Diving Reports from 2012

First dive of the season was on Saturday 31 March.  Glorious clear, sunny day, flat sea and no wind.  Dived the Normandy in 47 metres.  Vis was 4-5 metres, though ambient light was lost below 30 metres.  Next day, similar conditions were experienced though with a very chilly easterly breeze.  We dived the Norma in 55 metres, a few miles south of the Normandy.  After another 24 hours of really small neaps, the visibility had improved to 10 metres without a torch, in ambient light. The tide was so weak we were able to dive before slack, and after in-water dive of and hour and a half, we were still within a couple of hundred yards of the wreck. Oh, and water temperature was 7 degrees on the bottom and 9 near the surface.

Forthcoming dive spaces: I have 1 space left to dive the Daylesford in 46 metres on Saturday 21 April.  Meet 0800 to leave 0830.  I have 4 spaces available on Saturday 19 May to dive a wreck in 40 metres – likely to be selected from the Iduna, Simla, Westville, Londonier, Tweed, etc.  Meet 0745 to leave 0815. £46 per head including second dive for those who want it.  Lastly, 4 spaces are available on Wednesday 20 June to dive the ever popular clipper ship Smyrna in 52-57 metres on Wednesday 20 June.  Meet 0830 to leave 0900.

Spaces update: Only 2 spaces remaining for Saturday 19 May and just 1 space left for the Smyrna dive on Wednesday 20 June.

Spaces update: The Smyrna dive on Wednesday 20 June is now full.

Dive/vis reports:  Dived the Messina on Saturday 14 April.  Despite being a gray day, vis was 10 metres without a torch. Water temperature is up to about 10 degrees.  Sloppy ride back and for one of the divers, a quick ride to the chamber after showing signs of decompression sickness. Sunday was cancelled due to strong north east winds.

Spaces update: One space remaining for Saturday 19 May.

Dive/vis reports. Following gales, heavy rain and huge spring tides, inshore vis has been awful.  Needless to say, there hasn’t been much diving. At this time of year the clear May water should be in.  However, on Saturday 12 May we dived the Venezuela.  There was a definite change in water colour once we were a few miles off the Needles.  On the wreck visibility was a passable 2 metres, but dark, but no problem with a torch.  In contrast to that, next day we dived the El Kahira near mid Channel. Vis improved suddenly once we passed about 50 25 north, as we headed south-west.  On the wreck a good 8 metres vis was had in ambient light – and that’s at 60 metres. Water temperature is now around 11-12 degrees. On the way back with the flood tide, the clearer water had moved much further north.

Spaces update: The boat is full for Saturday 19 May.

Spaces available. Diving the WW1 armed trawler Michael Clements on Thursday 21 June. Meet 0900 to leave 0930. £48 per head.

Dive/vis reports: The diving over the weekend of 19 and 20 May was excellent.  Dived the Iduna off St Catherine’s on Saturday in 8 metres vis, followed by the War Knight in quite acceptable vis of around 3 metres.  Despite a forecast for Sunday of NE 5-6, we met on the pontoon to find no wind, and dived the Fenna in 23 metres.  Vis was around 3-4 metres, followed by a second dive on the Joannis Millas in 6-9 metres, where the vis was described as better.  On Monday 21st, we ventured mid Channel to an unidentified mark, with vis at 60 metres about 8 metres without a torch.  The wreck lies across the tide with one boiler and a compound engine, and a cargo of coal.  Nothing was found to identify the wreck.

Spaces update: Still looking for divers for the Michael Clements in 48 metres on Thursday 21 June. Still need a few more to make the trip viable.

Spaces update: One space remaining for the Michael Clements dive on Thursday 21 June.

Dive/vis reports: During the last week of May we dived in the Solent with Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology.  Due to continuing poor weather, vis was low but the week was completed.  Saturday 2 June, diving the Spyros, was a good day but poor inshore vis prevented a second dive.  We managed to get out to dive the Westville on Monday 4th despite a poor forecast, and could have made it safely to our intended destination had we known what the wind would do.  Next day on a similar forecast we aborted when south east of the Needles.  Midweek I was due to take out some juniors, but the poor vis and swell made life difficult, and we just about managed to get one day in.  After that, more cancellations, but the archaeologists came to the rescue again when we dived the western Solent in mid June.  Visibility did improve as the week went on, but it was still unsettled and not at all what we should be having at this time of year.  The weekend of 17/18 June was cancelled, but Monday 18th saw us get out to dive the Swordfish  in excellent visibility of 8 metres, with the water temperature up to around 13 degrees. The following two days were spent mid Channel, with 10 metres vis on the Luxor in 60 metres, and even better vis of 15 metres on the Smyrna in 55 metres the next day. Unsurprisingly, the following days were blown out with more rain and gales. The optimist in me says it will improve sooner or later, though quite when is anyone’s guess.  Looking ahead to the weekend at the end of June, it looks like another low pressure system is lining up to blow us out.

