Llyn Sub-Aqua Club


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1st sea dive

Sunday 20th March 2011 North Wales Inland Diving Centre

The idea was for a day's deeper diving in preparation for the Scapa trip. Dave Hursey set it up only to be foiled by reports of virtually no viz., all the way down to 30m+ at the North Wales Inland Diving Centre (NWIDC). So we changed the plan to a single DL training dive at Vivian, followed by the DL exam and nitrox workshops at Tudor Lodge for those members whose training had preceded the introduction of nitrox into the OD & SD courses. But there was a fly in the ointment in the shape of Alan Thomas, the old BSAC Wales coach, who announced that he was bringing 20 plus divers from his Cardigam club up for their pre-season training weekend, diving Saturday at the NWIDC and Sunday at Vivian, and asking if we could help out with instructors. Despite our warnings of the poor viz. he decided to stick with his plan to give his trainees "a little low viz, experience". So Peter & I turned out, only to be assigned the waifs and strays i.e. those who only usually dived in the tropics or who hadn't dived for a few years or were the trainee from hell! The surface viz. was poor, but at 1-2 metres it was a lot better than expected, and below 13 metres it was crystal, if somewhat dark. This resulted in a last minute diversion of our own Sunday diving back to the NWIDC for that all important deeper diving.


So 9.00am on a damp & chilly Sunday morning found Dave H & Brian, Irfon & Tracey, & myself & Julie preparing to enter a very turbid looking quarry. Mickey, having lost his buddy to a cold, did shore cover. Dave & Brian managed 39 metres for 45 minutes while Irfon & Tracey did 42 metres for 28 minutes, finding conditions to be as reported for the previous day, and all came up smiling. Unfortunately, Julie had a malfunctioning BC dump valve which took 3 attempts to sort out during which time some returning divers reported, most definitely, that the viz. was really poor all the way down to 30 metres. So when Julie decided at about 11 metres that she was not happy in the gloom we aborted our dive, only to find out that had we continued down for another few feet we would have been in the clear. Such are the consequences of misleading information.


Julie & Brian then followed Anja by doing well in the exam leaving Tracey to lick her wounds and to back come back another day to resit with Kirk. A bit of homework seems to be needed. Then Julie, Tracey, Carl R & Stephen whizzed through the two nitrox courses to round off, for me at least, a reasonable weekend. David J.

Sunday March 6th 2011, Porth Ysgaden shore dive.

Only six were up for the club’s first sea dive of the year, a few had been put off amid grumblings of having to wash down their kit afterwards! The sea had been still for a good few days, but we were on largish tides so the viz was going to be fair but not brilliant.


It was going to be Andrews first open water dive, and after a sleepless night, he was keen but apprehensive, which is a good mix in my book anyways. He was buddied with Irfon for OO1, whilst the other four, David J and Carl R, Peter and Stephen buddied up for a bimble along the reef. On average, the dives went well, I say on average that is.


Dave and Carl had a pleasant enough dive lasting 35 minutes, reaching the end of the reef, where the viz was much worse than in the inner bay – that was the average one. Irfon and Andrew had a very good dive, Andrew performing well on his first sea dive, although he did need an extra few kg’s to get down, (don’t worry Carl and Bryan, your records are still intact). The life was very limited, just the one fish spotted (a leopard goby), a few juvenile lobsters, the odd crab and that was it. Irfon was getting desperate to show Andrew the abundance of life that he was expecting, so when he came across masses of sea hares, he attempted to introduce Andrew to them; alas he was nowhere to be seen. Apparently he had decided that it would be a good time to find out what happens when you force all the air into the boots of your dry suit – result! His training kicked in and a forward roll later he had regained his composure and was back on the deck admiring the sea hares. The remainder of the dive went well, including a partial mask clear in 8°C – their total dive time was 49 minutes. Now this was the better than average dive, leaving the worse than average dive to Pete and Stephen. They managed 42 minutes and a trip to the end of the reef and back, but Pete’s second ‘new’ dry suit off e-bay resembled a tea bag. Mike had by now joined us, and he was of great help to poor old Pete in getting the water out of his now not so dry suit. Well in saying help, what I really mean is no use whatsoever as he was trying to determine the best angle to take the video from.


It’s great to get back in the sea, even if the viz was poor and the was a lack in the abundance of sea life. Let’s hope that we will be getting more of this weather and that the sea warms up just a little. Irfon.