we go diving. So many times, we kiss our loved ones goodbye before shooting off on a RIB a few miles off coast or head to some lake, to then return with lots of wet and smelly kit which we then spend a few hours hosing down and leave drying in the family bathroom!
Those diving arrived at 08:30 and kitted up ready for a planned 09:30 start to diving. Those non-divers could have a few more hours kip and sauntered down to the beach later on in the morning.
A dive briefing was then given by Nathan as part of his Diver Leader training and respective buddy pairs did their own checks and made their way over the pebbly beach to the sea. The distance was probably about 100m from the carpark, so it was quite a trek if you were in your full gear, others more sensibly did a few trips!
Newhaven is the home of our club RIB Sea King, which meant we could provide top cover for those diving along the wall should divers need assistance. Sea King was coxed by our Diving Officer Craig who had the assistance of James and David as crew. Having Sea King there also meant that after diving activities had ended some family members (pretty much the kids) were able to get on board the club rib and go for a fast ride around the bay.
Vis was 2 meters at best, probably a little more at times but murky. There weren’t the number of Crabs that I was expecting, but there were a few of them about if you looked in the nocks and crannies and I saw a shoal of fish, although by the time I pointed them out to my buddy they were gone back into the murk. One of the funniest moments was when we came across a very small gap in the boulders at the base of the wall on guard at the entrance were about 20 shrimp that came out to protect their cave from me and my buddy – brave for their size!
No one got lost and no one got pulled off the end of the harbour wall by the retreating tide and needed the RIB to come pick them, so all in all it was a successful dive.
After diving and once everyone de-kitted we all sat out in the glorious sunshine enjoying a club picnic. Those who stayed longer went off to explore the rockpool and caves down the far end of the beach once the tide had gone out.
The following day, Sunday 5th September two different dive trips went out.
Sea King our RIB and 6 club members went out on dead calm seas to enjoy diving MV Devon Coaster, she’s a bit broken up now, but for Dan this was his first sea dive as a qualified Ocean Diver. Vis was apparently not the greatest (75cm), but any dive is a dive, and great to be out in glorious sunshine again. The group then went and enjoyed a 44-minute drift dive which was “lovely” according to Dan. Big thanks to Jon and James who were Cox and crew, allowing others to dive. (Ed. I mean they could have dived but for various reasons opted to top up their tans!)
On the same day Proteus, a large hard boat that Kingston and Elmbridge members has access to when it goes out, headed out from Brighton Marina to dive the Lancer II. Mark was able to bring back a large crab for Lucy’s dinner, much to her delight. They also dived around the harbour when they got back, and Mark found a very fetching pair of pink lens sunglasses! I am sure we will see them again if we have a club 70s night!
There’s always much fun to have when you join a diving club. It gets you out, allows you to make friends and have great life experiences! If you want to know more about joining KESAC as a qualified diver or you want to learn to dive, contact us.