The diving was planned for Criccieth but with a stiff southerly forecast the decision was made to move to Porth Ysgadarn, which should have been sheltered nicely. In the event the breeze turned out to be a very stiffish south westerly which blew right into the open end of the bay causing something of a chop and a bit of a swell, whereas Criccieth was reported by the Portmadoc contingent to be calm and inviting, and there were only a few pigs flying that evening!
Having checked out the adjacent bay to the east, which was protected and therefore flat calm, the decision was taken to stick with the usual bay, not least because dive leading exercises were to be conducted, and in truth the viz. didn’t look that bad. Turnout was a massive eleven divers and four observers, or should that be gloaters? Those who had previously been given a Dive Leading demonstration, namely Dave H, Brian & Carl, were teamed up with Wyn, Peter & Dewi respectively, while Irfon led Anja through her dive leading demo, and I found myself left with Simon and possible new member Steven Thompson. Mickey officiated while Sue, Vi & Hugh huddled down behind the compound walls.
There is little more to be said, other than to report that the conditions were “far from ideal” with the viz. just a bit disappointing. I was assured, however, that all exercises were performed perfectly, which seeing as all pairs returned together, or so I was told, would seem to confirm that the compass navigation SD lessons had been taken on board. It was interesting to note though that the three student led dives were considerably shorter than the two instructor led dives! Steven claimed to have thoroughly enjoyed his dive, even though I managed to get us tangled up in thick kelp. Could we have at last found a full time buddy for Peter? Simon proved to be a real hanger on spending the entire dive, unbeknown to me, grasping the rope dangling from my weight belt, which eventually explained why I could never persuade him to swim alongside me. Needless to say, after such exhilarating dives, we had to adjourn to the Lion for a few calming drinks!!
If you feel the need for yet another potentially low viz. dive then there is just the thing for you in the Straits this coming Wednesday evening. At least there you will get to see an interesting variety of life.
Following Robin’s unsuccessful attempt at DIY dentistry (I can’t believe a real dentist would attempt to drill a tooth through his tongue) I volunteered to take the team out wreck hunting and try out my new sidescan. Conditions were not ideal with a bit of a wind blowing but we set out from Pwllheli to check out the two ‘unknown’ charted wreck sites in the bay. Mickey was in the Sparrowhawk with John and Alan and a brand new engine. Sea Wasp set out with me, Irfon, Dewi, David J and Kirk. Arriving at the site, Mickey set the shot then David J Dewi and Kirk plopped in. Irfon and I went in next just as Dewi popped back up feet first! The wreck wasn’t where it was supposed to be so back to the shot and using a distance line we bumped into the prop of a half buried firefly. Most investigation was done by feel as the sludge was easily disturbed.
Having ticked one off, we headed back to the inverted Firefly site that John and Allan were to dive while we had lunch. Then off to the next site south of Gimlet which Mickey had positively located the day before. Mickey went in first to claim the treasure followed by David J and Dewi and Irfon and I. Kirk sat this one out as dry suit ‘wasn’t’. No sign of wreckage in our search pattern so with a bit of a current and nice rocky bottom we had a bit of a drift. Never seen so many comatose dogfish. One found, one left for another day. Good day out.
If there was ever a dive to kick start a season, well this wasn’t it. After being the jewel of last years dive sites, it let us down badly on this occasion, vis was a disappointing 0.25m, and that was with a with a torch. Plenty of life was seen, as albeit at a macro level, but praise must be shone on David Jones’ navigation skills as he guided Irfon and Dyfed deep down into the bowels of the Straits and back to the exact same place as they entered. You can make up your own mind if this was down to skill or luck, consult Mike and Vi for hints (as they provided shore cover), answers on a postcard please!
Believe it or not, this was the best part of the evening, as what was to follow was almost as bad as a bend. Upon our retreat, we wetted our whistle at the Antelope, where we meet up with Carol and her sister. They had chosen a quiet corner to enjoy their Bhuna, Madras and popadoms, but five minutes after joining them, the pub quiz started. Now, I have nothing against a good pub quiz, this one made Anja’s recent efforts look like the final of mastermind, and an entertaining one at that. Note to oneself, look elsewhere for a watering hole next time!
They say: us men can’t multi-task. I claim to differ. You are about to read the dive report from the Organiser/Manager/Boat Tower/Report Writer/Return Journey Cox/Money Collector and, oh yes, Diver! I had to be like a Swiss army knife, if I had an I-Phone there would probably be an app for that!
Up for diving on the day were David J, Dyfed, Irfon, Peter, myself and nearly Wyn who was fuming like the volcano that had managed to ruin his holiday. Realising we played no part in it, he allowed us to launch from The Warren and we were skillfully coxed by Dyfed to the dive site Trwyn yr Wylfa, better known Trailer Point.
Once arrived, David J and myself went in first because we had two divers in semi-dry summer kit and thought it would be best to keep them in the relative warmth of the RIB for as long as possible. Peter, Dyfed and Irfon went in second with everybody reporting a fair dive with a lot of small rock clinging life including masses of small mussels but not a lot of fish life.
The second dive was done in the same logical order at Trwyn Cilan. It was a slower drift dive than expected with similar life. On reaching the surface we found the weather was starting to turn for the worse. However, all in all a good day’s diving and Peter managed to try his side scanner radar attached to a broom stick which was incredibly high tech…
P.S. Note to all Dive Leader trainees. It’s never too early to start multi-tasking, it could be you next, so Dib, Dib, Dob, Dob be prepared!
Just two were up for a midweek dip at Gimblet, namely David H and Irfon with Sue and Mike providing shore cover. It was going to be simple, straight out towards the outfall pipe and back, though with a strong current running it was going to be difficult to hit the pipe. We failed to hit our target on the way out, but we did manage to hit the rock on our return leg. Not a lot was seen as it’s still early in the season; however the water was 2 degrees warmer than what it was on the north coast last Sunday. Rehydration was performed at the Vic.
At last the weather had broken and the sun was shining. The first boat dive of the season was looking promising. Only 7 intrepid divers stepped up to the mark; Dave J, Dave H, Irfon, Dewi, Mike, John & the new boy Alan Kibble. These were spread across two boats, so there was loads of space. The sea was a mill pond & with very good vis heading out from Porth Colman all were expecting a great days diving.
David J & Irfon went first from the club boat, & Mike, John & Alan all went together from Mike’s boat. Dewi & Dave H did the boat cover. As the dive was a drift, just off Porth Colman. Two SMB’s went up when the groups touched the bottom, then up came a third, as is traditional, Mike lost John & Alan almost immediately. Mike raced off & passed David & Irfon to take the distance record. The reports were of very poor vis (at most 2 metres with a torch) & dark, with little spotted, except for wrasse & brittle stars. Dewi & Dave H went next with no better luck.
All went back to Porth Colman for lunch, where Alan departed, only wanting one dive. The second dive was at Maen Mellt. With still some current running, David & Irfon went in west of the rock, heading west, seeing a few wrasse & the egg cases of the lemon. Mike & John started further out west of the rock & had another fast drift of a mile or so. Dewi & Dave went in on the east of the rock & looked round it clockwise. Two Congas spotted & some large wrasse!
NOTE: Mike decided he needed plenty of air on the first dive. He had 15lt, 7lt, & 3lt tanks on him! The answer was that he “just wanted to try it” An interesting days diving!