Another successful visit to the Quarry with Training Officer Jones and Instructor Evans. David took Peter and Robin in for a bit of symbiotic training experience and Hugh took in Tim and Wyn for their SO5 training. All training was completed to standard and again we were blessed with excellent visibility compared with the sea. It is a bit un-nerving taking your clothes off in warm sunshine. Then it was off to, the main reason for going out for the evening, the pub at Llanrug where Wyn bravely knocked back two pints of Hobgoblin ale (recycled); the rest of us sipped our lager and limes.
The forecast was NW four to six. If we went off the South coast we would be protected. Lee was going to be doing the marshalling element of the Dive Leader training. On arrival at Pwllheli Lee and I found a very unenthusiastic David, Robin and Mick G. The reason became obvious when we looked over the dunes at Cardigan Bay. White horses everywhere a westerly wind. Rather than give up all together we decided on Penychain reef.
Unfortunately after battling the wind and waves David, Robin and Mick G found that the visibility was worse than Rhosneigr and so put their DSMBs up and clambered aboard.
It was a long slow wet haul back to Pwllheli. It’s meant to be summer for goodness sake.
Weather conditions unsuitable for a shore dive from either coast. So where do we go when it is blowing a gale and hosing it down with rain. Yes it’s Vivian Quarry. Dewi and Irfon had their last open water dive to complete and Robin wanted to knock off another dive leader open water dive. Their wishes came true. All the dives whet very well. Robin’s shot moving and lifting was excellent and Dewi and Irfon’s navigation and leading had to be seen to be believed. Rewards were waiting in the pub in Llanrug as we supped our drinks talked of the evening’s activities. Well we laughed.
An 8.8 metre tide so getting slack was important. Get to Pendre by 8am! Not more than 40 minutes allowed on the wreck and fingers were crossed for good visibility. There were three boats: Old smokey (Merlin) driven by the DO. Sparrow Hawk and Sea Wasp. Divers: Irfon, Dewi, Mick, Lee, David, Wyn, Neil, Mike, Alan Kibble, and John Wright.
After a bit of searching the wreck was found. Chart reference was on the Club RIB. There was a bit of a problem with the shot line which kept being dragged away from the wreck. Lee & Dewi didn’t get to the wreck for that reason. David and Irfon put the shot back once but it got dragged off again. Visibility wasn’t good caused by plankton and stirred up silt! There was quite a bit of life; there were urchins, tompot blennies, dead mens’ fingers, poor cod (Trisopterus luscus), bib (Trisopterus minutus) pollack and a very friendly octopus.
Lunch was taken back at Porth Ysgaden and then it was off to Porth Melyn for a mild drift. there wasn’t a lot of life to see but considering the state of the tide the dive was good.
A change in the wind direction meant that the planned dive off Trefor was changed to Criccieth. Tim, David, Carol, Dewi, Irfon, Robin, Mick went for their shallow dunk. The navigation and buoyancy control was really impressive with no head butting, fin dancing nor visits to the surface for realtime navigational updating. All divers emerged from the water at around the same time. It was almost like synchronized diving.
An early start. We were off to foreign climbs. Wlad y Fedrai. Both David and Mike Duke were doing there dive marshalling element of their Advanced Diver qualification. It had to be supervised by an Advanced Instructor and Bernie Summerfield volunteered. Both the Club RIB and Mike’s RIB were being used. We were launched by a friendly tractor driver from the gently sloping, sandy Rhosneigr beach. There was quite a swell on and waves threatened to swamp the RIBs as they were launched.
We made our way over to the Carreg y Trai Reef some 4 miles away. It can only be dived on neaps because of the strength of the tide. It was neaps. Unfortunately it was also plankton. The visibility was terrible. To see something clearly you had to be within less than a a foot from it. A lot of velvet swimming crabs and dahlia anemones could just be made out but it was no way to dive. Everybody ended their dive early with plenty of air left.
Undaunted we motored over to the Kimya. Neil and Nikki joined us from Ty Gwyn in their new RIB, aussi les chien. After a lunchbreak, taken within a stones throw of the wreck, David and Irfon were the first in. Unfortunately the visibility was even worse. For some reason no one else wanted to try it. so it was back for the early bath.