diver1's blog

Christmas Do


Well as we head towards the end of the diving season its time to organise the end of year meal and this year it is at The Mitre Hotel Manchester on the 08th December 2012.

Slightly different to previous years it is still our annual excuse to get together and have a few beers and celebrate another great year of Diving and for some of us new diving locations in some difficult weather!

It is also a great time to look forward to next year 2013 and see what we can arrange.


For those who have booked and let me know you are coming its 08.00pm although in the bar earlier is good by me!


See you there



Doune trip


Firstly I must start with a thank you to Jan for organising and sharing this gem of a place with the Club. We just failed to take 12 divers when Kevin had to drop out at the last minute & whom we missed, as we know he would really have enjoyed this one! great to see Colin back and Wendy a two dive club(BSAC Instructor) friend of Jan's who stepped in at the last minute to take Chris's place due to his work commitments. (What did she see us do wrong I wonder?).  

The trip clearly looked like we would have a good one when everybody turned up in Mallaig as organised to meet Andy and his boat on time!

The Scottish weather really threw its best efforts in trying to throw a spanner into the diving programme and the fact we only lost one dive is a credit to Andy. However we did make up for the dive by spending a few hours in the most remote pub in mainland Britain the 'Old Forge'.

The diving was a mix of wall's and did I mention wall's in the different  loch's around Knoydart, Skye and Muck and ended the week on the wreck of HMS Port Napier(a cracking dive for the rust enthusiasts.) Great vis, marine life, and a few interesting sights (ask Graham about the sea pens), and Fred managed not to break his ladder it must have been good.  

The accommodation is a great base for the trip and provided to be interesting with no television and lights out when the generators shut down. The food provided at the restaurant is just fantastic, starting with breakfast, (slightly different every day) packed lunches and homemade cakes every day and then a varied and interesting evening meal each night and if anybody went home hungry I give up!

Well done to the scallop hunters who provided additional courses on more than one occasion, but if left to Pete's traps we might have gone hungry! (its not so useful lying on the beach or the fishing but that's another story)

Would we go again, I believe we are already trying to book!!!!!!!!!

Capenwray the experience for the new Divers


Firstly many thanks to Graham, Kevin, Jan, Pete, Wayne and Alan for all assisting with the day at Capenwray on the 19th August when we had Adam, Stacey, Matt, Austin and Glenn all in the water! some for first time in open water and two in dry suits which they had not experienced before!

Well done to all the trainee's who carried out two dives and over came all the usual problems this new challenge could throw! Borrowed suits where neck seals do not fully fit, buoyant legs (always enjoyable) in sufficient lead to get down and rumors of one emptying the contents of his cylinder whilst diving with Jan, well a very wise choice to chose Jan as I am sure she had probably only taken 10bar out of her cylinder at this stage! (the woman does not breathe!)

I am sure everybody is now looking looking forward to the next series of dives and to send their thanks to the instructors who made the day so memorable, and to Wayne who provided shore cover and assist with kit etc and I believe provide first aid to two other divers (not ours thankfully) (many thanks)







Latest Dive to be notified St ABBS Oct 2012

19th -21st October Two days diving and accomodation approx £100.00

Please let Jan know if you are interested!


Watch this space for proposed dives for 2013


Nick has first open water dive in Capenwray


Just a quick thanks to Debbie for taking in another of this years starters on his first two open water dives at capenwray last Saturday. 

The smile at the Club lastnight said it all, and especially finding the plane.

Lets see who is next


Graham gets bitten!

Rumours from the Farnes trip, were that Graham's antic's with the seals resulted in a bitten bum, as well as his fins can apparently now be confirmed as true! We are just waiting for the photographic evidence to post! 

Poole Trip


Well another trip in this fantastic UK summer! Travel ling to Poole for a four day trip organised by Kevin (Many Thanks) first hurdle was too meet up in the local pub but nearly a disaster as no pub in walking distance- what would we do! Jump in a cab and find everybody had the same idea. (nothing like good planning by Salford divers and for the first time I can remember late starts because of the tides (fantastic!), made having a beer a good deal more comfortable. Thursday found us in brilliant sunshine and calm seas what a start, a good wreck followed by a scenic reef. That night we were joined by our latest addition to the team Rowan who had to throw himself into the drinking after an exhausting drive. Next day rain and cloud but perfectly good diving conditions. 

The wreck of the weekend the Kyarra was first dive and Rowan's first UK boat/ wreck dive found him teamed with Graham wearing an 18litre cylinder! That opened a few eyes especially with the thought of how he would get back out of the water and up the ladder. However he was never going to beat Fred's backward swallow dive off the top rung in full kit and twin set 10 scores all round. With Alan's dodgy ears we had the best skippers mate in a long time helping with kitting and de-kitting.

