It was a much awaited dive to Ynys Enlli on Sunday the 8th of July.
After what feels like weeks of incessant rain and miserable weather that put the left the club’s diving schedule in total disarray we finally had a window of opportunity to get in the boat and enjoy some diving.
It was Pete’s decision to try for Enlli from Porth Colmon. Andrew, Dave, Irfon, John and Gwyn would join him. The boat was prepared and picked up from Pendre at 8:45 am and Gwyn just managed to make it to Porth Colmon for 9:30am!! A car breakdown and a late fill at Ty’n Rhos nearly put paid to his diving.
The weather although over-cast was dry and there was a northerly blowing making the sea moderate and the boat journey to Ynys Enlli a little choppy (nothing Andrew couldn’t handle). The boat performed really well after its recent pampering.
The decision was taken to dive the north face of Enlli for the morning dive. Irfon and Andrew went in first at around 10:20 and were quickly followed by Dave and Gwyn. Pete and John kept watch on the boat. The dive started with a challenging current and Gwyn gulped copious amounts of air trying to catch up with Dave. (I have now been taught the crabbing technique that should save on air consumption in such conditions in the future!!).
Although the viz was still poor – it seems that the plankton bloom is still with us late this year – we managed to view some interesting wild life. Notably the largest lobster that I have seen underwater and a fair sized conger peeping out from its hideaway. Although the water is now a tropical 13c dive time was relatively short due to Gwyn’s lungs malfunctioning. Dave and Gwyn came up at 25 minutes, Irfon and Andrew managed 30 minutes in the morning. Peter and John however are a different kettle……we are now convinced that they have gills not lungs.
Lunch was spent on Enlli and Dave took the very wise decision to tie up the boat at the end of the pier/jetty/stone thing with wire mesh holding it together.
With the weather holding off we ate on the island and witnessed Colin trying to lay claim to his inheritance. Pushing his father’s fishing boat to the slipway the pin popped out and away the boat went, crashing off the end of the slipway to exactly the spot where the dive boat would have normally been moored!!! close shave that one.
The afternoon dive was off the first headland south west out of Cafn Enlli. Same procedure as morning diving and a sheltered part of the bay allowed for a pleasant dive. Gwyn was taught the valuable lesson of securing his torch to a lanyard (good bye torch!) and Pete and Dave gave further proof that their ancestors were most probably amphibian.
John went in with 110bar and got a 49 minute dive out of it!!!amazing.
I was given the rare treat of being able to drive the boat back to Porth Colmon bay and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the tuition on the way.
4 of us made it back to Pendre to put the boat to bed before going home to see Andy Murray cry. Good day’s diving for a change and thanks to the other 5 for the company and an enjoyable day out on the water
There were four attending divers who all met at Porth Ysgaden for 9:00 a.m. John, David, Andrew and with Mike arriving with his boat. The launch went without a hitch we then proceeded to The Tripods area; the sea state was a bit choppy to say the least Andrew was so pleased. On arrival Andrew and David were the first down with Andrew also trying to keep his breakfast down the dive started well with good visibility for a change with large boulders and gullies then changing to sand dunes with both diver’s getting down to about 34 meters which meant a relatively short dive of 25 minutes.
John and Mike were next, Andrew decided to attract some fish for them by yes you guessed it his breakfast. As John and Mike went off the boat John’s SMB and Reel decided to stay onboard by catching the side of the boat and catapulting it self back in and snapping the handle. After about 35 minutes John and Mike surfaced “TOGETHER!” then we set off for a very bumpy trip back to Porth Ysgaden we didn’t do a dive after lunch due to John having to go touring on his Motorbike and Andrew still a bit green but thankfully the boat recovery went without a hitch.
The day was pretty good for this summer, we saw the sun. Two boats turned out for the trip, Irfon decided to do 2 drift dives off the reefs.
The pairing on the day were Andrew and David, Mike and John, Irfon and Peter and Wynn drew the short straw!!! The first dive was off the reef fairly close in, with a max depth of 25mtrs. The vis was around 5mtrs, plenty of crabs and a few wrasse. Managed to find 5 scallops which I gave Wynn. This was my first dive without any red bits on my computer dive profile! Well done Wynn.
