Dive Report 6/9/15
My dive organizer had gone AWOL on a walkabout in the Pyrenees but I eventually had the magic number of four divers down for the Sunday dive.
We met at Castellmarch for a 9.30 launch and made our way to Trwyn Carreg y Tir on the eastern end of Porth Neigwl.After a long debate of who was to dive with who and when I asserted my authority and decided to kit up with Andrew and go in first.We circumnavigated the rock (according to the boat cover we took the short route) and explored the many gullies and boulders in the area. A large conger was one of the many residence seen together with lobsters spider crabs dogfish and large shoals of Pollock.
Peter and David were next in deciding to dive further along headland.They surfaced well short of Peters mandatory 60 min dive and on approaching their DSMB realized that David was not well having suffered back pain towards the end of the dive.
Lunch was taken on the beach at Porth Ceiriad and an executive committee decision was made to dive the cave at St Tudwal.David having fed the fish on surfacing decided to cox so three of us went in by the cave entrance.We surfaced after 54mins having penetrated the cave and rummaging the kelp in a westerly direction. The recovery was straight forward and Sea Wasp was soon back at Pendre.
Wednesday 9th September Porthysgaden.
Prolonged easterlies meant that for a change, the north coast had a few days of restbite from the high winds and for the viz to have a chance to improve. It wasn't a suprise then that there were eight takers for the evening dive. The pairings would be Andrew and Tom, Dewi and Mike, Brett and Nia and lastly Jake was paired with Irfon. Each pair formulated a dive plan and then after logging their details, headed down the slip.
Jake and Irfon were first in and had decided to cross over the reef, allwent well until Irfon couldn't find his usual mark for begining the cross over. Now on unfamiliar territory, he was navigating blind and in truth was winging it. After about ten minutes, he admitted defeat as none of the topography was familiar and surfaced for a quick recalc. After a brief surface swim all was well and normal service resumed. As it was now getting dark and closer to high tide, the fish were out feeding, however the lobsters didn't make an appearance tonight.
Dewi and Mike had also opted to venture onto the reef also, however Dewi's navigation was up for it and they returned without having to break the surface. They also reported plenty of life including a conger in less than three meters of water. Andrew and Tom played it safe and went straight out and back again reporting plenty of life and an enjoyable dive. Brett and Nia however didn't even get wet as one of them had left his lead back at home. It was no wonder then that they were the first to adjourn to the Lion. As we had six of the committee members resent we had a meeting to discuss pool nights and training for the forthcoming winter. Details will be uploaded soon once Mike has confirmed availability and dates.
Dive Report Sunday 13th , Sandy Hollow.
The dive plan was to attempt to find the mysterious coal wreck.
Five willing victims called in, one cancelled in the morning due to a bad head after UTD beet Liverpool, so David,Peter ,Dewi and myself set off from Porth Ysgadan at nine am.First in was David and myself.
When we reached the bottom no signs of the coal, or the Bell!
But we had a look around and after a while came across a decent reef, although it was not a large area we saw Pollock,wrasse, spotted gobies a couple of crabs and a octopus which David missed! We managed a 45 Minuit dive.
Then it was the hard boys in there Semis, We were told where they wanted to go so we duly obliged and put them on the mark they wanted .By now the tide was running so the blob followed shortly after entry.
They had a 50 Minuit drift and covered a good distance.
They saw a large plaice, hermits and not forgetting the sand, and lots of it apparently. Better than mud one might say.
We then went into Whistling Sands for lunch, and have a look at the sand again. Nia joined us for a couple of minuits and offered us a ice-cream, I think a cup of Horlicks would of been better for Dewi, as ha looked frozen.
Second dive David and I moved up the coast a little, where it was a similar dive to the first, but with less tide.
We saw a three bearded rockling and a leopard spotted goby on this dive. This turned out to be a 54 Minuit dive.
Peter and Dewi then decided to cross over to Maen Mellt and have a dive there.
Instruction was given that any lost pots should be sent up on a lift bag.
We dropped them off on the west side and left them to it .Within minuits a lift bag appeared and a pod was attached.I'm sure some of these older guys are a little hard of hearing. Never the less there was 3kilos of lead and although covered in barnacles the zip still worked so I would imagine it will be on eBay before long.
They saw lobsters ,conger and a Huss that they tormented while it rested. There dive lasted an hour and a little tension set in at50 minuits as no blob had been seen, had we missed it and they were sitting off the coast of Ireland ,or caught up on the Swanland wherever that lies.
No sure enough just like busses you wait nearly an hour and two show at once.
Dewi's got snagged and he let it go.
WE then commenced on our trip home having for filled another two dives with 4-5 metre vis and relativity quiet seas and some sunshine, what else can you ask for.
Dive Report for Wednesday 16th September.