If you have seen the mearcat you tube video the cry of Alan was even funnier!

Another reef and then back to Poole for another night on the Quay. A phone call that night put paid to Saturday with a truly dreadful forecast that saw high winds and driving rain all day. This did allow for a couple of extra beers and red wine (which is another story!)

For some Saturday passed in a blur or bed (not sure) especially when they did not even surface for the Fred /Rowan face off in a eat all you can buffet. There was always only going to be one winner -well done Fred! 5 plates to 3 no contest!

Sunday was a far better day one dive on a reef, good vis, a steady current and a complete S*&^* with a reel, and it was all over back to port and homeward bound.

Would we go back









If you read Diving magazines there is a common tenancy to refer to the older members of the club in mocking terms  ‘crinkly divers’ being one of them!  The truth is yes plenty of old stories of how it was but also and often forgotten is that it is those divers who paved the way for better equipment and facilities for modern diving!

The truth is with homemade wetsuits very small cylinders diving did tend to be about only worrying about not freezing to death or running out of air, decompression was something to be dreamt of.

However not only was the equipment problematic but getting out to a dive site without having a club boat became an interesting part of the equation!

Enterprising fishermen soon learnt they could make extra money taking out divers for very little extra effort and this is where ‘Stan Hall’s ark’ came in.

The Farne Islands in Northumberland  has  always been  a favourite location for the Club and when you find an available boat it had to be tried if it spared towing the aging Club boat that was not always going to start!.

Well a contingent of twelve turned up for the weekend at the Farnes   booked by an ex-member of the Club. Promises of accommodation and a boat were a real hit and cheap to boot. However rather importantly he had forgotten to tell the group that one of the reasons it was cheap was no bedding supplied!  sleeping bags were rather required in May in the North East!  and pre-mobile phones  most people had left for the North East before the oversight was discovered and leaving after work initially the most important task was to make last orders!

The accommodation was a dormitory made of breezeblock  and would have been cold at the best of times, however once the alcohol wore off , one member lost it issued several rude words, banged two dustbin lids together (dustbin lids and him are another story) which was not really essential as most were awake anyway and disappeared into the night. Well actually he drove home and took the poor passengers gear with him.

It was therefore the following day when a rather ragged bunch of tired divers met Stan for the first time and were introduced to the ark alongside the quay at Seahouses. The boat was bobbing about in the harbour (never a good sign) and when given the once over an obvious question was asked? How do we get back into the boat! Stan looked at us as if we were mad and famously quoted ‘How do you think!’ You climb up the tyres hung over the side! (How stupid of us to think he might have a ladder!)

So there you have it, did we turn around and go home NO! We went out on the Ark got seasick as it rolled around (or was that the alcohol)  and bravely threw  ourselves over the side. You have to visualise that the deck was so far down stood up only your head was visible and to get over the side you had to stand on a bench and throw yourself out!

After the dive you then had to try and put a knee into one of the tyres and try and haul yourself up high enough for somebody to grab your harness and pull you bodily over the side! And then freefall into the deck!

Ask around a few will eventually own up to being on this  epic trip!

It was a story from many many years ago and to a degree forgotten about (I wonder why!) but whilst in the Farnes this last trip a chance conversation led me to believe the ‘ark’ still existed  and I now have the pictures to prove it! Just imagine tyres being hung over the side and trying to get a knee into them in a pitching boat wearing a single cylinder and weight belt, and ex navy jet fins that would not fit into anything!

This weekend we swam to the back of the dive boat where the skipper lowers a hydraulic platform  into the water for you to stand on whilst you rise into the sky so that you can walk on to the deck !  So have we changed things you bet we have!)




The main Club Dive of the year, having taken two years at least to book due to its popularity, we are finally booked on for the 09th September -14th September 2012.

Please if you get chance have a look on a map where this lies! Long drive up and then transfer to a boat for a base at a restaurant which is highly commended (Where do they get their trade from!)

Then out daily to  hopefully the Small Isles - Canna, Rhum, Muck, Eigg and Erskay plus the SE tip of Skye.


Currently fully booked are you on the reserve list?



Diving POOLE area

Next Trip I have been notified of is the 05th-08th July 2012 apart from the odd day trip we organise at short notice or weekend if anybody is interested?

New ground for a lot of the Club staying in the central Poole area (no pubs here for eating and drinking in then!) New skipper and the area is littered with wrecks ranging from 15m-30+m ranging from flat pack scrap yards to intact(ish) casualties!

The Kyarra looks like the one for us at 18m high mixed cargo and 30m to the sea bed. For those old enough to remember the Black Hawk I might not say to much! Plenty of scenic diving as well so lets see whats out there! 

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