Wave Shape
Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Wednesday 30 June 2010 Porth Ysgaden.

There appeared to be a window of good weather before a gale set in during the early hours of Thursday so, with sufficient interest and Mickey available to tow, John, Mickey and I launched the Club RIB from Porth Ysgadarn on Wednesday afternoon. John & Mickey did a gentle drift on the tail end of the falling tide on the first reef to the north of the bay, sending up a nice little anchor and chain, which made their afternoon, although the 48 minute dive time indicates that the rest of the dive must have been quite interesting. They reported viz. as being a slightly cloudy 10 metres or so.

We were back at anchor in good time to drop off John and to pick up the evening crew of Dyfed, Carl, Dave H, & Irfon. With the tide having turned we went south to Dukey’s reef and all enjoyed very relaxing gentle drifts over some lovely reefs, with a reasonable assortment of fish, crustaceans and curly wurlys. The point of keeping an assortment of spare weights on the boat was confirmed when a fully kitted up Carl realized that he’d left his weightbelt in the car. Having a BC with strong pockets was also useful. My own dive was notable for the look of ecstasy on the face of a mating dogfish, the sight of Dyfed rocketing here & there whenever he spotted anything that might be edible, and for being cut slightly short when he persuaded Dave H, the dive leader, that we were running out of interesting reef and he was getting a bit chilly!! Dyfed had to leave for an appointment with 20 large edible crabs, but the rest of us ended up enlivening the Pen-y Bont, or at least Mickey did in his pair of port and starboard socks.

David J.

Sunday 27 June 2010: Footie D-Day and…Tripods and Reefs off Porth Colmon

German I am – but a fool I am not. So with football history potentially repeating itself, naturally I had taken extra precautions for my safety on the day. Wouldn’t want any “accidental” drowning incidents spoiling our unblemished safety record now, would we?

Bright and early Wyn (the dive manager), David and I (the organiser) met up at Pendre to prepare the RIB for its outing. Very quickly we made it to Porth Colmon where Irfon and Peter joined us for the launch which was promptly completed at 09:25 hours, ahead of schedule. Shortly after, Mickey and John who had launched Sparrowhawk from Porth Dinllaen came around the corner in a smooth and sophisticated James Bond kind of way and we all set off together to Porth Oer where we were due to rendezvous with Robin who was only allowed out for 1 dive. This may all sound very complicated but it went just like a military operation although, I hasten to add, no dictatorship was involved at any point.

The plan was to dive Mickey’s Tripods in the morning and then somewhere around Bardsey in the afternoon. Once we had found the site and deployed the shot we got ready. Dave and I were in first, just to test the waters, so to speak. It was actually still running and we had to drag ourselves down the shot line using way too much air before even getting to the site. Once there we found a very good variety of life including an octopus and what seemed to be 3 generations of a lobster family with granddad being of a particularly impressive size. David tried his best to give John a heart attack by sneaking up on him and Mickey from behind but John stayed as cool as a cucumber. If that’s what retirement does to you I can’t wait! The tide seemed to be picking up again already (it was a high water spring tide) and we found it hard work swimming, so after about 30 minutes we called it a day. Robin and Irfon got swept off the site and ended up going on a drift dive. On a positive note, they were “the chosen ones” who got to see the underwater football although I am convinced that this evidence was actually planted by Mickey… Last in were Peter and Wyn who managed to get onto the top of the Tripods and had a good dive as well. Given the conditions encountered on the day, to get the best out of this particular site, a low water neap tide might be more suitable to maximise enjoyment and avoid potential cardio-vascular underwater incidents?!

By the time we had all finished the first dive the wind had picked up a fair bit and Bardsey was no longer an option. We had a bumpy ride back to Porth Oer where we dropped Robin off to tend to his beloved sheep and we had our lunch. Whilst doing so we bumped into Julie who was very tempted to selfishly desert her teenage son and his friend to come with us but being a responsible adult ultimately knew better.

After lunch we dived one of the reefs off Porth Colmon where there was some fascinating topography and a good amount of marine life. The pairs were David, Irfon and I, with me leading the 45 minute dive. Peter and Wyn went in afterwards and Peter even got a chance for some kelp-close-up, hence their dive was somewhat longer. Mickey and John decided on a superfast drift but miraculously actually managed to stay together!

