Simon and I took a dive trip down to Weymouth to dive with Smudge off Scimitar. We had awesome weather and some great diving! Four dives on the Bow of the Black Hawk, Landing Craft, St. Dunstan, and the Gertrude.
Waking up at 5.30am on friday morning we set out for the wonders of Weymouth. Two days diving with Smudge on Scimitar :D Crossing the severn bridge we were met by sun, overcast skies, and rain in an ever repeating loop. How would Weymouth turn out?
Arriving at the boat, the sky was overcast but there was warmth in the air. Equipment lugged on to the boat (with plenty of room as it was a weekday :)) Smudge gets the kettle on and it would be rude not to have a brew ;)
Stomach starts grumbling and with no delay Aquasnacks arrive to save the day (well morning, pasties later!). Went for the tsunami version with an extra bit of cake for Smudge (but he’d ordered his own too, D’Oh!). Nice big sandwich, awesome cake, bit of fruitand pizza slice. All good, Lloyd happy, Old Man Taylor happy, good stuff. Highly recommended, definately getting some next time too, here’s proof of customer satisfaction:
Anyway, so having had an early start with the great weather and a nice gentle rocking boat “Old Man Taylor” (now a member of the YD massive) and I decided to set up the gear and take a well needed nap:
First dive was the bow of the Black Hawk. Lots of rubbish in the water but viz was around about 3-4 metres. Nice dive lots to see, still getting used to the new wing so didn’t want anything stressful so all good. Tons of fish, at one point we were surrounded by a large shoal, really need to start learning fish names though :)
Seeing as we’ve only been venturing the way of Weymouth since January (looking for a change of scenery) Smudge offered us a harbour dive, well why not it’s all new to us! Did the landing craft and the bombarden unit. Smudge gave us an interesting bit of history so in we go. Viz was rubbish about 1m I’d guess. Got in through the engine roomy bit and had a look, then went searching for the white rope over to the other wreck. Couldn’t find the white rope, even after a couple of laps so we thought bugger it, went to the surface had a look and went back down swimming along the breakwater wall. Eventually found the wreck and had a look around before taking the white rope back to the landing craft and ascending. Getting out of the water ends my 200th dive so bit of a photo opportunity to prove I’m still alive:
and cups of yorkshire tea all around:
Arriving back in port we stop at the petrol pontoon to fill up (the boat and cylinders) and have an ice cream at old harbour divers. Off the boat we go for a nice cold beer and some talent spotting in the sun.
Cold beers down we head over to Portland the offspring blasting from the stereo and easily find the YMCA (thank you sat nav!). Old Man Taylor thinks he’s got to do the dance to allow him in for the night so we have a quick practice before going in the door. (Funny to see they had a copy of the village people ymca millennium mix on the desk). YMCA has nice comfy rooms in bunk beds, Â£17 per night, job done! http://www.portland.ymca.org.uk/
Showered and changed we decide to head to the pub for some cold beers, food, and talent spotting. Put the sat nav in walking mode to head for the breakwater hotel (as suggested by YD members). Sat Nav thinks it’s in the Grove but turns out it’s wrong and we head across the costal path to Castleton.
An hour later we arrived at the pub, hehe.
Sitting in the pub it’s apparent that we’re both quite sunburnt and there’s a red glow throughout the pub. Food there and a couple of cold beers and we get a taxi back up to the YMCA as there was a roudy female volleyball team staying there so we check the local pubs to see if they’re about. In one of the local pubs there’s a mod/ska cover guy dude singing classics from madness, buster blood vessel, and the specials. Old Man Taylor is loving it and shows me all the dances from his mod boy days.
Next morning after a good cooked breakfast at the YM we head back down to Weymouth for another days diving. Boats a bit more full today so we’re squeezed up in one corner (aka the naughty corner). First dive is to be the St. Dunstan (Divernet | Wreck Tours | Wreck Tour: 40, The St Dunstan). So we plop in, Simon (Old Man Taylor) says he has a clearing problem at 5metres. Do a quick bubble check, he’s ok so we head down to the bottom. Except, I got to the bottom waited a minute and Simon wasn’t with me, not a problem though. Swim off the line to find a dog fish but no wreck. Seems I swum in completely the opposite direction, and not quite far enough back to meet the wreck again.
I think to myself, Simon’s probably gone back up with ear trouble and I can’t find the wreck so I’ll pop up meet him and we’ll do the dive together with a nice slow decent. Couldn’t quite get the reel and dsmb out of my pocket, bugger, but that’s ok I’ll use my spool and backup smb. Idiot, the spool is stuck in the pocket too. Lesson learnt for next time, don’t keep them in the same place. Back to pocket, pull dsmb, all comes out nice and easy, double idiot! Blow bag, reach the surface, get on board the boat, Old Man Taylor has carried on his dive, fair enough. Still have plenty of air so I jump back in and carry on by myself. On the way down I feel my chest getting cold, I’d started dekitting on board and forgotten to plug the drysuit inflator host back in. So level myself out with the wing and take about 20 seconds to find the hose and plumb myself back in. Carry on down.
Lovely wreck, viz isn’t up to much but it’s ok. Have a look at the boilers and the gearing system, before squeezing in through the back for a closer look. Managed to see quite a bit of the wreck, including the biggest conger ever :shock:, loads of fish, but at 18 minutes bottom time ‘puter was saying I had 18 minutes of stops to do. Got caught in some fishing line but cut it easily enough (turns out a few people had). Blow the dsmb and up I go. Stuck in some stops at 12, 9, cleared the computer at 6 and added an additional couple at 3 to be sure. On board everyone is looking a bit bored (think they’d all done about 35 minute dives, but including my reentry and things I’d been a total of 1hr10mins ;))
Back on board Old Man Taylor is feeling guilty that I’d come back up to see if he was about. As he put it though, I knew you would of thought “fuck him” and carried on anyway so I did too. Discussed our dives, and it’s definately one we’d like to go back to and have more time on it (but this also means we’ll also have to be less tight fisted and buy some ‘trox!). This is followed by Old Man Taylor’s best pirate impression:
Smudge’s usual wonderful supply of pasties, chocolate bars, tea, and doughnuts keeps everyone on board nice and happy. Second dive is to be on the Gertrude (?). Viz was quite bad so we ignored the wreck and headed into the current to see if there was any food about. The area is covered in lots of big boulders covered in life, there was also lots of fish about. Current was doing strange things and one moment we’d be stuck in a lul and next moment flying over several boulders. Some of the fast drifts between the large boulders felt very star wars so was done with big smiles. On ascent I had a few minutes of stops to clear out so Simon ascended the dsmb line and got out, the boat coming back five minutes later to collect me.
Back in port we had to scarper as Mrs Old Man Taylor had a birthday party to get to and I had the missus coming over. All in all an awesome couple of days. Smudge and Scimitar were excellent as usual and I’ve found an excellent new service in the form of Aquasnacks.
Even got a shot of one of Mark’s divesigns but I took the photo from the other side of the boat and it’s a stealth one after all.
Now, hope that wasn’t too boring???? :rolleyes:
Photos can be seen in the gallery: Wreck Diving Weymouth 1st-2nd June 2007 Gallery
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.