Spaces: I have 4 spaces available to dive the Smyrna on Friday 6 July.  Meet 1000 to leave 1030. On Tuesday 24 July, I have 3 spaces available to dive something in 30 metres.  If conditions are right we’ll dive the Asborg.

Spaces: I have 5 spaces available on Saturday 30 June to dive the Clan Macvey in 18 metres.  Meet 1100 to leave 1130. Wednesday 1 August – 5 spaces available to dive the WW1 armed trawler Michael Clements in 48 metres.

Spaces update: Now only 2 spaces remaining for the Clan Macvey dive on Saturday 30 June. Three spaces remaining for the Smyrna dive on Friday 6 July. Two spaces remaining for Tuesday 24 July.

Spaces update: Clan Macvey dive on Saturday 30 June is full.  Dive on Tuesday 24 July is full.   On Wednesday 1 August, I have 4 spaces remaining to dive the Michael Clements. Three spaces remaining to dive the Smyrna on Friday 6 July.

Spaces update: Boat is now full for Tuesday 24 July.  2 spaces remaining for the Michael Clements on Wednesday 1 August.  Three spaces remaining to dive the Smyrna on Friday 6 July.

Spaces update/dive reports: Another weekend blown out (end of June) but spaces are going for future dives: 2 spaces remaining for the Smyrna dive on Friday 6 July. 2 spaces left for the dive on the Michael Clements on Wednesday 1 August.

Dive/vis reports: Mid Channel dives in the first week of July were pretty good, with vis around 8-10 metres.  Dived an unidentified wreck in 67 metres completely upside down.  Two visits to the Smyrna saw vis slightly lower as the spring tide reached its peak, but still acceptable at 6-7 metres in ambient light.

Spaces update:  Spaces are available as follows:  Sunday 22 July, one space available to dive the Tweed in 40 metres.  Friday 27 July, one space available to dive the Nurnberg in 60 metres.  2 spaces available to dive the Michael Clements in 48 metres on Wednesday 1 August. On Friday 10 August, 1 space available to dive the Kong Guttorm in 55 metres. 2 spaces available to dive the Nurnberg in 60 metres on Sunday 12 August. One space available to dive the Oiekast in 62 metres on Sunday 26 August. Two spaces available to dive the Sphene in 65 metres on BH Monday 27 August. 3 spaces available to dive an unidentified wreck, depth mid 60’s, on Friday 31 August.

Spaces update: The dive on Friday 10 August is full.

Dive/vis reports: Vis off St Catherine’s Point has been good.  Over the weekend of 21/22 July, which coincided with the reintroduction of summer, vis of 8-10 metres and 6-8 metres repectively was had on the Empire Crusader and the Tweed.   Inshore over the following 2 days, vis of around 6 metres was had on the Spyros and the Venezuela, while closer inshore on the War Knight and Joannis Millias, vis was, as anticipated, lower at 3-5 metres. Later in the week a terrific day was had diving the mid Channel wreck of the Nurnberg in 60-63metres, where vis was at least 15 metres.  On the last Saturday in the month, we looked at the stern section of an unidentified mid Channel wreck. although only a few miles north of the Nurnberg, vis was disappointingly low at 4-6 metres. The wreck remains unidentified. Strong winds forecast for Sunday meant was cancelled.

Spaces: One space remaining to dive the Witte Zee on Sunday 5 August. Meet 1045 to leave 1115.  Second dive included, on the wreck of the War Knight.  £44 per head.

Spaces: The Witte Zee dive on Sunday 5 August is full.  I have 6 spaces available on Sunday 19 August to dive the Venezuela in 28 metres. Meet 0945 to leave 1015. Second dive included. £44 per head.

Dive/vis reports: Managed to get out to dive the Witte Zee on Sunday 5 August, aftyer the Saturday was again blown out.  Nice warm sunny day, with vis about 3 metres. Not bad considering we were on the top of a big spring tide.  The second dive on the War Knight was quite diveable with 2 metres vis.

Spaces update: There are only 3 spaces remaining for the dive on the Venezuela on Sunday 19 August.

Spaces update: The dive on the Venezuela on 19 August is now full.

Dive/vis reports: During the week of the 7/8/9 August I had marine archaeologists on board surveying the protected wreck site of HMS Invincible on Horse Tail Sands.  Surprisingly the vis was quite good on the ebb, and they were able to work through the tide, but the flood brought huge amounts of weed which made surveying, photography and drawing very difficult indeed. Some new areas of the wreck, previously unsurveyed, were located and recorded. At the end of the week, I took a team of divers to the WW1 wreck of the Norwegian steamer Kong Guttorm in 55 metres.  As the tide was easing back rapidly towards neaps, the inshore vis looked brilliant, and then worsened the further offshore we went.  Nevertheless, 6 metres vis was had, though it was quite dark on the wreck.  Saturday was cancelled due to strong easterlies, but on Sunday we went to the mid Channel wreck of the Nurnberg.  Best vis of the season was recorded at 20-25 metres in ambient light, a real stunner of a dive. Diving midweek is cancelled as the next nasty looking depression is lined up to wipe us out again, though the weekend is looking good.

