Wave Shape
Wave Shape
Wave Shape

Monday 31st May 2010. Mike’s Tripods.

Today’s diving was a gentle affair with only four divers & one dedicated coxswain ( Mike Duke). The divers being Irfon, Julie, David J & Dave H. We went for an early start to miss the hoards(this turned out to be a wise move). Mike being of a refined nature did not want to soil his wetsuit on the Porth Colmon Kelp, so Irfon gave him a fireman’s lift into the boat (sorry no pictures). We started the day at 8.00am, to get a drift in before a midday slack. It was a nice day with gentle winds & sun. We decided on a drift not far off Porth Colmon. Having Mike as a dedicated Coxswain meant both pairs could go in together. First was Irfon & Dave H, then Julie & David J. Vis was a bit hampered with the Plankton but we got about 3 metres. Not a lot to see & Irfon could not even pick up some nice sized scallops as the vis dictated we stayed close. Usual Brittle stars & dog fish over a pebbly bottom with some rock outcrops. Irfon & Dave H went for distance while Julie & David J went for a more casual affair, slightly closer in.

For lunch we opted for Porth Oer (Whistling sands), where we came across Julie’s husband & son doing a bit of metal detecting. Our excitement grew as her son got a signal close by us. He dug down for quite away. We started to imagine all sorts of treasure. It actually turned out to be a rusty old broken chain link! Now that sounds like my kind of luck.

For the main event of the day we chose the Tripods not far from Porth Oer. This is a dip in the sea bed around some high rock outcrops with gulleys through it. We dropped a shot & kitted up. We had arrived ahead of schedule some 1 hour before slack. But with the shot we expected to get down and shelter among the rocks. As the bottom went from 22 down to 37 metres Irfon & David H planned a deco. dive, then dived the plan. Excellent terrain with lovely gulleys to navigate. The main highlight being a lobster the likes of which, mankind has not come across before. Guarding his own gulley Irfon spotted him from above & the Dave H saw him from the front. We knew lobster was not on the menu, but probably diver, if we tried to tackle this beast. 7 mins of deco popped up on my computer which was the planned mark, so we went up for our deco stop. I did rather stretch the air, starting deco at 50 Bar & out with 35! oops. Julie & David J went next with the idea to descend the shot as well. Unfortunately David J decided to spring a training exercise on Julie (well that is what he says). At about 5 metres he was finding it difficult to get down, so started pulling himself down the shot line. He struggled for a bit but noticed he was not much deeper, Julie came back up to see what David was playing at, but was none the wiser. Then after a bit more struggle Julie came back to discover Dave J had got his first stage tangled in the shot line, and he was doing his best to pull the buoy down with him. Actually the buoy was winning and he was lifting the shot, so after Julie had rescued him, the shot had moved off the site and they descended into a 35 metre bottom. They put up their SMB, wandered around a bit and came up, none the worse for wears.

Back at Porth Colmon for around 1 o’clock! We came into a scene of absolute mayhem as cars boats and trailers jostled for position. We escaped fairly lightly by luck rather that judgement. A great day’s diving made possible by Mike Duke coming out to do the tow and drive the boat for us.

Dave H

Wednesday May 26th 2010. Cricieth.

With such fantastic viz reported two weeks ago, Cricieth was going to be the logical alternative to the north coast which had received a battering from the north westerlies yesterday. Again there was a good turnout with eight divers and three guardians of the shore on duty, namely Hugh, Mike and a surprise visit from Mo.

All four pairings hit the water almost simultaneously. Irfon and David J were in first, quickly followed by Carl and Mark, then Wyn and Dyfed and last, but no means least Brian and Anja. Dives of between 48 and 70 minutes were recorded with every one commenting on how clear the water was and the viz was holding up. Possibly the only real disappointment was that the life again was limited in the number and abundance of different species. Maybe it is still a bit cold and hopefully things will improve soon.

General banter and tales were swapped at the Lion Afterwards.


Sunday Dive 23rd May 2010 Porth Ysgaden / Gwenfaen ( We Dive at Dawn !!)

Well its been a long time since my last sea dive – ( 9th September in the Straits !!) and long overdue for some Marshalling ! Things looked good – I had permission to go for one thing, weather prospects couldn’t be better and a neap tide as well. Plan A was the Gwenfaen although Bardsey was the destination of choice but due to numbers it wasn’t possible. So Plan A it was.

