On the 21st June 24 K&E divers travelled to Gatwick to fly to Hurghada for our Blue O Two liveaboard. We had a minor hiccup to deal with almost immediately, when the Thomas Cook reps insisted we were not confirmed on our flight. As panicked images of spending the next week doing consolation dives at Vobster tormented your author, the trip organiser sorted things out with admirable calmness, and shortly after, we took off.
A painless transfer to Blue Fin, our home for the next week, followed by a sleep at the marina later and first thing on Saturday morning, we were off! The plan was the Northern Wrecks and Reefs itinerary, and after a comprehensive briefing from our brilliant guides, Tifa and Ahmed, we were in for our first 2 (of 19, over the course of the week) dives.
Clear, warm waters (water
temperature at depth ranged from 24oC for the early morning dives,
to 29oc!), abundant marine life and historic wrecks have cemented
Egypt’s place as a mecca for British divers, and this week didn’t disappoint.
We had beautiful coral reefs, tropical fish, millions of Nudis, turtles,
dolphins, and for some of the group, a whale shark.
For those of you who’ve never been on a Liveaboard, the routine
goes something like this- wake at the crack of dawn to the clanging of the dive
bell, quick briefing and in the water for dive 1, followed by breakfast with
endless eggs, a couple of hours relaxation, followed by another dive bell,
briefing, dive, followed by lunch, followed for a couple of hours relaxation,
etc. Repeat until 3-4 dives have been completed, eat dinner, enjoy restorative
G&T/beer, do some star gazing on the top deck, sleep. Repeat. It is a great
way to tot up lots of dives, in different conditions- night dives, drifts, walls,
We were brilliantly looked after by Blue O Two – the guides were
knowledgeable and friendly (and for many of us, by now familiar faces), the
seamen helpful and on hand to pick up the more adventurous buddy pairs who went
somewhat further afield than expected in the Zodiacs, and the chef a marvel. I
cannot recommend it enough.
Thanks to Jon for organising the trip, and all who went for a memorable and happy week.
Ed: Thank you Leanne for your write up of the trip. Thank you also to Gieta, Jon, Jacqui, and Lucy for your lovely edited photos that you have allowed to shared…I could only pick a few. And thanks also to Dave Miller for his photos and amazing short video of a juvenile Whale Shark he managed to catch on his GoPro! Very jealous!
Red Sea Photos
Best to view by clicking on the first image, maximise the image and then press the play button or use the arrows to move through the images.
(Each photo is named and copyrighted by the member taking)
Congratulations to Nick and Amanda on completion of their Sports Diver Training today in Vobster!
With the help of Tony and Elaine, two of KESAC’s active Instructors, Nick and Amanda have ploughed through their Ocean Diver and now Sports Diver training in time for their big holiday to New Zealand this September.
Amanda, originally from New Zealand, and Nick a local Kingston Publican have been totally focused on their goal since they joined the club last year. It’s been great to see such enthusiasm and determination to become qualified divers.
Club Member and RIB Regular Leanne Collinson writes:
The first day of summer dawned bright and sunny, as 6 divers headed towards Newhaven for a ‘crackingly’ early 8am meet time. Jon, Gieta, Dean, Kirstie, Sean and Leanne launched Seaking on flat calm seas to dive the Lancer II, a 38m steam fishing trawler built in 1914. Requisitioned by the navy during WWI, she sank on 18th July 1918, after a collision with a yacht.
She now lies just out of Newhaven in about 26-27m.
We enjoyed some of the best vis I’ve ever seen on the South Coast. I could see the first buddy pair re-positioning a somewhat errant shot from about 12m; not that this stopped my buddy using the same line to pull herself towards the seabed. An underwater tug of war, which neither party is aware of!
So, conservatively 8-9m of vis, and masses of life. This wreck has very recognisable upright boilers providing shelter for all manner of life – shy tompot blennies, conger eels, monster spider crabs, velvet swimming crabs and edible crabs were all much in evidence. One pair spotted a cuttlefish, as well as lobster, numerous nudibranchs and masses of fish shoaling around us. Glorious!
After a restorative sandwich, we headed towards Seaford Ledges for dive 2. Unbelievably, only a few minutes away, the vis here was awful, perhaps 1-2m, so we called it a day and returned to harbour.
Thanks to Jon for organising and skippering, and Dean for boat handling!
On Thursday 9th May KESAC’s Social Secretary Emma organised the first BBQ of the summer season.
