Archive for 2018 Dive Logs

Plymouth 2018

We all had high expectations for this trip as we had previously dived with In Deep and nothing short of stormy weather could dampen our spirits.

Despite and early start the journey down was mostly uneventful. We were greeted by some familiar faces at the dive centre and introduced to some new ones.

This year we were diving with Skipper James, from Seeker, and boy can it shift. We were no sooner loaded up than it was ropes off then we were haring out to our first dive site, Hand Deeps, a series of 5 pinnacles ranging from 20 to 50 metre depth at some points. With stunning visibility we explored the walls and gullies and were treated to a carpet of jewel anemones, cup orals and sea fans along with the dead man fingers, dog fish, crayfish and crabs.

jewel anemone

dog fish

Back on Seeker Hugo (crew) helped us with fins and reels etc then supplied us with hot drinks and hot pasties, with brown sauce of course! while James took us to The Eddystone. James put a shot line on the south west of the reef due to the prevailing winds and a shift in current. The reef around the lighthouse is usually one of the best dive sites, due to the strong currents clearing the waters, and is full of marine life. There was evidence of Nudibranch eggs but no critters to be seen so we amused ourselves watching the antics of Wrasse feeding on an Urchin and spotting some tiny star fish.

feeding wrasse

baby star fish

Another hot drink and biscuit awaited us on Seeker as we returned to base then all thoughts turn to having a quick drink, food and an early night at the Borringdon Arms. Sadly the chef was away again (something we said)? however the pub was happy for us to arrange a takeaway while we enjoyed some chat and looking at the days photo’s before we retired.

After a hearty breakfast we went to the dive centre to find that the sea was still a little choppy but that the conditions were continuing to improve. James took us to the Rosehill, a 300 foot long wreck, torpedoed in September 1917 by U 40. The wreck lies at a depth around 30 metres and James skilfully shot the wreck at the side of the two boilers. The Rosehill is mostly flattened but the boilers are home to some big Conger.

conger

Pollack, cod, bass and wrasse were seen over the wreck and the plates were covered in some large pink fan corals as well as the usual tom pot blennies and cup corals.

pink fan coral

The stern section still holds the small artillery gun, steering gear, rudder and the propeller can still be seen.

artillery gun

Conan was our crew that day and he helped us with hot drinks and pasties again while we were preparing for our second dive to visit an old favourite, the James Eagan Layne (JEL), a liberty ship, torpedoed by U 1195 in 1945 whilst on convoy duty carrying war supplies. Some evidence of supplies are still present in the holds, carrying railway wheels and huge cooking pots. The wreck is covered in marine life ranging from spider crabs to plumose anemone.

spider crab

After the dive we were all telling tales of what was seen and some of the group spoke of a cuttlefish hunting and others saw a free swimming conger. Never disappointed on this wreck. Conan provided us with hot drinks and biscuits again while we returned to shore.

The sun was shining and warm as we returned to the hotel and it was mentioned that a pint and return darts match may be in order…….so a few pints and another take-away later the killer match began. All good fun.

Sunday morning we dived the Elk, a small fishing trawler built in Hull and fished from Grimsby until she was requisitioned in the 1st World War and was used as a mine layer. She was mined in 1940 and now lies in 32 metre upright on the sea bed. As she is a small vessel it is easy to dive from bow to stern and to pick out identifiable gear such as the winch and landing gear. James told us on the briefing that there is a huge conger on the wreck so to keep our eyes peeled.

conger

Conan was at the ready to assist us on Seeker and to supply us with goodies as we made our way to the JEL for our second dive. This time the resident conger came out to play and gave one or two of our buddies a bit of a fright (ask them the tale)! and a cuttlefish was seen sleeping on the sea bed.

cuttlefish

From the outside of the wreck looking in the scene is like looking in a giant aquarium and if you are inside looking out it all looks quite surreal and moody. The supporting posts are carpeted in anemones.

inside the JEL

elegant anemones

All too soon our dive time elapsed and we were heading back to shore, yup with another hot drink to hand.

As we had been diving early mornings we had plenty of time to get a ferry to the Barbican area and enjoyed a bit of street life in the sun. As we ventured to the Hoe we spotted a mermaid in the water (sorry no pics) but she appeared to be entertaining the kids on shore and quite a few brave souls were swimming in the lido… without a dry suit on Mark! After coffee and fresh doughnuts we returned to Mountbatten to look forward to a great meal at the Clovelly Bay Inn….yumeeeee is all I can say.

Monday dawned bight and sunny with very little wind, James had promised us a smoother journey to the Persier, AJ was the crew and we all sat about chatting as we headed out to sea. James predictions were correct and after an excellent briefing we kitted up and hit the water. His skills at getting the shot line on target are spot on every time and we descended exactly at the side of the 3 boilers. The visibility was good and immediately we were greeted with huge shoals of pollack and pouting and the ever inquisitive wrasse. Christine saw a crayfish in the wreck and lots of conger were seen by all.

crayfish

After a explore around the boilers we followed the prop shaft but sadly never made it to the stern where the rudder was still in place….never mind, always another time? The Persier was originally built in 1919 in Newcastle and named the War Buffalo, she was almost lost after Dunkirk performing convoy duty. After being re-kitted she was sadly torpedoed  by U 1017 while performing further convoy duty off the Eddystone reef in 1945.

