Wave Shape
Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Wednesday, 30th April 2008.

Despite the damp and windy conditions a good crowd turned up for a Wednesday evening dive/training at Porth Ysgaden. Brian and I as early arrivals were paired up to do OW2 training. Vis was not great at about 0.5m so the OW2 excercises were carried out eyeball to eyeball. The dive portion entailed sticking close, holding on, and peering at the bottom for signs of life. Unfortunately the head down attitude also meant a lot of bumping into rocks. After about 35 minutes I demonstrated the useful technique of popping up for a bearing check, not needed of course, it was noted that only David was left on shore and was indicating that we should join him. It appears that someone had left all the trainees regs in Llanbedrog, whilst Micky was despatched to retrieve them, Irfon and Simon ventured in to spend 10 minutes looking for each other before calling it a day. All then agreed that the Pub seemed a much better idea.

Peter James

Wednesday 23 April – Gimblet Rock.

The tide was completely wrong so we had hit it on the head to allow the Ocean Diver trainees to take their exam. Then the weather over the weekend was easterly gales, so we forgot about it all together. That is until about 7pm on Tuesday evening when Peter rang in, signing off with the comment that it was a pity to miss the first bit of decent weather of the season. It had indeed been excellent over Monday & Tuesday and Peter had worked out that the forecast rain would fall overnight, which it did, so when I made my early morning trip on Wednesday to Abersoch for seawater, for the fish tank, the sea was found to be flat calm and clear. So, to hell with it, here we go, let’s get it back on.

Gimblet Rock was the only possible site but we had never dived it at low tide. By meeting at 7pm, the latest time to catch the light, we would be diving on a half tide rising, maybe not too bad? Everyone contacted seemed keen, especially the Ocean divers, but how much was this due to missing the exam? The few who could not make it were just slightly miffed – Apologies. Despite a few late withdrawals we ended up with a dozen divers, and were rewarded with a reasonably calm sea which was not too far out. Peter and Jon were in matching wetsuits, so Peter has at last found a kindred spirit, although one or two might put it differently. Hugh took Lois & Tania for their first sea dive, but somehow Robin, on shore cover, managed to wreck Tania’s weight belt so she had to cut her dive short. Brian & Llyr went with David and were very competent, Llyr finding out though that ankle weights are not such a bad idea. There was enough life to make it interesting, including a large greater pipefish, which once disturbed swam up to the surface, many juvenile snake pipefish, a few bad tempered dogfish and a couple of tiny cuttle fish as well as performing queen scallops and a wealth of other shellfish. Others reported similar sightings. Simon & Wyn and Carl and Anja led the way in and had longish dives, although Anja reported that she had forgotten how to swim! Thanks to Anna, Gemma, Ben and Robin for turning out to provide shore cover. The only complaint was that only one group were good enough to put up an SMB, so the shore cover had nothing to look at!! The atmosphere in the Vic was notably cheerier than on usual Wednesday’s after the pool, so it seems that all had enjoyed their dives.

David. (Photos to follow from Anna).

Report from Boat Officer written 23/4/08 after the trip the previous day.

After a 4:30 am start from Glan Erch things didn’t start well – checked the trailer – tightened the straps – and crack – there goes the main winch strap – so a quick bodge job and off we go. Arrived on the outskirts of Manchester at 8am – hit the main Rush hour – map says right – navigator says left – so i say right – and we end up in the supposed vicinity of this huge professional outfit Bill Higham Marine. So stop to ask directions – no body’s heard about the place – or the road – asked council workers, police men, lollipop ladies, chavs the works – none the wiser until one kind lady points us in the right direction ! Pulled up to what can only be described as a cross between an old boat engine storage shed and Scrap heap challenge !!!! It looked anything but professional – mingled bits of engine everywhere, second hand outboards filled the old chapel workshop with countless bits of cogs, props, shafts and oily stuff everywhere.

So we met with Simon – the boss who was a very helpful and good bloke – he looked at our engine – tested the compression , started it up – and was very pleased with the outcome – very good nick indeed and runs sweetly was the term used. So out pops gemma to have a butchers at the new engine – mmm – looks a bit corroded , where’s this missing bit here ….. Simon was amazed to find that she was a Suzuki engineer and even more taken aback when we mentioned the diagnostic testing kit we had bought along ! So we left them to it and would return at 4 to test the new engine.

