Sorry for the absence, it has been a very busy time.
The season got off to a good start with a 12 man dive team going down to the Undive Fest. Since 2011 we have supported the Dive Festival down in Pentuin Sands, Cornwall, but unfortunately this year it was cancelled but we decided to have our own Undive Fest and carry on diving. We stayed local to Porthkerris Divers in a mixture of accommodations from camping, caravanning, hotels and some stayed with family. This meant that we only had a short trip to Porthkerris Divers. We were diving off Celtic Kitten, 2 dives each day. Our first dive was on the Spyridon which was a nice, gentle wreck dive with lots of life, and a first for me was seeing my first octopus in English waters. This was followed later on in the afternoon by a nice, gentle drift dive. That night a group of us met up in a local hotel, Paris, and had a lovely meal.
Second day we kicked off with a nice dive on an old favourite; Vase Rock. Because we had a long surface interval before our second boat dive, Cameron and Aiden decided to have a shore dive, off the left side of the beach. This all went fine. Our second boat dive of the day took us to the Mohegan, known as the Ghost Wreck. Although it was a long trip, everyone always comes back with a smile on their face, saying how much they enjoyed the experience, and we’ll be back next year.
With the closure of Nemes Dive Centre for the foreseeable future, we have had to look elsewhere for a suitable location for our training. The last time I dived in Wraysbury Lake was when I did my Instructors examinations, all those years ago. The lake has grown over the years and it is widely used and recognised as one of the best lakes in the South. The first trip there was for an Advanced Open Water course, which all went extremely well, with up to 5 metres visibility. Being realistic, we know it will not always be this clear, as the season progresses with more students and Centres using the facility, but we have re-visited it since and will keep doing so during our training season.
Once again, we have started working with Ford’s EDAP programme. This is something we have done numerous times in the past but owing to new tax regulations it was put on hold for a while but is now back up and running. We look forward to working the Ford staff in the future. To date we have run the Scuba Review programme, PADI Open Water and Rescue courses.
To encourage diving in the UK, Paul Maxwell and Russell Franks are going to be leading up at team organising more trips. The second of these was to the outer Mulberry harbours on May 19th going out of Selsey. This dive was deliberately chosen to encourage the young divers to stay involved in diving. We were lucky enough that Russell and Kevin were both happy to dive with the younger team members for this dive and everything went well. This was followed by a shore dive at the site of the old lifeboat station.
It’s always good to see old friends back diving, so when Lee, Jodie & Eden popped in to see us at the Centre one day and enquire about Jodie’s football team doing an end of season DSD, we were more than happy to oblige. This took place at the South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre pool on a Thursday night and a great time was had by all.
So far this year, we have had a very active training programme, with Ben carrying on with the PADI Seal Team, Ian and Rhonda teaching the PADI Rescue Course. We have also run numerous Open Water courses, which are now getting ready to qualify. As part of the Rescue course, students have also been completing their EFR courses, with a newly qualified EFR Instructor, Steve Stirk.