Dive Report for Wednesday 10th August.
With the weather condition’s being as they were a change of venue was in order, and with Brett volunteering the use of Top Cat it was decided to dive the elusive Ganda wreck. So the plan was to meet at the car park by Plas Y Rhiw for 6pm and be on the water for 7pm. The divers on the day consisted of Andrew, David aka (Baby face Jones) due to an electric beard trimer malfunction, Melanie, Michael Fahy, Brett and Nia. We all headed down to the Rhuol in convoy Brett and Andrew in the mule Nia and Michael in the L200 and David drove his car down with Melanie. The plan was to be taxied by Top Cat to the vicinity of the Ganda and swim back to the Rhuol, on arriving at the site it seemed to be a very long way back, the pairings were myself with Michael, David with Melanie and Nia, with Brett putting Top Cat to bed and diving the Rhuol with Han Solo. Michael and I were first down with a good 4 metres vis, we saw parts of the Ganda, it seems to be dispersed over quite an area but with so much weed we probably missed a lot more than we saw, the three amigo’s shortly followed. It was Michael’s first boat dive which he coped very well with his buoyance was much improved due to having his tank position moved further up and changing his ankle weight from 1KG to .5KG per ankle. We managed a dive time of 52 minutes due to Michael getting low on air and just short of the channel to the Rhuol we swapped to snorkel’s for the final leg with a max depth of 5.9 metres. David with Melanie and Nia also had a good dive but came up further away from the channel and decided to walk over the boulders to shore and not much longer billy no mates came up the channel safe and sound. I’d also like to congratulate Michael on qualifying as an Ocean Diver. Well it was time to leave and make our way to Brett and Nia’s for tea and scones but there was a slight delay as David’s car with “intelligent 4x4” seemed to have suffered from amnesia and with the previous rain made the road a tad slippery and there was no way David’s car was going to make it but Brett came to the rescue with the L200 so all was well.
Dive Report for Wednesday 3rd August.
It was our last chance to get the rib out midweek but the weather put paid to that, so this is probably going to be our first season without doing so for as long as I can recall. With Mike Fahy still to finish his OD training we hatched a plan to visit the NWIDC to attempt the last 2 lessons but, as the few who did call in were not impressed by that idea, it ended up with just Andrew, Mike and myself meeting up there early evening. The viz. looked to be OK, but wasn't, and the water temperature was toasty, at least initially. The platform now has an excellent footway, made we understand from the scaffolding that was in the water beyond the tunnel entrance, running out several metres so Mike was able to perform his first deep water entry after which he managed the CBL and tow very competently. Due to one or two issues which have escaped my memory, we then swam on the surface to the buoy located over the boat at about 18 metres. I followed them down but nearly aborted as we hit the thermocline at exactly 8 metres, something I had completely forgotten about, which must have dropped the temperature by about 10 degrees. The plan had been for Mike to navigate back by pilotage but that was awkward as he hadn't been led out, so Andrew made a beeline back to anywhere above 8 metres, which felt like a warm bath after the depths. Mike had problems with both his buoyancy and position in the water, so it was left to another day to complete his training, trying with a repositioned cylinder and lighter ankle weights.
Dive Report for Wednesday 17th August.
For once a spell of half decent weather and a good forecast, before the gales expected for the weekend. The plan was for Porth Ysgaden, again, but having made token efforts to include Porth Iago in the dive plan, it seemed like a good opportunity to give it a go. This is somewhere the Club has never shore dived, to my knowledge, but it is known to have excellent reefs on both sides. The reaction from callers varied from surprise to alarm, due mainly to the vertical distance from the car park to the beach, but no one backed out and one or two actually embraced the plan. Mike was the stand out enthusiast, remembering his youth and forgetting that he is now an old pa, and was devastated when early visitors seemed to have scuppered his involvement, but a way was found (we had to have a guide) and so the numbers were in double figures. Irfon was host to a guest Padi diver, Joe, Andrew and Wyn teamed up, while I joined Nia when Brett had to water the pheasants, thus reducing us to single figures, and so leaving Melanie and Dewi to look after Mike. All but Nia and me chose the right side, which seemed to be fine, if very kelpy and swelly, until they came to a standstill when they met the big Spring tide current at just over 6 metres. On the east side the current and swell were equally present but we didn't encounter any current and got down to over 9 metres and found some lovely gullies and channels. There was an abundance of life, especially big wrasse, pollack, and many darting sand eels, with viz. of 6 to a hazy 8 metres. We managed 45 minutes, which was partly curtailed by me having borrowed a Club BC and ending up with the one that constantly leaks air into the BC, so buoyancy was a bit of a problem! However, on regaining the beach, the field now looked a long way up, even more than the beach had looked a long way down from the top, and so it proved with I for one just about making it. Nia sensibly left her weights at the bottom which is something I will definitely do next time, as there most certainly has to be one as, all in all, the effort was worth the dive or vice versa!! Mike though was again light and in surfacing, carrying 2 rocks, to clear his mask, lost his buddies, and so definitely needs to practice guiding us again! Another problem with the site is the lack of nearby watering holes but I must admit to having difficulty keeping up with Nia on the way to the Lion!!.
Non dive report for the BH weekend of 27/28 August.