Off to Northern Diver – where amazingly everyone knew Gemma – and no they didn’t groan when she walked through the door ! Dropped off Dewi’s Suit and picked up a few bits and bobs then off to the Trafford Center for lunch and some shopping. Phone rings – Hi it’s Simon – we’ve hit a snag – Steering unit has seized – have to burn the nuts off – which will result in the engine paint bubbling hence a re spray – which will bring the part ex value down a bit – have we discussed value ? Any way – I reckon the condition of the engine – I’d give you £2200 as it is and needs a re-spray – how does that sound ? ………… uhm – well … yes ok then !!

So we spend all afternoon around the shops and sights of the Trafford center then the phone goes again – still having difficulty laying the cabling – its worse than we expected – may not finish tonight !! So another few hours are spent in the shops. By then we had had enough so braved the rush-hour traffic to make our way back to the yard. Engine was on – but still lots of work left so we sat in the car and left them to it. At 7 o’clock – the engine was on and ready for diagnostics – all went well – total of 360 hours work – never been over 4000rpm, had 6 oil changes since its manufacture in 2003/2004, No damage anywhere and purrs sweetly – new 17 in prop instead of the 20 inch prop that was on it – job done . Even though the premises didn’t look much – the work was well done . Sorted the cash and we left at 7:30 arriving home at 10 :30 !

So all in all a very long day indeed – but worth it Ifeel. Before we all look forward to next weekends dive – there are still a few things which need sorting. The bilge pump in the hull needs replacing – I bought a replacement in Manchester – but left it there ! and a few cables and holes need sorting before the first trip out. I shall try and sort the pump on Saturday if I get the time ready for Sunday I believe the plan was for the first dive on the 4th May so we have time to organize a boat cleaning party before then to clean the rib and tidy up loose ends. I am unavailable for diving on the Sunday and the following weekend so whoever is organising should check the readiness of the boat in advance. Yours – a very tired Boat Officer

Many thanks to Robin and Gemma for all their work. Brilliant. A very successful day.

D.O. Hugh.

Sunday 20th April Vivian Quarry

The easterly winds and large springs put paid to any salt water diving – that said Irfon & Dewi were joined by 2 fair weather divers in Hugh 24 degrees (Egypt) & Anja 30 degrees (Maldives) at the Vivian Dive Centre. Irfon was enjoying his first experience as Dive Manager – and the management of Hugh was providing difficult from the outset especially when he started bragging about the size of his new Pee zip & with Anja enquiring whether it was made to measure. Never the less Anja & Dewi went in first with all of Dewi’s hard work early in the week to repair a leaking Valve failing after 30 seconds, Hugh & Irfon followed shortly after – two 37 minute dives were had with water temperature up to 8 degrees. Plenty of life seen with Anja spotting a large Brown Trout and Hugh & Irfon surfacing in the middle of a family outing ( Duck & ducklings). Anyway we got wet some more than others and a good refresher was had in the hope of some fairer weather in the near future.


Sunday 13th April Harbour Master’s Building, Pwllheli.

How times have changed. Had Dewi walked into our lecture room some 20 years ago the ladies present might caught each others eye and blushed a little, but nothing more. But today, the moment that Dewi came into complete view, from Anja it was, “Dewi, that’s a big lunch box you have there!”. We found ourselves nodding in agreement; it was enormous. Eventually we all calmed down, Anja, Dewi, Neil, Simon, Irfon, Hugh and Gwyn Jones the instructor, and the class began. Quite a bit of the course was quite new to us old VHF hands and and the rest was very useful revision. The practical session enabled us to get used to the digital part of the radioing, for distress and other calls. All too soon we got our assessment. Were we ready? Isn’t it too soon? The answer was Yes and No in that order. The papers marked Gwyn told us that we had all passed; with very high marks as well. Relief all round. And we had enjoyed course too. I feel sure that the second group, next Sunday, will do as well!

Sorry no photographs of the group nor Dewi’s lunch box.

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