The tide was 8.6m @ Liverpool LW. being 0948 plus 1hr.= 1048 (Lavers) John has found a website with all relevant info re Segontium. Slack water would be one and half hours BEFORE LW Liverpool = 0920hrs.
The meet was 0800 @ Porth Dinllaen car park 2 boats, 7 of us Melanie David Peter Andrew Irfon John and myself. We arrived on sight as planned the wreck was duly shotted.
The slack formula was spot on. ( speak to John re website). 1st wave. Andrew, David and Irfon, the latter sporting a might fancy dry suit! he then suffered a minor ear problem and waited on the buoy for the 2nd wave, Mel and Peter.
The shot was a couple of metres from the bows and well in the scour. Low vis and very dark! David and Andrew missed it, easily done, Irfon Mel and Pete got on it, vis better at deck level.
John and I followed, I’ve had better days! Whilst caught in the shot line my computer went into Error Mode 378, again! Had to be rebooted for the second dive, (Glad I had my watch).
The 2nd. dive made the day, everyone had a good dive in the Nant Gwythern area, vis a lot better inshore. Lots of life. John and I used some lobster pots as a marker and landed on a nice little reef.
Recovery at P.D. had to be roped due to churned up gravel at the slip (useless bloody Council). Probably the worst launch facilities in Britain!!!
Conclusion… Don’t dive Segontium after springs!!!
Sorry that this report is somewhat late, but as the stand in dive organizer I failed miserably to get another of the divers to put finger to keyboard, and having done quite a few this season I was reluctant to do another. As it was Brett, the stand in organizer for the following week put me to shame by producing a mammoth report for last Sunday’s diving. Even so, me thinks that a more equitable system for allocating the report writing, should the Club want it to continue on a regular basis, may be called for. I suppose now that I should say a little bit about the diving. Well, as you may have noticed, Mike, the dive manager, has got his enthusiasm back and had a plan for the Segontium worked out and broadcast well in advance. After several days of calm, which was forecast to last for the morning at least, the consequence was that the two ribs and seven divers met up at Morfa Nefyn at 8am to get out there for early morning slack. Apart from the usual few hiccups on launching, we had a fast trip over on a flat sea, dropped the shot pretty much on target at the first attempt, and kitted up. The first pairing was a threesome of Irfon, Andrew and myself. I led down the shot line to a very dark seabed with no sign of the wreck. A circular search had us running into deco having seen only murk. Returning to the bottom of the shot we bumped into Melanie, seemingly alone. It was only back in the rib that I found out that Irfon had been unable to equalize, and so had aborted. The viz. was that good!! Peter and Irfon lost Melanie after the descent and had a similar experience to us, but did manage to hit the wreck for a few minutes at the end of their dive. Melanie went off in a different direction and bumped into it after a few metres and had a decent dive around the deck as the viz. was a bit better away from the seabed. Mike & John made up the second wave and, after John had untangled Mike from the shot line, also spent their dive on the wreck. Andrew, who hadn’t dive it before, has now joined Dewi’s coterie of those who have dived in the vicinity of the Segontium!! The second dive was a gem, in much better viz. just out from Nant Gwrtheyrn, with loads of life seen by all. We belatedly put the poor viz. down to the big spring tides of a few days earlier, and so the lessons keep on getting relearnt!
Plan A was to launch at Aberdaron with the help of Terry and his tractor, but alas the tractor was out of action. So plan B was put in action ,Kriss to take my tractor down to Aberdaron and use that instead. But when Laura came back and stated the boards had been lifted and there were ruts where the track should be this also was dismissed as doomed to fail. So it was decided to wait to see who phoned in, and with four phoning in and the promise of Mickey and John, I decided to take the Cat out to stretch her legs with six divers and kit, so plan C was now in progress.
We were to meet at Plas Yn Rhiw at 9.30am,around 2 hours after high(my time).I arrived home 9am with Andrew in hot pursuit, loaded his kit into my truck and picked the shortbread biscuits up for the team, and Kriss asked if there was room for him, So a quick think I agreed but told him to go down and take the life raft off to reduce weight. So now plan D was in progress, as. with plan C but now all divers could now enter the water in one wave which meant we could all hit slack or most of it anyway. So with everyone’s kit on board we launched the cat. The swell was uninviting but the cat purred off the trailer and out of the channel and we were on our way. Looking at the sea I was having my doubts about the islands in Aberdaron but decided to take a look and take it from there. There was a fair amount of water sloshing about on deck, but hell what are scuppers for eh?
As we entered Cadlan area I radioed in to Holyhead and gave the usual information. Then came the blond moment, Holyhead coastguard called me back up and a polite quiet female voice asked is the vessels name Top Cat or Top Hat? My reply was TOP Charlie-alpha-tango, I wish; no I said Cat as in Pussy, there was a brief pause followed by something I didn’t catch as Kriss was keeled over laughing, so I just replied Top Cat out and hoped the poor girl had heard enough.
It was decided to dive a familiar site as the conditions were if anything getting worse. So Mickey & John went in first followed David & Melanie. Followed by Andrew and myself. The Dive was ok, but lacked the life you would expect with the highlight for me was trying to ID a small fish in a hole which turned out to be a scorpion fish which was confirmed by Andrew. We went to shelter behind the islands but the wind against tide was making for a cold and wet stop so I asked Kriss to move off towards Cadlan to get out of the tide and wind.
We had lunch and then the options were put out to the team. Mickey and John opted for a scallop dive, and although these are grounds renown for scallops very few were seen. The rest of us dived Brett’s Ridge, named by some friends who I told about it. It’s a boulder reef that rises from 17-20 metres up to 12, then up to 8,it runs for around 500 yrds so we went down tide to drop everyone off. David and Melanie went in followed by Andrew and myself. We had very different dives. Melanie and David saw very little but they stayed on the 12 metre level, where as Andrew and me went to the 17 mtre mark where the ridge meets the sea floor. We saw boulders and huge ones at that. The critters we saw were lobsters, crabs, Sqatties, Octopus ,Pollock , wrasses, conger, leopard spotted goby and a large cod in a hole around 4-5 pounds. I also completed my full mask clearance. The only bad thing about this dive was the battery on my GoPro died and the water temperature has now dropped to 14. I think everyone had a good day and a cheap one at that with it working out a tenner each., but I am biased it was my management training day (second I may add) The only thing I think I forgot about was the launch Fee!!!!!!!!!!
Till the Next Time