It was a really busy night, with lots* of members new and old turning up for the meat (and vegetarian) burger and sausage feast. (* although the images don’t justify the numbers…probably all outside getting a burger!)
Big thanks to the chefs – Brian Deluce, Jonathan Markwell and Chris Drewett.
Also thanks to those who brought salads, desserts and other dishes on the night – Elaine, Len (Mary more likely), Eileen, Jacqui, Wendy, Emma and Paul.
And finally, but not least thanks for those who donated gifts for the raffle: Barry, Emma, Jacqui and Jackie!
On the 12th April 2019 I put together a Practical Rescue Management Course at Wraysbury Dive Centre.
We had seven students Brian M, Danny F, Emma C, Mark R, Jason S from our own branch and were also joined by Liz from Putney BSAC and Chloe from Edenbridge BSAC branch.
We had a full day with lectures and practical scenarios going on all day, which was very successful with lots of laughs along the way.
Many thanks to Tony, Ian A, Paul E for all their hard work putting their lectures together and the gold star to Ian for such a fabulous Helicopter lesson. Thank you to Craig, Len, Brian D, Jackie M, Brian M and Jim M for all there help being casualties* and making the day so successful .
A very enjoyable day was had by all.
Ed. Video (and Music……) courtesy of Jackie M.
Very apt first song…scrub forward 20 seconds and you see Craig giving CPR to Rusuci Anne – classic…you are my hero Craig – surprised you weren’t in your scrubs!
Ed. *excellent dummies all of them (excluding ladies)…well done lads!
Brian Deluce celebrated his 50th year as member of the Kingston and Elmbridge Sub-Aqua Club towards the end of 2018. The keen-eyed ones of you who follow our website and Facebook news will have read my article about Brian’s ‘better half’ Shirley Deluce celebrating 40 years in the club in 2017.
Although this wonderful couple didn’t meet through diving; rather through Shirley’s brother, a pub and a party, their relationship early on and subsequent family and friendships were formed in and around their love for Diving and Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club.
Brian and I are two very busy
individuals so trying to find time to meet and talk uninterrupted even on a
club night, has taken several months to organise, but met we did at New Malden
Swimming Pool where KESAC train and swim (if not diving) on Thursday
“Brian you are often down at this swimming pool, giving try dives to the public on behalf of the club, you are our club el Presidente too, I know you have a Navy background, but how did it all start with diving?”
“I’ve had an interest in boats and water from a young age, my dad was in the Navy during the war and when I was 11 he took me down to the Sea Cadets – T.S. Steadfast at Kingston. At 13 I transferred into the Royal Marine Cadets and then joined the Navy at 23.
“So was it while in the Navy you got into Diving?”
“No, it was while I was training
to be an apprentice tool maker (between the ages of 16-21), that I worked with
a guy called Brian A’Herne in 1968 when I was 18. He was a member of the club and took me down
to have a go.”
“So do you remember of that time and your first dive – what it was like?”
“At that time the club met in the Esher Outdoor Workers Social Club in Thames Ditton, which isn’t there anymore, it’s all houses today. I had to do the ‘A Test’ at the old Kingston Swimming Baths before I was allowed to join, as did everyone. This test consisted of 200yds on your front, 100yds on your back, 50yds with a 10lb weight belt on, float for 5 mins and tread water for 1min with your hands above your head. You then had to dive down 6 times to pick up six different objects.”
“As as a competition swimmer and
my background with the Sea Cadets I didn’t find it too difficult to do.”
“My actual first dive was in
Black Pond in Esher Common. Saw
absolutely nothing, just lots of weeds.
But my first proper sea dive was a 30ft dive out of Newhaven with a guy
who owned his own fibre glass boat. You
see, back when I started diving the problem you had was getting on a dive as
there were very few charter boats and club members would take their own boats
or the 2 small club inflatables down to the sea to launch and these would often
get filled up with people they already knew.”
“I was lucky to be in the pub at
the right time with a club member John Adams who was looking for another person
to join a dive trip that weekend and I said I want in. The briefing for my dive was to “follow my
“Wow, so that was it – you did a bit of pool work, some open water snorkelling, went for a murky dive in the Black Pond in Esher (the name itself gives it away a not so good place to dive) and then you get instruction to “follow my fins”!?! BSAC training has moved on somewhat…kind of glad!”
It wasn’t quite as bad as that
makes it appear and the guys that were instructing in those days were very enthusiastic
and thorough but yes, things have moved on a long way
“So tell me about your Naval Days, did you carry on diving there too.”