AJ was ready to help us on board Seeker and supply drinks and snacks again, James told us our last dive would be at a new site for In Deep called The Wall, which lies east of the Mewstone. James gave us a good briefing and told us what we might see,( but sadly no Ray’s for us that day). The Wall is predominately rock based cracks and gullies on a sandy bottom, supporting a variety of marine life from lobster to cuttlefish and urchins to tube worms, while the sea bed was clouded with shoals of sand eels. It is amazing what can be seen under the British waters and a first for me was when Christine spotted some unusual tubes growing up from a large rock, anybody have any idea what they are please let us know.

tube worms

what are they?

Rather like the Alien they contain some kind of life form but maybe it’s because I might have a little too much imagination either that or I’m really narked?

A great finish to a superb weekend, thanks to all the crew at In Deep that have helped along the way and kept us supplied with food and drinks. Thanks to James for his expert knowledge in diving and skippering the boat also for his exceptional choice of music on the trips out to sea, one heck of a party boat there.

Thanks to Christine for organising the trip, being my dive buddy along with Val. The other dive teams were Geoff and John H and Mark with guest diver Johnny D, never a dull moment and we look forward to returning with In Deep next year and maybe some other Aquanauts’?

Thanks for reading.

Janine

 

 

Eyemouth 4/5 Aug 2018 nvmv

Another fabulous weekend with Marine Quest and Jim our skipper.

We had a good run up fri evening,arriving at 10pm finding Mark and Janine already nice and cosy on the bank top looking over the bay.

Our camping place looking over the bay


Tyler our grandson came for the weekend to keep Darren company while we were diving.He likes to play connect four,so we had  a few games.

 

 

TYLER  and his connect four which he is good at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After  a lovely sleep,breakfast,a wonder around the cliff top,Darren and Mark did a little fishing and Darren caught a nice pollac,which  mark filleted up.

DARRENS FISH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FILLET MAN.MARK

Geoff and Darren relaxing having breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first dive of the weekend was fastcastle a brilliant dive lots to see,lobsters,crabs,anemones,wolfish,very pretty dive all the gullies filled with life and critters.   Jim looked after us as always with cake and hot drinks ,yummy banana cake.

Lobster hiding,he was a good size. The wolf fish didn’t want to play.

Pretty

 

 

 

 

 

Shrimps million’s of em.

 

 

 

 

second dive was Ebb Cars,another stunning dive.

 

 

Camouflaged so well l didn’t see it

Jellyfish

Always good fun to watch all the different species.

Another good dive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cate and Stuart dived with us this weekend,they are novice divers in the sea,they had a really good time,dived very well,and enjoyed themselves.

Mark took Stuart and Cate dived with Janine,they all had fun.

JANINE AND CATE

MARK AND STUART

All having a good dive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really pretty dives lots for all to see.

RELAXING BEFORE we get back to shore,first day over,now back for bbq

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ALL ENJOYING THE EVENING BBQ

 

All muck in and enjoy the view,firework,food and few beers.perfic.

 

 

 

LOOK AT THAT.THIS IS WHAT WE COME HERE FOR. YOU FORGET EVERY THING WHEN YOU SEE THIS.MAGICAL.

Love it..

NICE AND ALL FREE.

MORE AND MORE

NICE

All ready for sleep time,and rest up for diving tomoro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodnite all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up bright and early,lovely morning,go for a walk with Tyler. After breakfast.

Life boat going for a spin

 

 

VALS BREAKFAST WITH A VIEW…PERFIC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bee and a hover fly sharing there meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A LITTLE BLUE BUTTERFLY

lovely little butterflies these have not seen one before.

 

LADYBIRD ON THISTLE

THIS IS A MOTH.PRETTY

White butterfly

THE SCOTTISH THISTLE

LOOK WHAT WE SEE IN THE MORNING,SWANS WITH THEIR SIGNETS,LOVELY.

 

 

 

 

Well it’s time to go diving,we had a really nice walk and saw all these lovely things.

CHATTING TO OTHER DIVERS

Day two,we meet a lot of nice people diving,this trip we met Jo,she was from York so she tagged along.

 

 

Jo

Geoff

 

 

LOVELY SITE

 

 

 

 

 

Forest

BEAUTIFULL

URCHINS GET EVERY WHERE

PART OF WRECKAGE

GEOFF IN THE BACK GROUND,LOTS OFF WRASSE ABOUT THE PINNACLE

Geoff

JIM GOING TO DIVE SITE

Jelly

INSIDE SECOND BOILER

NICE WALK

Stuart having a look about.

Janine and Cate coming back safe and sound after a brilliant last dive.