The programme said Criccieth, night dive but the sea on Monday morning, with a strong easterly blowing, was rough and very stirred up but amazing things happen occasionally so that by Tuesday evening it was calm and seemingly clear. So we went with the plan, although by bringing the meet time forward by a few minutes Peter insisted that it had been changed!! The problem was that high water was not until well after 10pm so there was not a lot of water when we got to the lifeboat slip. A good turnout had Dewi with Tom, Andrew & Irfon, Me & Jake with Mike venturing out to look after Peter. Melanie was a late addition to the line up, joining up with M & P, fortunately as it turned out. It was quite dark by the time we got in so on the sand it was weaver fish from the start followed by a myriad of smallish life which included assorted crabs, gobies, tub gurnards and tiny pipefish, as well as red mullet, cuttle fish, squid and even a shoal of mackerel for some. On the reef there were bib and pollack and larger crustaceans. Dive times varied from 6 minutes for Mike, who just couldn't have been in the mood to 104 minutes,(a new Club record me thinks), for Melanie and Peter. By the time they came out some had gone home so I can't tell you who, if anyone, made it to the pub. An excellent dive (this site never fails as a night dive) marred only by Jake finding out at the end that he had forgotten to turn his camera on. Thanks to Carol & Mags, oh, and Mike of course, for doing shore cover.
Dive Report for Sunday 27th September.
Wyn was the Dive Manager so true to recent form his Dive Organizer went awol. Even so there was a good turnout of 7, enabling Mike to get his rib afloat for a rare outing. The plan was the Seagull Islands from Aberdaron but Terry's tractor is still down, so we launched from Porth Colmon at high water on a big Spring tide on to a flat calm sea. Here Wyn made what turned out to be his first bad call of the day by sticking with the same dive site. A few raised eyebrows perhaps, as one or two tried to compute the likely cost of fuel, but no disenters. That was until we reached the Tripods where the sea started to get distinctly choppy. Turning into the Sound the sea state became far rougher and somewhat marginal with a strong southerly wind in our faces. Undeterred Wyn kept going, ignoring the whimpers and groans from his ever loyal crew, telling us that it was just a patch or rough water and we'd soon be through it. Eventually though Sparrowhawk drew level and, in the nicest of ways, enquired whether Wyn had lost his marbles. The suggestion was made, and perhaps too readily agreed, to head over to the sheltered west side of Bardsey, an area which is renowned for the absence of any half decent dive sites. We mustered around the dreaded Carreg Yr Honwy, with Mike & John and, after the mildest of mutinies, Peter & Wyn being first in. They each managed 40 minutes or so returning to report that they had indeed seen a fish. As both pairs had drifted almost to a quite turbulent Lighthouse Point the remaining threesome of Irfon, Andrew and myself, dropped in on the lee side of the infamous rock outcrop in order to limit our drift. Trouble was we never got out into the moving water and so had the most nondescript of dives in viz. of just a few metres, and also gave up the ghost after 40 minutes or so, having seen all of 3 fish and 2 lobsters!! As the wind was forecast to pick up further, and the harbour side of the island was exposed, the decision was made, jointly and almost democratically, to head for the calm shelter of Porth Oer for lunch. The afternoon dive was what looked like a very fast drift for John and Mike out from Maen Mellt while the rest of us elected to stay in the lee of the island and were compensated with the usual excellent dive that Maen Mellt rarely fails to deliver. Mike had launched from Porth Ysgaden and so bade farewell while we returned to a very kelpy Porth Colmon. Wyn somehow managed to get us in without hitting anything but recovery was impossible as the kelp was underlain by a thick layer of sludge, so while I took the rib to Porth Ysgaden the others drove there. Even there the shallow slope of the beach at low water meant that we had to use a rope but at least the bed was firm. Wyn was last seen muttering something about "lessons learnt", but he did recover enough to delegate this report to me. Essentially, those lessons could be summarized as; always have a backup plan, and don't be afraid to change the plan if conditions prove to be worse than expected. Oh, and don't launch from Porth Colmon on a Spring tide if you are likely to come back in at low water. On this occasion I was thankful for the keelguard, not to mention Andrew's assistance, when the rib grounded on a rock as I tried to manoevre out of the bay.
Dive Report for Wednesday 30th September.
A lovely spell of high pressure so it was Gimblet Rock on an unfavourably low Spring tide with six turning out for a night dive and Mike giving up the start of Man U's game to look after us. Irfon teamed up with Tom, Andrew with Jake, leaving Dewi to practice his navigational skills on me. Viz. was a good 8 to 10 metres, and as usual there was a myriad of life to be seen, not all small stuff with rays and gurnards, more squid for Irfon and red mullet for Andrew, and Jake's camera turned on this time. The expected strong current was hardly evident so there was little excuse for getting lost. Dewi's was that he overcompensated for the current that wasn't there!! Andrew was pleased as punch to come back in exactly where they set off after more than an hour. The pre-winter test run at the Vic was marred by there being no lager on tap, but otherwise this was an excellent possible end to our worst ever season of mid-week diving with over half the planned nights lost to the weather, compared to the usual handful.