“At 23 I joined the Navy, did my six weeks basic training at HMS Ganges, Shotley Gate, Ipswich. It’s now closed. I got selected to go in as a Sparky (Electrician) at HMS Colingwood, Fareham, Portsmouth and became a Radio Electrician working on Radios and Radar sets. I was ‘volunteered’ to join Submarines, which was a bit daunting at first, and got posted to HMS Dolphin in Gosport for three months further training. This training consisted of three parts, 1) Theory, 2) Escape and 3) Sea Training; the Escape training included a 100ft tower of water where you put in an airlock in the bottom, that rapidly filled with water, the hatch was then opened into the main tank, and you had to get to the top remembering to breath out as you went to practice escape drills!”
“My first sub was HMS Alliance during theory training and I did my part three training on HMS Onslaught. I served on several boats but served most of my time and finished my Navy time on HMS Ocelot. My first and last sub are now museum pieces, not sure what that says about me. Alliance being at Gosport Submarine Museum and Ocelot at Chatham Docks.”
“I spent four years in the Navy and was a member of the Joint Services Sub Aqua Club, although still stayed a member at Kingston and became a Sports Diving Supervisor which allowed me to run diving trips within the services. This consisted of five days being observed and examined at Fort Bovisand at Plymouth. I also did the Ship’s Divers course at Portsmouth, which was a very different sort of diving to what I had been doing with Kingston, everything was controlled from the surface like your air and depth as you were tethered to the ship. We were mainly checking inlets for ordinance, the hulls of ships for any damage, ropes around propellers. We had twinsets on and full-face masks. Maximum we were allowed to dive to was 100ft (30m).”
“So you went back to civi street, met Shirley, so what was club diving like back then?”
“We did a lot more, small RIB
diving (10ft RIBs) than what happens now, we used to own our own inflatable rib
and go off with another family, John and Adele Morris, and other families camping
and diving. Either John and I would go
off and the girls look after the kids and when we were back they would go off
diving together, or Shirley and I would dive together and John and Adele looked
after the kids and vice versa. It was
the only way we could do it and it was great fun.”
“The club was a lot larger back
then as there we only a few clubs in London at that time.”
“We’ve had many different homes or pubs that we used to meet in until the current dedicated premises we now meet in at Tolworth.”
“We used to train at the old Walton on Thames swimming pool on Tuesday nights, after the old Kingston baths closed. Elmbridge BSAC was set up as a separate entity from Kingston for about 8 years but when Walton Pool closed we merged together. A lot of the members at the Elmbridge club were Kingston members, which had been going for longer, so it made sense to merge these two clubs together.”
“So what has been the biggest change in diving since you started, in your opinion?”
“That’s definitely got to be the ABLJ (Adjustable Buoyancy Life Jacket) which evolved into the Buoyancy Control or BC jacket. Also the delayed SMB (surface marker buoy)…this really increased the distance you could dive without having to come back to the shot line to come up. It also meant was could have more freedom to explore wrecks and therefore even more enjoyable diving. Diving computers have also been a big change, making it safer and helps you to track and look back at dive profiles you have done.”
“I understand you have held nearly every office in the club committee, sometimes more than a few times over the years. You are an Advanced Instructor and an Instructor Trainer. You are now the club President and have been since I started 3 or 4 years ago and you also love to organise and take the club try dives for anyone interested in learning to dive. How do you see the club today and where it is going?”
“We are seeing a lot of new
members joining and undergoing training, which is great. The club has a good core of members who put a
lot time into organising, training, kit maintenance, finances and admin, the
bar, tank filling. Everyone helps
out. The more people put into the club
and diving will find they get a lot more out of it and that is what keeps us
going. We are always looking for new
members and those interested in diving, the sea, conservation and who enjoy exploring,
holidays and adventures with likeminded people.”
“Talking of holidays what are some of your most memorable dives?”
“In the UK – Shirley and I love diving out of Weymouth, we became good friends early on with Andy Smith as he set up his dive boat charter business; his first boat being Hunters Moon, which then became a series of different vessels, named Skindeep then Skindeeper. We were among the first to stay in the “Bunker” that until recently was run by Margaret for 20 years, and before that (23 years) we all used to stay in her house! Shirley and I still organise and lead three or four dive trips for the club out of Weymouth with Skindeeper”
“My most rememberable dive was out of Weymouth on the The Salsette, which lies 48m down in Lyme Bay after being torpedoed in 1917. I have never in all my years diving out Weymouth had vis so good as on that day, that we could see the emtire wreck as we descended. We were able to swim the whole length (134m) twice and peer over the side from the top deck at 32m and look down to the seabed at 48m. Never have I ever seen the sea so calm and clear.“
“I also love diving The Farnes
diving with the playful seals and Mixon Hole off Selsey Bill.”