The second days diving very good the pictures tell the story.we did the Hurkers,all fantastic dives full of life. Viz was good on all dives,the weather very good. Cate and Stuart did very well indeed,Mark and Janine did a good job of looking after them. Geoff buddied up with me and we enjoyed all our dives. The weekend went very well. Tyler and Darren went fishing Darren caught another pollac.they went to feed the seals and we finished the day off with fish n chips
A fab weekend good bbq,good company,good diving,good weather.
Jim looked after us very well as always.
We have had three fab weekends this year at Eyemouth and none of them a disappointment.
Thank you Aquanauts for making it a good weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GORGEOUS EVENING
SKY.till next time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EYEMOUTH 4/5 AUG 2018

ANOTHER GREAT WEEKEND AT EYEMOUTH WITH JIM OF MARINE QUEST AND THE AQUANAUTS. A GOOD RUN UP ARRIVING AT 10PM ON FRI EVENING FINDING MARK AND JANINE ALREADY THERE NICE AND COSY ON THE BANK TOP LOOKING OVER THE BAY.

WE HAD WARM DRINK WIND DOWN AND A  GAME OF CONNECT 4 WITH TYLER OUR GRANDSON WHO CAME FOR THE WEEKEND,THEN BEDDY BYES.

JIM GOING TO DIVE SITE

THE BAY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFTER A NICE SLEEP IN,BREAKFAST AND NICE WANDER,BIT OF FISHING,WICH DARREN CAUGHT A NICE POLLACK,MARK FILLETED  IT .

TYLER AND HIS CONNECT 4.WICH HE IS QUITE GOOD.BUT HE STILL LOST.HAHA

DARRENS FISH

THE FILLET MAN.MARK

VALS BREAKFAST WITH A VIEW…PERFIC

ITS NOT ALL ABOUT DIVING,THE SOCIAL SIDE OF THESE WEEKENDS ARE GREAT TO.

WE MEET JIM 1PM IN THE HARBOUR TO BOARD SILVER SKY AND ALL READY TO GO.

WE HAVE STUART AND CATE WITH US THIS WEEKEND TO ADD TO THEIR EXPERIENCE IN THE SEA AS THEY ARE NOVICE DIVERS,THEY ARE REALLY EXCITED AND LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DAYS DIVING.

JANINE AND CATE

MARK AND STUART

 

AS YOU CAN SEE THEY ARE

 

DOING VERY WELL AND LOVING IT.

 

 

OUR FIRST DIVE WAS.FAST CASTLE

ALWAYS A GOOD DIVE’

SUNSTAR

SQUATIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VIZ WAS VERY GOOD LOTS OF LIFE TO WATCH AND ENJOY.

THE CASTLE IS ISOLATED AND OFTEN KNOWN AS WOLFS CRAG OR CASTLE ROCK.

RELAXING BEFORE OUR NEXT DIVE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHATTING TO OTHER DIVERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND DIVEWAS EBB CARS,ANOTHER

VERY NICE DIVE,ALWAYS SO MUCH TO SEE THIS TIME OFF YEAR.

 

 

 

 

 

JELLYFISH,BLOOD HENRY/

DEAD MENS FINGERS,THESE GUYS ALL OVER VERY PRETTY.

 

 

LOVELY SITE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THERE ARE SOME VERY PRETTY SITES TO DIVE AROUND EYEMOUTH AND THESE ARE SOME OF THE BEST.

LOOK AT THAT.THIS IS WHAT WE COME HERE FOR. YOU FORGET EVERY THING WHEN YOU SEE THIS.MAGICAL

 

DAY ONE DONE,BBQ TIME. ALL MUCK IN AND GET THE FOOD AND BEERS GOING,AND SIT BACK AND ENJOY THE VIEWS .AND EVEN SOME FIRE WORKS,YEP YOU GET IT ALL UP HERE.

NICE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE AND MORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

NICE AND ALL FREE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND THATS DAY ONE ENDED CATE AND STUART JOINED US FOR THE BBQ AND WE ALL HAD A NICE RELAXING EVENING.

GEOFF AND DARREN ENJOYING A CUPPA AND THE VIEWS HAVING BREAKFAST.

THAT WAS A SMALL PART OF THE DISPLAY,IT WAS GREAT AND LOUD,BRILL FINISH TO THE FIRST DAY.

ALL ENJOYING THE EVENING BBQ

A GOOD DAY.

LOOK WHAT WE SEE IN THE MORNING,SWANS WITH THEIR SIGNETS,LOVELY. BREAKY AND A WALK WITH TYLER. ITS A RIGHT WILDLIFE ADVENTURE,HAVE A LOOK AT WHAT WE SAW.

THIS IS A MOTH.PRETTY

LADYBIRD ON THISTLE

A LITTLE BLUE BUTTERFLY

 

THE SCOTTISH THISTLE

 

NICE WALK

 

 

 

 

b

tb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we got dive bombed by a seagull [steven].

 

 

 

 

 

 

a bumble bee enjoying the flowers with his buddy a hover fly.

now were off to meet jim again for our second days diving

and its looking  to be a good day again.

 

 

 

 

 

Theres the lifeboat going out.

 

 

 

 

were on board again all ready to go to our dive site wich is the left hurker,again a lovely scenic dive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

second dive was hurker rock another lovely dive we have been spoilt this weekend,

 

 

 

 

 

a wolf fish he was seen at fast castle.      

lobster,lots of these guys about.

 

 

 

 

millions of shrimps.

this is Joe.one of the divers who tagged along with us and was most welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

geoff on his safety stop.   stuart,janine,cate and mark all  enjoying the dive.