We should have guessed that as soon as Andrew and I agreed that we would try to get out on both days that it would all go pear shaped. The tides were neaps and while the weather forecast earlier in the week had been poor that had all changed by Thursday and it was looking very settled, so Andrew sent out an e-mail asking for expressions of interest in diving either day, with the north coast reefs and the Gwynfaen on the menu. I didn't get a single call, with only Dewi (no) and Jake (yes) contacting Andrew. So it wasn't looking promising. However, by Saturday evening Mike had joined our merry little band, so we were on, at least for Sunday, but it turned out that no one was available to launch the rib, so the sad consequence was that Andrew took Jake for his penultimate Sports Diver training dive at the NWIDC with me trailing them, quite literally, throughout the dive. Dotty was at it's miserable worst, with green algae reducing viz. to a very fuzzy 2 metres, not unlike the conditions in Nan Horon quarry that some will recall from a few years ago. The 8 metre thermocline was as savage as ever, but there was a second one that felt even worse at about 15 metres as we passed suddenly into clear water of 6 degrees. Jake did the AS ascents from 10 metres and mask clearing (in the barmy warmth of 6 metres) and then again at a chilly 10 metres very well and then navigated to and from the boat at 18 metres without hesitation. Just the rescue scenarios, which will need a larger group, to go. Neither Jake or Mike could do Monday, but Peter was back and raring to go but we were still one short of the magic number. The weather on both days proved to be excellent so these were two sad days for a few of us and perhaps equally so for the Club. The situation on Sunday did prompt Andrew to suggest that instead of a tractor to launch, the Club needed a SWB landrover to tow and launch, which sounds to me like a proposal which is worth serious consideration.
ps. Had we dived the Gwynfaen on Sunday, as planned, we would again have encountered the north coast pirates, alias the Gwynedd Club, so perhaps we might instead have seen how the slate wreck is faring.
Sunday 14th August 2016 dive report
Plan “A” was to dive the “Caswenan”, I decided to make my plans early in the week. I phoned Terry in Aberdaron who informed me that he no longer launched boats as he had been reported… !!!
To plan “B” which was to launch at Trevor and dive the “Segontium”. Dewi towed the club boat. Melanie, David, Andrew, Peter and myself met at Trevor at 9am. Slack water was aprox.14:00. So we launched and found a reef off Trevor for the first dive (shallow! ) I coxed while the others dived, we then set off for “Segontium”. We found the site with some ease as the Gwynedd club were already there and had dropped a shot (to early). We were then joined by Rhosneigr club and later by Chester club. Some 26 people in all. Gwynedd were in first followed by us and Rhosneigr . Mel, Andrew and David had reasonable vis. but Dewi, Peter and Mike, on the second wave drew the short straw. It was well churned up on the deck by this time and kit recognition came into play. We then dropped down the side of the hull to 32mtrs on the sea bed, vis.5-6mtrs obviously no one had been there. We went to the stern rudder and prop shaft, someone had removed the prop. !!
Conclusion: Good day. The launch at Trevor was a long manual push out, fortunately the sand was hard unlike Morfa Nefyn where I had earlier launched my grandson.
Thanks again to Dewi, for towing the club boat.
Dive Report for Wednesday 31st August.
The forecast was for a strongish westerly wind so after Andrew had recce'd Porth Ysgaden, and Bai y Cychod in particular, the previous evening, finding the viz. to be excellent, we opted for that over Trefor Pier. As it turned out the actual wind was much less than expected so the main bay was on. Andrew teamed up with Melanie, Irfon with Jake, Brett and Nia, with Mike Fahy being left with me. That was until it was found that I hadn't brought a cylinder for Jake, so he had mine, I dropped out and Mike joined Andrew and Melanie. Fine, until Brett found that he had not brought the kit that Nia had kindly assembled for him, instead picking up a single cylinder - because Nia had told him not to forget to load his cylinder!! So, guess who's fault it was. There were those amonst us who detected signs of a cunning plan to get out of diving, but that couldn't possibly have been the case!! It did though give the other Mike company for his shore cover vigil. This meant that Jake could have Brett's 15 litre, returning my 10 litre, which was an opportunity missed, for him, thus re-instating me as a diver, albeit a partially dekitted one. So Mike rejoined me and Nia picked the best pair going!! As usual most headed out along the far side being careful not to stray outside the reef as there was a big Spring tide still rising. Our threesome, with Nia trying out her semi dry, headed up the middle, tracking over to the far wall just as we hit the sand, which was a long way out as there was more dead seaweed than ever over the bed of most of the bay. The viz. was initially cloudy but settled at a reasonable 3-4 metres further out. Somehow Nia found a good sized lobster in a hole under the weed, but the main impression was the large number of juvenile fish, indicating just what good nursery areas these protected, weed filled, bays are. There was little of interest on the sand other than the odd large dragonet so we made our way to the near side of the bay and back in. The highlight of the dive, for me, was a very docile fifteen-spined stickleback in the shallows where, shortly after, my dive came to an abrupt end due to a snapped mask strap. On inspection it was an accident waiting to happen and should have been changed yonks ago, so I got lucky, again. The short drive to the Lion was not to be forsaken by all but Jake who had long disappeared.