The forecast of a bit of a breeze put off the wimps but not the brave 5 that turned up at Mikey’s beach hut to launch the Seawasp. The sea was calm, the boat launched easily and we loaded up for a first dive in a sheltered spot somewhere off Nefyn. We headed off to the isolated danger marker but found the water a bit murky so had a quick look around the corner to check out golf ball alley and the prospects for getting onto the Gwenfaen in the afternoon. It was at this point that the horizon disappeared to be replaced by sea only and sky only in rapid succession. Mickey started whimpering. Melanie started muttering but Adrian and Steph started whooping in delight. A quick about turn and we surfed across to Nant Gwrtheyrn to check out the reef. Mickey was still whimpering. Melanie was still muttering. Adrian wanted to get kitted up but was outvoted. It appeared that diving with more than a hint of vis was off the agenda today. To make the most of it, as we were out anyway, we made our way over to the lifeboat station to find calm water and 10 meters for Steph to do a few exercises. It would appear that word of a yellow rib driving round in circles aimlessly had got around. All the lifeboat crew and a great many onlookers were assembled on the slip. At least if we needed help all we had to do was wave. In went the shot followed by me Steph and Adrian AKA the body. The vis was a little less than gin so we reverted to braille signals and had a go at using Adrian as a lifting bag and buoyancy controlled descents and ascents. Despite the conditions, Steph was unfazed and improved her buoyancy control skills considerably. The excitement was all a bit too much for her so running low on air she returned to the boat. Adrian and I being already in the water and having a few bar left decided to go for a bit of a swim. In low vis it’s all about the macro world, nose to nose with hermit crabs in torchlight has a charm all of its own. Some tangled rope started treasure fever in Adrian. His furious digging left us in complete darkness as the torches (well mine anyway) could not penetrate the stirred up sand and silt. Unfortunately all that was to be seen when the sand settled was the remains of a couple of plastic drum pots. Back on the boat, after a 90 minute total dive time, conditions had not improved so we headed back to the beach hut for lunch. A quick vote and we called it a day, Mike finally stopped whimpering, Melanie continued to mutter. The boat was recovered easily and back home in time for afternoon tea.
With strongish westerlies forecast, and the discovery that the Wed. dive programme was arse about face, moving all the north coast dives to the south coast and vice versa, the only sites available to us were Trefor Pier and Bae y Cychod at Porth Ysgaden. As the pier had been visited 2 weeks ago and was fairly dull we opted for the latter. It turned out to be a night for the old timers, Adrian excepted. He teamed up with Andrew while I joined Phil leaving the unlikely trio of Mike, Melanie and Dewi to bring up the rear. The wind was with us as we trudged across the fields but the bay was calm and looked to be crystal, compared to Porth Ysgaden itself which was rough and murky. Taking Andrew’s advice, Phil and I set off down the RHS of the bay but somehow, in trying to avoid all the kelp, we inadvertently managed to cross to the LHS and by keeping the rock face to our right found ourselves heading south!! Confirmation of our plight came when the trio passed us as they headed out. I now knew that it was going to be one of those evenings!! So we headed east, back across the bay, but must have gone a bit further than intended as when we came in we were 3 bays off to the east. This worked out well as the best part of the dive was on the shallow swim back. So I’m off for navigation retraining and Phil now knows how not to do it. Andrew and Adrian were very proud of themselves for heading out for half the dive and finding their way back in despite the ebb current. It’s called, “getting lucky”. Meanwhile, Mike & Melanie had abandoned Dewi for taking them along the boring LHS and had also crossed over to sample the delights of the RHS. Dewi came in long after everyone else had climbed back up to the fields, immediately earning the title of “Billy No Friends”, best stated in a strong cockney accent! For further explanation see Dewi’s report of last November’s trip to Lanzarote, which is currently thought to be under review with the Director of Public Prosecutions. We did of course have to adjourn to the Lion to lick our wounds.
There were seven in attendance, the divers were Adrian, Peter, Andrew, Brett, David and Irfon with Mike providing shore cover. A strong and persistant northwesterly meant that the south coast would be the side to be diving on, Cricieth came out as the favourite.
All groupings logged dives of between 50 minutes and an hour, bottoming out at just over seven meters. There was limited viz of about three meters and hence only limited life was observed.
We then adjourned to the Lion for a debrief, a beer or two and a natter.