First I thought I could hear the distant sounds of the Icelandic volcano erupting – but just turned out to be Mickey Duke’s new engine and the captain grumbling about the early start ! People die in bed Mike ! An 8:30am start in Porth Ysgaden saw Kirk, Julie, Irfon, Dewi , Dave H , David J and myself promptly arrive and kit up. Mike and Alan Kibble were en route round from Porthdinllaen in their ribs. We launched the boat – eventually after realising the winch was still attached and had a quick dip to cool down. We met up and sorted out the plan and transferred kit and divers to their respective boats. Literally a two minute cruise saw us on site for the first drift of the day on the reef. Visibility looked poor with a bit of a plankton bloom. In went the first wave , quickly followed by the second whilst the both the David’s and myself looked after the ribs. Reports came back of 4m viz and lots of life so in we went in the third wave. As usual the reef was very interesting with plenty of scallops, scorpion fish, octopus, plaice, the odd crab – literally as we found an unusual species ! Diving’s like riding a bike really and although a bit rusty it all came back to me eventually! I had some trouble with my weighting though and had to compensate by filling my goody bag with these odd rounded stones ( recipe on the forum ) ! Unfortunately after half an hour we lost David H – so a quick search and we surfaced.

Following a quick lunch and change of cylinders – we picked up Dyfed and set out for the Gwenfaen. Timing was crucial as slack was dead on 13:10 pm and we arrived on site just in time. One rib was already present on the wreck so we put our shot down and in we went. Reports and smiles came back from Irfon and Julie of excellent viz and loads of life. Unfortunately the tide had turned by the time our last wave went in – Dave 1 & 2 and myself with Dyfed. We followed the shot however and the wreck came into view. Some of the best visibility I’ve had on the Gwenfaen for some years! Plenty of life as well such as a huge shoal of pouting, bold ballan wrasse, cuckoo wrasse, spider crabs and huge congers. As the strength of tide increased we left the wreck and ascended the shot till we met the buoy at 12 m ! so a deft mid water deployment of the dsmb which left Dyfed in awe (and shocked even myself ) and we drifted away. The sea was like a mill pond as we raced back to Porth Ysgaden for a four o clock finish. A good day was had by all and in the words of Hannibal Smith of the A Team – ‘’ I love it when a plan comes together !’’


Wednesday 19th May 2010. Gimblet.

David Jones had received reports of plankton in the Straits so it was decided that the dive was to be moved to Gimblet. With the late change of venue it was no surprise that the take up was slow on Tuesday evening, but after much canvassing and phoning around the numbers were swelled up from two (predictably David J and Irfon) to nine.

With reports of crashing waves and a heavy swell on Wednesday morning, the change of venue came under scrutiny, but thankfully the wind had had backed off, swung westwards and it was pleasant, although a bit misty by the time we turned up at the Rock at seven thirty.

Basically you took your choice, go left towards the reef or straight out towards the sewage outfall pipe. Brian and one of Tudor Lodge’s guest started for the reef but finished towards West End, David Jones and Dyfed headed for the outfall pipe imitating a pair of dolphins i.e. popping up every couple of meters to check their bearings. Wyn and David H headed straight out and straight back, good on them and Irfon took Anna for her first sea dive of the Season, again showing impeccable navigation skills by arriving back at exactly the same point as they entered. If anyone has some spare lead, then I would keep it as an investment as Anna is about to deplete all know reserves by next week as the club’s entire supply wasn’t enough to keep her down. Apart from the lack of lead, she performed brilliantly, showing good composure and a talent for spotting crabs. Dave J had a torrid time in trying to persuade Dyfed that a sea lemon wasn’t that suitable for making a sorbet and that holding an SMB was more important than a handful of scallops. Even though the dives were conducted on a mid-rising-tide, there was still plenty so see and keep everyone entertained with one pairing staying down for almost an hour.

Shore and keysafe duty was supplied by Sue, Hugh, Mike and a reluctant Carl who found out that he had leaky wellie on his drysuit. It was back to the old haunting ground of the dark winter nights for the de-brief, a drink and general banter.


Sunday 16th May 2010. A reef and St Tudwals.