With everybody out safe and sound I was given the task of getting us back to Porth Colmon without hitting any of the rocks which I managed thanks to much valued guidance. We all had a cracking day, some of us all the more so knowing Germany had won 4:1. Wunderbar!!!


Wednesday 23 June 2010. Trefor Pier.

The wind was a stronger than forecast westerly, but as it happened we had already moved the dive to Trefor Pier, which was probably the most sheltered location we could have chosen. We also had in mind, following Julie & Kirk’s report of masses of rubbish lying about under the pier, of carrying out a bit of a clean up. There were 5 takers, Carl teamed up with Irfon, while Brian led Wyn & myself. Mickey & Hugh kept each other amused on shore while we were in. The bay was calm and clear and the viz. was excellent, probably about 8-10 metres, which meant that you could actually line up the pier supports. None of us could remember it being so clear.

The plan was for Carl & Irfon to go out on the west side while we did the east side, with rubbish being collected on the opposite side on the return run, but there actually wasn’t very much there. In all lilelihood someone else had probably beaten us to it. That meant that we could concentrate on the sea life which was half decent again after being very sparce on our visits last season. There were the usual complement of crabs, tompots & pipefish, while those who went down the edges saw a number of lobster, some out feeding in the open, while those banished to the interior saw none. I’ll leave Julie to fill in the latin names – how would you say tompot in latin?? Brian did an excellent job of leading, finding out that it isn’t so easy with a threesome in good viz., but he managed to keep us together. We did conclude that the pier must be getting smaller as we were back in after just over 40 minutes wheras dives here always used to last an hour, or are we simply speeding up as we get older? Even the swim out & back along the pier was worthwhile, as there were masses of beach crabs & juvenile flatfish with numerous shoals of biggish sand eels on the way in.

As Carl & Brian had to run the rest of us recovered in the Vic (the one up the mountain), with the odd England supporter amongst us making sure that his back was turned to the large screen TV!

David J.

Sunday 20th June 2010. Carreg Ddu.

Although the day had been assigned to the Segontium, the weather was forecast to be a bit on the breezy side to tackle it. So we came up with Carreg Ddu. As it turned out a very good and wise choice (the wind did get up a bit in the morning). The divers being Dewi, Irfon, Mike, John, and the two Daves. Dewi had just got his car back from the garage with new (and expensive) flywheel, so decided it needed a good work out to test the new parts, and did the boat tow. As Mike had been out of Aberdaron on the Friday, and said the sand boards were in good order, we opted for a short boat trip and launched from their. Mike forgot to tell us that he got stuck getting his boat out! Anyway we launched without incident with a long push from hard sand (knackering, but it works).

Carreg Ddu had some current but it was very light. The Ballan wrasse were out in force, and put on a lovely show in about 8 meters of vis. (although I am sure Mike and John were not impressed! No brass on a fish!). The boats sheltered in the lee of the island, as the wind against the slight current was making for a nice chop to the sea.

We rested up at Aberdaron for lunch. Then went for a dip along the coast at Maen Gwenonwy. This started in kelp and went out into sand bars with plenty of boulders strewn around. Not too much sea life, but plenty of scallops to harvest, 2 bags of which came up by lift bag. Mike got himself a nice sized edible crab. David J was given some serious attention by a cuckoo wrasse who was not going to be intimidated and stood his ground.

On returning to Aberdaron the sight that met us did not give us much confidence in getting the boat out! Some nice person had parked on the slip way, only leaving enough room to get a car past, everyone was sunning themselves right up against the sand boards, and a four wheel drive was well dug into the beach and going nowhere. So the decision was to take the boats to Porth Colmon, while the cars drove round (wise move!). Mike Duke returned the favour to the four wheel drive stuck on the beach (it happened to be the one that pulled him out on Friday). Porth Colmon was fairly clear and the boats were quickly out. And there, a good days diving came to a close.

Dave H.

