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Portland Dive Weekend 11/12 June 2016

Portland Dive Weekend 11th & 12th June 2016

The latest club trip took place on the 11th & 12th of June, with 9 members taking part on the weekend expedition to Portland.

Accommodation and meeting point was The Royal Breakwater Hotel on the Friday evening. Those of us who hadn’t stayed there before had been painted are rather unenlightening picture of the hotel, but in fairness it was great. Highly recommended!

The plan for dives was, probably as usual, fairly fluid due to a poor weather forecast. Southerly and South Westerly winds had most of dosing up with Stugeron at breakfast. However the winds were kind to us, and in the sheltered side of Portland Bill the seas were flat calm.

For several people it was first dives of the season, two were participating in training dives towards Sport Diver qualification, and I was trying out a new drysuit, so the diving was planned accordingly.

First dive was the British Inventor, with Geoff and Steve taking the plunge, then on to Durdle Door for a fairly shallow reef and training dive. Principal excitement was Ann losing a fin (again) and the skipper of the Lulworth Cove tourist boat not understanding the meaning of the Diving ‘A’ Flag.

After lunch at Lulworth Cove, second dive of the day was on the sunken barge, just outside the harbour.

With the forecast supposedly deteriorating on Sunday, we were pleasantly surprised when out on the water to find conditions, once again, were superb. First dive was a drift dive. Although the current wasn’t running fast, all the divers covered an enormous distance. Was it a dogfish? Was it a Lesser Spotted this or that? There was a huge debate…. But we settled on Dogfish!

Final dive, on Sunday afternoon was another dive on the sunken barge. Great visibility for the first divers. For subsequent divers, it was like pea soup. (Sorry!)

During the trip, several people put themselves in the running for the club’s Anchor Award, unfortunately including myself.

Thank you Malcolm, for organising and planning a fantastic dive weekend, and thank you Ann for the never ending supply of snacks and drinks. And finally, congratulations Katie on becoming the club’s newest Sports Diver.

LVDC Member published in SCUBA Magazine

One of our longest serving members and retired Diving Officer, Kevin Stubbs has been published in SCUBA Magazine with a moving account of what diving and club membership has meant to him. His article appeared in the October 2015 issue headed “My Greatest Dive”.

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West Bay July 2015

West Bay – 11th & 12th July 2015

Saturday morning dry and bright, promising a good day. On arrival at the slip we are thinking that it is a good job it is only 8.00. The place looks as though it will be heaving, the seafront road is closed off with rows of very fast looking boats parked up. We learn from the harbourmaster that a weekend of powerboat and water ski racing is planned and immediately decide to arrange to leave the rib moored in the harbour overnight, expecting the slip to be very busy on Sunday morning.

Our first dive is the Baygitano, always a favourite. A pleasant journey out with Steve helming, find the location, chase off a couple of fishing boats and drop the shot. First pair in were Malcolm B and Steve. Loads of fish, a conger and I believe a few crabs. The shot was laid right across the boiler so they found that and then found their way to the bows and back to the shot to ascend up the line. Visibility reported as about 5 – 6 meters.

Once the first divers were recovered Malcolm C went in with Nigel for his Sports Diver lesson on using a distance line. This exercise was completed successfully. At the end of the dive the shot was moved clear of obstruction and the lifting bag inflated to give a little help in lifting the shot. Both divers then ascended the shot line.

The shot was recovered and then back to West Bay for a leisurely lunch.

The afternoon dive was to be a drift dive on Pollock Rock. Malcolm B and Steve managed to find a bit of rocky seabed, but Nigel and Malcolm C only managed to find kelp!!

We were back in harbour for about 16.00. Steve and Nigel did the cylinder run to Castletown whilst the two Malcolms secured the boat for the night.

A very pleasant evening meal in The Swan Inn, Abbotsbury.

Sunday morning was not so great, it was raining and the wind was blowing, at least a 4. We were to be joined for the day by Glen and Geoff, another Sports Diver trainee, from Dacorum SAC at 9.00 on the slip. We had planned to dive the James Fennel, but with the strong southerly wind we decided that this would be a very uninviting run out and opted to do the Baygitano again (I think, not the first time this has happened).

After a fairly testing run out, (no fishing boats this time) the shot was dropped, incredibly in almost exactly the same place as we had dropped it on Saturday. The first pair this time were Malcolm C and Steve, followed by Glen and Geoff. Malcolm and Steve found the conger again and the bows, this time opting to ascend using a dsmb. Glen and Geoff decided to leave the wreck after a while and went looking for scallops (successfully). Once Malcolm C and Steve were back on the boat Malcolm B went in with Nigel. This time the ascent was up the shot. Despite the poor surface conditions the diving conditions were OK with still decent visibility.

 

The run back was slightly better than the run out as were going with the tide, but lunch was considerably later than it had been on Saturday. Strangely enough the racing had been called off so the place was deserted.

After lunch Steve decided that he did not fancy a second dive so Malcolm C took the other 4 out for a drift on High Ground. This dive was reported as somewhat disappointing, with a lot of swell and not a lot of fish to see.

On return to West Bay the boat was recovered onto the trailer, an interesting exercise with the waves breaking several meters up the slip. Once the boat was washed and secured for travel the pair from DSAC left for home and the rest of us went back to the caravan to clean up and eat before leaving at 19.00. The journey home was good, helped I suspect by a lack of day trippers.

 

 

West Bay Dive Trip

A group of 11 divers including 2 trainees headed off to West Bay on Friday 3rd Oct for the final weekend of diving this season. We arrived at Freshwater Beach caravan site which is a great base right by the sea. Saturday’s weather required us to move to Plan B and dive out of Portland, just outside the harbour in sheltered waters. The diving was good and the trainees managed to completed their final exercises. We celebrated that evening in the George pub in West Bay – as were the film crew of the second series of ‘Broadchurch’ who had just finished filming.

Really nice day on Sunday and a cracking series of dives out of West Bay – firstly ‘Saw Tooth Ledges’ to see the colourful sunset corals, followed by the glorious Baygitano (a great first dive as qualified divers for our trainees) and then High Ground to finish off. A tired but happy band of divers headed home – Fab!

New Ocean Diver steers us to the Baygitano

New Ocean Diver steers us to the Baygitano

Lee Valley Dive Club honoured by BSAC

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BSAC HQ have acknowledged Lee Valley Dive Club’s successful Advanced Instructor training scheme by awarding us a certificate for the second highest rate of qualification to that grade in the country in 2013.

We feel blessed to have many skilled and dedicated instructors on the team to help our members achieve confident and safe diving practices to enhance our enjoyment of the sub-aqua experience.

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