 

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Janine and Cate coming back safe and sound after a brilliant last dive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

thats the end off my report,it was a wonderfull weekend,diving superb,all the usual gritters out to see,weather very good,bbq brilliant,company brilliant,our little walks along the coast,once again Jim found us some great dive sites and looked after us with hot drinks and cake,the banana cake to die for. all divers back safe and enjoyed the weekend.heres to the next time.

 

 

Isle of Man 2018

Following our trip to the Isle of Man in 2016 I for one was looking forward to this years trip. Our group was made up from a mix of Selby Aquanauts and Rothwell SAA dive club and as most of us had been on the Channel Island trip we were all comfortable in each others company, which is just as well when there are 11 of you in one house.

From the journey to Heysham, the ferry crossing and the drive to the dive centre all went off without a hitch, even the dreaded paperwork for the cylinders was complete.

We travelled to Port St Mary’s to meet up with Sarah and Mike Keggan of Isle of Man Diving holidays and to off load a lot of our kit. We were informed that we were not diving until after 10 the following morning so after we had been to the house and bedroom allocation was sorted we strolled down to port Erin to have a pint or two before bed.

Friday dawned bright and clear though there was still a stiff breeze to contend with. At the dive centre we met Tom Keggan, who was to be our skipper for most of the weekend, who took us to a sheltered bay for our first dive called Garden Rock, this was a sweeping bay with a sandy bottom and a backdrop of large boulders. The sea bed was littered with tube worm and the wrasse were everywhere following the divers lights and occasionally nipping at their gloved hands, asking to be fed. Huge urchins spattered the boulders like giant full stops on a chalk board.

TUBE WORM

CUKOO WRASSE

After the dive we motored back to the dive centre to refill our cylinders and have a lunch break before we headed to the Calf of Man to dive at a site called Kiore-ny-Haeby. This was a wall dive with an initial drift, quite something floating in the water like a kit looking at the passing scenery. Quite a lot of Lesser Spotted Dog Fish (or cat shark) were spotted but the current was still a little strong for photo’s. The drift eventually abated and we were able to settle into the routine of looking at the sponges, corals and ferns along with, crab, lobster, pollack, scorpion fish and some little stuff, Nudibranch and flabellina. Cracking dive made up of two halves.

SEA FERN

NUDIBRANCH

Day one done, we returned to the house to prepare for a big night out in Port Erin! Nah, nice meal at the Station Inn then back to the house for more chit chat and the promise of better weather to come.

Day two was a little light cloud but the sea had dropped and was nice and calm. We dived the Sugar Loaf Caves. This is a vast system but can be done an a giant gentle sweep starting at the right hand side of the cave, the walls were covered in beautiful elegant anemones, dead men fingers and tom pot blennies in every crack and crevice. The cave finally comes to a point at the back and you have to turn around and follow the returning wall, as you exit you can be greeted by swimming Guillemots’, what a sight, all silver and shimmering leaving little bubble trails as they dart through the water. We continued on through another tunnel were we came across a lot of sea grass hiding more dog fish and Flabellina.

ELEGANT ANEMONE

LESSER SPOTTED DOG FISH

The second dive was the wreck of the Afton, this wreck is scattered and broken across a lot of the sea bed but the boiler and winches can still be identified. Plenty of marine life can be seen here including crab, lobster, wrasse, urchins star fish, conger and sea slugs. A stunning dive with more than 10 metres of viz, just not enough time to explore under every plate.

SEA SLUG

CONGER

Fabulous curry at Port St. Mary in the most unusual location, in the middle of the tennis courts and bowling green, but highly recommended and would go again.

The following day saw more clear blue sky and flat calm sea, hope to see some basking sharks? Sadly no but we dived the Amulty, another scenic wall dive with lots of plumose anemone, dead men fingers, huge urchins and quite a few nudibranch, dog fish, edible crab and a cluster of squid eggs.

PLUMOSE ANEMONE

SQUID EGGS

We ventured out to the Drinking Dragon for our second dive at the Buroo, very scenic site with lots of gullies to explore with part of an old ship timbers spanning one of the gullies covered in jewel anemone.

DRINKING DRAGON

JEWEL ANEMONE

As the weather was in our favour we had a BBQ in the garden into the long hours of the night and of course the re-run of the England football match.

Our last day diving dawned bright and clear with more glass flat seas. We motored out behind the Calf of Man to dive a pinnacle, very pretty again and a camera lovers delight, I saw two or three different types of nudibranch along with the usual marine life.

NUDIBRANCH (crawling under a rock)

NUDIBRANCH

Also spotted was the every loveable Tom Pot Blenny

TOM POT BLENNY

The final dive of the weekend was the wreck of the Thracian, a 2000ton, 4 mast barque, built in 1892 and launched on the Clyde. It was sunk whilst being towed to Liverpool to be kitted out.

This was shot near the stern which provided a very pretty framework of plumose anemone. Under the stern post sat a huge lobster, keeping a beady eye on all divers that came near his lair.  There was a lot of framework evident with plates that had fallen to the sea bed allowing some divers the opportunity to enter the wreck. The hull  was spattered with cup corals and as you came towards the bow there was a huge anchor to be found, if time allowed at the end of the dive.