Wednesday 16th June 2010. Menai Straits

Eagerly awaited evening dive in Menai Straits. Julie and Steve (our guest diver) and I joined Irfon and David Jones for a dive in a rather green looking Menai.
Steve and I buddied with David, and Julie was with Irfon. We kitted up on the Bangor University car park. Irfon seemed highly amused that I had my twin set for the long hike to waters edge. We entered the water to the right of the Menai Bridge and descended in to the green murk, reminding me of a day in Stoney Cove. I followed Steve and David. Steve, who had not dived for a while, was awfully close to David. I swear they were holding hands at one point. Steve defended himself by saying his torch was not very bright and he was using David’s light!. Although it was a bit murky the marine life was not disappointing with some very big lobster, crabs , anemone and some squat lobster.
After a very good dive David brought us back to where we entered, (I am sure he was using an under water GPS; very well navigated!), followed by a nice stroll back up the hill. We dekitted, and then went over to the Antelope for a curry and refreshments. Sadly we couldn’t stay for the curry as we had a two and half hour drive back home. How lucky you are being on the sea’s door step! Thank you to David H and Sue for shore cover. We found out later Sue was only there for the curry! Thank you to Irfon and David for arranging the dive. Kirk.


The long awaited Dive Expedition by Julie and trusty Dive leader Irfon. The long day began for Julie, Kirk and Steve at 8am from Shrewsbury to Holyhead. The plan was to dive Porth Dafarach where we hoped to see / sea abundant marine life as stated in Chris Holden’s book of fascination. The lovely calm dive offered us nothing but an empty larder, much to our disappointment. We headed to the Strait for a challenge.

We met up with Irfon, David J, and David H.

I was to dive with Irfon and Kirk and Steve to dive with David J and David H to provide shore cover.

The plan was to enter the strait from the Bangor University side which incorporated a steady decline to the water but a heavy incline back to the car park. Who in their right mind would attempt this with a twin set !!!!!!!

We began the dive just before 6.30 and we all entered the water approx’ the same time. The plan was to use the ‘ rule of thirds’ – enter – dive – return and if Irfon’s navigation and theory has anything to go by, you cannot go wrong. He was spot on. Vis was about 3mtrs and marine life good. We saw: thorogobius ephippiatus, marthastencis glacialis, cancer pagurus, ascidiella aspersa, munida rugosa, marja squinado, scyllorhinus canicula, necora puber, homarus gammaris and many other creatures.

Irfon and Julie safely returned with both feet firmly on shore !!!!!!! Many thanks Irfon and to David H for the shore cover.


Sunday June 13th 2010, Porth Neigwl and Porth Ysgo.

It was looking, grim, very grim. No single forecast was going to give us a good day, but if you took the best bits of each one, then you could muster up a half decent day. Secondly, it was looking as if there was no one to tow, or to launch anyway. But fair play to the Jones brothers of Castellmarch, they bailed us out, or rather put us in then got us out.

Sea Wasp with David H, Kirk, Julie and Irfon, and Sparrowhawk with the Duke and John went out looking for slack. High water had been and gone so it was a matter of looking around. At the Rhiw end of Porth Neigwl we found some slackish water so we ventured and were rewarded with good dives. The viz was very good, the life was abundant and varied. When the last pairing of Irfon and Kirk, surfaced, the heavens opened, so we sought some shelter behind Maen Gwenonwy, anchored up and ate lunch.

The winds then gradually died down and the sun shone briefly, so we stayed on site and had another enjoyable dive with again plenty to see, but possibly slightly poorer viz of about 10m.

By now the seas were flat calm, so David had some valuable time behind the helm and expertly navigated us back to the Warren. Julie and Kirk then had two firsts. Firstly they were taken through the wash down process at Pendre, but more importantly the Earl was in residence and their acquaintances were made. So the mundane task of keeping Sea Wasp was made so much more enjoyable listening to Malcolm’s diving, and other, conquests. An enjoyable end to an enjoyable day. Photographs to follow from Kirk, once his PC is fixed.


Wednesday June 9th 2010, Porthysgaden.

A poor forecast resulted in a poor take up for tonight’s visit to Porthysgaden, just David J and Irfon were up for a bimble. The viz was very good so the pair made the most of it and went out on the edge of the far reef and returned on the landwards side, recording a dive time of 47 minutes. There was plenty to see including a plethora of fish, including a lone conger which is quite rare for such shallows, a few lobsters and an abundance of spider crabs.

By the time the boys had surfaced, the Duke had appeared, his radar had been working overtime in sensing that a pint of purple moose was on the cards at the Lion. So not to upset him, the Lion it was.