We had been asked to clean six or so of the boats a week ago but as they gave us only a day’s notice there was no chance of getting it going. So, this week they gave us all of 3 days notice which, as it included a Wednesday evening, allowed us to get a crew together. Mike himself had some excuse about a golden wedding anniversary to get out of it, but four highly experienced scrubbers, namely Peter, Adrian, Andrew and myself signed up, helped by the fact that it would be an evening job to catch slack water. Partially trained scrubbers Dewi and Melanie signed on later, in the hope that they might get certified, (which certainly helps). We launched from Castellmarch but the start was slightly delayed when, as we trundled out, Andrew realized that he had left the list of boats to clean back in his car. That sorted, there was then a very pregnant silence when I asked who was going in first. The youngsters (well one youngster and his guardian) eventually answered the call and were dropped in on Atalanta. The trainees were next to kit up, and were dropped on a suspiciously grubby looking Amazon. By then Andrew and Adrian had finished and were keen for another so we towed them over to Merlin, which was also finished in short time. With us busy giving moral support (of a kind) to Dewi & Melanie, who were still scrubbing away on Amazon, the youngsters then swam over to Secret and kept going. The hope was that they might carry on and finish the remaining boats but unfortunately they were too spread out so, after recovering the remains of Dewi & Melanie, Peter & I were eventually obliged to drop in on the fifth boat, Gitane, lovingly renamed Je t’aime when it turned out to be spotless. So the sixth and final boat, Ducru, also fell to us and thankfully, in a perverse way, this one did need a wipe. There was a seventh boat to be done, but as it was named Pongo, we were quite pleased that it couldn’t be found. It was getting duskish when we finished but there was still time for a short bimble around the moorings before we headed in. This was probably the final boat clean of the season and although we haven’t got rich it will have helped Club funds a little.
Unusual start to the day with Peter and David picking the boat up from Castellmarch at 8:30 and then everyone meeting at Porth Ysgaden for 9am and launching for 9:30 to catch slack water to dive the pinnacle reef of Porth Ysgaden.
With a compliment of 6 we headed out to the mark but alas it was one of the marks we had lost last year, so after giving up on the search we decided to go for a leisurely drift on the reefs.
The pairing was Mike and Andrew which left David, Peter and Melanie to go as a threesome with Irfon being the dedicated coxswain due to a trapped nerve in his neck.
David, Peter and Melanie went in first, then Mike and I followed shortly after.
Mike and myself had a very leisurely drift were we saw sea urchins, dead mans fingers an assortment of fish and some very large brown crabs, after 27 minutes at an average depth of 25 meters we had at that time had a 1 minute deco to do, we decided to start ascending with the help of the reef becoming shallower by the time we got to 16 meters and 33 minutes into the dive the deco time had gone to 3 minutes and TAT (Total Ascent Time) of 5 minutes.
On arriving at 6 meters and 36 minutes into the dive the deco time had gone down to 2 minutes and TAT of 2 minutes after our deco stop at 6 meters we ascended nice and slow and from 5 meters to surface took 1 minute, after getting on the boat Mike and myself found we both had incurred a no dive for three hours due to a CNS O2 over 40% warning to everyone’s surprise.
So Mike and myself opted out of the afternoon dive with Mike going home probably to watch the game and I decided to keep Irfon company on the boat while the other three went for a not so leisurely drift with poor visibility and travelling at a rate of knots and bumping into boulders and each other all three surfaced together for a change.
After some juggling we eventually had two names to dive today , Dewi and Pete ,no one else fancied murky waters!
But there was a good response for Boat diver rescue with complications as per usual.
Took Dewi and Pete to a mark on the GPS and dropped them off and away they went.
Apparently I was asleep when they surfaced, just looking for traffic actually, anyway recovered the super duo without any trouble and headed back to Porth Ysgaden listening about holding torches to dive computers and acres of brittle stars and not forgetting the red gurnard ,how did we mess up so much!
Landed in Porth Ysgaden and had lunch. Then the afternoon shift arrived ,Andrew, Adrian, and David, then we had a brief of what we had to do and then away we went.
Andrew and I were nominated to be the divers, I was the casualty.
After been dropped off and struggling with tide to get to the lobster pot buoy to go down I was quite pleased to let Andrew do all the work, and credit where its due his CBL was pretty faultless, full marks.
in my eyes the whole exercise went very well.
The second recovery is a leg caught in a prop, Not Good, so don’t do it!
This went well, but lessons were learnt.
Then we did the fatty lift into the boat, we had little choice here as Adrian, David and myself don’t actually fit this category.
We did consider a onlooker, but we chose Dewi, close run this though!
We used two peace’s of rope with two in the water and three in the boat. It went so well we did it twice!!!!!
After we were discussing who was going and who was staying, well we were all going home, we’d seen the vis by now.
Then Dewi’s Hose blew.
So after some swapping and changing the three of us set off again for Peter and Dewi to have their second drift.
Dropped them off on a small reef and away they went. They lost each other after thirty mins and I recovered them after forty mins and forty five mins.
Yet another Red Gurnard and large edible crabs and spent muscles.
We recovered the boat and went home.
Need to chase the divers who legged it without paying their dues.
Cough up or else!!!
I have a gun!!!!!!!!!!