LOBSTER

CUP CORAL

All too soon our trip was coming to an end, just back to the centre to pack our dive kit away but he promise of another good meal at The Shore in port St. Mary’s before our early morning journey to the ferry terminal at Doulas.

Hope you enjoyed some of this report and I for one can’t wait to return in 2020, anyone interested? Maybe basking sharks next time eh?

Janine

 

Farne Island trip 16th June 2018

Up early! Someone said, of course, it must be another Aquanauts dive trip. Up the A1 to Seahouses to dive from one of William Sheil’s  boats Glad Tiding’s to the Farne Islands. Mark and Janine went to collect Val, Stuart and Cate made the journey to have a go in the North Sea….brrrrr and Christine brought her Mum, Shirley along to help celebrate Christine’s Birthday.

After we loaded up Glad Tidings VII with Skipper Mikey and crew Steven and said hello to some old friends from SAA Ackworth club, we got down to the business of assembling kit, filling in paperwork and singing the Happy Birthday song.

The first site was at the Northern Hares, this is typical of the sites around the outer Farnes consisting of a shelf around 12 meters leading to a drop off to about 23 metres, so everyone can pick a depth that they are comfortable with. Mikey placed a shot line to the shelf to allow a steady drop down for all of us. Topography is a sheer wall on the drop off leading to a rock strewn sea bed. The wall was covered in dead men fingers, shrimps galore, velvet swimmer crabs and some lovely sea urchins. Also spotted was a camouflage crab resting on the tip of a sponge.

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Squatties and large lobsters were also spied and a few edible crab were shot on video too.

Back on the boat and Steven did us proud with lots of hot tea and coffee. Mikey took us to our next dive site, past some of the other islands littered with guillemots, shags and puffins, to the North Wamsies where we were to dive with the seals. Though still a little shy we did have the fleeting glimpses of a seal or two exploring the divers. The sea bed was littered with tiny hermit crabs defending their territory or shells.

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And finally a fleeting glimpse of the tiniest Nudibranch had me setting the camera to macro, only to be met with some strong surges, but at last I captured an image!

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Another good trip, even if the water was still a little cool for the big fish to be out, we still manage to enjoy ourselves and find some underwater life.

Cate and Stuarts FIRST of many we hope.

What to do at the weekend? I know get up early (5am) and journey up to Seahouses for a morning diving in the North Sea!
Luckily the forecast of rain wasn’t true for us. Two dives done. So many firsts – first having to carry all the equipment down the quay to a boat, first in the North Sea, first giant stride off a boat, first time using a fixed line to descend, first dive with seals, first use of a lift to get onboard. Seen puffins for the first time. Great company with other divers and looked after on board (plenty of tea/coffee).
First of many. Thanks for Selby Aquanauts (Christine, Janine, Mark and Val) for looking after us again. Cate and Stuart.

Janine

Seahouses(Farnes) 16/June 2018

Hi Everyone.

Another successful dive trip done,just one day this time up to Farne Islands.  We had Stuart and Cate with us for their first English sea dive.  They did very well and enjoyed 2 dives.

The first dive was Northern Hares.

Lots of shrimps.anemones,dead men’s fingers,squaties,lobsters.

A very pleasant dive lots of little stuff to sea among the crevices and on the sea bed.

Crab and dmf

dahlia.anemone.
Second dive was  North Wammies to see the seals .

a very shallow dive,a few seals came to say hello but very shy today.

Seals

It was nice swimming through the kelp and seeing an odd glimpse of a seal.

 

 

 

 

 

Chris and Cate.

 

 

 

 

 

not sure which divers these were.

 

 

 

 

 

kelp jungle.

 

 

 

Jane on surface

Janine on surface

Cate on her first sea dive in England

Cate on her first sea dive in England

Chris and Cate

Chris and Cate

Always on the hunt is Janine

Janine flying

well again that’s the end of our trip.A nice two dives, Cate and Stuart did really good. Mark dived with Stuart. Chris with Cate and Janine with Me. The weather was dry for us.      Thanks Mark for driving us up there,and Chris for taking the cylinders and all the other Aquanauts for diving with us.

another trip done.

     Val

EYEMOUTH. 9/10. June. 2018

 

hi all divers out there.

A brilliant drive down,sunsets to die for. Arrive midnite head down for sleep time,Mark and Janine already there tucked up in dream land.

Park up top looking out over the bay.

Very quiet here just the waves hushing us to sleep.

 

 

Good nites rest and ready for the days diving,but we can relax and get thing ready.

Ropes off 1pm

so nice breaky enjoy the view and check all gear etc.

 

Nice breaky then off to see Jim on Silversky for our afternoon dives.

first dive at Fastcastle,4 mls off st Abbs Head.

Always a pleasant dive but viz a bit disapointing today,but still lots to see and explore,lots of crabs,squaties,dead mens fingers,anemones.lobsters

Second dive was Fold Buss,weve never dived this before,a smashing dive,very picture pretty. Location offshore between Eyemouth and St Abbs. Its a stretch of continious reef-connecting  Hurker Rock with Ebb Carrs.

Teaming with life,crabs,squaties,anemones,sunstars,brittlestars,big shoals of tinyfish.Life in every nook and cranny,brilliant. Got a nice ride on quite a strong currant.

Few critters under the sea,squaties to start with.

