With the weather being so bad we decided to do some training for Jake to finish of his Sports Diver Open Water Lesson – SO1 DIVER RESCUE. Plan “A” with strong northerly winds forecast we opted for shelter at Machroes beach Sarn Bach, but the wind had turned north east so a big no no after a brief deliberation we opted for plan “B” Porth Ysgaden instead. After arriving at Porth Ysgaden Me Jake, David, Mike and Vi, Nia, Laura and last but not least the sacrificial lamb Brett who kindly agreed to be the designated body for the day. We all looked at the sea then looked at each other and all agreed we were totally mad and the bull seal in the shelter of the bay agreed with us too. After the briefing and kiting up we went down to the beach but with the tide in we had to wade through thigh high water, there were 2 casualties on the crossing first was David who had a sudden reminder that he forgot to do something oh yes the pee zip and secondly was me as I stumbled on a rock and landed on my back to everyone’s amusement so Jake had his first rescue by towing me to the beach and to cap it off Nia filmed it all thanks Nia. Considering the conditions on the day Jake did well and completed all that was asked of him, well done Jake and thanks to all for helping on the day.
Jake, Mike and David phoned Brett for diving, but mike was unable to join as his back was in pain. David joined as the coxswain for the trip as he had hurt his rib and couldn’t dive. Sunday morning Jake and Andrew met up in the car park earlier than the rest in order to go through a land drill for the distance line practice. The weatherman was on our side as the sea was like a millpond and not a breath of wind. Everyone kitted up quickly in order to get out on the water and make the most of the calm November weather.
The first dive of the day was on the west side of Porth Neigwl over along the ridge of the boulder reef, with Brett leading. In the water the visibility was a murky 3m with a slight drift heading North into hells mouth. After 30 minutes of zig zagging and doing 360 turns whilst following Brett over the boulder reef, Brett decided to stick the SMB up as there didn’t seem to be much life present. The SMB went up and handed the reel to Andrew. As soon as the SMB had been deployed the place started to teem with life, Rockling, lobsters, squat lobsters and even a large trigger fish was observed. With more marine life present they decided to carry on with the dive, where Andrew had to drag the SMB along for a bit longer than first thought. The line causing trouble as Brett got himself entangled within. 45 minutes later they decided to head to the surface but Jake seemed like he didn’t want to come up as it took a while to start his ascent.
Back on the boat we had delicious fairy cakes made by Laura, which we thank you very much for. 2 large explosions were heard coming from the headland, which were definitely not shotgun shots. We later found out that they were splitting larger boulders. Jake, Andrew and Brett then needed to decide on a second dive of the day, where they decided to dive the WWII target practice anchors.
The shot was deployed and thanks to Brett’s precision it landed right next to one of the large anchors. Jake was leading this dive as it was his final exercise in order to complete his sports diver qualification. At the bottom of the line he attached the distance line and headed towards the anchor to secure the line, an ideal location to undertake the lesson. The visibility for this dive not being as good as the mornings dive. 4 anchors were found, 2 large and 2 smaller anchors. Following the exercise, they went on a mission in order to find out what was at the end of the large chain attached to the anchor. They followed the chain onto the sand waves where they lost the chain but then relocating it a few meters on. But due to Jake having a 12L and not a 15L like Andrew and Brett they had to ascend before reaching the end. Once again Jake was determined not to leave the bottom but eventually ascended, where a 3minute safety stop was undertaken to simulate a deco stop. After 2 successful dives it was time to head back, but on the way back one of Bretts pots needed to be retrieved. The pot was lifted up where there was a nice rockling, small lobster and a whelk. A few hundred meters off the shore the engine ran out of fuel, but was no problem as Brett had that sorted as he had a spare fuel container. Luckily this didn’t happen whilst the divers were in the water.
Luckily the weather held out throughout the day, which meant that it was the first time in a while that 2 dives were able to be undertaken in November due to the mild weather. Hopefully there a more days in November like this.