Spaces: I have spaces available as follows:  Wednesday 10 October. Diving the German light cruiser Nurnberg in 60-62 metres.  Meet 0900 to leave 0930. Four spaces available. £60 per head. Thursday 11 October, returning to the Nurnberg. Meet 1015 to leave 1045. Four spaces available. £60 per head. Friday 12 October. Diving either the Normandy in 48 metres or the Messina in 50 metres. Four spaces available. £55 per head. Saturday 13 October. Diving the clipper ship Smyrna in 55 metres. Leave 0700. One space available. £55 per head. Sunday 14 October. Returning to the Smyrna. Meet 0715 to leave 0730. Three spaces available. £55 per head. There is a question mark over this date as it has been provisionally booked by another group but who have not confirmed. I am seeking clarification.

Spaces update:  One space remaining for the Nurnberg on Wednesday 10 October, and four spaces available for the same wreck on Thursday 11 October.  Four spaces left for Friday 12 October. Saturday 13 October is full.  One space remaining for the Smyrna on Sunday 14 October.

Spaces update: Nurnberg dive on Wednesday 10 October is full.  Smyrna dives on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th October are full.  Still 4 spaces on Thurdsay 11 and Friday 12 October.

Dive/vis reports: We managed to get in the weekend’s diving, 18/19 August, following the 3 days previous strong winds.  Vis was a little disappointing on the Faith at 2-3 metres, but everyone was happy with the dive, having dropped through the stirred up water nearer the surface.  It was dark on the wreck as a result of the suspended matter blocking out the light, but good with a torch.  Next day we went to the Venezuela where the vis was better, but not great.  Big spring tides don’t help.

Spaces update:  The Nurnberg dive on Thursday 11 October is now full. Three spaces remaining for the dive on Friday 12 October. Other spaces available – one space available to dive the WW1 wreck of the Oiekast in 62 metres on Sunday 26 August, and 2 spaces available the next day, Monday 27 August, on the WW1 wreck of the Sphene. Looking at the weather forecast for the Augsut BH weekend, we may well be blown out again due to an approaching low pressure system, which is expected to bring strong wind and rain. We’ll see how it develops…

Dive/vis reports: I took Hampshire and Wight Wildlife Trust round to Blackgang, on the south coast of the IOW on 23 August, where they dived a reef which lies across the tide and which has an impressive drop off from 9 to 18 metres. They were recording the flora and fauna of the area. The following Bank Holiday weekend was wiped out due to more bad weather, but conditions settled down again the following week and with the Wildlife Trust back on board, we dived various sites in the Solent.  Vis wasn’t great but sufficient to carry out the dives.  The last day of August was fine and sunny and we returned to the wreck of the Monton in 60 metres. Offshore, the vis was somewhat disappointing at about 5 metres, but the dive was successfully completed.  September kicked off with some decent weather and we dived the Spyros in about 5 metres vis.  Next day saw us return to the Daylesford south of St Catherine’s Point, where we had similar vis. From mid September onwards, the weather continued to be better. The Wildlife Trust returned for another dive off Blackgang where more species were recorded, and which has filled in some gaps in our knowledge of what’s there.  The next day a small group took advantage of the neap tide and we dived the unknown schooner wreck in the Solent, followed by a productive drift dive on the flood tide, where crockery, bottles, a large shellcase and other items were found. The schooner wreck remains unidentified.  This was followed by a dive with Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology on Bouldner Cliff, where filming took place for a forthcoming programme on the Discovery channel.  In mid September, a small team dived the wreck of the Saxmundham in 40 metres. The wreck looked to be exposed, a good sign as on occasions the wreck is completely covered in a large sand bank. Certainly the midships area was largely free of sand, but the bow and stern parts were covered. Over the weekend of 15/16 September, the fine weather continued. We returned to the Spyros and the War Knight, where good vis of 6 and 4 metres respectively was had. Next day we went to the Venezuela in similar conditions. We’d wanted to dive the Borgny but an angling boat was anchored in the wreck and so we diverted to the nearby Venezuela.

Spaces update: I have 2 spaces available on Sunday 23 September to dive the Spyros in 31 metres. Meet 0815 to leave 0845. Second dive included. £44 per head. There is one space remaining  to dive the clipper ship Smyrna on Saturday 13 October. It’s an early start – we need to be away by about 0700. £55 per head.



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