Urchin

Anemones

Lobster

Edible Crab

9 fingered star fish,not seen one of these before,really nice and big as a dinner plate.

Brittle stars,all over the place

Lots af Dahlia anemones,all different colours,and huge ones to.fabulous.

Viz very much better on this dive,a great dive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thats day one done for diving really good day,and l stayed dry,thankyou Mark for putting my new zip in and taping the inside of my wrist seals,bone dry jobs a good un.

Now up to our camp site and Bbq time.

Fab end to a fab day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geoff cooking his veggy kebabs……

 

Mark and Janine,enjoying the evening,getting chilly tho.

All wrapped up,food all gone and yummy to,thanks to Darren for setting BBQ up and cooking,and cleaning all pots,Janine for potatoes and salad etc,Mark for cooking to.Geoff did his bit to.we all did grand.

And all while watching the sun go down.Perfic

Carnt beat it

 

 

 

Peace

Ready for bed getting cold.Day one done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day two. Nice relax again,cooked breaky,walk down to shore,watching divers go in on shore dive.

Over looking bay. Met Jim 12 15am today got a good start we were able to watch him come back in to harbour and saw he was early,so off we went.we all went down in one van  and Darren drove us there and picked us up,thanks Darren you were great at shipping us in and out.

First dive was Just off Burnmouth Caves. A good dive again viz ok,usual critters on this one again,came across a bit a wreckage,a checkered plate,5”by 4” and part of boat with mooring pins on.good dive lots to investigate.

 

Boat mooring pin.

Sunstar

Dahlia anemone,it caught my eye cos of this huge white tube coming from the centre,a first for me to see.

Anemone but lm not sure what happening with it

Anemone

Our second dive was

Petticowick a lovely dive lots to see,good viz,usual critters but lots of them,more fish on this dive.lve been diving with Geoff all weekend and we were down an hour on this one our last dive and neither of us wanted to come up, Mark and Janine dived together and all had good dives.

A brill weekend but it’s over so quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all had a last walk along the coastal path before our journey home,

Mark saw this purple March orchid,beautiful little flower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So thats our weekend over and done.A great time had by all,fab weather,thank you so much Darren for driving us about and cooking and cleaning up and driving your a hero.

Thanks to the aquanauts for your superb company and to Jim of Marine Quest for another super diving weekend and great diving.

Will be in touch ready for our Aug trip,so we need some aquanauts names down for the next trip so get ready.  4/5 weekend or 18/19weekend.They are both afternoon dives.

Hope u enjoy this report,but it’s much better to be there.

Cheers val

Next trip Farnes on sat 16 June just one day.

C u  val

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dive two was Petticowick.a super little dive and our last one of the weekend and it didn’t let us down Geoff and l were down for an hour and still wasn’t ready for coming up,but we had to.

Big boiler to investigate,fish inside hiding…..

Fish hiding in boiler.

lots of dead men’s fingers,dahlia anemones, crabs,lobsters,fish,nice little currant so drifting along.really pleasant.

Sunstar

Plumerose

Anemone

Channel Islands May 2018

Selby Aquanauts in the Channel Islands

Well, second attempt at this trip after last years blow out due to the weather. Has to be said, it was worth the wait and Freda and Al were really good to us to allow the trip to be postponed until this year! Thankyou both!

Won’t bore you all with the trip down to the south coast to board the Salutay, but it involved a lot of traffic, bad drivers (not from our side!) and overpriced service stations, usual stuff! And what does anyone do when they get somewhere…find the pub! So into the Boat that Rocks for some well deserved ale and (thanks to Janine’s quick thinking) ordering some of the specials for tonight’s food before they all went…not that it mattered to me as thee were no veggie specials (other than there were 2 veggie options, which is quite special!).

Some time later, it was time to load the gear and head for the boat…. to the warm welcoming of Freda and Al onto their wonderful home for the week, the Salutay. A very cosy boat with loads of character and a some history to her as well (seems to have Grimsby survival rings attached to the front?!) – must research this at some point! Anyway, a few cheeky drinks to finish the evening and early to bed for an early start, yes a start!…this time we leave the harbour!

A nice gentle trip out of the harbour and quite calm crossing until we got about half way there, then it got a bit rough. A few green faces around and everyone just waiting to get there and (unlike the night before) for the boat to stop rocking this time!

On this trip we were joined by some of the members of Rothwell and Stanley SAA dive club, great to have them on the trip with us – Doc, Geoff (t’other Geoff that is!), Steve, Mike and Sarah. The Channel Islands really are a beautiful part of the world. Lost in time, peaceful and also crammed with history.


We took in a bit on our stay, mainly the more recent WW2 structures, but it was clear that the Islands have a lot more to offer and worthy of a trip on it’s own.

….but we’re here to dive, so here we go…..

Day 1: Alex Van Opstal
Nice 30m dive to start with, vis not outstanding just yet, but a nice wreck to discover. Saw loads of Conger and a few Wrass. Doc spotted a Nudibranch which I filmed and a nice edible crab towards the end.

Nice and warm, bit if a current but all in all a gentle dive. Up safely, what more can you ask for a first dive!