“Abroad – our best diving has
been in the Maldives. The sea life,
coral and warm water temperatures make diving really relaxed and fun. But it isn’t cheap!”
“Thank you for your time, Brian, talking to me, it’s been great to document your memories and experiences over the last 50+ years. I know there is much more I could have written from what we spoke about and I am sure there’s much more you could have said, but thank you for your time tonight and all you have done and continue to do in the club.”
[Ed. I just want to add, because I can…that I did my first Open Water Dive with Brian on Skindeeper out of Weymouth. It was a dive, on the Blackhawk, I will always remember and cherish. Not just because it was my first, but because I learnt something from Brian that I still use to this day…I told him I struggled to clear my ears and took a long time to go down the shot….what I didn’t tell him was that I was set to give up diving as my ears kept hurting no matter how many different ways I tried to clear them. Brian said to me, almost flippantly, “ah don’t wait till you are a meter or two down equalise as soon as you drop below the wave and often as you take a breath. This worked a treat, every time I took a breath it would remember to equalise. On that dive I went straight to the bottom of that shot line with no problems and was blown away by the fish and sea life in UK waters. Brian helped me to realise that I could dive and not to give up. I will always be thankful for that advice.]
And that’s the thing with club diving, you have people with many diving abilities and knowledge and by just by hanging around these people you learn a lot more with club diving. To find out more about diving and learning to dive Contact Us
The Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Thursday 29th November 2018 at 21.30 for the following purposes:
The presentation of the Minutes of the Previous Annual General Meeting held on 30th November 2017.
The appointment of Tellers for any vote by show of hands that may be required.
The Chairman’s Report.
The Diving Officer’s Report.
The Membership Secretary’s Report.
The Treasurer’s Report, the presentation and adoption, if approved, of the audited accounts and balance sheet for financial year to end September 2018 and the appointment of independent person(s) as reviewer(s).
Presentation of trophies.
Election of Officers of the Branch and the Committee Members.
Consideration of Any Other Business as the Chairman of the meeting may select, to have been notified to the Branch Secretary at least 7 days prior to the meeting.
The AGM will be held at the Clubhouse, King George V Car Park, Queen Mary Close (off Hook Rise South), Tolworth, Surrey.
Kingston & Elmbridge BSAC holds personal data that is used in a limited number of ways for branch purposes only, as set out in the Branch constitution. The Committee intends to make available (to any member who requests it) a list containing members’ name, contact telephone number and email address. Please advise the Branch Secretary if you do NOT wish to have your details on this list (which will be maintained by the Branch Secretary.
On Thursday last week the club hosted a talk from Duncan Brown, a Trustee and one of the founding members of Dive Ability.
Since 2012 Dive Ability have been taking folk with all manner of disabilities into the water to give them the chance to dive that they perhaps never though possible. Whether they be quadriplegic, paraplegic, MS sufferers, amputees, blind or a myriad of other problems they are all welcomed.
Duncan showed videos of the work the charity does, with monthly training courses and trial dives at Lord Wandsworth College, to dive trips to the Red Sea.
Duncan spoke about how working as a team of 5 support divers and a specially designed harness to help a quadriplegic diver maintain stabilisation, propulsion and equalising of the ears during diving in the red sea. (One diver swimming backwards in front of the disabled diver for equalising and eye contact, two on either side to prevent role, one on the feet to keep them together and one above the tank to provide the propulsion…if you were wondering!)
Although working closely with BSAC and PADI as well as other recognised diving organisations Dive Ability courses are certified through the HSA (Handicapped Scuba Association) of America, including the instructor courses.
The instructors learn more about how to handle the different disabilities during a dive, rather than dive theory again. The hardest part of their training is when they have to don a black out mask, or when they have their feet tied together or their arms or both arms and feet to experience what it is like for the trainees and divers they will be training and supporting. It’s only then that instructors come to the realisation on how much courage these disabled divers have and the trust they put into the team around them.
Truly inspirational to hear about the disabled divers helped by Dive Ability.