2nd dive, Wynn couldn’t take any more so poor Andrew and David had my company. Another drift dive, max depth 21mtrs. Andrew got his fin tangled in the SMB line, and consequently broke his strap, so used it as a paddle!!! David slammed my fining again, but as he was the dive leader he should of been in front of me, wouldn’t of happened then!!! And of course there was a comment I was walking on my fins, always said I could walk on water.
Both dives were 40mins, Everyone had a good day!
It had been a month since our last Wednesday evening dive and that had been to Vivian, such has been the weather, but with low tide in the evening we decided to head for the Straits, for the first visit of the season, such has been the weather!!! There were five takers at the Normal College site, Dewi & Peter with Andrew in tow, while David lead Ian on his first sea dive outside of Porth Ysgadarn. The viz. was half decent and despite a biggish tide both groups managed about 40 minutes with no hint of a current. The site was infested with mainly juvenile edible crabs, with in places dozens visible at the same time. There were also sightings of a few big lobster, one somewhat unwisely co-habiting under a rock with a large conger, octopus and a rare sighting of a cod, not a codling as some fishermen types would have us believe, resting under a rock. Ian felt that his buoyancy was a bit suspect but he did very well, getting down to over 15 metres and finding his first artefact, half a cup but with an intact handle. Now what to do with that? We all managed to find our way back to the entry point before adjourning to a very busy Antelope to be treated by Uncle Dewi to much needed refreshments on the patio overlooking the bridge. So, a perfect end to a very enjoyable evening.
A year to the weekend that the engine broke down at Maen Mellt and Dewi decided to take us out of Porth Ysgadarn on a rather big sea, to see if the engine was up to the task. As it happened, the oil warning light did start flashing red, but Peter was on hand to confirm that it just thought that a service was due. Either that or the engine has a twisted sense of humour!
Further confirmation of the severity of the conditions was that we appeared to be the only boat at sea. Every other boat on the Lleyn was on the south side, where the sea was much calmer, being well sheltered from the stiff north westerly that was blowing in against the tide. “We’re not going far” Dewi said, wisely ignoring Peter’s request to check out a few “bumps off the charts up towards Porth Dinllaen, and so the first group of Andrew, Irfon & Mike kitted up in the bay, to avoid the huge swell and chop, before being dropped in just around the corner on Irfon’s magnificent inshore pinnacles. Mike, who is in the very early stages of the process of learning to dive without John, unfortunately soon got left behind and, with the tide still running, had to put up a buoy and drift off to the south. This meant that, after dropping off the second pairing of Peter and Wyn, the two unfortunates left in the boat, Dewi & David, had to follow Mike, with at least one soon feeling decidely queasy. The fact that Dewi had managed to eat a hard boiled egg on the journey out testifies to his resilience!!
Unfortunately, Mike was enjoying his dive and so stayed in for the duration. Irfon & Andrew were picked up back at the pinnacles where we soon went in, hitting it on slack. Reasonable viz. but disappointingly much less life than a week ago on the same site. The second dive had to be a drift. The threesome again took advantage of the relatively calm water in the bay to kit up before specifying that they wanted a reef at 25 metres. However, the journey out was obviously taking a toll as they gave up at 21 metres, dropping in on a flat bed but having an excellent dive which took them over several reefs and into deeper water and quite a lot of deco. Mike clearly still hasn’t got the hang of diving without John and they again managed to leave him behind, very soon into the dive!! Peter and Wyn followed them on the same line, going even deeper and clocking up even more deco. However, when the last pair dropped in, at about the same initial depth, but perhaps not so far to the south, they drifted inshore into shallower water, and whereas the first two groups reported reasonable life, we didn’t see a lot of anything exciting. On returning to Porth Ysgadarn it turned out that the Dive Organizers had got the timing of the day’s diving spot on with the tide having just reached the perfect height for recovery directly at the access road!! So, all in all the day’s diving worked out extremely well, or at least as well as was possible, given that we missed out on the scones and cream that were rumoured to have been waiting for us at Castellmarch had we divied from there.