Day 2: Cement Ship
Vis was better than yesterday and noticeable on the bottom. Bit of a tide still running and followed the starboard bottom side past the rudder and up to the bow. A few holes in the side to peak into. At the bow because the tide was a bit fast, decided to rise up and follow the deck back again. Lots of life, congas galore!

Some nice fans in the hold and a big shoal of fish on the deck. Good dive and safely up 🙂

Second dive: The Heron
Great dive and Val got down fine for her first dive of the week due to her cold. Pretty good vis, and a lovely mainly open wreck with a few swimthroughs into the hold. Huge shoal of fish and lots of fans.

Saw the engine parts still visible and went from stern to bow and back. Ran out of bottom time, but we’d seen it all by then. Nice safe ascent and out with no issues.

Day 3: Minesweeper M343
Deep dive. There’s something about doing a deep dive which puts everyone a little on edge, which is good as it is time to triple check everything and prepare yourself for a more challenging experience. You could really feel the change in mood just before the dive, everyone focussing more and being just a bit more aware of that extra depth. It and was a hard swim in the tide to get across to it on the way down, but great vis and a super open wreck. We followed the shot on the open and collapsed deck. Lots of spider crabs and fish about.


Found some cone shaped parts which might have been lures, need to check this. Did feel a bit narked again, bit uncomfortable at the start, but once I got my breath was fine. Not much time at the depth, so once we got to 2 minutes left we got the blob out and up. Safely up and no deco to go through, which is nice!

Second dive: St Brelades Bay
Ha! Should have stayed on the rocks we found when we first got to the bottom! Saw quite a bit at the start, but it was mentioned there was a wall a bit further along, so went looking and found nothing! Just sand and some big spider crabs. Turned back after a bit, but didn’t find the rocks again.


Interesting dive but we really should have stayed where we started and not gone looking for the wall, never mind!

Day 4: Shokland
What an amazing dive! Bottom of the shot was a conger eel out of the wreck swimming next to me, super sight!

Very dynamic wreck with holes and lots of stuff on the top, concrete bags, iron girders etc. Such a lot of life and so many Tompot Blennys and spider crabs!

Nice swim though onto the port side and then down to the stern. Huge prop at the stern and then swam back up the wreck. Such a great dive, lovely warm waters and super vis!

Second Dive: Kromwijk
Good wreck which was very open and a bit silty. Not as good as this mornings, but was lots to see. Started at the boilers, went past the pistons and the engine.

Up to the bow and then back towards the stern and the props. Upside down wreck, so props easily found and then back towards the boilers again as we were running out of time. Never get bored of wrecks, especially when you can see engine parts and mechanics, part of the experience for me is mentally putting all the bits together to make sense of the twisted iron – especially when you recognise a huge piston or prop shaft, makes the wreck come to life.

Good dive and safely out.

Here’s Val with me waiting for the Salutay to pick us up 🙂

Day 5:
Went straight down on to the pinnacle and fantastic vis. Saw loads of nudibranch and superb colour on the rocks and life.

Lovely purple coloured fish and very inquisitive!

Nice gentle bimble around, such great vis could have stayed a lot longer, like a fishbowl this dive!
Second dive was a blow out unfortunately….just too much current and fog around! So, all ashore for an explore! When I say explore, I mean a quick walk to some crumbled history followed by the pub!

Day 6: HMS Submarine M2
Dive of the week and just look how flat calm it wads for us!

Crystal clear vis, I swear you could see it from the boat! …and a superb wreck! Gigantic conger all over it and loads of fish.

Spent most of our time around the hanger and the hydraulic launching ram. Really clear to see all the mechanics and a well preserved superstructure.

Went in the hangar and saw a lot of the mechanics still in there, out and towards the stern, but turned back as wanted to explore the centre section more. So clear and got some great views of the periscope, anti aircraft gun and the hangar area.

Rose up to explore the top of the periscope area towards the end and got some great shots of this area, without a torch as it was so clear.

Some nice small jellies on safety stop as the well. Such a buzz and even on the safety stop we were entertained by the jellies around – tiny translucent bodies filled with food and all their workings, all clear to see, amazing!

What a dive though and a great way to end a fab weeks diving!!

Of course, in-between all this fantastic diving, the Aquanauts had a laugh, took in the sights and were thoroughly looked after by Freda and Al throughout.


We ate like kings and queens (soon to be release 40 meals for 40 dives – the Salutay’s very own cookbook accompanied by gripping stories of the sea!) and treated to the wonders of the Channel Islands from a very experienced and knowledgeable skipper.

Once again, great UK diving, great company and fabulous hosts! Can’t say much more, all that is left to say is, that were all right that was 😉

Farnes trip May 2018

We went to the Farne Islands the aim was two fold, one was to get Katie Leigh and Harrison in for their first sea dives and the second to continue our preparation’s prior to the upcoming live aboard trip to the Channel Islands.

Weather wise it was a really nice day, the sea was noticeably warmer and clearer than a fortnight ago in Eyemouth. We dived with William Sheil’s Glad Tidings VII skippered by Mikey.

The first dive was the Northern Hares, always a nice site. This is a shallow reef with a wall that drops off to around 20 metres. There were the usual crustacean’s and soft corals, urchins and star fish to be spotted.

Kate also spotted a Squat Lobster on her dive.