Despite Derek Brockway’s forecast of doom for Sunday’s weather the day dawned bright and sunny with only a light breeze with the rain having passed through during the night. With Duke and co having to pull out last minute 5 divers met at Castellmarch for a 9.30 launch. The first dive site was the recently discovered reef off Llanbedrog. The coordinates supplied by Mickey were duly entered in Sea Wasp’s G P S but due to instrument or operators error the dive site was showing to be somewhere in deepest South Wales. (Note to training officer G P S familiarization courses might be a good idea).

With the Cox following David J’s instructions and using the square circle parallel line “oh I should have taken some transits approach” an unsuccessful search was carried out then Carl had a brilliant idea to ditch modern technology and just dive where the lobster pots are. First in were Carl Irfon and Wyn. A pleasant 47 min. dive in good vis with a Bull Huss and the usual inhabitants reported. Next in were the two Dave’s and after completing their dive it was off to the old quarry at Llanbedrog for lunch .The second dive was St Tudwal’s west. Carl Irfon and Wyn dived the west side and despite surface conditions indicating a fast drift they had a gentle drift in southerly direction. First of all there was kelp then a flattish sea bed covered with thousands of small mussels and starfish dotted about everywhere. A dragonnet fish was pointed out by Irfon but after about 40 minutes Carl decided to head back to Tudor Lodge and disappeared into the gloom or he just fancied some practice in self deployment of his dsmb. The two Daves were dropped in on the southern end of the island and had a 57 min dive. Numerous lobsters were seen and Dave H reported seeing an octopus.

It was then back to the Warren beach for a 4 o’clock recovery and as Peter was absent Helen had taken the day off from cooking scones. Wyn-Marshall, organizer, tower, debt collector, reporter etc. etc.

Wednesday 12th May 2010. Cricieth.

Near mill pond seas greeted us at the breakwater on a fine, but cold May evening. The viz looked fantastic and therefore justified the switch from the proposed site of Porth Iago.

All seven were kitted up and heading seawards within half an hour of arriving. Brian and Irfon were first in, followed by Wyn and David H and Lastly the threesome of Carl, Anja and Simon. Anja was ‘coaxed’ into leading the trio out, with Simon on duty on the way back – he was heard to say something about it being dead easy as all you have to do is ‘head north’. Surface cover was supplied by Hugh, Sue and later on, Robin.

The sea was gin clear, although the reef was covered with loose seaweed, there was still plenty to see near and far. All three groups surfaced almost simultaneously, with both parings arriving quite near to the beach, whilst the trio, under Simon’s guidance, felt that they needed some extra exercise by surfacing about 50m away from the exit point. Probably the best Wednesday dive of the season, so far.

It was then to the Lion to compare notes and to amaze at the clarity of Simon’s underwater photographs. An enjoyable evening indeed.


Wednesday 6th May 2010. Vivian Quarry/Menai Straits

Before the main event, of an evening dive in the straits, David J & Dave H decided to get in some serious diving. Namely a quick dip in Vivian for some Dive leader training. Unusually David J actually turned up with all his kit & was able to put in on correctly, i.e. no pee zips left open. We played around with deploying a lift bag, then got on with the serious work of search & rescue on Brian’s weight pod. One had already been found & we were given the location, but as the area is over a foot deep in leaf debris we failed. Then Dave H made a valiant attempt to deploy his SMB mid-water, but having only ten thumbs slowly sank into the abyss as he fondled his equipment. We finally got out after 43 minutes of pure joy. Then accompanied by Sue, Carol & Esme we went for a light snack at Pete’s Eats.

Now the main event came upon David J & Dave H aided & abetted by Carl, Anja, Irfon & Brian. This was at the site normal campus. Although the tide tables said slack water we had a gentle current. But the vis had greatly improved from two weeks previous, being around 2 metres. Carl & Anja, Brian & David J, Irfon & Dave H being the three pairs. Not as much wildlife was reported as can be seen, but several butter fish Squat lobsters & some anemones were spotted. All were ably counted out & counted back in again by Mike, Vi , Sue, Tilly & little Mikey (the last two are Dogs, in case you are not sure).

Then everyone retired to the Antelope for the evening pub quiz & a pint. We met with Carol & Esme who had gone early to have a meal. We reckoned we knew about 50% of the answers, so there were those amongst us that wanted to enter next time! I hope you know what you are doing! Dave H.

NOTE: David J did want it pointed out that it is not only him that forgets equipment, as Irfon forgot to put on his ankle weights.

Visit BSAC.com