Sunday 6th June 2010 Bardsey

So was it a good day to go diving? Some would say that the seven intrepid adventurers that set out to sea in, dare I say, seas that we shouldn’t have been in, needed the old grey matter looking at! Anyway we did, we being Malcolm, Carl, Wyn, Irfon, Micky, Peter and I. The state of the sea after coming out of Porth Colman caused us to take a break behind Maen Mellt where it was decided that we would carry on to Bardsey or at least see if we could get there – which we did just as the heavens opened.

We tried in vain to shelter in near to the cliffside where we decided that we couldn’t get any wetter if we jumped in-which Carl and myself did, right on top of Bottle Wreck and were duely rewarded with some of the best viz either of us have ever seen -15mts maybe more where we hit 35mts before returning and allowing Irfon and Peter the same delights as we had seen. On Mickey’s boat Wyn went in with Mickey (due to Peter not having a suit hose on his regs). All came up with tales of viz not seen for years!

By the time we were all back on the boats the rain had gone and Carl was was trying to convince everyone that he was glad all had listened to him at Maen Mellt about carrying on (we know the truth, eah Carl!!!) Lunch was spent on Bardsey along with the crew of the local RNLI boat and another dive boat out of Abersoch who very kindly informed us that they had just dived the Ilisha and found a tank with regs still attached!!. Due to us being in the area where Malcolm had lost a full set a few years back we thought we would investigate and as Carl, Wyn, Malcolm (with adapted suit hose fixed over lunch) and I decended down a perfectly positioned shot line true enough there was the tank with regs. On closer inspection it was decided that they were not the lost kit. However as most of us agreed that they were in better condition than the kit Malcolm was using they should be salvaged!

As with the first dive the visibility was exceptional, the life on the wreck however was not so. Carl and I ventured off in a northerly direction where I was fortunate enough to come across what must be (all decided) a wheel from the Ilisha (sorry Mickey). So nearly out of air for the second time in one day! We surfaced and deployed the A-team with lifting bags and a camera man who salvaged tank and wheel, and then went on to enjoy a dive of nearly an hour whilst those top side enjoyed the sun! Calm seas allowed us a trouble free ride back to Porth Coleman where it was decided that a good had been had by all!!!

There is a P.S. that being, that Peter is not God, even though several people saw him walking on water 50 yards out to sea at Porth Coleman. Sorry to those of you out there who believe it, but I can confirm that he was actually standing on the reef that the boat was on due to the skipper not knowing it was there. Still no damage done and I now know where not to go when coming out of the harbour.


Wednesday 2nd June 2010. Boat Dive. Nant Gwrtheyrn Cobbles & Gwynfaen.

Irfon was on holiday and Carl & Anja wanted a day off and could tow so we launched from Morfa Nefyn at 3pm and dived the little visited cobble beds off Nant Gwrtheyrn. Amazingly, the plankton bloom that had been so thick only 2 days ago had disappeared completely and we had truly excellent dives in the best viz. possible, i.e. we could see flashes of the divers at 13 metres depth from the boat. Irfon & Anja came up grinning from a gentle drift with stories of octopus and a blue cuckoo wrasse, and something to see wherever they turned. So Carl & I did exactly the same dive and seemingly covered much the same ground, except that we saw octopuses, as opposed to octopi, and blue cuckoo wrasses, which were very territorial, as well as myriads of different fish and other creatures, as they had said. We could clearly see the seabed at 13 metres during our 6 metre safety stop and found ourselves drifting over shoals of pollack and could see dogfish and even pipefish on the bottom.

So it was back to the beach by 6.15 to pick up Dewi, Wyn & Mo for the evening dive on the Gwynfaen. After a little trouble getting used to following the guidance of a handheld GPS (the boat’s is sick) we dropped the first group of Irfon, Anja & Wyn in just before low water even though it was still running a bit. Dewi and Carl followed within 10 minutes, and it was still running a bit, leaving Mo and myself to enjoy a millpond sea and a beautiful evening. Meanwhile the sea carried on running until well over 30 minutes after low water. The reports were of numerous massive conger, a few crabs and lobsters and large shoals of fish, almost boring except for the current. Apart from a little difficulty recovering the boat at low water it was the perfect Wednesday boat dive, after a season without a single one. We hope to try again next week if the weather holds up.

David J.

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