The second dive was at Gun Rock where over 30 cannons litter the sea bed, Harrison spotted quite a few.

Kate and Harrison both managed their first sea dives and both reported to have enjoyed themselves, hoping that is the first of many.

As for the rest of the Aquanauts we found a couple of suit’s that need repair work but apart from that we all enjoyed ourselves in the lovely warm spring sunshine surrounded by seals and the breeding sea birds.

Hope to see you all in the water soon. regards Mark.

 

 

Eyemouth April 2018

I was delighted as the first scheduled sea trip of the year was cancelled on the 7th & 8th of April due to rough weather. This was only due to the fact that I was unwell and unable to go, however Val informed us that Jim, of Marine Quest, would be able to accommodate our trip in a couple of weeks 21st & 22nd. I was praying for a speedy recovery and with a little knowledge felt that the water should be clearer and a bit warmer.

On the evening of Friday 20th I returned home from work, packed my dive kit and went to bed, as we had an early start. Geoff arrived nice and early and having loaded the campervan off we set. We had a very good journey north and soon arrived at the harbour side in plenty of time. Val and Darren were sat in the sun with a cuppa as we arrived and joined them for a while as we were not diving until the afternoon.

Mark and I and Geoff and Val were the dive buddies and Darren was coming along for a ride. As we were loading up, the morning dive group were off loading their dive kit and we were all chatting in passing and had been informed that there was a lot of algal bloom in the water and that the temperatures had not really started to rise. This was OK as each of our team were in dry gloves…..except me, but as I’m at a certain age I usually have my own tropical moments!

Jim had 5 more on the boat so plenty of room for kitting up, the sun was still shining and the sea was lovely and flat as we raced out to our first site, the Skellies off St Abbs Head. This site is a series of boulders and fingers of rock, interspersed with areas of gravel and at a reasonably shallow depth of around 15 metres make for a nice easy first dive.

We were greeted with a series of white and orange dead men fingers and a scattering of elegant anemones. As we searched under and around the rocks we spotted a few lobsters, squat lobsters and velvet swimming crabs. Lots of sea urchins with their tendrils out feeding, looking like they need a hair cut. The odd  deep scarlet Daliah anemone and bright orange Sun Stars were also seen.

Mark spotted a tiny Porcelain crab and quite a large hermit crab having a bit of a jaunt on the gravel bed.

As I was now starting to feel the cold in my hands we surfaced to a lovely blue sky, a warm cuppa and some warm cheese scones. After some banter and a change of cylinders Jim took us down to Pettico Wick as the sea had stared to build from the south east creating a bit of a chop.

This site is very sheltered behind St Abb’s head and Jim dropped us in at a wall that led out to sea again with lots of gullies, swim throughs’ and overhanging ledges at around 12 metres though it is possible to follow the ledges and end up in the 20 metre zone.

Again we were treated to a lot of dead men’s fingers all in bloom enjoying the feeding from the algae and some entwined with brittle stars, and the usual sea urchins littering the boulders. Mark also managed to winkle out a lovely orange and blue stripped squat lobster that was released after a quick snap shot, need more than 1 for a tasty meal!

  

 

At the end of the dive we returned to harbour amid some beautiful clear skies to be greeted by the large harbour seals but quickly seeing we had no food swum off to the next homecoming boat.

After an enjoyable meal and company at OBLO we repaired to bed to rest for an early start. Geoff had to meet a guy to lend him a suit due to a torn neck seal and Darren had to make some patch repairs to Val’s cuffs as they resembled a colander.

Sunday morning we were awoken to some heavy downpour and thunderstorms but by the morning the day became cloudy but mild and the sea was nice and calm. Jim was able to take us further up the coast to Brader Point, passing some remarkable rock formations on the way. We had even more space on the boat that day as there were only 2 others joining us.

This site consists of a series of big boulders and walls, all containing the usual plethora of dead men fingers, sea urchins, sun stars and elegant anemone. However there was a lot of fine silt on the boulders pluming up like a cloud if anyone went near them. Mark and I decided to return to the surface after 15 minutes as there was not a lot of life to be seen.

When Geoff and Val returned, Jim took us further down the coast to marvel as the nesting sea birds, kittiwakes, shags and guillemots  and some gannets, all tussling for a space on a rock ledge.

Our final dive, after the usual tea and cake, was a gully near the Skellies. Jim had been informed that the viz was around 5 metres and clear waters, we were all excited. The other couple on board missed out on that days diving due to suit flooding, shame as Jim definitely saved the best till last. Mark and I descended in a deep trench at around 20 metres in the dark, then turned on our torches, BOOM, just like a garden at Chelsea flower show. Stunning growth, massive Plumose Anemone, a whole carpet of growth flooded our sight as far as the torch beams could reach.

 

For a short while I had even forgot my hands were cold, but soon remembered when I had to deploy my reel and hanging on a DSMB with frozen digits is not easy. Another warm drink on the boat and I was able to put my kit away then a speedy return to harbour.

The gully is a site I would like to revisit, with clearer waters and a tad warmer if possible, as I’m sure you could spend around 60 minutes underwater here and use all of the photo space available on any camera.

Mark and I rarely dive together but we are hoping to be back with Jim later this year and maybe you would like to come and join us?

Enjoy……………..Janine.