My first Club Dive:
Yes, I’ve dived many sea dives before, but not with this club, and not at Swanage, and the trip was all that I would expect from a serious, professional, and energetic dive club. As I arrived on Friday, towing one of two 7 metre(?), 100hp RIBs, three divers were already racing down to the water’s edge, aiming for an evening dive under the pier.
When the RIBs were launched and tied to their moorings, we headed for the caravan park where we set ourselves up with food and drinks for the weekend, and wandered into town to sample the local Ale and discuss plans for the morning.
On Saturday, the first target was the Valentine Tanks (surrounded by shoals of Pouting), followed by the wreck of the Fleur De Lys, then back to one of the vans for a BBQ, hosted by Aaron (thanks Aaron).
Sunday was a Swanage Bay drift dive (Lots of scallops, a couple of red gurnard, turbot, dogfish, thornback rays), followed by Kimmeridge Ledges which I unfortunately missed because of a split cuff seal, but I also missed the lumpy drive back! A (late) meal at the Black Swan, with much humour and banter, rounded off the day.
Monday was a dive to the Betsy Anne (24m to the seabed, several large pieces of wreckage. Boilers intact. Big shoals of pouting), that I also missed because of a failed cuff-seal, but it was allegedly good viz.
If you want to know more about the wrecks we dived and their history, go to:
Just scroll down the webpage, on the picture with the seal looking at you, and you’ll see all the wrecks around Swanage, and beyond, including those we dived.
Diving was slick, and no mistakes were made. There were, however, several learning opportunities, which were offered and accepted without malice and with good humour. Nobody struggled because help was always on hand from the younger and more energetic divers, who worked hard during the whole trip, despite the tiring lumpy sees on the Sunday and Monday (F4+).
A long weekend to be remembered.